Registering your Business

So you’ve decided to start your own business.

Then here are some key things you need to know and do.


All businesses must register with The Corporate Affairs And Intellectual Property Office (CAIPO) located at  Ground Floor, Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael. There you must register your business as a sole proprietorship, partnership or a limited liability company.

To register as a sole proprietorship, you need only choose a business name that is acceptable to the Registrar.

To register as a partnership, you and your partner(s) need to sign a Partnership Agreement.

To register as a limited liability company, you should first consult an Attorney-at-Law.

You should also register your business' trademark or brand name with CAIPO.

All businesses must register with the  National Insurance Department, Sir Frank Walcott Building, Culloden Road, St. Michael, where you will be issued with an employer's national insurance number.

All businesses must register with the Barbados Central Revenue Authority, where you will be issued with an Employer's Income Tax number and a Value Added Tax number. If you propose to offer any form of entertainment to the public, for example, a nightclub you may also obtain a Public Entertainment Licence there.

You must obtain a Retail Licence or a Liquor Licence from the District Court that is responsible for your catchment area, if you propose to retail or sell liquor.

You must obtain permission from The Copyright Society Of Composers Authors &  Publishers Inc. (COSCAP) and The Police Station that is responsible for your catchment area, if you want permission to play loud music at an event or at a specific location. (In many cases, one must obtain this permission in addition to an Entertainment Licence.)

You must obtain a permit from the Child Care Board, Cheapside, Bridgetown, if you propose to get into the child care business.

You must register with the Para Medical Professionals Council, Ministry Of  Health, Jemmotts Lane, St. Michael, if you are interested in setting up a business in the medical profession.

You must obtain a licence from the Ministry Of International Transport if you are setting up a Travel Agency or Tour Operator Business.

You must ascertain from the Barbados National Standards Institute, Flodden, Culloden Road, St. Michael, whether any standards exists, quality or otherwise, with which your product needs to comply.

You must seek approval from the Town and Country Development Planning Office if you wish to develop your property in any way or if you are considering locating your new business there.


If you plan to import any raw materials and equipment for your business, you should ascertain from the Customs and Excise Department of the Central Revenue Authority whether import licences are required on any such items. If so, then register with the Customs and Excise department to receive an import number before proceeding with the importation of any items. Failure to do this may result in unnecessary delays or even an outright rejection of your items being passed for entry to the island.  

You must write a letter to the Comptroller of Customs, to request any duty concessions.  This letter should include the name of the business; the type of operation; the location of the premises along with contact details.

Register with the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation to facilitate the duty free entry of your products into the countries with which Barbados has bilateral trade agreements.


If you propose to start a business in food processing, child/geriatric care, a restaurant or a salon you should apply for an operating licence from the Ministry Of Health. This can be done through their main office at Jemmotts Lane, St. Michael or any Polyclinic on the island. Please note that your business’ premises will have to be inspected before a licence can be issued.


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