EXCHANGE CONTROL DEPARTMENT
Designations – Brief Overview
- Designation of an entity is the Central Bank's way of formally confirming the status of an entity for Exchange Control purposes.
- Locally incorporated companies may be designated as either "resident" or "non-resident" for exchange control purposes.
- Foreign incorporated companies may be designated as either a resident branch or a non-resident branch for exchange control purposes.
- A company’s exchange control designation/classification depends on consideration of a number of factors including: where the company was established, where it proposes to operate (i.e., within The Bahamas (locally) or from within The Bahamas (offshore)), the Bahamas immigration status of its owners and the nature of its activities, to name a few.
- Each designation type is subject to specific authorizations and restrictions, which set out the parameters of the company’s operations, borrowings, issue and transfer of shares, dealings in foreign and/or local currencies and capital investments. These parameters are determined by the requirements of existing exchange control regulations as well as national economic and investment policies.
- Some companies, without being formally designated, are “deemed” to have a certain Exchange Control status. For example, companies that are wholly owned by residents are not generally required to be formally designated but are deemed to be “resident” for exchange control purposes. On the other hand, Bahamian international business companies that are wholly owned by non-residents and operate from within The Bahamas (i.e., offshore - conducting business exclusively with non-residents of The Bahamas) are deemed to be “non-resident” for exchange control purposes.
- Application to the ECD for formal designation of a company or for an indication of the deemed EC status should include the appropriate information and documentation indicated in the respective application checklists.