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Every person carrying on a trade or business mentioned in the Schedule to the Trade & Business Licensing Law, 2014 must, unless exempted from this requirement under section 3 of that law, take out an annual licence in respect of each place where such business is carried on. Further, if the company is less than 60% Caymanian owned and controlled they will also require a Local Companies (Control) Licence issued under the Local Companies (Control) Law (2007 Revision). For further information on the requirements and procedure for making an application for either of these licences, or to download a copy of the relevant laws, please click on the appropriate link on the left.

Trade & Business Licences

A Trade and Business Licence is a licence issued by the Trade and Business Licensing Board which allows a person / company to 'carry on business' in the Cayman Islands. It is required by anyone who wishes to 'carry on business' in the Cayman Islands.

The continuing scheduled 2016 dates for Trade & Business Board Meetings are :

October - 11th, 25th

November - 8th, 22nd

Dec 6th  

The first meeting for 2017 is scheduled for 10th January 2017. The Trade & Business Board generally meets every two weeks 

The Trade & Business Licencing Board Members for 2016 are:

Mr. Garth Arch Chairman
Mr. Marcus Cumber Deputy Chairman
Mr. Michael Belfoure Member
Mrs. Kriste Rankin Member
Mrs. Lisa Powell-Ebanks Member
Mr. Michael Belfoure Member
Mr. Audley Scott Member
Director of Department of Commerce and Investment or designate Member
Director of Environmental Health or designate Member
Director of Planning or designate Member

Local Companies (Control) Licences

A Local Companies (Control) License is issued to companies that are not Caymanian controlled or owned (if so approved) who wish to 'carry on business' in the Cayman Islands. This is defined as those companies where less than 60% of the company's shares are owned by Caymanians

Most applications require both licenses. However there are instances where a Local Companies (Control) License is required but they are licensed to operate under another Law and do not require a Trade and Business License.

How long does it take for an application for a Trade & Business/Local Companies (Control) Licence to be processed?

An application may go before the Trade & Business Licensing Board within four weeks or less of receipt of the application. This period may be greater, whenever an applicant has not provided all the requisite information.

Are there any other licensing requirements that I must comply with in order to operate a business here?

Yes. In certain circumstances, and depending on the nature of the proposed business, approval may be needed from other Government Departments, for example the Planning Department, or the Department of Environmental Health.

Does an exempt company based in the Cayman Islands need a Trade & Business/Local Companies (Control) Licence or any other sort of licensing?

An exempt company based in the Cayman Islands requires a Trade and Business exempt licence which allows them to have a presence here, i.e for administrative or banking purposes, but the business itself is conducted offshore.

General Policy

The following general policies are being followed by the Trade & Business Licensing Board until further advised.

  1. Every application will be considered on its own merit and although there are, at present, no specific businesses reserved exclusively for Caymanians by law or by Direction from the Governor-in-Cabinet, the Board is required by law and will have regard to the due protection of persons already engaged in business in the Islands and in particular Caymanians. Consequently, the Board will taken into account in considering any application whether the business or proposed business of the applicant is one that has been traditionally enjoyed primarily by Caymanians or is one in which Caymanians have a substantial representation.
  2. Foreign investment in the Islands will continue to be encouraged and welcomed and licences will continue to be granted where it is appropriate to do so.

The public is reminded that in accordance with section 28 of the Trade & Business Licensing Law, 2014  no person may use the word 'licensed' in juxtaposition with any word describing a trade or business practised by him upon the ground only that he is licensed under that Law. Further, a licence under that Law has no relevance to the qualification, skill or financial stability of the licensee.

Contact Details

These guidelines are subject at all times to the provisions of relevant legislation and will be revised as and when necessary. Applicants should contact the Secretariat office of the Trade & Business Licensing Board for further assistance (tel: 945-0943) or email info@dci.gov.ky

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