Business Opportunities in Fiji
Fiji is well known as a top tropical vacation spot and draws tourists worldwide. The country is a popular destination for island getaways and is also growing as a vibrant corporate hub, notably in business outsourcing services.
The nation is located in the heart of the South Pacific and provides easy accessibility to the Australian and New Zealand markets. It also has a sustainable economy, a high-quality education system, competence in the English language, and exceptional customer care, which companies can benefit from.
Fiji has a lot of opportunities for investors who wish to start a business in the country. It has developed infrastructure, excellent international transportation, and a wide range of tax concessions. As per the World Bank Report on Ease of Doing Business 2020, Fiji ranked 102 out of 190 economies providing a more straightforward process to start a business, protecting minority investors, and paying taxes.
Read this guide to understand how to start a business in Fiji and how to register a company in Fiji.
Benefits of Starting a Business in Fiji
There are several advantages of doing business in Fiji which include:
- Cost-effective communication industry- Following the completion of the Tonga Cable, Southern Cross Cable, and Interchange Cable, Fiji has dependable internet connections and global data services. This adds to the competitive and cost-effective communication infrastructure the country offers businesses. It increases local teams’ performance by giving them quick, safe access to the required data whenever needed.
- Skilled workforce- Working professionals in Fiji bring excellent spoken and written English skills and a natural disposition toward duties, including providing customer service. Customers may anticipate receiving the same high-quality service they are accustomed to receiving locally, preserving their loyalty and satisfaction, which results in better performance of the company as well.
- High possibilities of exceptional revenue growth- Fiji is developing a reputation for delivering back-office operations and ICT services. The Fijian outsourcing industry employs roughly 3000 people and generates approximately $90 million in yearly revenue. According to the recently established BPO Council of Fiji, companies starting a business in this sector have the potential to provide up to 15,000 new employees over the next five years and generate over FJD 500 million in revenue.
Requirements for Starting a Business in Fiji
Setting up a company in Fiji could seem profitable, but it can be easier with the right advice. The requirements for setting up a company in Fiji are as follows:
Company name: While selecting a company name, businesses must follow this procedure:
- The Digital Fiji internet portal also allows for the online reservation of the Company Name.
- You must first input your “Company Type” before moving on to your “Entity Name”.
- The applicant must click “Search” after providing the information. This selection will provide additional similar Fijian company names.
- If your “Reservation Name” is already taken, a notification message stating “Unavailable” will appear. Please use a different name in this case.
- In this situation, you must come up with another original name for the business.
- The option “Reserve” will be displayed if the Reservation Name is “Unique”.
- The registrant must click the website’s “Reserve” button.
Directors and founders: Two or three directors are required for a private firm (for a public company). Both persons and legal entities are possible. A Fijian citizen should be one of the founders.
Shareholders: A minimum of 2 shareholders (in the event of a private firm) or 7 stockholders (for a public company) are needed to incorporate a company in Fiji. Both persons and legal entities are possible.
Licenses: Companies require a business license while starting a business in Fiji. You need to get relevant licensing authorities for each location to conduct business.
Types of Business Structures in Fiji
The following are the primary business structures that global companies frequently employ to set up business in Fiji:
- A person operating under a sole proprietorship form is legally liable for every part of the enterprise.
- This is the most straightforward and reasonably priced business structure you may pick when founding a company.
- As a sole proprietor, you will typically be responsible for making all business-related decisions. However, you can hire staff to assist you.
- A single company with two or more proprietors is called a partnership.
- Every partner contributes to all business aspects, including assets, money, labor, or skills. In exchange, each partner shares in the company’s gains and losses.
- Because there are multiple decision-makers in a partnership, it’s crucial to have up-front discussions about a wide range of topics and create a formal partnership agreement.
Limited liability company
- A limited liability company (LLC) has a business structure that shields its members from being held personally accountable for the debts and obligations of the business.
- Limited liability companies are effectively hybrid legal entities with elements of both corporations and sole proprietorships and partnerships.
- A joint venture is a company founded by two or more people that are typically distinguished by shared ownership, rewards and risks, and management.
- In general, businesses enter into joint ventures for one of three main reasons:
- to obtain access to a new market, especially a developing one
- to increase scale efficiency by integrating operations and assets to share risk for significant expenditures or projects
- to allow access to talents and capabilities
Company Registration Process
Refer to this section to understand how to start a company in Fiji
Step 1: Verify the suggested company name’s originality and secure the name
- You must establish your company’s name with the Office of the Registrar of Companies once you’ve chosen a name for it.
- To help ensure the name isn’t too similar to one previously registered, the office will check its database.
- Additionally, the office will ensure the name does not conflict with any limitations imposed on business names. You cannot incorporate the words “Fiji” or “Viti” into the name of your business.
Step 2: Prepare the necessary documents
- Companies must draft Articles of Association that outline the internal corporate governance framework, the shareholders, and the shared framework.
- Standard articles are available in the Companies Act (2015) and may be used.
- However, most businesses use a lawyer to guarantee that the articles are written correctly and that you comprehend their substance.
- The average fee for hiring a lawyer to draft business documentation is between FJD 1,500 and 2,500.
Step 3: Register the company
- According to the Companies Act (2015), the firm must submit the relevant documents, an online application, and the necessary fee to the Office of the Registrar of Companies once they are ready.
- The application form requests information on the business, its governance, representative office, the primary place of operation, shareholders, share arrangement, and members.
Step 4: Register for Tax Identification Number and relevant taxes
- You must request a Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service after submitting the required paperwork to the Office of the Registrar of Companies (FRCS).
- Along with the relevant signed forms from the Office of the Registrar of Companies, a TIN registration form must be filled out and presented to FRCS. After that, FRCS will issue a standard TIN letter verifying the TIN.
- Depending on your firm’s size and nature, you may also be required to register for other taxes.
- To simplify the processing of the Certificate of Registration, you must deliver the TIN letter to the Office of the Registrar of Companies.
- To update the FRCS’s taxpayer data, the Registrar of Companies will transmit a copy of the Certificate of Registration.
Step 5: Obtain a compliance letter from the Minister of Employment, Productivity, and Industrial Relations after the inspection
- All employees at the workplace shall be subject to inspection by the Ministry of Employment, Productivity, and Industrial Relations.
- Following a successful examination of employers and workers, the Office of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) will issue a letter of conformity to enterprises.
- The business must personally deliver the filled-out application form and the accompanying items (National Fire Authority Certificate, Business Registration Certificate, and TIN letter) to the closest OHS to acquire this letter.
- The OHS will visit the business location three days after receiving the documentation, and when all necessary procedures are completed, you will get a compliance letter. The Suva City Council must receive the compliance letter in person before issuing a business license.
Step 6: Apply for a business license from the relevant licensing authority
- For each location where it conducts business, the company must obtain a license from the appropriate licensing body.
- Every year, companies must renew their license.
- The costs can be between FJD100 and FJD5,000, depending on the company’s activities.
- The business license application form for Suva City Council is accessible online at: http://suvacity.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/BL-Application-Form.pdf
Step 7: Register as an employer with the Fiji National Provident Fund
- Every new company must make their payments and enroll with the Fiji National Provident Fund as an employer.
How Much Does it Cost to Incorporate a Company in Fiji?
According to the Companies Act of 2015, a business must pay the Registrar of Companies the appropriate yearly registration costs within 28 days of the registration date. The following are business entities and their annual registration fees in Fiji:
Annual Registration Fee (FJD)
Small private company/ a company limited by guarantee licensed under s.31 of the Act
Public company or medium/large private company/other company types
Branch of a foreign company
Are Foreigners in Fiji on Certain Passes Allowed to Start a Business in Fiji?
Foreigners can also start a business in Fiji after attaining government-issued passes. They will require a work permit to start a business in the country.
There are several alternatives for work permits, and the sort of permit foreigners choose varies depending on their employment. A typical work permit covers any long-term job that does not fall into one of four defined categories. For this request, you, as the employer, are required to justify not employing a resident.
It’s also crucial to remember that work permits do not cover dwelling permits. Your employees must have the necessary visas to live in the nation before they can apply for any type of work visa.
Moreover, Fiji also provides investing permissions for business initiatives and permit exemption for official or diplomatic operations.
Government Assistance for Foreign-owned Businesses
- The Fijian Parliament passed the Investment Act 2021, which will gradually replace the Foreign Investment Act 1999, as a sign of its dedication to enhancing the economic climate in Fiji.
- The new law seeks to make conducting business in Fiji easier by expediting the enrollment process for businesses, luring in global and local investment, and giving investors ownership through clear, trustworthy, practical, and equitable laws and regulations.
Previously, obtaining a Foreign Investment Registration Certificate was a requirement for all foreign investors (FIRC). The new law improves investors’ rights and responsibilities and eliminates the need for a FIRC.
- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism, and Transport (MCTTT) of Fiji are currently drafting the Foreign Investment Act’s regulations.
- Several industry associations now give businesses a platform to voice issues and suggestions. The Fiji Manufacturers Association, the BPO Council of Fiji, and the Textile, Clothing, and Footwear (TCF) Council of Fiji are a few examples of these industry associations.
How Multiplier Can Help
Opening a business entails adhering to all applicable laws and ordinances in a foreign nation like Fiji. Every country where you plan to incorporate a business has its laws, incorporation processes, and tax rules. To start a business in Fiji, you must abide by all applicable tax rules and regulations. Here, Multiplier and other global PEO service providers can be helpful.
Without establishing a local subsidiary, Multiplier maintains the infrastructure needed to hire personnel for your business. You can put more effort into building teams in new nations and testing new marketplaces. This enables you to fill your workforce with more affordable and talented workers.