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General Info & FAQs

Trade & Business Licensing

Every person carrying on a trade or business mentioned in the Schedule to the TRADE AND BUSINESS LICENSING ACT (2021 Revision) must, unless exempted from this requirement under 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 (2019 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.

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 three to six weeks or less following submission of the application. However this period may be greater, whenever an applicant has not provided all the requisite information. Once an application is reviewed by the Board, a decision will be communicated to the applicant via email within 5 - 15 working days. Applicants may contact the DCI at anytime regarding the status of an application.

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 Public Transport Board, The Health Practice Commission (or underlying boards), Port Authority and others.


Trade & Business Board Meetings


The Trade & Business Licensing Board generally meets every two weeks. Please contact the DCI at for meeting dates. 

Due to very high volume of applications we may experience delays with processing regular and expedite licenses. 

The Trade & Business Licencing Board Members for 2023 are:
  • Annie Storie - Chairperson
  • Joel Burke - Deputy Chairperson
  • Brian Barnes - Member
  • Trisha Johnson - Member
  • Michelle Coleman - 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.


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.

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.

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 the TRADE AND BUSINESS LICENSING ACT (2021 Revision), 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

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