Vanuatu is a popular offshore destination and one of the more business-friendly locations for startups.

With no capital gain, income or withholding taxes, companies are tax exempt for more than twenty-years.

Whiley applicable to only international operations, for businesses operating only on an international level, Vanuatu provides more reasons for doing business in the island nation.

There are two ways to meet the business requirements for CBI in Vanuatu: Start a business or buy an existing one.

Business may operate as:

  • Sole Trader
  • Partnership
  • Trust, or
  • Company

Regardless of the chosen method, advice from a professional business advisor is warranted.

Steps To Start A Business

Business Name Availability

The Vanuatu Financial Services Commission is the point of contact for confirming the availability of a business name. The service is not automated, and the commission will not allow the forms to be completed in the office. A completed form must be faxed to the VFSC and is available through your business attorney. Besides checking the name, the name may be reserved for VUV 2,000. This requirement must be met before Step 2 which is the application for a Foreign Investment Application Certificate.

Foreign Investment Approval

Foreign Investors first obtain a FIAC form before opening a business in Vanuatu. The certificate allows new investments into Vanuatu and confirms a business plan fits with investment guidelines. Once approval is granted the rest of the approvals — business license, residency permits, and work permits — are pretty much automatic.


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In line with the Companies Act (CAP. 191), the application for incorporation must be filed with the  Minister of Finance through the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission. The precise steps are dependent on the type corporation: local, overseas or international.

Register with VAT

A company must register with the VAT (value added tax) office if it forecasts revenue over VUV 4 million annually. There is no charge for this registration which normally takes three days.

Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF)

Registration with VNPF is mandatory and must be completed within seven days after business incorporation. The process takes one week, and there is no charge.

Each step is specific and must be completed in turn and accurately. Have your procedures assessed by a professional business advisor such as Bukh Global.

Life in Vanuatu is different than anything you’ve experienced. Contact Vanuatu Unified Services today to learn how easy it is to live the experience and start living and stop merely existing.