5 Costs of Doing Business in the Caribbean
As we live in a truly global marketplace, it’s fairly common for business owners to at least contemplate branching out into a foreign nation.
The Caribbean is one of the most popular spots for US citizens looking to expand their commercial prospects as it’s nearby, the climate is great and some islands there even speak English as a first language.
There are, however, five principal additional expenses that you will need to consider when setting up your overseas business here so you can then budget properly and cover your costs in an easy manner. Staffing and cost of hiring is a separate subject not covered here.
While setting up your business, you’ll need to fly on a regular basis. Whether you want to rent an office in Jamaica or the Bahamas, you’ll need to pay for a number of plane tickets so that you can personally be there when establishing your company. A good tip is to join a corporate frequent flyer program so you can gain free miles later on. In this way, you’ll eventually have enough for free flights between your current location and wherever you’re setting up your new business. The right programs will help reduce your travel and cost of doing business in the Caribbean by quite a large amount, leaving you more for your business expansion.
Import & Export Fees
Due to the low cost of living in the Caribbean, you may be tempted to produce goods off-shore and then transport them over to the US. Depending on where you’re sending your products from and where you’re currently located, you may also have to pay the following fees:
• Customs duty
• Excise duty
• VAT or GST
• Handling fees
Again, you’ll need to do your research on these areas and account for them in your corporate budget. In this way, you can still import and export your items without worrying about whether you can cover your costs or not.
You’ll also need some sort of commercial presence while in the Caribbean. The good news is that there’s plenty available from fully furnished executive suites to simpler virtual business addresses.
Thus, you should be able to find something that suits your goals and budget. Finding the best place to work from in this tropical setting is much like locating modern office space for lease within Los Angeles.
To do so, you’ll need to hire the services of a local real estate agent who knows the market like the back of their hand.
While working with these experts, make sure to enquire about the following:
• The professionalism of the building’s address
• The facilities included in the rental rates
• The length of the commercial lease contract
• The flexibility of the terms and conditions
In this way, you can then rent a suitable property which is affordable and which allows you to vacate in the future if your business doesn’t end up doing too well!
Since you’ll have two branches in separate overseas locations, you’ll also need to figure out how to keep communications open between them while minimising your costs. While email may work in some situations, having the right telephone plans will also be of great use. Of course, making international calls each day will be quite costly, so you’ll have to work out an alternative. These days, you can find affordable VoIP plans designed for businesses that allow you to make phone calls over the internet at exceedingly low rates.
Lastly, there is always the question of physically sending items to and from your Caribbean-based business. While we’ve covered customs above, you’ll also need to think about the many hidden costs when it comes to shipping overseas. When setting up your business, it’s important to do your research and find the best deal on postage.
When comparing what’s on offer, take care to think about the following:
• Freight forwarding rates
• Overseas shipping insurance
• Urgent postage delivery fees
All of this will need to be covered so that you can continue to send letters and parcels between your branches without having to sacrifice anything in your budget.
As you can see, there are quite a few additional costs to consider before expanding your business to the Caribbean. With the right planning, however, you can definitely organise your finances in the right manner!
About the Author :
Shonda Smith is a freelance writer, Shonda Smith loves to share her opinions on a wide array of topics. She can be interested in talking about travel and personal finance today and rave about legal and business matters tomorrow.