It is an independent legal entity that is subject to public law and operates as an administrative authority independent of the government (both the local and central government).
The Chamber of Commerce has a number of duties prescribed by law, the BES Chambers of Commerce and Industry Act (Wet op de Kamers van Koophandel en Nijverheid BES). The most important duties are:
- The management of the Bonaire Commercial Register (a record of all businesses, legal entities and second establishments on the island).
- To inform and advise the government on economic development (on request and otherwise).
- To represent all businesses on the island (represented by the five elected Board Members of the Chamber of Commerce. Every year, elections are held to elect at least 1/3 of the members of the Board. The voters who may vote are the directors, owners who are on the electoral list. The electoral list is drawn up every year).
The Chamber of Commerce concentrates particularly on improving the preconditions for businesses on the island. The Bonaire Business House (Ondernemershuis, a Chamber of Commerce initiative to construct a one-stop-shop on the island) can provide business owners with advice and information in various fields. For instance, there is the Business Affairs Desk for information about commercial permits and licences, where the advisors can give you information and specific advice about everything connected to running a business on the island. The aim of the Business House is to house several services in one building so that businesses spend less time looking for specific information.
At present, the Chamber of Commerce has 9 members of staff and a Board consisting of 5 people. Together, we try to translate the statutory duties as well as we can to the challenges of everyday life on Bonaire. In particular, the economic development of the community, with the focus on business enterprises, is a constant challenge.