Moving To St. Lucia

Old May 23rd 2009, 9:21 am
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Smile Moving To St. Lucia

Hi, My wife and I are living in the UK, and running a small but relatively successful business. We are planning to move to St. Lucia within the next year or so, but we have a few questions that we are unsure of the answers as yet and was wondering if anyone could help?

As a uk small business we are planning on keeping the uk business and working remotely from St. Lucia are there any issues with doing this in St. Lucia with regards to the Government tax etc?
My wife would like to buy somewhere where there is a holiday let she can run, can we as non nationals do this legally in St. Lucia?
Would it be wise for us to open a Local bank account on our next return?
Is the internet connections good in St. Lucia because we would mainly work online.

Sorry if you have heard all of these questions before. And thank in advance for anyone who takes the time to answer us, it is much appreciated.
Best Regards
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Old May 24th 2009, 10:53 am
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Default Re: Moving To St. Lucia

Interesting enough we are in a very similar situation, in that, we intend to run our UK businesses remotely. We also thinking of setting up a small business locally.

From what I can gather as long as you pay tax on income derived from business activities in the UK to the UK authorities, there should be no additional tax payable in St Lucia. Which means you only pay tax on profits generated locally.

In terms of internet connection/reliability. I would say internet access is pretty good and generally reliable albeit a bit slower to what I'm used to here in the UK.

With regards to buying a holiday let to run as a business there people are on here who can provide much better advice. From what I know it shouldn't be a problem as long as you apply for a work permit.

Bank account - worth getting one set up next time you visit. You might want to look up previous posts relating to this issue.

Last edited by 3aces; May 24th 2009 at 11:00 am. Reason: Additional information
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Old May 25th 2009, 1:52 pm
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Default Re: Moving To St. Lucia

Originally Posted by stubbyman View Post
Hi, My wife and I are living in the UK, and running a small but relatively successful business. We are planning to move to St. Lucia within the next year or so, but we have a few questions that we are unsure of the answers as yet and was wondering if anyone could help?

As a uk small business we are planning on keeping the uk business and working remotely from St. Lucia are there any issues with doing this in St. Lucia with regards to the Government tax etc?
My wife would like to buy somewhere where there is a holiday let she can run, can we as non nationals do this legally in St. Lucia?
Would it be wise for us to open a Local bank account on our next return?
Is the internet connections good in St. Lucia because we would mainly work online.

Sorry if you have heard all of these questions before. And thank in advance for anyone who takes the time to answer us, it is much appreciated.
Best Regards
Check out the St Lucia expat guide
http://www.rodneybay.net/ST%20LUCIA%...T%20GUIDE.html

You will have to confirm latest rules and regulationsa with a St Lucian Lawyer.
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Old May 26th 2009, 7:26 am
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Default Re: Moving To St. Lucia

Hi Many thanks to you both for all the information supplied. it is much appreciated. We are trying to get as much information as we can, so as we are sure of what we are doing and not upsetting any of the authorities.
We stumpled upon this site and found it very interesting as its real advise of people with the experience of what we want to do, and sometimes thats better than the jargon on government sites.

Thanks again
Best Regards
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Old May 31st 2009, 10:17 pm
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Default Re: Moving To St. Lucia

Originally Posted by stubbyman View Post
Hi Many thanks to you both for all the information supplied. it is much appreciated. We are trying to get as much information as we can, so as we are sure of what we are doing and not upsetting any of the authorities.
We stumpled upon this site and found it very interesting as its real advise of people with the experience of what we want to do, and sometimes thats better than the jargon on government sites.

Thanks again
Best Regards
I've been living here from London for 5 years now and you shouldn't have any major problems with Tax etc. Internet connection slow but speeds vary with price plan. Mine costs $150EC month and its pretty reliable. I've also come across a couple of places in Gros Islet available for sale so if you're interested let me know.
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Old Jun 1st 2009, 7:21 am
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Default Re: Moving To St. Lucia

Hi Coolblackguy, Firstly I love the user name!! Thank you so much for your time and help with the information provided. One little question, my wife has asked, because we were planning firstly in moving to Jamaica, as we love the place and people. But when we thought about it in living long term rather than a holiday, my wife felt she didnt know whether she would feel safe out and about on her own, shopping etc (as they do). But she felt much better in St. Lucia. We are aware there is crime anywhere in the world. And we are not flashy showy people with regards to money, jewellery. So as someone living there now for some years, do you think a foreign woman out doing the shopping would be an issue (as long as she sticks to the right areas)? And are the local people accepting of foreigners coming and living amongst them? As we are intending to move (hopefully) to the Rodney Bay, Castries areas but not on the big gated communities, we wanted to live among the nationals and become part of their community!
Thanks for your time and help.
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Old Jun 1st 2009, 10:51 am
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Default Re: Moving To St. Lucia

Originally Posted by coolblackguy View Post
I've been living here from London for 5 years now and you shouldn't have any major problems with Tax etc. Internet connection slow but speeds vary with price plan. Mine costs $150EC month and its pretty reliable. I've also come across a couple of places in Gros Islet available for sale so if you're interested let me know.
Hey Cool,

How are you finding life in St Lucia and how long did it take you to really settle in after making the initial move ? What area do you live in and do you work in St Lucia ? What tips would you give to other expats looking to make the move ?
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Old Jun 1st 2009, 11:41 am
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Default Re: Moving To St. Lucia

Originally Posted by stubbyman View Post
Hi Coolblackguy, Firstly I love the user name!! Thank you so much for your time and help with the information provided. One little question, my wife has asked, because we were planning firstly in moving to Jamaica, as we love the place and people. But when we thought about it in living long term rather than a holiday, my wife felt she didnt know whether she would feel safe out and about on her own, shopping etc (as they do). But she felt much better in St. Lucia. We are aware there is crime anywhere in the world. And we are not flashy showy people with regards to money, jewellery. So as someone living there now for some years, do you think a foreign woman out doing the shopping would be an issue (as long as she sticks to the right areas)? And are the local people accepting of foreigners coming and living amongst them? As we are intending to move (hopefully) to the Rodney Bay, Castries areas but not on the big gated communities, we wanted to live among the nationals and become part of their community!
Thanks for your time and help.
Stubbyman, I will attempt to answer this as I have property in the Rodney Bay area. Rodney Bay is the tourism epicentre of St Lucia and this is where a lot of the hotels, restaurants, nightlife great beach is situated. Having all this at hand as well as being a stones throw from Pigeon Island (National Park) and Cap Estate (Golf course) makes this area come at a premium to live in.
There are large residential areas surrounding Rodney Bay such as Bonne Terre, Cas Es Bas, Rodney heights etc, but even they all come at quite a premium and rising. Due to the economics of the island, ie what people earn in St Lucia as compared to property prices I would not say that many locals can afford to live there now.

The Kind of people you will find are

1 the returnees (St Lucians and Other caribbean nationals who have made their money abroad in UK, US, Canada etc and have returned to the Caribbean for retirement or a change of lifestyle)

2) I am starting to notice more second generation returnees( children of returnees, born in UK, US etc starting to invest and some settling on the islands. (Ce Moi)

3) Foreign retirees, made their money abroad, and just want to retire somewhere tropical in peace.

4) Foreign entrepreneurs have a bit of cash to invest and fancy owning a bar, club, restaurant or in your case on-line business in the Caribbean, whilst living the tropical lifestyle.

5 Well to do St Lucians, professionals, Ministers, Bankers, Lawyers etc

I mention this because you mentioned whether your wife would fit in, and as you can see the community is already very international. There are 3 international schools in the vicinity.

There are other areas in St Lucia where there are not many foreigners, but as to whether you will feel at ease there I could not answer. You will see some of these St Lucians working in the hotels, bars, banks, shops, etc in Rodney bay but after work they return to their more local, affordable St Lucian communities.

Also bear in mind that St Lucia has about half a million visitors a year so you will always be bumping into other people from UK and abroad.

On the whole St Lucians are very welcoming of all however I think some of the customer service could be improved.
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Old Jun 1st 2009, 12:43 pm
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Default Re: Moving To St. Lucia

PGTIPS - Many thanks for all the information provided. Wow it seems there is alot goin on there. We kinda wanted to come and be in St. Lucia, but not come and live as a 'resident tourist' if you know what I mean! We kinda want to come live there among the nationals but not among the whole community of ex-pats, because personally we would feel, we should of stayed in the UK or move to Spain if we intended to do that. Not that there is anything wrong with it, its just not want we want personally. But we are aware as non-nationals what we want isnt always achievable. The price of the property isnt really a problem, although my wife has fallen for a fantastic villa over Marigot Bay (1.2mGBP), but she does tend to live in cloud cuckoo land much of the time lol. We want to come and live the simple life, in the warmth of the caribbean sun, and hopefully employ some locals and try to make someone less fortunate than ourselves a little better in life. We are getting a little tired of the UK ways especially with the actions of the MP's of late!
Thanks so much, you have been really informative.
Best Regards
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Old Jun 1st 2009, 12:52 pm
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Default Re: Moving To St. Lucia

Hi Stubby

I have mixed feelings about St.Lucia. From my experience and many other black people who have returned to St.Lucia, we all seem to agree on the fact that there is only one thing that spoils St.Lucia and thats the people. Black returnees are treated differently to whites its sad to say. Whites are treated very well so you and your wife should have no problem fitting in. I shouldn't worry about physical safety too much in terms of going shopping, beach etc. The popular beaches are patrolled by officers to discourage vendors etc. Just keep an eye on your valuables. Mostly its a case of common sense, don't get too drunk too often in public, show off jewellery, avoid arguements etc. Unfortunately burglaries are on the increase but no more than anywhere else. Again its just common sense to make sure your doors and windows are locked etc. In total i've lived here for about 10 years and have never been the victim of any type of crime. The majority of the people will treat you fine and will bend over backwards to help you. Staff is a problem if you intend to hire people as they are notoriously light fingered, but its really just petty crime. Another point to watch out for is that you will continue to be giving if you are not careful and people will take advantage of kindness.
I have unfortunately ended up in the position of not mixing with the locals and some of my friends/family have gone back to London solely because of the people. As I said, they dislike us for some reason. Its the same black slave mentality it really is sad. But the lighter your skin, the more they seem to like you. I truly love St.Lucia and I'm pretty sure you will too. Just make sure you come with your eyes wide open and not be startled by the initial welcome. Be sensible otherwise you'll lose your shirt. I hope this is a help and if you need any other information...just ask. I'm not sure about the 'living with the locals' part as i'm pretty sure you'll end up only mixing with ex-pats.. everyone else does. St.Lucia has been a little bit disappointing for me but I wouldn't trade it in and go back to London.
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Old Jun 1st 2009, 1:04 pm
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Default Re: Moving To St. Lucia

Hi Cool (may I call you this?) Thank you for your honest and open account of the island. It seems you have your head on your shoulders and are not taken in by the 'dream' we all would like to live. But your heart it seems is still with the island. It is comforting to know people like you and the other nice people who have answered my question are out there, and living happily. I am surprised that you as a black person are not as accepted as white people. In saying that, my wife has a friend whose family originate from Jamaica and she says the exact same thing about Jamaica, and not being as accepted as others. It is a shame, but I am sure you have thick skin, and ignore such things, due to your love for the place. From what I have gained from your advise PGTIPS advise and others, we will look forward to living in St. Lucia sometime soon!
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Old Jun 1st 2009, 1:06 pm
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Default Re: Moving To St. Lucia

Originally Posted by pgtips View Post
Hey Cool,

How are you finding life in St Lucia and how long did it take you to really settle in after making the initial move ? What area do you live in and do you work in St Lucia ? What tips would you give to other expats looking to make the move ?
Hi pg

I used to live up North, Rodney Heights, unfortunately couldn't afford to buy, biggest mistake. I should have bought as soon as I landed. Decided to rent instead. Anyway now living down South. I love the countryside. Got really fed up with the traffic Castries-Rodney. I run a local magazine but thats going through a rough patch right now so mainly do Internet stuff. Websites etc. The best advice I can give to all expats is to be sensible. Its so easy to get side tracked. The number of unfinished homes is increasing because peolpe spent all their money on partying (mainly black people). People come with the right intentions but seem to lose direction. St.Lucia is a paradise, there are no major traps, life can be pretty damn good here but stay focussed.
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Old Jun 1st 2009, 1:09 pm
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Default Re: Moving To St. Lucia

Originally Posted by stubbyman View Post
Hi Cool (may I call you this?) Thank you for your honest and open account of the island. It seems you have your head on your shoulders and are not taken in by the 'dream' we all would like to live. But your heart it seems is still with the island. It is comforting to know people like you and the other nice people who have answered my question are out there, and living happily. I am surprised that you as a black person are not as accepted as white people. In saying that, my wife has a friend whose family originate from Jamaica and she says the exact same thing about Jamaica, and not being as accepted as others. It is a shame, but I am sure you have thick skin, and ignore such things, due to your love for the place. From what I have gained from your advise PGTIPS advise and others, we will look forward to living in St. Lucia sometime soon!
Thanks Stubby (hope I can call you that)

Look forward to buying you a beer.
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Old Jun 1st 2009, 1:10 pm
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Default Re: Moving To St. Lucia

And you mate!
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Old Jun 1st 2009, 2:08 pm
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Default Re: Moving To St. Lucia

Originally Posted by coolblackguy View Post
Hi pg

I used to live up North, Rodney Heights, unfortunately couldn't afford to buy, biggest mistake. I should have bought as soon as I landed. Decided to rent instead. Anyway now living down South. I love the countryside. Got really fed up with the traffic Castries-Rodney. I run a local magazine but thats going through a rough patch right now so mainly do Internet stuff. Websites etc. The best advice I can give to all expats is to be sensible. Its so easy to get side tracked. The number of unfinished homes is increasing because peolpe spent all their money on partying (mainly black people). People come with the right intentions but seem to lose direction. St.Lucia is a paradise, there are no major traps, life can be pretty damn good here but stay focussed.
Cool, I am liking you already, your frankness and honesty. I know what you mean about the 'party mentality'.
I bought a plot of land in the Rodney bay area, about 1/2 mile behind Rodney heights, and I am glad I bought when I did because the area is so expensive to buy in now.

I know what you mean about the 'massa' metality of some of the locals, but this can only be changed through education.

On the whole I am treated very well when I am in St Lucia, but I sometimes wonder if it's because the locals want something off me. Having said that where I bought my plot their are some local St Lucians who have inherited properties and are some of my neighbours, and they just seem to be so welcoming and genuinely look out for my interest without wanting anything back in return.

I was speaking to some locals about this problem of giving white folk better treatment and their response was that they got the best tips from them !!
Oh and the American white folk get the best treatment because they are the biggest tippers

I suppose this has not really bothered me because I used to be called a young man with a old head, because the first set of friends I made in St Lucia
were much older than me(retired) and did not have any of the hang ups of the youngsters. Still a lot of my friends in St Lucia are much older and I am attracted to them for their wisdom and knowledge, and believe me if they take to you and see that you are a genuine person they will bend backwards to help you out regardless of your accent.

Anyway I can see that you will be a valuable source of information to this forum, I may be in St Lucia this summer with the family so maybe we can have a chat then.

Hang tight, I can see more and more second generation returnees to the island and coupled with the increase of expats who are quite a cool bunch, your pool of friends and associates will increase.

Is your magazine on line, what is it about ?

Last edited by pgtips; Jun 1st 2009 at 2:23 pm.
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