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Antigua and Barbuda is a sovereign island republic in the Americas' West Indies, located between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of two large islands, Antigua and Barbuda, separated by around 40 kilometers (25 miles), as well as smaller islands (including Great Bird, Green, Guiana, Long, Maiden, Prickly Pear, York Islands, and Redonda). The permanent population is estimated to be 97,120 (2019), with Antigua accounting for 97 percent of the total. St. John's is the capital and main port and city of Antigua, whereas Codrington is the largest town in Barbuda. Antigua and Barbuda are located in the Leeward Islands, part of the Lesser Antilles, about around 17°N of the equator.
Christopher Columbus discovered Antigua in 1493 and named it after the Church of Santa Maria La Antigua. Britain colonized Antigua in 1632, and Barbuda in 1678. Antigua and Barbuda joined the West Indies Federation in 1958, after being a component of the Federal Colony of the Leeward Islands since 1871. When the federation was dissolved in 1967, it became one of the West Indies Associated States. Independence from the United Kingdom was given on November 1, 1981, after self-government in its internal affairs. Antigua and Barbuda is a Commonwealth member, and Elizabeth II is the country's monarch and head of state.
Antigua and Barbuda's economy is notably reliant on tourism, which accounts for 80 percent of GDP. Antigua and Barbuda, like other island nations, is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, such as the sea-level rise and increased intensity of extreme weather events like hurricanes, which have direct impacts on the island through coastal erosion, water scarcity, and other challenges. As of 2019, Antigua and Barbuda has a 0% individual income tax rate. The government also has contentious citizenship by investment scheme, with the 23rd most powerful passport in the world as of 2022.
Employees are entitled to up to 12 days of paid vacation each year. Vacations are paid in advance and must be agreed upon by both the company and the employee.
The following public holidays are observed in Antigua & Barbuda:
New Year’s Day
V. C. Bird Day
After the third day of illness, eligible employees get paid sick leave for up to 26 weeks. With a doctor's certificate, sick leave can be extended to 39 weeks. If employees satisfy specific criteria, they may be eligible for a proportion of their compensation while on leave.
Employees are entitled to six to thirteen weeks of paid maternity leave, as well as a maternity stipend. Maternity leave workers will be paid a proportion of their usual weekly wages. For each kid born, the maternity stipend is a one-time payout.
There is no statutory paternity leave in Antigua and Barbuda.
Other than the mentioned terms for maternity leave, there are no other provisions in the Antigua and Barbuda law regarding parental leave.
Employees should work an average of eight hours per day and 48 hours per week. Employees should not work more than 12 hours per day or 72 hours per week, except in exceptional circumstances. Additionally, employees should receive a minimum of 24 hours of rest every seven days.
Employees who work overtime or on rest days are entitled to compensation equal to at least 150 percent of their regular wage.
An exception of these requirements may be granted if the Minister determines, in consultation with the employer and employee representatives, that additional overtime is necessary due to extenuating circumstances. Extensive overtime may be required in the following circumstances: national emergencies, operations necessary for public safety, intermittent or temporary work, or work to compensate for time lost due to accidents or other unforeseen circumstances.
Antigua and Barbuda's minimum wage is $8.20 in East Caribbean Dollars, or $3.03 per hour in US dollars. Market standards for roles in your company's field can vary significantly depending on location, industry, and position.
Performance-based bonuses are common but not required.
Antigua and Barbuda labor regulations require businesses to pay 3.5 percent of each employee's salary to the Medical Benefits Scheme for health care services for workers under the age of 60. The proportion provided by workers over the age of 60, on the other hand, varies from time to time but is usually equal to 3.5 percent. Medical Benefits Scheme Field Officers have the authority to visit any company at any time to check compliance or examine records.
Employers must additionally contribute 8% of their monthly salary to the Social Security program. Employees make up 6% of the total.
There are no legal obligations for companies to give incentives, but firms may include them in their benefits package to attract more applicants.
Legal entities in Antigua and Barbuda are imposed a corporate tax rate of 25 percent.
Individuals in Antigua and Barbuda are not imposed an income tax rate.
Antigua and Barbuda imposes a value-added tax (VAT) or goods and sales tax (GST) of 15 percent on all goods and services.
An e-Visa is an electronic document that allows you to enter and travel to Antigua and Barbuda. The e-Visa is an electronic visa that works in the same way as visas issued at Antigua and Barbuda consulates or ports of entry. After entering the necessary information and making payments with a credit or debit card, applicants can obtain their visas electronically (MasterCard or Visa).
The eVisa system will allow applicants to apply for a visa online, and once the visa has been processed, a letter indicating approval or denial will be sent. Passport Control Officers will complete a verification upon arrival in Antigua and Barbuda.
However, it is recommended that you keep a soft copy (tablet PC, smart phone, etc.) or a hard copy in case your system system fails.
As with other visas, respective Immigration officials at the ports of entry reserve the right to refuse entry into Antigua and Barbuda to an e-Visa holder.
The employee’s general duties and responsibilities
The employee’s regular work hours and rest periods
The starting wage and computational method
The employment terms, if fixed
The probationary period, if applicable
The employee’s leave and vacation provisions
Any other obligations the employee must meet
There is no set length for assignments. This is usually indicated in the employment contract for fixed-term employments.
Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$ or XCD)
The subsidiary registration procedure normally takes around 19 days, so it's critical to plan ahead and provide sufficient time to complete all criteria. To begin creating a subsidiary, you'll need the following paperwork and resources:
1. At least EC 3000 to pay the cost of an attorney preparing your paperwork.
2. Documents of incorporation, such as directors' notices, notices of change of address, and articles of incorporation.
3. Your incorporation paperwork will be handled by an attorney or judge of the peace.
To guarantee compliance during the subsidiary setup process, adhere to the following best practices and requirements:
1. Reserve a domain name for your business. You must choose a name and verify its uniqueness with the Intellectual Property and Commerce Office (IPCO). After confirming that no other business has already claimed your business name, you may submit a form to reserve it for three months.
2. Engage the services of an attorney. Obtain an attestation of your company's fitness for business from an attorney or judge of the peace. The paperwork must attest that the proprietor of the business is above the age of 18, of sound mind, and not insolvent. While no other portion of the subsidiary setup procedure requires the involvement of a lawyer, it is usual for businesses to use lawyers to produce their other incorporation forms as well.
3. Incorporate your company. You must register with the IPCO and get a Certificate of Incorporation. Typically, the notary will take care of this need, and the accompanying expenses are included in their charge.
4. Complete an application for a Taxpayer Identification Number. For tax purposes, you must register your company with the Internal Revenue Service.
5. Become a Value Added Tax (VAT) registered business. If your yearly turnover exceeds EC 300,000, you must additionally register with the Internal Revenue Authority for Value Added Tax (VAT) and get an Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax (ABST) identity number.
6. Enroll in medical and Social Security benefits. Registration with the Medical Benefits Scheme and Social Security is your responsibility.
7. To register for the education levy, go here. Employers are required to withhold 6% of each employee's monthly pay for submission to the Inland Revenue Department.