03 Licensing

Cayman Islands Business Licensing Attorneys

Our team at Hampsons Corporate is able to provide the required assistance and advice in relation to Trade & Business Licenses and other business license applications.

Under the laws of the Cayman Islands, an individual or a corporate entity that intends to carry on business must obtain a license to do so.

The most common form of license is a Trade & Business License, issued by the Department of Commerce and Investment pursuant to the Trade & Business Licensing Act (As Revised). A license is required for each separate business operation even if a single entity is carrying on multiple operations.

All corporate entities intending to conduct business within the jurisdiction, i.e. locally must be majority Caymanian owned and controlled. If a corporate entity wishes to conduct business locally but does not have the requisite Caymanian participation, it must apply for a license under the Local Companies (Control) Law License, issued under the Local Companies (Control) Law License Act (As Revised).

Businesses that are exempt from a Trade & Business License are:

  • Any business or trade that is licensed to trade by another Law of the Cayman Islands, where
    there is no reference in that other Law to a requirement to obtain a Trade & Business
  • Caymanians who:
    • produce and sell agricultural products or cottage industry products, including, for example, jams, jellies, heavy cakes, sauces and thatch work; and
    • are self-employed and who creates for sale artistic, dramatic, musical or literary works;
  • artisans, craftsmen and other persons who do not carry on a business of their own but are themselves employed by other persons;
  • Caymanian fishermen who are self-employed; or
  • A charitable organisation that provides evidence of its purpose and work.

Exempt companies based in the Cayman Islands require a Trade & Business Licence where the company intends to have a presence in the jurisdiction for administrative purposes but the primary business of the company itself is conducted outside of the jurisdiction.

Our team at Hampsons Corporate is able to provide the required assistance and advice in relation to Trade & Business Licenses. We assist with the entire application process, including renewals, amendments and cancellations.

Local Companies (Control) Law Licence

A Cayman company that wishes to conduct business within the jurisdiction but does not have the requisite Caymanian ownership or control must apply for a licence (“LCCL”) under the Local Companies (Control) Law Act (As Revised). Caymanian control means that 60% of the ultimate beneficial ownership must be Caymanian.

LCCL is issued together with a Trade & Business Licence, unless the LCCL is issued pursuant to the provisions of any other Law, which remove the Trade & Business Licensing requirement.

Factors taken into account during the issuance of a LCCL include, but are not limited to, the economic situation of the jurisdiction including protection of persons already engaged in the business, nature and conduct of the company and its shareholders, desirability of retaining in the control of Caymanians the economic resources of the Islands, efforts made to find Caymanian participation – which is evidenced by advertisements placed in local media seeking such participation, on-going technical knowledge of the operators of the company, financial resources of the company as they relate to the proposed business, and any environmental or health impacts arising from the business.

Other licensing services

The experienced team at Hampsons Corporate provides advice and assistance with Liquor Licenses and Music and Dancing Licences, issued under the Liquor Licensing Act (As Revised) and the Music and Dancing Licensing Act (As Revised). Our team has proven experience in dealing with the license applications and assisting with the renewal process. This advice is provided in conjunction with applications for business licenses, thus providing the comprehensive support required for companies and individuals to get businesses running.

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