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Bahamian

Bahamian Licensing

The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited [GBPA] is responsible for licensing all businesses within the 'Port Area' of Grand Bahama Island, and has an efficient process for approving new investment. Bahamian applications are processed an average of 2-weeks. Potential investors can expect to receive helpful guidance from GBPA's Licensing Department every step of the way to make the process as straightforward and effortless as possible.

Submission of Application: 

  • Application form completed and submitted
  • Appendix “A” completed and submitted
  • (In the event of partnership, these Forms must be completed by each partner.  In the case of a company, these forms must be completed by each Shareholder) 
  • Non-refundable $250.00 (not including VAT of 7.5%) processing fee
  • Proof of Bahamian Citizenship 
  • Current Police Record

Download Application Download Appendix A form

Certification Requirements:

  • Applicant providing professional services (i.e. Doctors, Attorneys, Accountants, and Engineers etc.) required to submit letter of recommendation from Qualifying Board or Association.
  • Applicant providing specialized services (i.e. Auto Mechanics, Cosmetologists, and Welders) required to submit copy of certification.
  • Applicant providing technical services (i.e. Plumbers etc.) required to submit copy of License from Ministry of Works Department.
  • Applicant providing technical services (i.e. Electricians etc.) required to submit copy of License from Bahamas Electricity Corporation.
  • Applicant providing construction services are referred to the Building and Development Services Department (Technical Department) of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited for evaluation and confirmation of required construction skills.  
  • Applicant for Residential and Commercial Investor License (Builder Investor) required to submit proof of ownership of property (i.e. Conveyance) on which investment is to be made.  
  • Applicant providing specialty construction services (i.e. Building Maintenance, Carpentry, Drywall, Painting, Air-condition and Refrigeration, Landscaping and Irrigation etc.) are referred to the Building and Development Services Department (Technical Department) of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited for evaluation and confirmation of required skills.
  • Applicant providing financial services required to submit proof of license from relevant Government Agency.
  • Applicant providing security and investigation services required to submit proof of license from relevant Government Agency.

Processing new License Application:

  • Once receipt of all required data is confirmed, application is placed on the Licensing Agenda for review/approval by Licensing Committee.  The Committee has an approval process of 48 hours.
  • The Licensing Committee reviews and approves each application, confirming that basic regulatory hurdles have been met, and satisfying itself that the applicant has the required qualifications or skills to deliver the services for which the license is being sought. The Committee, as required, will also make recommendations as to specific conditions which should apply to a license.
  • Letters are prepared and issued the following day, confirming the terms and conditions on which approvals have been granted.

Acceptance of License:

Upon acceptance of the terms and conditions as confirmed in the Letter of Offer, the following is required:

  • Return signed copy of approval letter 
  • Payment of the first year’s license fee (not including VAT of 7.5%)
  • In the event the approval reflects a fee range, an inspection of the proposed premises must be carried out to determine the size of the premises in order to quote the annual fee. 
  • Payment of $25.00 (not including VAT of 7.5%) for inspection of proposed premises 
  • A letter of occupancy or Lease Agreement from Landlord.
  • Confirmation of Business Trade Name (if any).
  • Documents of Incorporation (if Company).

Preliminary Processing of License Agreement:

Before the License Agreement can be prepared the following is required:-

  • An Inspection Request is forwarded to the Building and Development Services Department (Technical Department) of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited to determine the following:-
  • 1. Building zoning compliance
  • 2. Business zoning compliance
  • 3. Adequacy and design of space requirements for intended use
  • If zoning and layout requirements are met, the Building and Development Services Department (Technical Department) of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited, will confirm its approval. If not met, code deficiencies may be corrected or suitable alternative premises may be submitted for approval.
  • Once premises are approved, the following correspondence is prepared for the applicant:-

1. A Letter to the Department of Inland Revenue for the applicant to secure a business Trade Name.

The License Agreement cannot be prepared until a Trade Name Registration Certificate is received by the Customer Relations Department.  

Once the Trade Name is confirmed, or the applicant confirms that none will be used, the following additional correspondence is prepared for the applicant:-

2.   A Letter to Bahamas Telecommunications Company Limited to secure telephone services.

3. A Letter to Department of Inland Revenue to secure a Restaurant/Bar/Liquor License. (NOT REQUIRED FOR RETAIL/WHOLESALE AND SERVICE BUSINESSES).

4. A Letter to Grand Bahama Power  Company Limited to secure utility services.

5. A Letter to the Department of Environmental Health Services to secure Certificate of Sanitation (For a Restaurant, Bar, Liquor, Beauty and Barber Salons, Water Depot operations – all establishments that may have sanitary risks).

 Preparation of License Agreement

  • A formal License Agreement is then issued to the applicant and/or Attorney of record requiring execution and return within 21 days for execution by Company Officers.
  • After execution by Company Officers, the original document is forwarded to the applicant with a letter addressed to the Controller of Customs supporting the issuance of a Customs Bond.

Amendments

Other Business Services

Processing Amendments for Existing Licensees

  • A Licensee may at any time request an amendment to the existing License.   If the request is within the same business sector/category, the request may be submitted in writing to the Customer Relations Department of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited for consideration by the Licensing Committee.
  • The Licensee must be in good standing or have a formal payment arrangement in order for the request to be considered. 
  • Upon approval of the amendment request, the process outlined in the Business License Application Procedure will follow, and a Supplemental Amending License Agreement will be issued.
  • Processing fee of $100.00 (not including VAT of 7.5%)

Change of License from Personal to Corporation

  • A licensee requesting the transfer of a License Agreement from a Personal Name/Partnership to a Corporation (limited liability company) are required to complete a transfer of personal license application form, which must be submitted with the following Documents of Incorporation:- 
  • (a) Memorandum and Articles of Association.   
  • (b) Certificate of Incorporation.
  • (c) Minutes of the Meeting appointing the Present Officers and Directors.  
  • (d) A Directors Resolution authorizing the affixation of the Corporate Seal to the License Agreement if same is required in accordance with the Company's Articles of Association.
  • (e)   An Impression of the Company's Seal.
  • The Licensee must be in good standing or have a formal payment arrangement in order for the request to be considered.
  • A request for transfer of Personal License to Corporation is not referred to the Licensing Committee for approval.
  • Processing fee of $100.00 (not including VAT of 7.5%)
  • Upon approval of the request, the process outlined in the Business License Application Procedure will follow, and a Supplemental Amending License Agreement shall be issued.

Please note that a License Agreement cannot be transferred from one limited company to another limited company.

Transfer of Premises

  • A licensee wishing to relocate after the License Agreement is issued must submit a request in writing, with an accompanying letter from the proposed Landlord to the Customer Relations Department. The following processing fees are required:- Inspection fee in the amount of $25.00 (not including VAT of 7.5%) Amendment fee in the amount of $100.00 (not including VAT of 7.5%)
  • The Licensee and the proposed Landlord must be in good financial standing or have a formal payment arrangement with The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited in order for requests to be considered.
  • A request for transfer of premises is not referred to the Licensing Committee for approval.
  • Processing fee of $100.00 (not including VAT of 7.5%)
  • The steps taken in the preliminary processing of applications are then followed. and a Supplemental Amending License Agreement shall be issued.

Other Amendment requests

Any change to the existing business requested by the Licensee, must be submitted in writing, with a processing fee of $100.00 (not including VAT of 7.5%), for processing by the Customer Relations Department.   These changes may include:-

  • a). Change of business Trade Name
  • b). Change of Company’s Name
  • c). Addition/Deletion of Partner(s)
  • d). Additional square footage 

These requests are not submitted to the Licensing Committee, and are processed as long as the Licensee is in good standing or have a formal payment arrangement. 

Processing of Bonded Vehicles

A licensee requesting the local purchase or import of bonded vehicles/equipment should submit the following:- 

  • A written request with the particulars of the vehicle including year, make, model and serial number (if available).
  • The Licensee must be in good standing in order for the request to be processed.
  • A letter of approval is prepared in support of the request for Customs purposes.
  • The processing fee is $50.00 (not including VAT of 7.5%) per vehicle requested.

Residential/commercial investor (builder investor)

Applicants wishing to engage in Real Estate Investment may apply for a License as a  Residential/Commercial Investor (Builder Investor) to construct single family, multi-residential, condominium and commercial buildings.  Such licenses will be issued for a specific project on specific premises as detailed in the Third Schedule of the License Agreement.

A Residential/Commercial Investor may act as a Contactor for their specific development project, if licensed as such, having been certified by the Building and Development Services Department as a qualified Contractor and having met all other requirements of Licensing Authorities. 

A Residential/Commercial Investor may act as Project Supervisor for their development project.

The three (3) categories of a Builder Investor’s License are as follows:-

For single family homes

To carry on the business of a Residential Investor in the Port Area by way of the development, sale, rental or ownership of homes on land beneficially owned by the Grantee PROVIDED that all construction be performed by a Licensed Contractor of the Port Authority.  This License is issued specifically for the development of the property as defined in the Third Schedule.

For multi-residential and condominium buildings

To carry on the business of a Residential Investor in the Port Area by way of the development, sale, rental or ownership of multi-residential or condominium buildings on land beneficially owned by the Grantee PROVIDED that all construction be performed by a Licensed Contractor of the Port Authority. This License is issued specifically for the development of the property as defined in the Third Schedule.

For commercial buildings

To carry on the business of a Commercial Investor in the Port Area by way of the development, sale, rental or ownership of commercial buildings on land beneficially owned by the Grantee PROVIDED that commercial buildings be leased only to Licensees of the Port Authority in good standing AND PROVIDED FURTHER that all construction be performed by a Licensed Contractor of the Port Authority. This License is issued specifically for the development of the property as defined in the Third Schedule.

Please note that Construction is a business reserved for 100% Bahamian participation

Businesses reserved for 100% bahamian beneficial ownership

The following is to be used as a guide.  It is not intended to be a complete list of businesses and may be amended at the discretion of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited.  

The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited reserves all its rights in connection with granting, amending or cancelling any license.

 *wholesale and retail operations

  • Food, dairy products and supplies
  • Clothing, fabrics and accessories
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Building materials and supplies
  • Cosmetics and beauty supplies
  • Books and publications
  • Computer equipment and supplies
  • Office equipment and supplies
  • Automobiles, part and accessories 
  • Tobacco products
  • Confectionary products
  • Sea food

Floral products and supplies

  • Camera and photographic equipment 
  • Appliances, parts and supplies
  • Household items
  • Musical instruments, equipment and supplies
  • Furniture
  • Optical ware and supplies
  • Perfume 

*jewelry (except if locally manufactured by foreign investors) - (wholesale only)

  • Plant nursery and gardening supplies
  • Pets and pets supplies
  • Marine equipment and supplies
  • Footwear and supplies
  • Arts, crafts and supplies
  • Drugs,  prescription, non- prescription
  • Leather goods
  • Household and industrial chemical and supplies
  • Art gallery
  • Gases, manufacture and sales
  • Paint & related painting products
  • Party supplies
  • Medical supplies
  • Water treatments and sales
  • Gas station supplies

Commission agencies engaged in the import/export trades (for wholesale or retail distribution)

Real estate and domestic property management agencies

Domestic newspaper and magazines publications

Domestic advertising and public relations firms

Night clubs and restaurant and movie theatres,

Except speciality, gourmet and ethnic restaurants, restaurants operating in a hotel, resort complex or tourist attraction.

Minimum investment or $250,000.00 for non-bahamian investor

Security services

Construction companies

Government and grand bahama port authority reserve the right to approve licenses to foreign investors where special international expertise is required.  License granted for the duration of that name project only

Personal cosmetic/beauty establishments.

Beauty salons, barber shops, manicurist, massage parlours and related schools

Fisheries

Scale fish, crustaceans, mollusks and sponge fishing operations 
Import/export

Transportation:

Land:

Taxis, livery, tour, private charter, private schedule, rental public transportation, cars, rental scooters, bicycles

Sea:

Inter-island passengers and cargo vessels.

Air:

Inter-island passengers and cargo services

Services industry

Automobile cleaning, automotive repairs, appliance repair airconditioning maintenance and repair, aircraft maintenance and repair, courier service, bakery, building maintenance, computer repairs and programming

Sub contractors:

Air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, painting, carpentry, masonry, roofing, tile laying, landscaping, fencing, and pool construction, and other areas where special international expertise is not required. 

Mechanical/industrial:

Welding, pipefitting and insulation.

Bridal consultants, book keeping services, food caterers, business consultant(local business), cleaning janitorial and maid services, gas stations, water treatment, collection agency, communications, custom brokerage, funeral home, crematorium, and mortuary services, day care centres, employment agency, dry cleaners, driving school, fine arts - painting, music and dance, tailoring and dressmaking, elevator repair, land clearing, excavation, pest control, road builders, pool maintenance, fire prevention/safety, health club/fitness centre, interior decoration, locksmith, glassworks, purchasing agents, shipping agency, tour and travel agency, waste removal/garbage collection, waste treatment,   scrap   metal   recycling, trucking,  aerial sightseeing, 

Dental and related services, medical laboratories, water manufacturing, veterinary services, oil inspection, computer programming, sales service, printing material, rubber stamp, trophy and plaque manufacturing, custom brokers, sign production, water sports activities, surveillance and security systems, clothing retail, vending machines, video rental, movie video production, watch repair, plant nursery, photo development.

Professional services

Accountants, architects, appraisers, attorney, auctioneers, dentist, doctors, engineers, real estate brokers, real estate agents, veterinarian, surveyors.

ABOUT GBPA


The Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA) gave GBPA responsibility for the development, administration and management, and provision of services within an area called the 'Port Area' (230 sq. miles). GBPA was mandated by this Agreement to build a deep water harbour, an industrial community and required infrastructure for the City.

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GBPA has achieved an astonishing amount since its inception in 1955.  When first created it was a Grand Bahamian business conglomerate charged not only with land and commercial development but also with all the regulatory and administrative functions of the Freeport/Lucaya.

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Firstly, I wish to thank Joan Albury and the Counsellors for this platform enabling us to share with the Grand Bahama community, the outlook for our island! 2015 marks the 60th year of the birth of Freeport and the Hawksbill Creek Agreement; 60 years of a partnership between The Government of The Bahamas and The Grand Bahama Port Authority. I'm here to raise hopes for 2015 and to lay a few popular myths to rest - For those who don't know me, I am Sarah St George.

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