Setting up your business in Gibraltar

Here we will help you through the process of setting up a business in Gibraltar

Setting up a business in Gibraltar is a process that we have broken down for you into a few steps. Please scroll down the page for more details and get in touch if you need any assistance.

  1. BUSINESS STRUCTURES
  2. BUSINESS NAME
  3. BUSINESS LICENCE
  4. EMPLOYMENT SERVICE
  5. INCOME TAX
  6. SOCIAL INSURANCE

You can become a GFSB member before you are set up and we will help you through the different steps.

However, the Gibraltar Government has recently set up a unit to assist businesses to navigate this process. If you prefer to go through them here are their contact details:

Gibraltar Government Business One-Stop-Shop
Email: businessonestopshop@gibraltar.gov.gi
Tel: +350 200 59801

If you prefer you can download our Start Up guide in PDF format by clicking on the image below.

GFSB Setting up a business in Gibraltar guide cover

BUSINESS STRUCTURE

Sole traders

It is possible for an individual to trade in Gibraltar, using either their own name or a business name, by registering as a self-employed entity with the Income Tax Office and Employment Service (see section 4 below).
A sole trader is the most straightforward business structure and also the most economical. There are, however, significant disadvantages to operating in this way. Sole traders are taxed on an individual basis and pay income tax at personal tax rates. Furthermore, the liability of a sole trader is unlimited, which means that the individual would therefore be personally responsible for any loss their businesses may incur.

Partnerships

Two or more persons or entities may set up a business by way of an ordinary partnership. A partnership is created by the execution of a deed by all the partners concerned. The individual partners
of an ordinary partnership are jointly and severally liable for all the debts of the partnership without limitation of liability.

Companies

The use of a limited company is also popular because the legal personality of a limited company is separate from that of its members. A company may own assets, enter into contracts, borrow and lend money, as well as sue and be sued in its own name.

For more details please see our Start up guide here.

BUSINESS NAME

Any individual, partnership or company wishing to carry on business in Gibraltar must register a business name if they are trading with a name other than their own. Even when individuals are trading under their own name, the Registrar recommends that such a name is registered as a business name. A business name must be approved by the Registrar, and a fee of £20 is payable on application for registration.

The application must consist of the following documents:
• Proof of identity of Applicant (Certificate of Good Standing if a company);
• Proof of address of Applicant;
• Proof of right to use an address where business is stated to be located or trading from (e.g. utility bill, a lease or tenancy/ rental agreement); and
• Power of Attorney if the person presenting the application is not an officer of the company as stated in the Certificate of Good Standing.
As considered below, the Office of Fair Trading will not grant a Business Licence to any business that operates from residential Government premises, and the Registrar will similarly not register a Business Name where it states that it operates from such an address. Upon registration, the Registrar will issue a Certificate of Registration of a Business Name.

Companies House Gibraltar
Tel: +350 20078193
Email: mail@companieshouse.gi
Address: 1st Floor, The Arcade, 30-38 Main Street, P.O. Box 848, Gibraltar
Opening Hours: Filing Documents : 10am – 3pm
Office Hours : 8:30am – 4:30pm
Office Summer Hours : 8:30am – 4pm
(mid June Bank Holiday to 11th September)

BUSINESS LICENCE

Any person intending to apply for a business licence must first give notice to the public of their intention to make the relevant application. This gives the public an opportunity to object to the application being granted. Notices of an intention to make an application are made by publishing two completed copies of the following relevant forms:

Form 1a – Intention to apply for a new Business Licence

The first publication must be made in the Gibraltar Gazette. This publication is arranged directly through the OFT for a fee of £20. The cut-off time for publications in the weekly Gazettes published every Thursday is noon on the previous Friday.

The second publication must be made in any newspaper circulating in Gibraltar at the time. This is arranged by the applicant directly with the relevant newspaper. Please note that publishing these notices does not constitute an application. Please also note that the notice should include up to date contact details and a mandatory postal address from Gibraltar. Postal addresses from other jurisdictions are not accepted.

Applications

Seven days after the date of the latest notice of an intention to make an application has been published, the applicant may then submit a completed copy of one of the following application forms:

Form 2a – Application for a new Business Licence

Each application form must be accompanied by the relevant documentary evidence in support of the applications. A checklist of the relevant supporting information for each application is set out below:

Form 2a – New business licence application checklist

The above information has been taken from https://www.oft.gov.gi/index.php/business-licensing.

Office of Fair Trading (Business Licensing Authority)
Tel: +350 20071700
Web: https://www.oft.gov.gi/index.php/business-licensing
Email: oft@gibraltar.gov.gi
Business licensing: business.licensing@gibraltar.gov.gi
Address: Suite 975, Europort, Gibraltar, GX11 1AA
Opening Hours: 8:30am to 3pm

EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

Every organisation or person trading in Gibraltar has to register their own details with the Employment Service at the Ministry of Employment within three months of commencement. In order to register, an application for registration must be filled out and sent along with a fee. Registration is renewable annually on the anniversary of the first registration.

Persons wishing to register as self-employed, using their own name, must submit an Application for Registration of Business Trades and Profession Regulations 1991, together with:
• a personal details form;
• passport or ID card;
• information specifying a Gibraltar trading address (a recent proof of address); and
• a valid Business Licence if required.

In order to register an unincorporated business with the Employment Service, a Certificate of Registration of a Business Name must also be included in the application. A company submitting the Application for Registration of Business Trades and Profession Regulations 1991 must include the following documents:

• a Certificate of Incorporation,
• particulars of the company’s directors (a profile issued by Companies House is sufficient);
• a completed Notice of Terms of Engagement for ‘working’ directors; and
• a valid Business Licence if required.

Once the application is complete, the Employment Services will issue a Certificate of Registration, which must be displayed at the principal place of business or, in the case of a company, its registered office.

Department of Employment
Tel: +350 20011000
Email: employment.service@gibraltar.gov.gi
Web: https://www.gibraltar.gov.gi/department-employment
Address: 75-77 New Harbours, Rosia Road, Gibraltar
Office Hours: 8:30am – 3pm

Labour Inspectorate:
Tel: 20011038 Mobile: 58740000 & 57329000

Useful Employment links
Department of Employment Information Leaflet
Employment Information Booklet

INCOME TAX & SOCIAL INSURANCE (SI)

A business must also be registered with the Income Tax Office. It is however a requirement to first be registered with the Department of Employment (see section 4 above) before the Income Tax Office can finalise the registration of a business.

To register an unincorporated business, a complete self-employed registration form (known as an S1 form), or where applicable a form for each partner in the business, must be submitted to the Income Tax Office together with:

• a copy of the relevant person’s ID card or passport; and
• the Certificate of Registration of a Business Name (see section 2 above) Companies are also required to register with the Income Tax Office as soon as they commence trading in Gibraltar. A company registration form (known as a CT3 form) must be filed, and the following additional documentation must be enclosed:
• a copy of the company’s Certificate of Incorporation;
• a copy of the company’s Memorandum & Articles of Association;
• a company profile from Companies House; and
• a copy of the Certificate of Registration issued by the Employment Service.

The S1 form and the CT3 form also contain sections to be filled in in respect of PAYE registration (see section 6 below). There is no fee payable on submitting these forms to the Income Tax Office.

 

Please see our Start up guide for details on Employees, Filing & Premises.

INCOME TAX & SOCIAL INSURANCE (SI) Continued…

An employer must also account for each employee’s social insurance payments, as well as their own contributions. After a business or company has been registered with the Income Tax Department, the latter notifies the Department of Social Services that a business has been registered. The Employment Service will notify the Department of Social Services (by sending a copy of the approved Terms of Engagement form) of employees hired by a company or partnership so that the employees are registered for Social Insurance purposes.

Income Tax Office (PAYE & SI)
Tel: +350 20075260
Email: tax.accountsenquiries@gibraltar.gov.gi
Web: https://www.gibraltar.gov.gi/income-tax-office
Address: St Jago’s Stone Block 331 Main Street
Office Hours: 8:30am – 3pm

Accounts Section: 20074923
Corporate Section: 20074889
PAYE Section: 20074924
PAYE Individuals – Arrears: 20078435
Pension Section: 20051570
Self-Employed Section: 20074874
Social Insurance Contributions Section: 20052737