QUESTION: Dear CMR,
Can a foreign worker operate a business in the Cayman Islands while on a work permit? Is there a requirement to have a license? I saw this being advertised recently in my Filipino community social media groups and wondered exactly what the procedure is. I would like part of the Cayman dream too if it is possible.
ANSWER: NO ONE is permitted to operate a business in the Cayman Islands without a business license issued pursuant to the Trade and Business Licensing Law (2019 revision) via the Department of Commerce and & Investment (DCI). They actually provide excellent information on their website for all to review should they be unclear about the requirements.
Section 17 (1) of the Trade and Business Licensing Law (2019 revision) stipulates what the requirements are for a license:
17. (1) A person shall not carry on a trade or business in or from within the Islands unless that person holds a valid licence issued under this Law for each type of trade or business that the licensee is carrying on and in respect of each location from which such trade or business is being carried.
Schedule 2: Ticketable Offences – addresses penalties with Section 17 (1) – $500 for 1st time offence.
On the fact of it, this appears to be a clear violation of the Trade & Business Licensing Law. It may also be a violation of immigration laws as well as non-Caymanians as not permitted to operate their own busines here without a Caymanian majority (60%) partner. We would strongly suggest anyone engaging in any business make sure that they are fully compliant before operating. Importing and selling a product is clearly operating a business. There may be other concerns and regulations that this product could be subject to as it appears to fall under the category of a supplement. CMR was able to find multiple instances of this product being imported and sold in the Cayman Islands through social media platforms.