Thanks to low taxes, a loyal attitude of the authorities towards cryptocurrency, and a stable economy, Saint Lucia is a reasonably attractive state for cryptocurrency activities. In addition, at the moment, no special legislation regarding cryptocurrency has been created in this region. Obtaining a Saint Lucia crypto license will be easy, provided that you build an organization in advance to meet the requirements of this jurisdiction.
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Even though this state has not developed laws for virtual currency, the authorities actively support the cryptocurrency business, creating a comfortable environment for financial organizations dealing with virtual assets.
The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) has said that legislation for virtual currency and related company activities could be introduced at the end of 2023. It means that with the entry into force of this legislation, cryptocurrency organizations will be controlled, and a license will be required for cryptocurrency activities.
The current securities regulatory framework of Saint Lucia will govern virtual assets that have the characteristics of securities. Therefore, companies will need to comply with applicable securities regulations.
Company registration requirements
Any organization is required to register its business with the relevant authorities and take into account the following:
- the company must have at least one shareholder and director (possibly a water person);
- all management personnel must provide certificates of no criminal record and tax debts, as well as identity cards, letters of recommendation from the bank, and a certificate of registration;
- the amount of starting capital is at the discretion of the owner of the organization;
- implementation of AML KYC policies.
We will consider the last requirement in more detail due to its importance.
Legal requirements for financial companies: AML and KYC
Because the financial activities of organizations are subject to certain risks (financial and cyber), it is essential to provide reliable software protection. For example, it is also vital to ensure the safety of funds and develop actions in case of an emergency system shutdown.
All cryptocurrency organizations (like traditional financial institutions) must comply with AML and KYC policies. Therefore, such program measures must be introduced into the company’s operation scheme. These conditions will be verified during the registration process.
It is worth noting that if all conditions are met to a sufficient extent, then registration will take place in just one day from the moment the package of documents is submitted.
Main stages of licensing
To successfully register, you must go through several stages and fulfill several conditions. Let’s consider each step separately.
Provide the necessary papers
You need to decide on the name of the company and prepare the required package of documents:
- copies of passports of shareholders and directors of the organization;
- confirmation of registration: paid utility bills;
- letters of recommendation from the bank.
In addition, it is essential to prepare a detailed business plan for the planned activity. It is worth noting that there are no minimum starting capital requirements in this jurisdiction.
Registration of an organization
You must submit an application to the Registry of Companies of Saint Lucia along with a package of documents. Next, the company will receive registration documents for the company. After this, you can already register for VASP (virtual asset service provider) activities. The period is two weeks.
Opening a bank account
Researching some banks (EMI) is recommended, considering possible AML risks. Then, the person authorized by the bank will inform you what package of documents is required to open an account, including asking for the following:
- movement of funds;
- confirmation of the origin of capital;
- paid utility bills.
The application must also indicate the purpose of opening an account and provide a list of key partners. Throughout the entire process of opening an account, it is necessary to be accompanied by an authorized person from the organization. The period for opening a bank account is 1-1.5 months.
Briefly about taxes
Cryptocurrency business has preferential taxes. Therefore, there is no tax on digital coins. But it is essential to consider the following:
- corporate tax on business income – 30%. there are benefits for cryptocurrency firms, but if services are outside the jurisdiction, then there is no tax;
- no tax on capital gains from cryptocurrency activities, interest, and royalties;
- VAT – 12.5%, but you must find out individually (depending on the transactions carried out) for digital assets.
Therefore, it is very profitable to do crypto business in Saint Lucia. This jurisdiction allows you to engage in crypto business at lower costs than other countries.