Choosing where to live and establish your business is a make or break decision when it comes to the success of your investment. The wrong location or market can kill your business before it even starts – especially if you aren’t familiar with the requirements for doing business in the country of your choosing. Between permits, licenses, immigration, and more, it’s unfortunately not as simple as just signing some paperwork and choosing your business name!

While Aruba is an incredible place to visit, live, and do business, it has specific laws and guidelines that you are required to follow if you want to invest in Aruba or start your own business. Without following the proper procedure, you’ll risk delays or even declination of your business license before you have a chance to even find your new location. Fortunately for you, immigration consultancy can help make this complex process simpler.

Keep reading to learn what it takes to get started investing or opening a business in Aruba.

Benefits of Doing Business in Aruba

Aruba is a major vacation destination in the Carribbean, hosting a million or more tourists and visitors per year. The island is home to an incredibly diverse population, consisting of residents from all over the world. European, American, Asian, and Carribbean influence is present throughout the island, which makes it a great place for reaching all kinds of potential customers. Aruba hosts an international airport, a major port in the Carribbean, and multiple other connections to major markets in the world which unlocks unique business opportunities despite Aruba’s smaller population. 

Even better – it makes finding local employees and staff that are fluent in many languages easier so that you can provide better service to the variety of tourists that visit Aruba plus mainland clients across the globe.

How to Start a Business or Invest in Aruba Business

After you’ve set your sights on investing in Aruba, you will need to review your investment plan to ensure it meets the guidelines outlined by Department of Economic Affairs, Commerce and Industry (DEACI) for legally establishing a business in Aruba. Aruba is not like some other countries; there are certain requirements that must be met for different classifications of business licenses and director statuses.

Your eligibility for different company structures will come down to the sum of your investment, your citizenship status, and the nature of your business, which will tell you the appropriate forms and applications to complete.

Below are the 3 main forms of starting or investing in a business in Aruba to give you a better idea of what to expect from the application process.

Establishing Your Business As a Foreigner (100% Ownership)

Almost everyone wants to assume and retain full control of your company, but this is not the standard format in Aruba. To encourage the commercial growth of Aruba’s economy, the government requires a substantial initial investment into your project to allow you to maintain 100% of the shares without integrating a local into its formation. This minimum investment – totaling 500,000 florins or more – is required to operate as a sole foreign director of your Aruban business unless you have a special consideration from the Ministry.

Investing With a Local Director (40% Ownership)

For those with a smaller budget, the most common formation of a business in Aruba for foreigners is investing with a local director. Business formations with investments less than 500,000 florins require a local director who owns 60% of the shares while you retain 40% as a foreign investor and director.

This arrangement is usually best for Aruba investors looking for a sound investment rather than running a business themselves. You will not have executive control as a minority director, so it is important that your business formation is well understood and entirely correct. However, it also allows you to leverage a local’s unique experience within the island to provide unique service with a local touch while maintaining a hands-off investment for you.

Other Consideration and Exceptions

Regardless of the sum of your investment into your project in Aruba, there are certain exemptions that allow you to assume full ownership with 100% shares of your company. These exemptions are granted by the Ministry at their discretion if they determine your business meets any of the following requirements:

  • Operation of a hotel or casino that brings foreign income to Aruba’s economy.
  • Completing construction related to hotels or other accommodations for international use and attraction.
  • Creating a local location for a well-known international brand that contributes to the diversification of Aruba’s market. Large international brands fall into this category, but they must be legally licensed with the brand.
  • Establishing a business that brings high-skill jobs to Aruba that are not currently available to help attract specialists to the island.
  • Starting a business within the San Nicolas area in an attempt to revive the local service-related businesses and activities to the town.
  • Operating within FreeZone in Aruba, which is a concentrated area of business that creates a hub of commercial activity.

Get Help Navigating the Aruba’s Legal Waters

While it may seem complicated to establish a company in Aruba, it doesn’t have to be. The best way to ensure your business plan is eligible and your application is handled correctly is to work with local experts who know the legal process inside and out.

At ASBA Immigration Consultancy in Aruba, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind that comes with working alongside a company with 25 years of experience helping people just like you invest in Aruba. With a convenient location, well-established relationships, and unparalleled knowledge, there’s nowhere better to trust with the start of your new business or investment opportunity.

Don’t wait to establish a business in Aruba – call +297 280 1920 to begin the application process today.