Business Establishment License

A business license is necessary for everyone who wants to start a business, expand their business, or make changes to an existing business on Sint Eustatius.

The establishment of your company on Sint Eustatius

The law BES Business Establishment Act is applicable for St. Eustatius (and Bonaire and Saba).

Request forms can be obtained by the Unit Licenses, Supervision, Enforcement located on Kenniproad 15.

It is prohibited without authorization from the Executive Council:

  • to establish a business and to conduct it or cause it to be conducted;
  • to cause a business to be conducted and to conduct it or cause it to be conducted;
  • to take over a business and to conduct it or cause it to be conducted;
  • to cause a business to be taken over and to conduct it or cause it to be conducted;
  • to continue a business or cause it to be continued;
  • to move a business with regard to the public;
  • to alter the nature of a business;

The difference between Sole Proprietors and Limited Liability Companies:

A Sole Proprietor is a business where there is no distinction between the business assets and the personal assets. As owner one will be personally liable for all obligations of the business.

A limited liability company is a corporate body with shareholders, governed by corporate law and its articles of association

The Business License Request Procedure

The application form must be filled in completely, and all necessary documents must be enclosed. Incomplete applications will not be processed.

Granting Procedure for Granting a Business License:

When granting the business license, the Executive Council of the Island of St. Eustatius is authorized to connect conditions concerning the nature and the place of the business as also concerning the creditworthiness of the applicant and the financing of the business. A business license can be refused, according to the law, if the person starting the business cannot prove he/she has sufficient financial means and sufficient general competences to run the business. A request for a Business License will be processed within eight weeks.


Branches, branch offices, and other offices of businesses shall be deemed to be individual businesses for the provisions of this Act.

The changing of Data of a Business license:

When changes occur in a business e.g. the name or location of a business changes etc. one must request the Executive Council of the Island of St. Eustatius to make changes in the license. Changes can be requested by filling in the Application Form, with all necessary documents enclosed

A license shall not be required for one or more of aforementioned acts with regard to businesses:

  • belonging to bodies governed by public law;
  • that can exclusively be conducted in or on public markets or as street trading on the public road;
  • by which the agriculture, horticulture, cattle breeding or fishing business is conducted, whether or not in combination with the sale of the products produced, extracted or caught in that business;
  • belonging to artisans, unless they are conducted with more workers than will be stipulated for each business by decree by the Executive Council;
  • belonging to sole traders who are exempt from it by decree of the Executive Council.

The license can be revoked by the one who has granted it:

  • if the person or persons to whom the license was granted cannot prove that the conditions set for the license are observed;
  • if it has been obtained by intentionally providing an incorrect or incomplete statement as referred to in Article 4;
  • if the license holder has closed his business to the public for three consecutive months or longer.

A copy of the BES Business Establishment Act (Wet Vestiging Bedrijven BES) can be requested.