How to Start a Business?

How to Start a Business?

Compared to the past few years, at present, people have developed this interest to start and operate their own business. This is because people consider establishing and running a business to be more beneficial than working in an organization or the service sector. Also, owning a business can provide you with benefits like economic independence, versatility, and prosperity. Are you also looking forward to start your own business? If yes, we’ll provide you with some guidelines and tips for starting a new business.

  1. Proper Market Research

The first step in the process of starting a business is conducting a proper market research. A market research carried out well helps you determine the chances of your success. So, try to get the answers to these questions during your market research phase. Let’s assume that you are willing to start a business in the British Virgin Islands, BVI.

  • Is there a demand for my product/service in the British Virgin Islands?
  • Is there a market for my product/service in the British Virgin Islands?
  • If not, can I create a need for my product or service in British Virgin Island?
  • How will I differentiate my business from that of others?
  • What is the growth potential for my business?
  • What is the right location for my business?
  • Does my business have the potential to earn profit? And so on.

Answering these questions will help you find out if starting your business is a good idea. However, this does not mean that your business will surely succeed; it will only help you get an overview of your surroundings.

  1. Evaluate yourself and your skills

Another step is to analyze yourself- to find out if you have what it takes to start a business. Your personality and skills will also help you determine the chances of success of your business. In the process of evaluating yourself, identify your strengths and weaknesses, areas where you excel and where you need improvement. The following questions can be helpful to you in evaluating yourself;

  • Is this business right for me?
  • Do I have the ability to persevere through tough times?
  • Do I have the ability to make my business successful?
  • Do I have a significant business experience?
  • Will my real life judgments and decisions turn out well?

Apart from this, you can get help and resources from the Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs, and from many other websites.

  1. Start preparing your business plan

Then comes the process of preparing your business plan. A well-prepared business plan outlines your mission, vision, goals, your product or service, source of financing, etc. It will also help you set the objectives and establish priorities. Following are the required contents of a business plan.

  • Name of the business
  • Owners
  • General information about the business
  • Type of business, product or service
  • Goals and objectives
  • Target market
  • Selling objective
  • Location
  • Addresses and physical description
  • Terms of occupancy
  • Accessibility
  • Market Analysis and Strategy
  • Advantages and disadvantages
  • Customers and competition
  • Sales strategy and promotions
  • Financial Information
  • Sources of Funds
  • Purposes for funds
  • Statements of projected cash flow and income.
  • Legal Aspects
  • Business Organization.
  • Licensing requirements
  • Insurance requirements.
  • Financing
  • Statement of expected profit, ROI and Salaries
  • Statement of assets
  • Projections
  • Cash flow for one year
  • Estimate of break-even point based on sales, variable expense, and fixed expenses, etc.
  • Appendices
  1. Getting the required financing for your business.

After you are done with preparing your business plan, move on to determine if you can afford to start and run the proposed business. It would be a better option to finance your business out of your savings, but if you don’t have enough savings, you can always apply for a bank loan. For this, you need to prepare a proper business loan proposal. Most banks in the British Virgin Islands provide business loans for small, medium or large ventures. Having a well prepared projected financial statement will make it easier for you to obtain a bank loan.

  1. How to start a business in the British Virgin Islands?

If you want to start and operate a business in the British Virgin Islands, you need to obtain a Trade License. A Trade License is a legally binding document issued by the government of the British Virgin Islands, permitting you to open and operate a business in the BVI. Incorporating your business after obtaining a trade license is also a good option.

You can get the Trade License Application Form at the Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs, located in the Sebastian Building in Road Town.

  1. How to apply for a Trade License?

In order to apply for a trade license, you need to provide details on the proposed business along with your identification proof and qualifications to own and run such business. Applications for trade licenses in BVI are classified in three categories. They are as follows;

Application by BVIslander/ Belonger

Two passport-sized photos (2″ x 2″).

Proof of status (Birth Certificate, Belonger or Naturalization Certificate).

A cover letter providing the details of the proposed business.

General information (qualification or experience).

Application by Non-BVIslander

Two passport-sized photos (2″ x 2″)

A personal reference

A business reference

A financial reference (from a bank where you have maintained an account for at least 3 years)

A police record or clearance certificate(from a country where you have resided for at least 12 months)

A copy of your passport

General information on work history, qualification and experience.

Application by a Company

An outline of activities and operation of the company.

A copy of the certificate of incorporation.

Memorandum and Articles of Association.

Details of shareholdings.

Register of directors.

For BVI owned companies, documentation to prove that at least 60% of the shareholders and at least 60% of the directors of the company are BV Islanders.

Note: All the documents should also be certified by a notary public or justice of peace in the British Virgin Islands. If all the required documents are submitted with the application, the trade license should be processed in 6 to 8 weeks. But, if in case your application is denied, you may question on why it was denied and may submit an appeal to the Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office.

  1. Then What?

After your trade license has been approved, you can collect it from the Department of Trade and Commerce Affairs and pay your annual license fee. For a BVIslander, current trade license fees range from $25 to $200 and, for a non-BVIslander, current trade license fees range from $200 to $600.

Once your trade license has been approved, and within 30 days of starting your new business, you should register for Payroll Tax with the Department of Inland Revenue and for Social Security with the Social Security Board.  Payroll Taxes and Social Security must be paid for each person your company employs. Also consider the need for an employee pension scheme under the Labour Code.  Certain types of businesses are required to pay special taxes. They are Hotel Accommodation Tax, Self-Drive Motor Vehicle Rental Tax and if you are selling liquor you need to obtain a liquor licence on an annual basis.

  1. Incorporation of the Company

Now you may want to incorporate your business in the BVI. The BVI is the world’s leading jurisdiction for company incorporation and its Registry of Corporate Affairs has a strong reputation for offering the best services with ease, access and speed. All the information you’ll need about how to incorporate a company in the BVI is at your disposal.

  1. Tax Payment

In the BVI, there are different kinds of taxes- payroll tax, property tax, hotel accommodation tax, vehicle rental tax, stamp duty, custom duties and check duty. Make sure that you pay taxes regularly and on time.

For more details on company incorporation, trademark registration, ship registration, business accounting, etc, please click here or call us at (284) 494-6777.

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