The Cayman Islands has gained a name for itself in recent years as a global hub for technology businesses, from start-ups and mid-sized enterprises to major international corporations that have their headquarters in the Islands. This trend has led many technology-related entrepreneurs to consider Cayman as not only a place to live but also a place to do business.
A technology & innovation centre
The range of technology businesses in the Cayman Islands’ innovation sector is diverse and includes blockchain, fintech, e-commerce, biotech, digital marketing, software development, programming, data services, aviation innovation, hosting, telecommunications, electronic publishing companies and more.
Cayman’s emergence as a centre for technology and innovation business has partially been driven by a less location-centric global economy, ‘work from anywhere’ trends, and COVID-19, which has caused most businesses around the world to rethink their operations and to operate within more virtual and flexible parameters.
What attracts businesses to the Cayman Islands?
The Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) organisation states that, since it launched in 2011, Cayman has attracted over 250 businesses of all sizes from more than 20 countries around the world to set up in the Cayman Islands.
It isn’t just about dispersal or diversification, however; Cayman’s rise has also come about as a result of the strong and business-friendly foundations that Cayman has offered for many years, particularly to those in the financial services sector.
Richard Munden, a partner with Carey Olsen law firm in the Cayman Islands, explains: “Cayman’s unique tax position is undoubtedly a draw in that there is no corporate income, capital gains, withholding or similar taxes with which a tech company need be concerned. Other advantages include a flexible corporate law framework and the ability to set up a form of legal entity to conduct the business that has governance and other characteristics similar to the types of entities with which investors and principals will be familiar in other jurisdictions.”
Mr. Munden continues: “The fact that Cayman also boasts a long-established reputation as an investment funds hub, and as such is already a known commodity to many investors, may also facilitate the funding of entities based here. There is also a large and sophisticated base of legal, accountancy, corporate and other service providers available to assist new companies.”
Not just business, it’s personal
The business benefits for technology and innovation entrepreneurs to relocate to the Cayman Islands are clear, however, it is also clear that the true motivation behind a decision to take up residency in Cayman is often much more personal.
Cayman’s advantages extend beyond commercial business decisions and appeal to the individual entrepreneurs behind technology companies and in this regard Cayman’s many lifestyle attractions have not gone unnoticed.
Matt Vaughan is the founder of Fetch Tech SEZC, a company based in the Cayman Islands that provides strategic and commercial support to venture-backed growth technology companies. He expands on why Cayman is so attractive: “With the momentum we are now seeing for home working, distributed workforces and work-from-anywhere models there are a wider range of businesses and entrepreneurs moving to Cayman – which can also bring about tax advantages for those individuals, such as in the event of an eventual business exit.
“The lifestyle and sophistication that Cayman offers is not something that can be found in other offshore centres and appeals to many entrepreneurs. Whether it is the availability of high-quality healthcare, world-class schools and educational facilities or high-end restaurants, spas, gyms, boating, golf, fishing and waterfront properties on a Caribbean island, Cayman ticks a lot of boxes.”
Jennifer McCarthy from TechCayman—an organisation created to attract and build a growing tech industry in the Cayman Islands—also cites Cayman’s impressive response to the global pandemic as a real pull over the last few months. “People are coming to us and saying, we want to be there – it’s the safest place on earth. Our clients really appreciate the stringency of Cayman’s approach to [the] COVID-19 [virus].”
Residency by investment made easy
Dart’s Vice President of Real Estate Marketing and Sales, Sue Nickason, believes that Cayman’s property ownership regime for foreign buyers is an additional attraction: “Cayman is a very compelling place to purchase property; there are no restrictions on foreign ownership of property, no property taxes, no alien landholding licenses and we have access to a range of desirable properties, from turnkey beachfront condos on beautiful Seven Mile Beach to luxurious private homes and estates. In addition, people who invest a minimum USD $1.2 million in developed property can qualify for permanent residency in this British Overseas Territory. Since COVID-19, permanent residency status is becoming increasingly important to globally mobile individuals.”
“Our team at Provenance Properties can assist with everything you need to make a move to Cayman including relocation advice on topics such as healthcare, education, pets, fitness and more, proprietary market data and introductions to local service providers and professionals who can assist with your move.”
Finding commercial space in the Cayman Islands
For those looking for commercial space for a technology business or new venture in Cayman, Dart Real Estate’s commercial leasing team manages more than 800,000 square feet of Class-A and Class-B office, retail and commercial space in strategic locations across the Cayman Islands – including Dart’s flagship development of Camana Bay Dart Real Estate has also recently launched readyspaces at Regatta Office Park on Grand Cayman; flexible, turnkey office space that’s ready when you are and starting from US$1,500 per month. Dart’s newest project, 60 Nexus Way, is now pre-leasing at Camana Bay and will welcome new tenants in 2022.
Are you interested in the Cayman Islands, but not sure where to start? Contact Sue Nickason, VP of Real Estate Marketing and Sales for more information.
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