US LLC + Bahamas residence as IT Consultant

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FixieHartmann

Active Member
Hi guys,
I am fairly new to this forum but really appreciate all the valuable information that I found so far. Thanks for that.

Like many others here I am looking for a good longer-term personal and business setup that is cost effective, legal and doesn't cause too many headaches. I work in IT (mainly as programmer / consultant) and make about $150-200k / year from mostly European clients. I am young and healthy, have no dependents, EU passport and six-digit savings, so I can basically go wherever I want.

I've been looking into lots of different setups, however the most attractive one right now seems to be setting up a US LLC to invoice my customers and getting personal tax residence in the Bahamas, either through the Bahamas BEATS Digital Nomad program or the annual residency permit. I talked to multiple local lawyers already and all of them said that getting the annual residency permit initially wouldn't be a problem, neither would be renewing it year after year. I could also imagine buying property after spending some time there.

Here are the pro / cons that I see:

# Pros
- proximity to the US / EU (I could get a B1/B2 visa to enter the US whenever I want + go to Europe for skiing and seeing family)
- little paperwork for US LLC
- low taxes in the Bahamas
- beautiful weather most of the year, great beaches and watersports
- 3 months minimum stay requirements for tax residency
- annual residence permit program

# Cons
- (very) high costs of living
- hurricanes
- bad international reputation of Bahamas (but I already have personal bank accounts set up that I can continue to use)
- very high import taxes
- high crime rate outside of gated communities
- pressure from EU to raise taxes

Now my question is: do you see any potential problems with this setup? Any other cons that I missed? @Martin Everson I guess you would be perfectly suited to comment on this :)
 

AlbanyJames

New member
Annual residency is very easy to obtain but not accepted everywhere, YMMV. If you can, I highly suggest purchasing some RE and obtaining your permanent instead. You can lease out the real estate and it's not a bad investment long term if it's a small % of your net worth.

Never dealt with US LLC. Curious to see the feedback on this myself.

Your description of the cost of living / security is accurate but the crimes are mostly confined to the lower end areas. There are non gated good areas in Western New Providence.

In general its a nice and a good place to focus on work in a nice climate.

Socially I would say It gets boring quickly, compared to some other Caribbean islands in terms of nightlife etc...
 

FixieHartmann

Active Member
Annual residency is very easy to obtain but not accepted everywhere, YMMV. If you can, I highly suggest purchasing some RE and obtaining your permanent instead. You can lease out the real estate and it's not a bad investment long term if it's a small % of your net worth.

Never dealt with US LLC. Curious to see the feedback on this myself.

Your description of the cost of living / security is accurate but the crimes are mostly confined to the lower end areas. There are non gated good areas in Western New Providence.

In general its a nice and a good place to focus on work in a nice climate.

Socially I would say It gets boring quickly, compared to some other Caribbean islands in terms of nightlife etc...
Thanks so much for the feedback. What do you mean by "not accepted everywhere"? Meaning that I have problems on the island(s) itself or overseas, e.g. proving to my home state that I actually live there? From your name, am I right to assume that you live in a gated community in the S/W part of New Providence? :)

In general its a nice and a good place to focus on work in a nice climate.
Which is pretty much exactly what I am looking for.
 

Martin Everson

Offshore Retiree
Staff member
Mentor Group Gold
Elite Member
Any other cons that I missed? @Martin Everson I guess you would be perfectly suited to comment on this

Bahamas being blacklisted by most European retail banks is the major con. Just work through your list of potential EMI and retail banks and try and find ones that work with Bahamas in Europe :confused:. If you have existing accounts be 100% sure you can keep them after a change of address to Bahamas. Even if the basic bank staff tell you its ok the compliance officer may think differently in my experience.

Other than that you have done your homework and all sounds fine.
 

FixieHartmann

Active Member
Bahamas being blacklisted by most European retail banks is the major con. Just work through your list of potential EMI and retail banks and try and find ones that work with Bahamas in Europe :confused:. If you have existing accounts be 100% sure you can keep them after a change of address to Bahamas. Even if the basic bank staff tell you its ok the compliance officer may think differently in my experience.

Other than that you have done your homework and all sounds fine.
Thanks so much for the answer, highly appreciated. I'll definitely check with my banks here in Europe to see if I can keep my accounts. Does the blacklist also apply to US banks? Did you have any luck with keeping a US bank account and relocating to the Bahamas? I will be in Florida soon, so I could try to get a bank account there.

Also, what are the safest areas on New Providence? Where would you recommend to live?
 

Martin Everson

Offshore Retiree
Staff member
Mentor Group Gold
Elite Member
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