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The following provides the answers to many Frequently Asked Questions relating to the purchase of property in The Bahamas.

Q. Can a non-Bahamian purchase property in The Bahamas?

A. Yes. The International Persons Landholding Act, 1993, provides for non-Bahamians to be able to purchase real property in The Bahamas.

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Q. Are there any permits required when purchasing property in The Bahamas?

A. According to the International Persons Landholding Act, 1993, permits are required by non-Bahamians if:

Also, under the above-named act, a non-Bahamian who purchases land that does not require the issuing of a permit must register their purchase with the Foreign Investment Board.

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Q. Am I required to register my property purchase?

A. Non-Bahamians should register their investment with the Exchange Control Department at the Central Bank of The Bahamas so that in the event that they choose to sell their property, they will be able to repatriate the proceeds in the currency of their original investment.

Direct your browser to The Bahamas Investment Authority to view the following:

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Q. What form of property title is given in The Bahamas?

A. Most of the properties are sold on a freehold basis; however, there are some properties (usually Crown Lands, whcihc are government owned properties) that are sold on a leasehold basis. Although the government of The Bahamas doesn't usually sell its property, it sometimes leases some of its Crown Lands for agricultural and/or development purposes.

Q. Will I be required to use a local attorney when purchasing property in The Bahamas?

A. Although it is not essential, the appointment of a local attorney is highly recommended. Aside from making sure that the title documents are prepared properly and that they are in good order, the attorney will give an Opinion on the title to the property. This Opinion is considered to be the same as title insurance and the lawyer is held liable should the purchaser find that there is a defect in the title. Local lawyers carry indemnity insurance.

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Q. What are the costs related to buying or selling property in The Bahamas?

A. The Bahamian government charges a stamp tax on all real estate sales or transfers. This tax is split between the buyer and the seller unless otherwise specified or agreed to by both parties. The amount of the tax, which varies according to the value, is as follows:

$250,000.01 and over - 12%

Lawyers' fees by The Bahamas Bar Association for handling the sale and purchase of real estate and the scale fees are approximately 1% of sale price (subject to negotiation between the purchaser and their attorney)

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Q. Will I be able to repatriate the proceeds if I choose to sell my property in The Bahamas?

A. If you registered the purchase of your property with the Exchange Control Department at the Central Bank of The Bahamas at the time of purchase and later decide to sell your land you will be able to repatriate the proceeds

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Q. Are real estate brokers and sales agents in the Bahamas required to have a license?

A. Real estate brokers and sales agents are required to be licensed by the Bahamas Real Estate Association (B.R.E.A.) which is an international member of The National Association of Realtors (N.A.R.).

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Q. Is there financing locally available to non-Bahamians / permanent residents for the purchase of property?

A. Local financing is available however the loan facility may only be given in US$ at international rates and the down payment required is usually in the area of 40% of the value

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Q. What taxes are there in The Bahamas?

A. The Bahamas has no income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax or sales tax with the exception of the Stamp Duty on the conveyance of real property.

The government's primary source of revenue is from duties charged by customs on all imported goods into The Bahamas.

There is also a Real Property Tax. The following are the Real Property Tax Rates:

In respect of owner-occupied property: