U.S. Virgin Islands: America’s Business Paradise looks to a Vision for the Future
Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Welcome to America’s Business Paradise! Doing business in the U.S. Virgin Islands has many advantages beyond the world-class beaches and eco-tourism, incredible views and waterscape, and unique Caribbean culture and cuisine. With the United States’ legal protections, the familiarity of currency, and mirror tax-system, the U.S. Virgin Islands is an ideal location for starting, growing, or expanding a business.
The Territory is “Open for Business.” It has thriving companies in the financial services, hotel and resort, high-value manufacturing, business process outsourcing, and distribution and logistics sectors. The Territory has world-class internet access, the fastest in the region, and a rapidly improving infrastructure across the three main islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John since Hurricanes Maria and Irma. There is easy air access to and from the continental United States with several direct flights to major cities and no passports required for American citizens.
A 20 YEAR VISION FOR THE TERRITORY
The USVI 20-Year Economic Vision sets out a clear pathway for ensuring that the Territory will continue to be a vibrant and growing economy. This 20 year economic development vision, coined as “Vision 2040”, is being steered by the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (USVIEDA) as an interactive, participatory process to produce a long-term economic strategy and action plan that positions the USVI as a competitive and vibrant place to live, work, visit, and as a prosperous business location for investment.
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Not just for vacations. While visiting the famous islands, consider the benefits of utilizing the USVI as a platform for growing your business. Regardless of whether you are a hedge fund, family office, manufacturer, investor, hotelier, tech company, energy or financial services operation, we might be your ideal location with a competitive base on our abilities to develop, retain, and attract a skilled workforce. Qualified businesses committed to local economic development can access robust tax incentives and be better positioned to maximize profitability.
Tax Incentive Program. In the U.S. Virgin Islands, unique tax benefits translate to a better bottom line. The USVI tax incentive program is not only one of the most competitive tax benefit packages within the Caribbean, but across the globe and is fully sanctioned by the U.S. Government and the Internal Revenue Service. As businesses continue to take an interest in USVI investment opportunities, the USVI Economic Development Authority continues to promote its economic development tax incentive program offered by the V.I. Economic Development Commission (VIEDC) as a benefit with no additional federal tax obligations for USVI domiciled persons or entities.
VIEDC Tax incentive Program:
- 90% reduction in federal corporate income tax
- 90% reduction in federal personal income tax
- 100% exemption on business property tax
- 100% exemption on gross receipts tax
- Reduction on the customs duty from the standard 6% to 1%
Yacht Haven Grande, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Marine Industry. In November 2020, the U.S. Virgin Islands Chart Yacht Show, the Territory’s extensive cruising grounds offered perfect socially distanced vacation with over 100 charter brokers from the Caribbean, U.S. and Europe attending virtually and over 50 in-person touring a fleet of nearly 50 multi-hulls, monohulls and motor yachts – at IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande on St. Thomas. Hosted by the VI Professional Charter Association (VIPCA), this turnout of in-person and virtual yacht brokers made the show a great success, reflecting that the USVI’s charter industry is truly resilient even through these challenging times.
Hotel Development. The Hotel Development Act was created specifically to promote investment in and development of hotel and related facilities in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI).
Under the new law, up to 100 percent of revenues generated from the existing 12.5 percent occupancy tax, plus 100 percent of the gross revenue generated from the newly approved Economic Recovery Fee, which is up to 7.5 percent of the hotel guest bill, may be allocated to finance new hotel construction or fund a property’s renovation project.
This new economy will be supported by a robust local workforce. The University of the Virgin Islands offers a hospitality program on the St. Thomas and St. Croix campuses preparing graduates for exemplary service in the hospitality and tourism industries. The hospitality program received national recognition ranking number 26, in a list of “50 Most Affordable Small Colleges for Hospitality Administration and Management.”
Small Business Exporting. With USVI-made products, 11 small-manufacturing businesses have participated in the NY NOW Summer trade show in New York City to showcasing locally-made product in Denmark. Through the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), a federal export program made possible by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (U.S. SBA), the USVIEDA sponsored and led a delegation of entrepreneurs based on St. Thomas and St. Croix. These small manufacturers promoted their home and lifestyle products to buyers from across the world for export-related opportunities.
How can you learn more about the U.S. Virgin Islands as a tourist destination? Visit www.visitusvi.com. To learn about expanding your business to the Territory and applying for tax incentives, go to www.investusvirginislands.com, or email [email protected], or call 340-714-1700.