Buying a Ready Business in Vanuatu
Purchasing a commercial enterprise is the largest financial commitment most people make. It can be a turning point and have an impact, buying property in Vanuatu is something most people will never do. Your selection of the right property, in the right spot and organizing financial and closing sales, seems daunting. Relax. It’s not as complex as you think.
Vanuatu Unified Services is prepared to help identify your priorities as you find the property to best fit your budget and needs. We give you the peace of mind as we know the local laws and procedures for buying property on your island paradise.
Follow some useful tips about buying Property on Vanuatu.
Can foreigners buy property in Vanuatu?
Yes. There are no restrictions, but a non-citizen may have to provide a “financial” reference from a local firm. That is the only difference between citizen and non-citizen buyers. If your purchase requires a business license — needed if you are buying an existing business — then Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA) approval is required.
What are the acquiring expenses?
- 2% Stamp Duty and
- 5% Title Transfer
If you are buying a current business, the Stamp Duty is 4% as the shares in the company are transferred, and not the title, there is no 2% Stap Duty Fee. Legal costs typically run from 0.5% to 1% of sale price.
How much is the typical depositing when buying
10% is the usual contractual surety when a sales agreement is made. Deposits are taken in trust generally by the seller’s agent.
Do I require an attorney?
Vanuatu rules do not require buyers to use an attorney, but for anyone buying a business, due diligence mandates getting legal advice — especially when entering the island nation’s marketplace for the initial time. Vanuatu’s regulations and customs are different from most nations, and Bukh Global advised both buyer and seller to retain a lawyer.
Is VAT owed on commercial deals?
VAT is owed by the buyer on the sale of a business. The buyer can then get the VAT back by being a registered VAT entity. A bespoke sale of a company, where the seller is not registered and hasn’t claimed back VAT for expenses might not be subjected to VAT. A sale where the seller has already “de-registered” from VAT is not subjected to VAT. Specific questions could be asked of the VAT Office. Bukh Global is experienced in dealing with VAT issues.
What are the common ongoing costs of Vanuatu on a commercial property?
- Municipal Property Tax
- Annual Lease
- Rent Tax (on property used for rental income purposes)
Are sale agreements completed in any currency?
Any currency accepted by both parties can be used. Vanuatu has no restrictions on sending foreign currency into, or out of, Vanuatu.
How much will it cost to underwrite my business property?
Insurance costs typically run between 0.5% and 0.7% of the insurance value. An engineer’s certificate is needed to buy cyclone insurance while other disasters, fire, earthquake, etc., are incorporated in conventional policies. Public liability, workers compensation etc., is made available in Vanuatu.
NOTE: Since Government regulations and fees are subject to change, Bukh Global should be contacted to learn the current situation. For more information about buying a business or investment assets in Vanuatu, contact Vanuatu Unified Services.