Starting your own business can feel like a massive step into unchartered waters. Whether it’s your first time branching out by yourself or you’re a serial entrepreneur, setting up a new project can often feel terrifying. After all, statistics on start up’s success rates are less than optimistic. But for those willing to take a chance, the level of reward that your own business can bring you is unrivalled. You are your own boss, getting to live out your dream job whilst contributing to the community. So, if you are choosing to go into it alone – welcome to the club!
Having said that, oftentimes knowing that you want to start your own business doesn’t always mean you know how to make that dream a reality. The bright side is if you know how to get yourself established, Gibraltar is a fantastic place to do business – with no VAT, no sales tax and only 10% corporation tax, it’s an entrepreneur’s paradise! So, we’ve made it our mission to break down everything you need to know in order to launch a successful business in Gibraltar – the rest is up to you!
Step 1: Your Business Entity
You need to decide how you will be trading as a business – will you do so as an individual, company or partnership? We can introduce you to and work with regulated parties who will advise you on what the most appropriate entity might be for your business. You can also find out more by visiting Companies House or their website.
Step 2: Trading Address
You may decide that you want your business to have an address from which to call home. All businesses in Gibraltar are required to have proof (rental/tenancy agreement) of a trading address from where they operate. This cannot be a residential premise (e.g. your apartment) unless you obtain a premises waiver, which is only given out in special circumstances.
Need a trading address? The WorkLab, Gibraltar’s premier co-working space can help. The Start-Up Offer is designed with you in mind – for just £75 per month you can use The WorkLab as your trading address in Gibraltar!
Step 3: Need a Business License?
Under Gibraltar’s Fair Trading Act 2015, a lot of business’ that are doing business in Gibraltar may need to apply for a Business Licence. More information on this can be found at the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) or with any of the regulated parties we work with who can advise you.
If you do need a business licence, entities intending to apply for a business licence must give a notice of intention which must be published in the Gazette (this can be arranged directly at the OFT) and in a Gibraltar newspaper, at least 7 days before the application is made. Please note that you will need proof of a trading address when applying for your business license!
Step 4: Applying For Your Business License
As set out in the OFT’s Guidance Notes, any applications submitted for a business license must be made by a director and requires the following:
- Proof of premises, including a copy of the rental agreement and site plan (Step 1)
- Copy of Certificate of Registration of Business Name (Step 2)
- Copies of submitted notices (Step 3)
- And if you’re applying as a company: Profile of company from Companies House. Where the company is incorporated outside of Gibraltar, the application should also contain a copy of their Part XII or XIV Certificate of Registration.
Subject to all the correct information being submitted and there being no objections to the application, the BLA tends to grant the license within 3 business days of receiving all the documentation, with the license being valid for 1 year.
Step 5: Connect, Create, Collaborate
So, you’re licensed and ready to go… what happens now? Remember having the right work environment can have a massive impact on business success, and the start-up journey is far more fun when you have someone to share it with.
This is where The WorkLab, Gibraltar’s ultimate co-working space, comes in. Not only does it offer your business the chance to look and function professionally for a fraction of a cost of a regular office, but it also allows you to become part of a community of entrepreneurs, promoting creativity, inspiration and collaboration between members. Ideally located on Europort Road in the centre of the business district, the WorkLab offers hot desks, monthly desks and private offices, coupled with 24/7 access, free WiFi, front desk service, a bespoke fully fitted kitchen, an outdoor terrace and state of the art meetings rooms. Find out more at www.worklab.gi.