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Brit looking to buy a property to use as a guest house or B&B

Brit looking to buy a property to use as a guest house or B&B

Old Jan 26th 2015, 9:15 am
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Default Brit looking to buy a property to use as a guest house or B&B

Hello, looking into the posibility of buying a largish property to use as a private guest house. We have no links to the island but would be looking to purchase outright and probably employ locally to assist in running the place. What would be my first concerns in actually being allowed to;

live there
buy there
run our business

your advice would be appreciated

cheers
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Old Jan 26th 2015, 10:05 am
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Default Re: Brit looking to buy a property to use as a guest house or B&B

Originally Posted by fidells View Post
Hello, looking into the posibility of buying a largish property to use as a private guest house. We have no links to the island but would be looking to purchase outright and probably employ locally to assist in running the place. What would be my first concerns in actually being allowed to;

live there
buy there
run our business

your advice would be appreciated

cheers
Many non-St Lucians have already taken the path of moving to St Lucia with a view to opening a B&B or guest house type operation. Equally many would have been to the island and fallen in love with it and then taken that route. The fact that you are not 'connected' is not really a big issue.

Owning a property in St Lucia is pretty straight-forward, as is buying there but operating a business will require a work permit and it would be important to be able to show that your business was quite clearly in the national interest, i.e. the business plan shows X dollars of projected foreign exchange income and and is likely to employ Y St Lucians on the payroll or indirectly.

The most successful guest house operations show particular niches in the tourism area, for example, they - through their owners being very hands-on - offer access to particularly attractive flora and fauna type nature experiences or are very very strong at their concierge 'desks' where typical visitors want access to experiences well beyond the average beach-type vacation. In other words there must be significant value-added.

The foreign currency revenue and employment of locals also comes into play IF you are seeking some sort of concession in terms of taxes and the concession granters will want to see what is in it for St Lucia.

Note that there are areas in St Lucia that on the face of it offer concessions pretty much as a matter of course, being areas for special development, such as Mabouya Valley and the Anse-la-Raye constituency area but you still need to apply. These two areas are clearly also still in need of viable guest house businesses as there is an acute shortage within them.

New hotel and guest house concepts seem to be doing well in St Lucia these days and IMHO the variety importantly adds very favourably to the overall package that the island offers, so that if it is carefully thought out and you build it, they will come.

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Jan 26th 2015 at 10:08 am. Reason: average
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 6:12 am
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Default Re: Brit looking to buy a property to use as a guest house or B&B

So does st lucia have a residency by investment program? Interesting to compare with grenada, where its fairly stringently controlled, but there is a citizenship by investment program for those with very deep pockets.
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 6:22 am
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Default Re: Brit looking to buy a property to use as a guest house or B&B

Originally Posted by bob_grenada View Post
So does st lucia have a residency by investment program? Interesting to compare with grenada, where its fairly stringently controlled, but there is a citizenship by investment program for those with very deep pockets.
I believe there is consideration for there being a citizenship by investment programme in St Lucia but nothing is in place as yet.

Looking at other jurisdictions in the Caribbean and how it has gone there, there is concern that it gives 'undesirables' and sanction dodgers carte blanche but I've also seen that there is an intention that such citizens would only be allowed to move freely within the Caribbean Caricom area to the extent that they are moving within jurisdictions that have the same economic citizenship programmes in place and therefore do not have a totally free rein.

IF you own property in St Lucia and intend to reside in it you are given residency on a six month to six month basis at no charge after you lodge a copy of your title deeds at Immigration. You simply go to Immigration and leave your passport for (police) review and get the extension to a further six months. It's a bit time-consuming but it works.

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Jan 30th 2015 at 6:28 am. Reason: IF you own property in St Lucia.......
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 7:27 am
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Default Re: Brit looking to buy a property to use as a guest house or B&B

Sounds reasonable. In gda, aliens have to pay a 10% tax on their purchase, then they dont get the right to live there, they cant get citizenship, at all in theory, unless they buy it at huge cost, business investments of half a million us i think.
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 7:49 am
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Default Re: Brit looking to buy a property to use as a guest house or B&B

Originally Posted by bob_grenada View Post
Sounds reasonable. In gda, aliens have to pay a 10% tax on their purchase, then they dont get the right to live there, they cant get citizenship, at all in theory, unless they buy it at huge cost, business investments of half a million us i think.
St Lucia has the same tax for aliens at purchase but you can get permanent citizenship and residency after a period of time for a fee. The economic citizenship would be far more instantaneous, if it ever came to pass.

It has always confused me how the countries within Caricom don't have homogenous tax etc. etc. arrangements so that they are ALL on a level playing field. In the same way, we are now seeing what a joke it was to allow Luxembourg into the EU when it is basically a tax haven to escape taxes in other member states.

I accept the differences in the tax havens, all of which are still crown colonies so I believe, such as BVI and Cayman but not the others.

Caricom nations were supposed to be some sort of united brotherhood but in actual fact they are competitors in almost every way, which makes Caricom pretty much a waste of time IN ALMOST EVERY WAY.

This means that though they talk of free movement of labour and CSME when at their endless money and time-wasting boondoggle meetings, as soon as they get home they talk of Jamaica for Jamaicans or Barbados for Bajans et al.

This all means that outsiders can pick and choose the best country to reside in, based upon residency, citizenship and taxation considerations, as well as cost of living and weather, for example. For non ordinary residents there are a number of islands that pretty much function as tax havens where those residents have income from offshore those islands.

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Jan 30th 2015 at 7:59 am. Reason: ...........if it ever came to pass.
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 8:12 am
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Default Re: Brit looking to buy a property to use as a guest house or B&B

Agree about caricom, pointless in its current state. We call it small island mentality, or tribal politics lol. Gdas cost of living is pretty low, lower than the uk for example, but i think theres a link with setting the bar to residency high, so only the rich can buy in, and they buy lots of local services. I have a relative in building, the quality of villas being built is very high, and the ingredients extrordinary - eg importing foreign stonemasons and mosaic workers. Its amazes me that i can buy pretty much anything, often cheaper than the uk, and my local supermarket has budget and exotic uk brands plus us, excellent. Theres a great business inletting people in for extended periods as snowbirds or students because they arrive, pay a lot for services, dont impact the island physically much, and then leave. If it became like barbados, the high number of permanent retirees would impact prices of goods, and imho ruin some of the islands beauty.
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 8:14 am
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Default Re: Brit looking to buy a property to use as a guest house or B&B

By the way, tickets for the 2nd test will be on sale in march.
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 8:36 am
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Default Re: Brit looking to buy a property to use as a guest house or B&B

Originally Posted by bob_grenada View Post
Agree about caricom, pointless in its current state. We call it small island mentality, or tribal politics lol. Gdas cost of living is pretty low, lower than the uk for example, but i think theres a link with setting the bar to residency high, so only the rich can buy in, and they buy lots of local services. I have a relative in building, the quality of villas being built is very high, and the ingredients extrordinary - eg importing foreign stonemasons and mosaic workers. Its amazes me that i can buy pretty much anything, often cheaper than the uk, and my local supermarket has budget and exotic uk brands plus us, excellent. Theres a great business inletting people in for extended periods as snowbirds or students because they arrive, pay a lot for services, dont impact the island physically much, and then leave. If it became like barbados, the high number of permanent retirees would impact prices of goods, and imho ruin some of the islands beauty.
Yep that all makes a great deal of sense.

Turning the islands into much more service-related economies, particularly when the aliens pay a good chunk of the taxes through VAT on those services and luxury items plus beefed up property taxes for all ages* is the way to go, along with proper tax enforcement.

Grenada seems to be doing some of that a bit better than St Lucia, where the poor are still paying a good deal of those taxes through VAT by consuming basic necessity type things, though admittedly those poor get some of that back through targeted relief and subsidies.

*over 65s get property tax relief in St Lucia even if they are loaded

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Jan 30th 2015 at 8:38 am. Reason: *over 65s get property tax relief in St Lucia even if they are loaded
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 9:15 am
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Default Re: Brit looking to buy a property to use as a guest house or B&B

We get complaints like the bus drivers complaining when vat is raised on car parts, but its all necessary income to run government, i'll not complain when i get fresh water for peanuts, my bins emptied every day, and the beaches facilities cleaned and the beaches swept similarly. Its really a very clean and tidy island. They tax the hell out of car imports, 35% on newish cars, but 60% on older ones, but then they cheekily to also charge a flat 500 us approx on a green levy on all cars.
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 9:24 am
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Default Re: Brit looking to buy a property to use as a guest house or B&B

Originally Posted by bob_grenada View Post
We get complaints like the bus drivers complaining when vat is raised on car parts, but its all necessary income to run government, i'll not complain when i get fresh water for peanuts, my bins emptied every day, and the beaches facilities cleaned and the beaches swept similarly. Its really a very clean and tidy island. They tax the hell out of car imports, 35% on newish cars, but 60% on older ones, but then they cheekily to also charge a flat 500 us approx on a green levy on all cars.
We have to laugh that our bins were cleared twice a week in the boonies where we were in St Lucia but every other week for most specifics here in Weymouth.

Indeed you have to tax wealth in some fashion where you see it, in poorer countries, and the in-elasticity of demand for all automotive-related items also makes them an easy target.
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Old Feb 1st 2015, 4:03 pm
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Default Re: Brit looking to buy a property to use as a guest house or B&B

Hi Fidells,

I know of a Guest House of 10 bedrooms that is for sale. It is an on going concern with repeat guests. I know the owners well. If of interest please do get in touch!
KR
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