SETTING UP A BUSINESS

Travelling back in time, it’s important to recall that lying on the old sea routes of commerce in the Indian Ocean between the Orient and the Western world, positioned the Maldives perfectly to become a strategic hub for cross-cultural and business activities. So clearly this group of islands has a long history of commercial endeavour and is very comfortable helping businesses establish themselves and look to making a success of it.

Invest Maldives, a government agency with an excellent working relationship with all key government stakeholders, is well positioned with its network to promote and facilitate all activities related to setting up a business, providing information on the investment opportunities and sharing with potential investors the nitty-gritty of the business and investment processes in the country.

Local Businesses

The diversity of options for doing local business makes the Maldives a very attractive proposition for enterprise. It could be in the form of a

Sole Proprietorship

  • Registration is available only for local businesses
  • Payment of Registration fee of MVR is for a period of 5 years

Partnership

  • If the shareholder is a foreign individual or legal entity, then the business must be incorporated as a foreign investment

Company

  • If there are other legal entities as shareholders, then a board of resolutions of the shareholding companies stating the share amount should be submitted along with the application.
  • If there are Directors representing another company, then a Board resolution appointing the said persons of the shareholding company should be submitted along with this application.
  • If the shareholder is a foreign individual or legal entity, then the business must be incorporated as a foreign investment.

Co-operative Society

Foreign Investments

Investors can go about this is in the following manner—setting up a:

  • Company
  • Partnership
  • Re-registration of a foreign branch
  • Share acquisition in a local company

Special Economic Zones (SEZ)

The strategic areas considered for setting up a SEZ include:

  • Export processing activities, ports/airports/international logistics etc,
  • University/tertiary hospital and R&D facilities,
  • ICT Parks and related facilities
  • International financial services
  • Oil and gas exploration
  • Initiatives that introduce new technologies to the Maldives.
  • Investments under SEZ are large-scale investments in excess of USD 15 million which matches with the strategic priorities of the government as listed in the SEZ law. This list is reviewed by the Prseident each year.
  • The overall development and management of a designated SEZ is undertaken by the developer.

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