A LEADER IN INTERNATIONAL COMMERCE, BERMUDA OFFERS A WORLD-CLASS BUSINESS AND LIVING ENVIRONMENT IN A SPECTACULAR SETTING. When people think of Bermuda, they usually picture pink sand, sun, knee-length shorts and golf. But there is more to this picturesque backdrop than first meets the eye. Bermuda is one of the world’s leading financial centres, having pioneered the concept of offshore financial jurisdictions in the 1930s, and it has continued to evolve ever since. Bermuda is one of the world’s leading corporate insurance and reinsurance markets and, as such, is a vital cog in the global economy. When you see news of a hurricane, industrial accident or earthquake anywhere in the world, it is likely that a Bermuda-based company will be responsible for a significant portion of the claims paid that will go towards reconstruction of the affected area and help people to get their lives back together. However, international business is more than insurance. Bermuda is also home to a range of trust companies, mutual funds and the companies that administer them, banks, shipping companies and other multinational businesses. Today, nearly every Fortune 500 company has a link to the island. Businesses come to here for a number of reasons. When Bacardí established its international headquarters here in the 1960s, it was seeking political stability, which had deteriorated in Cuba. Twenty years later, many Hong Kong companies established domiciles in Bermuda, in anticipation of Britain handing back its colony to China. Many international companies and trusts are attracted to Bermuda’s legal system, which is based on the English Common Law system with final appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council of the House of Lords in England. Bermuda’s corporate law is flexible and largely based on the corporate law of the United Kingdom, making it all the more attractive and sophisticated, which sets it apart from its competition. Its law firms, Big Four accounting firms, IT businesses and other service providers ensure that businesses in Bermuda get all the outside support they want or need. Bermuda’s long-standing tradition as a low tax jurisdiction is attractive to many global companies, whilst its location, between the big financial markets of London and New York makes it the perfect base for traders buying and selling European and North American financial instruments. ALWAYS INNOVATING Bermuda has no natural resources and, as such, has depended mainly on its own people’s enterprising spirit to survive. The government and the business community have always collaborated closely to ensure that Bermuda remains innovative and attractive to businesses. Nowhere is this truer than in the insurance sector, where Bermuda is known as the World’s Risk Capital, offering high-quality and tailor-made risk management solutions to the world’s leading companies. With a robust infrastructure and highly regarded regulatory environment, Bermuda is recognised internationally as a one-stop-shop jurisdiction with a breadth of expertise and experience from qualified risk management professionals. Bermuda first invented the captive insurance concept, by which companies were able to insure themselves rather than depend on outside commercial insurers, and later filled gaps in areas of insurance like excess liability and catastrophe reinsurance. After September 11, 2001, Bermuda filled the gap in terrorism coverage — and paid for much of the insured damage done by the terrorism attacks. Now, Bermuda is leading the way in the Insurance Linked Securities (ILS) market, in which insurance risks are packaged up as bonds or other forms of financial security. By the end of 2013, this market, which barely existed a decade ago, was worth $20 billion; and Bermuda-based securities represented 40 percent of that sum. The Bermuda Stock Exchange is also the leading exchange for listing the securities. As a result of these and other innovations, Bermuda-based businesses provide 600,000 jobs in the world economy, according to a recent study. Bermuda is the eighth largest investor in the U.S., our biggest market, with a direct investment position of $55 billion in 2012. Asia is the fastest-growing trading partner for Bermuda, which is also one of the top 20 trading partners of the European Union. MORE THAN INSURANCE Aside from insurance, Bermuda is home to many other forms of business and, led by the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA), is working hard to diversify the economy. These areas include asset management and Islamic finance, life sciences and shipping, whilst Bermuda is also reaching out to other regions like Latin America in order to offer solutions to fast-growing companies there. Mutual funds and hedge funds have been managed and administered in Bermuda for decades. These range from money market funds operated conservatively by banks to private hedge funds in the alternative investment sector operated by leading investment managers specialising in reinsurance risk. In 2013, new laws were passed making it easier and quicker for mutual funds to be formed on the island, in some cases within 24 hours. Many of the world’s ships and aircraft are registered in Bermuda, as owners are attracted by the island’s efficiency and high safety standards. Many of the world’s leading shipping companies also have their domiciles in Bermuda. REGULATION The need for regulation was underlined in the global financial crisis, and Bermuda has always been amongst the leaders in the fight against money laundering and fraud. Financial activity is regulated by the Bermuda Monetary Authority, which operates independently from the government and is funded by fees collected from the companies they regulate. It enforces the government’s laws relating to financial services, acts as a central bank and oversees financial institutions. These institutions rely on the island maintaining a sterling reputation and they have no more desire than Bermuda does to be associated with those who would use offshore jurisdictions for illegitimate purposes. LOW TAXES, NOT NO TAXES Considered “tax neutral,” Bermuda levies no income tax and has no capital gains, estate or corporate taxes. World-class public services are funded by a payroll tax for those who work here, property and vehicle taxes, customs duties, and other licences and fees. About one-fifth of Bermuda’s workforce is imported, since the economy creates more jobs than there are working locals to fill them. Work permits are issued to guest workers for various terms, allowing them and their families the opportunity to live in Bermuda, enjoying all that our island paradise has to offer. Recognising non-Bermudians’ vital contribution to the economy, the government has recently streamlined the immigration process and suspended the six-year term limit policy for work permit holders, meaning that non-Bermudians can hold jobs as long as there is no qualified Bermudian available to fill the role. New incentives have also been introduced to encourage more non-Bermudians to form companies in Bermuda and to bring their key decision makers to live and work on the island. Job creators already working on the island can also earn the right to own property, depending on how many people they employ and how long they have been living in Bermuda. There is also consideration for giving a range of rights to high-net-worth people who make their homes in Bermuda. BANKING ON BERMUDA In Bermuda, four banks have been granted licences to operate here. Each serves a different sector of the community, with some overlap. HSBC Bank Bermuda Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of the international HSBC Bank (6 Front St., 295-4000, hsbc.bm), whilst the Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Limited is akin to a super-regional bank, with operations in seven different countries (65 Front St., 295-1111, bm.butterfieldgroup.com). Capital G Bank is a community bank and high-level financial adviser (21–25 Reid St., 296-6969, capital-g.com). All three banks offer a full range of retail and online banking services. Bermuda Commercial Bank Limited primarily handles wealthy and corporate clients (19 Par-La-Ville Rd., 295-5678, bcb.bm) whose owners have also invested in several local companies. Visitors and new residents are able to open accounts with all banks, provided they complete the routine “Know Your Client” documentation which would be expected by any reputable financial institution the world over. TELECOMMUNICATIONS Visitors can buy SIM cards and prepaid telephone minutes or rent mobile phones. Many overseas GSM phones work here. Check with your service provider. Hamilton is a very modern business venue. Wi-Fi hot spots are abundant within the city and are also available at many cafés, restaurants and other areas across the island, especially popular areas such as St. George’s and Royal Naval Dockyard. The government is also moving forwards with telecommunications reform to ensure a competitive marketplace. To that end, a Regulatory Authority is overseeing the implementation of the Electronic Communications Act 2011 (ECA) and single licences to suppliers who can offer a range of telecommunications services under one company and from a single or multiple platforms. The reforms that are under way are designed to bring bundled services at competitive prices to Bermuda, as well as spur new investment and job creation. OPEN FOR BUSINESS Bermuda has always been about international business, but following a change of government and lessons learned in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, this is truer than ever. Changes to mutual fund incorporation rules, easing of immigration restrictions, reduced requirements for local ownership and a redoubled effort to encourage companies to set up in Bermuda all show that Bermuda is rolling out the red carpet. The Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA), a public and private partnership, is the driving force behind a targeted and proactive outreach to businesses. In collaboration with the Government of Bermuda, the BMA and the business community, the BDA is focused on expediting legislative reform and enhancing Bermuda’s value proposition, which is aimed at attracting new companies to the jurisdiction and supporting global enterprises already based here. When it comes to business, Bermuda really is so much more. Living the Bermuda dream A home with a million-dollar sunset view; a slower life of long weekends; a daily stroll on a pink-sand beach — to some, island life is the ultimate indulgence. If that is your case, Bermuda could be your ideal home, a perfect mix of natural beauty and an unrivaled quality of life. But whilst any change of address can be at once thrilling and daunting, moving to an island might be especially so. Life in paradise does not always feel like an extended vacation, and relocating requires considerable preparation. Knowing about all the elements in advance can help make for an easier transition. Moving in First thing’s first: Bermuda is one of the most prosperous — or these days, amongst the least financially troubled — countries in the world. At the same time, its luxurious remoteness and high standard of living comes with a cost. Be patient as you look for a new home. Non-Bermudians can buy limited, expensive properties. Until October 2014, a licence to acquire property costs eight percent of a house’s purchase price, or six percent if you are buying a condo. Rent can range from $2,500 for a one-bedroom apartment to $20,000 for a house with a swimming pool. Regulations can change, so it is best to always engage a real estate agent in your house hunting. You will also find that island utility bills such as cable, telephone and Internet are a bit pricier. CellOne is Bermuda’s premier provider and can help with your home or small business Internet needs, or 4G voice and data wireless services. Bermuda CableVision is Bermuda’s best broadband and television provider, with programming from channels from the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Portugal. Thinking about what belongings to pack? Bring only the essentials. You pay a steep duty of 25 percent and 33.5 percent on all household goods that you bring into the island. The local eMoo Bermuda Classified website will help you find used furniture, fixtures, services and appliances. (emoo.bm) Another big decision is whether to bring a pet with you. All pets require an import certificate issued in advance by Bermuda’s Department of Environment Protection and a health certificate issued by a veterinarian within 10 days of entry. For rabies-infected countries, pets will require double rabies vaccination, and the minimum age of entry will be 10 months. For more information, visit animals.gov.bm. Becoming Bermudian To become a resident of the island paradise, you will need a job and a work permit if relocating on your own. If you don’t have an offer yet, there are local employment agencies that can offer assistance finding one if your expertise is in high demand. Contact Bermuda Executive Services for details. Foreign nationals in Bermuda are only allowed to work one day job. If you have a non-Bermudian spouse, they can live on the island with you, but must obtain their own permit to work. A partner or significant other will have their stay restricted by visa regulations. There is no income tax in Bermuda, but there are treaties and agreements that might require you to file and pay tax in your home country. However, there are discounts and exemptions worth looking into. You will have to account for your health insurance, as there is no national health or medical services available. If you are aspiring to becoming a citizen of Bermuda, beware that the road to citizenship is complicated. The only way to become a citizen is by marrying one and applying after you have lived together as a couple for 10 years. The news of your application will be published in a local newspaper, and neighbours and peers will be invited to share their opinion about your character. Children born on the island are only considered Bermudian if one of their parents holds citizenship. For more information, visit immigration.gov.bm. island life Getting integrated into the island community should provide no challenge. Bermuda can come across as reserved, but when it turns on the charm, it’s blinding. A singular infusion of old and new makes it one of the happiest spots in the Atlantic region. Blessed with a subtropical climate, islanders gather year-round for local events, including Hamilton’s Harbour Nights, many summer festivals and sports marathons. Most Bermudians are very accommodating when it comes to helping others. The island has earned the reputation as one of the friendliest places on earth, blending everything that island life offers with top resorts and modern conveniences. There are several expat organisations in Bermuda that provide newcomers with support, information and a circle of friends. You will score points with neighbours if you rapidly slink into the prominent British state of mind: Be polite, hospitable, and head to the local pubs and bars to join in on a friendly Friday happy hour. If you’re a man, sporting the distinguished national look of blue blazers, shorts and knee socks will help you blend in like a true native. Love sports? Bermuda will become your nirvana-like alternate universe. The island is known to have more golf courses per square mile than any other nation in the world, but you might also find yourself immersed in a world of tennis, cricket, sailing, snorkelling and windsurfing. Adventures will also abound on your to-do list, with visits to caves and underwater wrecks and horseback riding on pink sands with spectacular coastal views as top must-sees. You will be happy to find that Bermuda is a quiet paradise with a long and settled history of rest and recreation, where vacation time ranges from two to four weeks a year. Got island fever? You can fly direct to New York for a big-city weekend. Or you might just choose to fully embrace island life, indulging in a hammock-swinging lifestyle. GettinG Around If you are moving from a frenetic metropolis with constant traffic jams, residing in Bermuda will be sheer bliss. This environmentally friendly island allows only one car per household, and some apartments might not even come with the required registration number. Cars in Bermuda can cost twice as much as in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. due to a 150 percent import duty. Gasoline costs about the same as in the U.K. But don’t worry; destinations throughout this 21-square-mile island are easily accessible by ferries, boats and a clean and reliable bus system for $3 or $4.50 cash per ride ($2.50 or $4 in tokens). Just make sure you have exact change, as bus drivers do not make change or accept bills. Or you can choose to buy bus and ferry tickets, tokens or passes in advance. Check transportation schedules at bermudabuses.bm and seaexpress.bm. Taxis are probably the most convenient mode of transportation. Fares are $6.40 for the first mile and $2.25 for each additional mile for one to four passangers. Taxis with five or six passengers charge $8 for the first mile and $2.80 for each additional mile. Bikes and scooters are easy to rent or buy, and you only need a driver’s licence for scooters. To obtain a licence, new residents must provide proof of residence (work permit), provide a birth certificate or licence, have a doctor complete a portion of the application, pass the theory exam and, finally, pass the driving exam. A 10-year driver’s licence fee is $103.20. For more information, visit etcd.gov.bm. Atlantic Caregiving 77 Front St., Hamilton Tel: 292-9690 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: atlanticcaregiving.com Babysitting or caregiving is available for you whilst in Bermuda. Atlantic Caregiving offers this service for a couple of hours whilst you are out at a romantic dinner or for the whole day so you can see the sights or take a day’s diving trip. Just give them a call and they will arrange everything and come to your hotel or guesthouse. Bermuda CableVision 19 Laffan St., Hamilton Tel: 292-5544 E-mail: email@example.com Website: cablevision.bm The future is now — high-speed, always on and everywhere. CableVision is Bermuda’s best broadband and television provider. We offer programming from the U.S., U.K., Canada and Portugal. We have long-standing relationships with HBO, Showtime, NFL and the NBA. Plus, we own an islandwide hybrid-fibre cable network for the fastest speeds in any home. For easy setup, simply call 292-5544 and get a FREE SD Box along with the assurance of 24-hour telephone customer care supported by a complete service fleet. Bermuda Executive Services Limited 77 Front St., Hamilton Tel: 296 5627 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: bermudaemployment.com If you are thinking about working in Bermuda or moving your business here, Bermuda Executive Services Limited is the recruitment services company of choice for clients, candidates and consultants in Bermuda. BES is a leading provider of temporary and permanent recruitment services, skills testing and a range of business services to local businesses and start-ups to large international companies. BES’s experienced team of employment consultants pride themselves on fulfilling the needs of both their clients and candidates through their flexible, professional approach to recruitment and knowledge of the local employment market. In addition, BES’s affiliated companies offer relocation services, payroll and accounting, media and marketing advice and home caregiving. Bermuda Monetary Authority BMA House, 43 Victoria St., Hamilton Tel: 295-5278 E-mail: email@example.com Website: bma.bm Financial activity is regulated by the Bermuda Monetary Authority, which operates independently from the government. The BMA enforces the laws that relate to financial services in Bermuda, including the licencing and regulation of financial firms. The BMA also advises the government on banking and monetary issues. The BMA oversees financial institutions to standards at or above those set elsewhere. Some estimates place the value of assets maintained or registered in, or traded from, Bermuda at well above $1 trillion. Most are owned internationally, registered electronically and highly mobile. Bermuda’s services in this arena rely entirely on the islands maintaining a sterling reputation. Bermuda Philatelic Bureau Bermuda Post Office 56 Church St., Hamilton Tel: 297-7865 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: gov.bm Other philatelic agencies and bureaus function as separate businesses apart from local postal services, whereas the Bermuda Philatelic Bureau is a department of the Bermuda Post Office. The primary function of the bureau has been to provide sufficient stamps for the general use of the post. It has always been the BPB’s endeavour to keep in mind the philatelic collector and stamp enthusiast to ensure that stamps produced will be appealing and interesting. Issues for 2014 include The Eastern Bluebird (March 20), Bermuda National Trust — Bermuda Treasures (May 15), Bermuda in Bloom Part 1 — New Definitive (August 21), Bermuda Flora: Booklets (October 16) and Presentation Pack 2014 (November 6). Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX) Washington Mall, Church St., Hamilton Tel: 292-7212 E-mail: email@example.com Website: bsx.com Established in 1971, the Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX) is now the world’s leading fully electronic offshore securities market, with a current market capitalisation (excluding mutual funds) in excess of $400 billion. There are more than 650 securities listed on the BSX, of which over 350 are offshore funds and alternative investment structures. Trading occurs daily, and settlement is on a rolling T+3 basis using BEST, the BSX’s central-limit-order-book trading mechanism, which is integrated tightly with the exchange’s clearing, settlement and depository platforms. The BSX’s technology partner is NASDAQ/OMX. The success of the BSX lies in its innovative approach to new products and markets and its ability to offer a commercially sensible regulatory environment. The exchange specialises in the listing and trading of capital market instruments such as equities, debt issues, funds (including hedge-fund structures), derivative warrant programmes and insurance-linked securities, including catastrophe bonds. The BSX, recognised by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a designated offshore securities market, is a full member of the World Federation of Exchanges and is located in an OECD member nation. In recent developments, the BSX was granted Approved Stock Exchange Status under Australia’s Foreign Investment Fund taxation rules; Designated Investment Exchange status by the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority; and, in December 2007, was granted Recognised Stock Exchange status by the U.K.’s HM Revenue and Customs. In February 2008, the BSX was admitted to membership in the Americas’ Central Securities Depositories Association. In 2011, the BSX was recognised by the Canadian Ministry of Finance as a Designated Stock Exchange. Also in 2011, the TMX Group, operators of the Toronto Stock Exchange, made a strategic investment in the BSX. CellOne 5 Reid St., 2nd Floor, Hamilton Tel: 700-7000 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: cellone.bm From its initial launch in 1999, CellOne has since become Bermuda’s premier provider of telecommunication services. With its full suite of robust 4G voice and data wireless services, award-winning customer care and extensive international roaming in over 200 countries, the company has also recently added home and small business Internet services. Organisations across the island benefit from the expertise of a dedicated Business Solutions team who understand what is needed to get ahead in today’s challenging environment. CellOne’s focus on customer needs and innovative approach to doing business is proven as a key differentiator in the Bermuda telecommunications market. CEO Transport Limited Tel: 234-4366 E-mail: email@example.com Website: limobermuda.com Sign up for a shuttle service from your hotel to the airport on your return home. Simply fill out the form in your welcome packet, hand it to the front desk and you are done. Then simply meet your driver outside a few minutes before your pickup time. They will be waiting for you, and it’s a nonstop ride to the airport. Coming back to Bermuda again? Just contact your hotel in advance and they will arrange a pickup for you at the airport on your arrival or contact CEO Transport Limited. Department of E-Commerce — Ministry of Education and Economic Development Tel: 294-2774 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: gov.bm Digital and economic progress go hand in hand. The Department of E-Commerce’s mandate focuses on promoting the key role that technology plays as a powerful driver in helping to achieve many of the economic, social and environmental objectives of the country. Leveraging the benefits of technology and remaining current in the areas of technology-related policies and legislation will help to move Bermuda’s society forwards and provide benefits and opportunities for all stakeholders. The Department of E-Commerce also provides information to those wishing to set up an e-business in Bermuda. Elbow Beach Cycles Ltd. At Elbow Beach Bermuda Resort & Spa 60 South Shore Rd., Paget Tel: 296-2300 E-mail: email@example.com Website: elbowbeachcycles.com Why follow the crowd when you can discover Bermuda’s hidden coves and dazzling pink-sand beaches for yourself? And in high style. Pick from the island’s newest and most advanced rental fleet, and then put yourself in the laid-back island mood with their industry-leading YouDrive™ tuition. For the widest choice of gas scooters, electric scooters, hybrid electric bikes and mountain bikes, and the most reassuring safety record on the island, book online or call today. Electronic Services Limited 26 Harvey Rd., Paget Tel: 236-3885 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: electronicservices.bm Electronic Services Limited is an audiovisual company with more than 30 years of experience. The firm provides technical support and equipment to major hotels, small properties and corporate offices in Bermuda. Electronic Services Limited has worked with many large overseas production companies and meeting planners to provide custom services for clients with conventions and video conferences in Bermuda. Oleander Cycles Sales and Service Tel: 236-2453 (Main Office) E-mail: email@example.com Website: oleandercycles.bm Oleander Cycles has built its reputation on quality and service. They have been providing the island with sales and service since 1964. They are proud to represent Kawasaki, PGO and TGB motorcycles and scooters. They have four retail locations across the island and are open seven days a week. Their service centre, located in the centre of the island in Paget, is open every day to service your cycle or provide spare parts or accessories when needed. They pride themselves on being the only automotive company open seven days a week. Stop by their showrooms today and take a test ride on one of their cycles.
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