The Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (VIEDA) is comprised of five main branches, each dedicated to encouraging growth in specific areas of the economy. These include the Government Development Bank, the Industrial Park Development Corporation, the Small Business Development Agency, the Enterprise Zone program and the Economic Development Commission.
These branches help the U.S. Virgin Islands grow, cultivating a world-class business sector rich in diversity and opportunity, and one that capitalizes on the various economic resources offered by the territory. This helps to conserve capital and job opportunities for existing residents.
In particular, the Economic Development Commission (EDC) is a cornerstone of the business economy in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The EDC program offers significant tax incentives for qualifying businesses, such as outsourcing companies, pharmaceutical companies, high-technology assembly plants and global manufacturers. With these incentives, businesses find that expanding or relocating to the territory is a uniquely viable option. These opportunities and benefits include:
- Up to 100 percent exemption on business property tax
- Up to 100 percent exemption on excise tax payments
- Up to 100 percent exemption on gross receipt taxes
- Up to 90 percent reduction in corporate income taxes
- Up to 90 percent reduction in personal income taxes
In addition, customs duty tax may be reduced from the typical 6 percent down to only 1 percent. The EDC program also reduces the taxes on royalty income generated by the sales of software developed in the territory to non-U.S. patrons.
There are also significant benefits for investors in the U.S. Virgin Islands, ranging from convenient services to financially appealing opportunities. Investors may take advantage of the following:
- Duty- and quota-free exporting of locally-made goods into the U.S.
- Protection of U.S. courts and currency
- Convenient air transport between the U.S. Virgin Islands and the U.S., Europe, South America and other Caribbean Islands
- “Made in the USA” labeling for products
- Cutting-edge telecommunications
- Shipping opportunities
- Desirable rental space
- Immigration opportunities
- Business-friendly environment
- Convenient freight carriage on both U.S. and foreign flag vessels between U.S. ports and the US Virgin Islands
Since the inception of the EDC, new investors have realized both the human and economic potential that lies in the Territory. The infrastructure already in place offers prime rental space, an educated workforce, U.S. protection and unparalleled tax incentives, helping the U.S. Virgin Islands establish capital and provide great new opportunities to entrepreneurs.
BoltNagi is a widely respected and well-established business and corporate law firm serving clients throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands.