Crypto in the Spice Isle: Navigating Grenada’s Cryptoregulation Landscape
Grenada is a small island country in the Caribbean that has become a popular offshore area for international companies and investors. A stable political environment, a well-regulated financial industry and favourable tax laws make Grenada a beneficial location for companies seeking to establish an offshore presence. In addition, Grenada has attractive investment programmes such as the Citizenship Investment Programme, which allows investors to obtain Grenadian citizenship in exchange for investment in the country’s economy. This can provide investors with additional benefits such as freedom of movement, access to new markets and the opportunity to improve their international business profile. In addition, Grenada is a member of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which provides additional support and protection for foreign investors.
Benefits of doing business in Grenada
Doing business in Grenada has a number of advantages. First фтв foremost, the country offers attractive tax incentives to international companies. For example, offshore companies established under the International Companies Act may obtain tax exemption for 20 years. And also the state does not apply taxes on inheritance, wealth, worldwide income, capital gains, interest and dividends to non-residents.
Secondly, Grenada has a well-developed business infrastructure, which makes it easier to start and run a company. The country has greatly improved its infrastructure facilities, including high-speed Internet access and expanded international connectivity, well-established domestic transport links and extensive port facilities with shipping links to ports in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia, and there are also fairly good regulated financial services and preferential conditions for international banking transactions.
Thirdly, the state has a stable political environment and strong legal safeguards that provide investors and entrepreneurs with protection and security.
Finally, Grenada offers access to the growing markets of the Caribbean region and is an attractive place to do business in tourism, real estate, agribusiness and other sectors.
Incorporation of companies
Under the International Companies Act 1989 of Grenada investors may choose one of three forms of offshore companies:
- single-person company;
- limited liability company
A limited liability company (LLC) is the most common type of company in Grenada. An LLC in Grenada has the following characteristics:
- The number of members is a minimum of one director, who may be an individual or an entity, resident or non-resident in Grenada. The directors of the company may meet at such times and places within or outside Grenada as they may determine to be necessary or desirable. As regards the shareholders, there shall be at least one. Shareholders may reside and be citizens of any country.
- A registered agent residing in Grenada with the requisite agent’s license from the Grenada Authority for the Regulation of Financial Institutions (GARFIN) is compulsory.
- The company must have a registered office in Grenada, which may be rented or owned by the company.
- There is no minimum amount of share capital.
- The issue of nominal or no par value shares is permitted and bearer shares are not permitted.
- The company must keep accounts, records and minutes, which must be kept at the company’s registered office.
An LLC in Grenada may be an attractive option for foreign investors who wish to quickly and easily establish a company in an offshore zone with low taxes.
What is the current status of crypto-regulation?
There are currently no specific regulations in Grenada regarding the regulation of cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin. However, guidance has been issued there stating that it is not considered legal tender. This means that Bitcoin transactions are not subject to the same laws and regulations as traditional fiat currency transactions. However, Grenada is considered a favourable jurisdiction for Bitcoin trading due to its low taxation rates and developed infrastructure. The country also has a number of Bitcoin-friendly businesses, such as hotels and restaurants that accept the digital currency.
In July 2021, Grenada passed the Virtual Asset Business Act, which provides registration and oversight of virtual asset businesses from and with persons in Grenada and matters related to it. The Grenada Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority is the enforcing and implementing body for this Act.
The country has also signed up to participate in the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) pilot programme to test the use of cryptocurrencies alongside the country’s national currency.
“DCash” (an electronic version of the Caribbean dollar and blockchain-based currency) is the first of its kind, a blockchain-based currency. It is not a cryptocurrency and, as a difference, DCash is issued by the official central bank and has a fixed value, pegged to the existing Eastern Caribbean dollar used in most of the region. It became available on 31 March 2021 as part of a one-year pilot programme in some Caribbean states, one of which is Grenada.
The Bankers’ Association in Grenada has expressed the hope of introducing new legislation to regulate the business of virtual assets. They believe that such a law would ensure the integrity of the region’s financial industry, given the growing popularity of digital assets and cryptocurrencies in financial services.
Thus, Grenada does not yet have clear legislation regulating cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, but the government and the Central Bank have shown interest in the topic and may introduce relevant legal provisions in the future.
Gambling has been legal in Grenada since 2014 under the Casino Gambling Act 2014 and the Gambling Act 2016. Before 2014, all forms of gambling were illegal with the exception of lottery and bingo. Online gambling is not currently regulated in any way. Locals are free to play at online casinos that are willing to accept players from Grenada.
The main gambling authority is a corporate body called the Gambling Commission. It accepts applications for gambling licenses and makes recommendations to the Minister of Finance for approval or rejection of applications for such licenses.
A gambling tax was introduced to regulate the use of slot machines, lotteries and betting and the gambling business in general. Every person who provides gambling facilities is liable to pay such tax. It is levied for each month on the gross proceeds of gambling by each person at the rate which is specified in Schedule IV of the 2016 Act.
Grenada is strategically located in the Caribbean region, which provides access to international markets and the opportunity to expand business in the region. The state has a free market and an open economy, which is conducive to business development and capital investment. Overall, Grenada offers unique business and investment opportunities in an offshore zone with good infrastructure and government support.
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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter, not to be considered as a legal consultation.
Author: Evgenia Ukolova, lawyer at Manimama Legal&Growth Agency