Procedures and Legal Requirements to Establish a Local Company
Other Related Laws
Apart from the Foreign Investment Act 2005, Companies Act 2009 and Tax Regimes, there are also other legal requirements that are to be met in order to establish business within Solomon Islands.
Repatriation of profits earned by a foreign owned business operating in Solomon Islands is guaranteed by the Investment Act 2005 (s.29(3)), however before profits will be allowed out of the country, the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) will require evidence that the investor’s taxation obligations have been satisfied.
The CBSI controls all funds into and out of Solomon Islands pursuant to the provisions of the Exchange Control Act (Cap 51). Payments out of Solomon Islands to any other jurisdiction in excess of SBD30,000 (in the case of an individual) or SBD 50,000 (in the case of a company) in any one month will require CBSI approval.
Visitors’ Permits are issued to visitors with a ticket or other means of travelling from Solomon Islands to another country which they will be able to enter and for which they hold a valid passport or other travel document.
A visitor is defined as ‘…a person arriving in Solomon Islands for an intended stay of any period not exceeding three months’. Expatriate workers employed by a new business will normally need a work permit if their employment is for a period in excess of 30 days.
Any expatriate worker employed by a business in Solomon Islands for more than 30 days will need to obtain a permit to enter and reside.
Workers must hold a current work permit before application to permanently reside in Solomon Islands will be granted.
The application fee is SBD 250.00. Approval fee is SBD $1,200.00. A multiple entry fee of SBD 210.00 also applies.
All foreign workers require work permits. Prospective employers can make applications on behalf of immigrant or non-indigenous workers or by the workers themselves.
Approval will be based on evidence that:
- No trained or qualified Solomon Islander is available to fill that position.
- The foreign employee is qualified, experienced and able to train Solomon Islanders to undertake the task.
- Provision has been made for localising the position through suitable training, so that a Solomon Islander may eventually fill the position.
- A work permit typically takes three months to process but may be faster if all requirements (police clearance, medical report) are met at the application stage. The applicant should lodge his/her application whilst out of the country otherwise an extra fee of SBD 7,000.00 will be charged and the matter further delayed.
- A work permit is usually granted for a maximum period of two years and is specific to a particular employer only and is not transferable should the employee seek alternative employment.
Business licences are required for particular business activities or for specific industries. Fees vary depending on the city or province and type of activity.
Employers are required to take out compulsory insurance to cover their employees against work related accident and illness.
A compulsory superannuation contribution scheme applies for the benefit of all employees under the National Provident Fund. Every employer must make monthly contributions equal to 7.5 per cent of each employee’s wage to this fund. The employee contributes another 5 per cent.
All employee contracts must be in writing, employees are provided with long service leave entitlements and dismissed employees have rights to redundancy payments. Employer’s liability insurance is compulsory with a maximum claim for any one occurrence SBD 120,000.
Employees and workers unions have access to the Trade Disputes Panel for determination of employer/employee related disputes. It deals primarily with unfair dismissal and recognition issues.