You are setting up a company on Bonaire – that’s fantastic! Before you open the doors of your company, it is sensible to do some preparation. You must consider certain matters thoroughly, although it can vary greatly between businesses how much time you need to spend on the preliminary stages. You can make as much or as little effort as you want. Obviously, financing, location and legal form are important elements to consider. You can record it all in a business plan: a blueprint of your (future) business which sums up and details all the relevant information. We recommend that you draw up a business plan at an early stage.

More information is available

The Chamber of Commerce has several digital guidelines, tips and instruction films about the necessary steps to take when setting up a business on Bonaire. Download our infographic of the relevant information free of charge. If you would like more information about certain steps or if you have questions about your actual business, please get in touch with the staff at BIS; you can contact them at

Frequently asked questions about setting up a business

  • What is the difference between having a hobby and running a business?

    Perhaps you do something now and then that brings in a little money: you might repair a neighbour’s car, fix a garden fence or help paint a house. In such cases, you are not running a business. The event is incidental and even though you are paid, it is still a hobby-like act. However, if you start to repair more cars, produce garden fences en masse or paint several houses a week, you are gradually becoming a business and you need to register your business in the Commercial Register. There is a large grey area between having a hobby and running a business. Please ask at the Chamber of Commerce to find out precisely whether you are running a business or not.

  • I am setting up a company; am I obliged to draw up a business plan?

    Firstly, please let us say that we think it’s fantastic that you are going into business! Opinions differ on the obligation to draw up a business plan. There are plenty of business that are successful in what they do without a business plan. But generally speaking, we strongly recommend putting a good business plan together. It means that you consider all the aspects of running a business, including thorough market research and the feasibility of the plan. There are plenty of businesses that started up too quickly and gradually discovered that they had missed certain matters. As 75% of all business world-wide are forced to close down within 5 years, it is advisable to increase your chances and consider these extremely important elements concerning your future company carefully. Not surprisingly, the Chamber of Commerce advises: yes, always draw up a business plan!

    If you want to take out a loan from a bank, etc. or borrow from an authority like Qredits (micro-financing), you are, in fact, obliged to put together a proper business plan. You won’t get a loan without that business plan.

  • Must I be registered in Bonaire’s population register if I want to set up a company?

    No, not necessarily. If you are a legal entity (e.g. a private limited company or a public limited company), you do not need to be resident of Bonaire. However, if you are opting to be a sole trader (EZ), you must be registered on the island. For more information about the different legal forms, click HERE (link to legal forms), about legal entities, click HERE (link to legal entities) or visit the Chamber of Commerce for more advice.

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