When starting a new business in The Bahamas, you have many issues to consider to make your business successful in the future. From a legal perspective, think about how you will obtain funding, whether you will have employees, and where you will choose a location.
Every new business needs some “seed money” to get started. Sometimes the business founders will contribute money. For example, in a partnership or limited liability company, the founders invest personally in the business and in exchange, receive ownership interests.
When starting some larger companies, the founders solicit “angel investors” or other people interested in funding a potentially successful company. These investors may receive benefits from the company, such as dividends, if they invest a certain amount.
In addition, some businesses may qualify for grants or special discounts from the government or private organizations in exchange for operating in a certain industry or meeting certain goals.
Will You Have Employees?
If you plan to start a business that pays employees, or you think you may have employees in the future, get some advice on your legal obligations. For example, you must pay Bahamian employees the minimum wage or greater. Employees also have some legal protections against discrimination and wrongful dismissal from employment. If your employees will belong to a union or could join one, then the law provides additional protections. You will need to know the law so that you and your business do not violate it.
How Will You Pick a Location?
Choosing a location can have legal repercussions for your business. For example, you may want to purchase a building. Then you have to consider insurance, how you will pay for repairs to the building, will you need a loan or mortgage to pay the purchase price, and more. If you rent, you may face issues such as whether you can make modifications to the space and who bears responsibility for customer injuries on the premises – your business or the landlord. Whether you rent or own, you may need special permits to operate in that location, or you may need to meet other local legal requirements such as becoming a value added tax registrant and obtaining one or more business licences.
When you start your business, you should always talk to a lawyer for advice on following the law, no matter whether you face funding issues, employee needs, or questions about location.