It's the dream of so many entrepreneurs. They want to build a business, make millions, then move to some Caribbean island and run their company while sipping their Pina Coladas on the beach.
But why wait? Why not just build your business on the beach now? In fact, you might well find that it's a lot easier to build a business on a Caribbean island when that island won't drown your company in taxes and heavy regulations. You might even reach that first million a lot faster.
That's the promise offered by Cayman Enterprise City, a set of three special economic zones in the Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory located in the warm waters of the Caribbean between Cuba and Costa Rica. The zones--Cayman Tech City, Cayman Commodities and Derivatives City, and Cayman Maritime and Aviation City--levy no corporate, income, sales or capital gains tax. There are no government reporting or filing requirements. Five-year work and residency visas can be granted in as little as five days, and staff and business owners get to enjoy year-round sun and all the frills of a high quality island lifestyle.
Cayman Enterprise City isn't just another tax haven though. The Cayman Islands expects businesses and their owners to move physically to the island, to set up their offices and work close to the beach (everywhere on the Cayman Islands is close to the beach.) Some 230 companies from 21 countries have already done so. More than two-thirds of those companies are from North America, and the numbers are growing, giving the businesses a cluster effect that allows ideas to spread and cross-marketing to take place.
"In five years we conservatively estimate that there will be over 500 businesses in the SEZ, with roughly 60 percent of those operating from within Cayman Tech City," Charlie Kirkconnell, CEO of Cayman Enterprise City told me.
The organization is building a new 53-acre campus to accommodate the influx. "We see our campus development as key to facilitating the creation of business activity hubs that enable like-minded individuals to easily socialize and collaborate," says Charlie Kirkconnell.
Unsurprisingly for a zone that prides itself on minimal regulation and maximum business freedom, Cayman Enterprise City has attracted a lot of interest from blockchain-based firms. A quarter of all the tenants in Cayman Enterprise City are developing or using blockchain technology, a total of some 50 companies.
Moving a company to the Cayman Islands starts by talking to lawyers and tax advisors in the home country to make sure that it's a good fit. (It's not a solution that suits every business.) Cayman Enterprise City then works with 100 vendors, from doctors and schools to real estate agents and social clubs, to smooth the relocation.
I've visited Cayman Enterprise City and I can certainly say that it's a beautiful place. For any business, but especially one working on blockchain technology, it's an ideal environment that allows a company to develop and bring their ideas to fruition.
And the Pina Coladas are pretty good too.