Regular Barbados Companies (RBCs) are generally incorporated under the Companies Act of Barbados and may only carry on international business with permission of the Central Bank of Barbados.

Societies with Restricted Liability (SRLs) are organised under the Societies with Restricted Liability Act and may only carry on international business with permission of the Central Bank of Barbados. The main difference between an RBC and an SRL is that an SRL may, under certain conditions, be treated as a disregarded entity for US tax purposes, and is therefore more often seen in cases where there are investors from the US.

International Business Companies (IBCs) are generally incorporated under the Companies Act of Barbados and must only carry on international business (i.e., generally cannot trade in Barbados).1 An IBC must apply to the Minister responsible for International Business to obtain an International Business Licence.

International Societies with Restricted Liability (ISRLs) are organised under the Societies with Restricted Liability Act (SRL Act) of Barbados and must also apply to the Minister responsible for International Business to obtain an International Business Licence. An ISRL may not acquire or hold land in Barbados, other than land required for its business held by way of lease or a tenancy agreement nor transact business with any Barbados residents. Like SRLs, ISRLs may be treated as disregarded entities for US tax purposes.

Exempt Insurance Companies (EICs) are generally incorporated under the Companies Act of Barbados and must apply for a licence under the Exempt Insurance Act (EIC Act). One of the requirements to qualify for an EIC licence is that the company’s object and activities are the transaction of “exempt insurance”. Exempt insurance is defined in the EIC Act as the business of insuring risks located outside Barbados in respect of which premiums originate outside Barbados, and includes the business of an underwriter, broker, agent, dealer or salesman in respect of that business.

Qualifying Insurance Companies (QICs) are generally incorporated under the Companies Act of Barbados, registered as insurers under the Insurance Act and must apply for a certificate to qualify as a QIC under theInsurance Act. One of the requirements to qualify as a QIC is that the company is a registered insurer in respect of which at least 90% of gross revenues from insurance premiums originate outside CARICOM and at least 90% of all risks insured originate outside CARICOM.

International Banks (IBs) are generally incorporated under the Companies Act and must apply for a licence to operate as an international bank under the International Financial Services Act. Such a licence is required to carry on any international financial service in or from within Barbados.