Business establishment permit

As a general rule according to the Business Establishment Permit Ordinance of the island of St. Eustatius, everyone who wants to establish, operate, take-over, make a change in operations or continue a businessmust apply for a business license..

Directors’ license

A director’s license is requested for all managing directors who are nominated as such in the deed of incorporation, when establishing a limited liability corporation (N.V.). The request will be dealt with by the Lt. Governor and the Immigration Department.

Replacement of managing directors

If a managing director is replaced after a business license is approved, the new nominated person has to send in a request to be registered as a managing director.

General remarks:
1. A director’s license is strictly separate from a work permit or residence permit.
2. No corporation or managing director may engage in business activities before a business license has been granted by the Executive Council.

Foreign exchange license

This license, issued by the Central Bank, exempts corporations from foreign exchange control in the Netherlands Antilles. Go to

Work permit

The labor law requires that subject to equality of qualifications and experience, businesses hire first Antilleans before other nationalities. The employer has to prove to the Office for Civil Registry that all steps have been taken in conformity with the law. If a work permit is approved the person automatically has a residence permit, which is limited to theterm of the work permit. The application for a work permit should be submitted to the Office for Civil Registry.


General remark: When the documents for a work and/or residence permit have been submitted and are being processed, the applicant must be residing outside the Netherlands Antilles. If the applicant is not residing outside the Netherlands Antilles and/or the relevant documents have not been produced, the request will not be processed.

Residence permit

Antillean law allows non-nationals to stay a maximum of three months on a tourist visa and persons with Dutch nationality for a maximum of six months. Extensions to stay on the island must be made by applying for a residence permit. The application form is written in Dutch or English. Applicants must be able to prove financial independence to provide for self and family because the permit allows persons to stay in the Netherlands Antilles, not to perform any kind of work. The application for a residence permit should be submitted to the Office for Civil Registry.