Compliance complexity in America and Caribbean
Article 2 minute read

Compliance complexity in America and Caribbean

23 August 2018

North America and the Caribbean have different levels of complexity when it comes to compliance.

As the global trend of increasing transparency continues, countries have enacted new administrative regulations and laws that make international compliance even more complex.The Compliance Complexity Index 2018 ranked 84 countries around the world according to the difficulty of adhering to compliance requirements. These included the types and amount of information that companies must report to local authorities as well as complying with national regulations. North American countries were ranked in the middle of the report while some Caribbean countries landed at the bottom meaning they are the least complex for compliance.

The United States was ranked number 55 out of 84 while Canada is number 63. North American nations have implemented a digital compliance infrastructure that supports a high degree of transparency but also increase the regulatory burden for businesses.  “In recent years, international compliance has become both more transparent and more complicated,” said Jason Gerlis, Managing Director, TMF USA. “A large number of new international regulations has been implemented across the globe, but adoption differs from country to country, making for a challenging compliance environment.”

Looking at the Caribbean, Curaçao has ranked as the least complex business location in the Americas and third least complex in the world.  The government has started to remove red tape around processes such as tax filing and applying for permits. Taxes can now be completed online simplifying the old process of physically delivering the documents to an office. These user-friendly changes have been applied to social security deductions on wages.  The government continues to set up work groups with people from the private and public sectors to find services that can be made more efficient and help the island become more attractive for foreign businesses.

The Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands ranked in the middle of the index for complexity at numbers 58 and 68 out of 84, respectively.  This is mainly due to the lack of requirements for accounts and local directors/officers for these islands. It is easy to set up a company and the process is efficient. With no local tax, these jurisdictions are relatively non-complex locations for compliance.

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Compliance complexity varies in North America and the Caribbean and business people and legal teams need to take this into account when operating in these jurisdictions. Using in-country corporate secretarial experts, such as TMF Group in any of these countries, allows companies to reach new heights and focus on their core business.

Download the Compliance Complexity Index 2018.

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Written by

Raimundo Diaz

Head of Americas

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