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Frequently Asked Questions

Doing Business in Dominica

If I am a beneficiary of fiscal incentives, what taxes are not waived?

  • Environmental Levy - 1-1.5%
  • Customs Service Levy - 4%
  • Excise Tax- 28% Port Charges

Do all businesses qualify for fiscal incentives from Government?

Businesses undertaking investment in Government's priority area may be considered for fiscal incentives, once all other requirements are met. The IDA will advise of the various requirements and the process to apply for fiscal incentives.

My lawyer is undertaking my process to establish a business. Should I still visit IDA?

It is recommended that before meeting with a lawyer that the IDA is contacted to guide you in the various process of doing business.

Is it Possible to to get financing from local banks as a non-national?

There are a number of banks which can provide financing for non-nationals. All requirements as indicated by the specific bank must be met.

Is there a rule as to the 10% national ownership to establish a business?

This rule does not exist. Additionally, there is no restriction on foreign business ownership in Dominica.

Where can I find a listing of doctors, lawyers, and other professionals?

The website of IDA provides a directory of many professionals. Additionally some information can be found on line through the local yellow pages.

When is it not necessary to have an alien landholding license?

An alien may hold less than one (1) acre of land for residential purposes or less than three (3) acres of land for commercial purposes without obtaining an alien landholding license. However, the alien landholding license fee of 10% of the value of the land is payable. 

Can I apply to get the fees waived?

Yes, fees may be waived for approved projects. The application for this process has to be filed to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

What is the procedure to sell land purchased under the alien land holding license?

Land purchased under the alien land holding license is subject to specific terms. With regard to selling or sub-dividing, permission, in writing must first be obtained from the Government. Aliens are asked to adhere closely to the terms and conditions as stipulated.

Are there any areas where I can or cannot purchase land?

Prior to purchasing any land, you should seek clarification from the Ministry of Lands as to the type of activity which is possible within the area. Purchase of land within the National Park is restricted.

Can I purchase land even if I do not live in Dominica?

Yes persons living outside of Dominica can purchase land on the island, subject to the Alien Landholding License.

What is an Alien Landholding License?

A corporate entity or individual who is not a citizen of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), or a None "Belonger" in the case of Montserrat, who is seeking to acquire land may require a license prior to the execution of the transaction depending on the amount of land to be purchased. An alien may not hold more than one (1) acre of land for residential purposes or three (3) acres of land for commercial purposes without first obtaining a license. View Act Here

What is the structure of Dominica’s legal system?

Based on British Common Law – ultimate right of appeal Caribbean Court of Justice.

Living in Dominica

I would like to live in Dominica Permanently. What is the Process?

Contact the Citizenship by Investment Unit and Labor Division for answers that are specific to your situation. 

My children will be with me in Dominica. Can they attend school?

Children travelling with persons to Dominica can attend school. Proof of status - work permit/resident/citizens must be submitted to the School.

To undertake renovations to my house. Do I need planning permission?

Planning permission is required to make major structural changes on buildings which are purchased. It is advisable to seek the Planning Division input on these matters.

Is there social security in Dominica?

social security buildingIn Dominica, the Social Security program is designed to partially replace or supplement income lost by Insured Persons during periods of sickness, maternity, employment injury, and old age. When an Insured Person dies, provision is also made to pay a pension to the eligible spouse and children. In the absence of an eligible spouse and children, surviving parents or grandparents over the age of 60 stand to qualify for such benefit. www.dss.dm

The Social Security Act provides that every employee between the ages of 16 and 65 who commences employment in Dominica, must be registered with the Dominica Social Security within 4 days of the commencement of employment.

All employers are required to register with the Dominica Social Security within seven days of hiring an employee.

Employee’s contribution to social security as of 2021 moved to 6.25% and employers are required to contribute 7.25%. Contributions will increase annually by 0.25% alternating between employee and employer until 2031, to arrive at a final contribution of 7.5% by employee and 8.5% by employer.

What are the public holidays in Dominica?

See below for a list of public holidays. 

*For other related National holidays and festival dates – Please visit www.discoverdominica.com.

Holiday Date Weekday Note
New Year’s Day Jan 01, 2022 Friday Public Holiday
Carnival Monday Feb 15, 2022 Monday Public Holiday (While the holiday remains, all other activities and street jump up have been cancelled)
Carnival Tuesday Feb 16, 2022 Tuesday Public Holiday (While the holiday remains, all other activities and street jump up have been cancelled)
Good Friday Apr 02, 2022 Friday Public Holiday
Easter Monday Apr 05, 2022 Monday Public Holiday
Labour Day May 03, 2022 Monday Public Holiday
Whit Monday May 24, 2022 Monday Public Holiday
Emancipation Day Aug 02, 2022 Monday Public Holiday
Independence Day Nov 03, 2022 Wednesday Public Holiday
Community Service Day Nov 04, 2022 Thursday Public Holiday
Christmas Day Dec 25, 2022 Saturday Public Holiday
Boxing Day Dec 26, 2022 Sunday Public Holiday

Is there public transportation in Dominica?

Mini-buses (look for the number plate that starts with an ‘H’) serve routes from Roseau, Marigot / Douglas Charles Airport, Ross University and other prominent island locations… and to all villages they are a cheap (often exciting) way to get around the island. Prices are fixed by the government.

Visiting Dominica

I have overstayed in Dominica. What is the process to extend my stay?

Contact the Immigration Division for information and instructions. 

Immigration Division
Bath Road
Roseau
Dominica
Tel: (767) 266 5139
E-mail: immigration@dominica.gov.dm

I have lost my travel documents. What do I do?

When travel documents are lost, this should be reported immediately to the nearest Police Station. If the documents are not found, contact must be made with the Immigration Department where a temporary document can be issued for return travel. Visitors should also make the necessary arrangements with their nearest consulate office for further advise.

What is the dress attire accepted in Dominica?

The dress code in Dominica is very casual as the tropical climate is available throughout the year. Wearing of swimsuit on the streets is prohibited. Persons are required to dress professionally for business.

I need to travel to Dominica with my pet. What is the process?

In order to travel with pets a visitor must apply to the Livestock Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry for an Import Permit for Dogs and Cats. Pets travelling from the United States will be required to have Rabies test done before commencement of travel.

Are there any poisonous animals on island?

The island of Dominica has a variety of wild life but none poisonous.

What documents are required to visit Dominica?

All passengers arriving in Dominica require a valid passport and a return ticket. However, proof of citizenships bearing a photograph is acceptable from Canadian and US citizens. French Nationals may visit for up to two weeks with a Carte D’identite.

How do you get to Dominica?

Reach Dominica by Air

Douglas Charles Airport is located in the north east of the island. Canefield Airport is located on the west coast of the island.

Reach Dominica by Sea

There are two cruise ship terminals - one at Roseau and one at Cabrits. There is also the Roseau Ferry Terminal and the Woodbridge Bay Port.

How can I get around Dominica?

Public transport and private taxis are available throughout the island. Taxis are readily available for reasonable prices and can either be arranged from your location of stay or from the street. Inquire about destination prices with someone before hailing a cab. Drivers most generally will take both US and EC dollars. If possible pay with EC. Riders will find most drivers very friendly.

Car rental companies can provide transportation during your stay as well.  Remember to drive on the left side of the road while in Dominica.

Mini-buses (look for the number plate that starts with an ‘H’) serve routes from Roseau, Marigot / Douglas Charles Airport and other prominent island locations… and to all villages they are a cheap (often exciting) way to get around the island. Prices are fixed by the government.

Do you drive on the left or right side of the road in Dominica?

You drive on the left side of the road when driving in Dominica.

What is the weather like in Dominica?

The average high temperature is 85°F in January / 90°F in July; average low temperature is 68°F in January / 72°F in July. Dry season generally occurs January – May, rainy season from June – October. The south and the west coasts receive about 85 inches of rain annually, while the mountainous interior rain forest gets more than 340 inches per year. Light to moderate showers occur everywhere year round. Hurricane season is predominantly between August and mid-October.

How do I get a visa to visit Dominica?

Visitors visas can be obtained from the Ministry of National Security, Immigration and Labour.

What should I wear when visiting Dominica?

Lightweight shorts and casual shirts. Jeans or slacks are frequently worn for all occasions. Light sweater or long sleeved shirts for cool nights in the mountains could be preferred by some. Pocket or tote sized umbrellas are always a welcome accessory for both sun and rain. Don’t swim or sunbathe topless on Dominica. It’s not considered good taste, nor should you wear swimsuits on the street or in public areas off the beach. When hiking, walking shoes and raincoats or anoraks are recommended, though tennis shoes and sandals can suffice for most occasions.

Do I need a license to drive in Dominica?

Yes. Automobiles can be obtained from a few locations so please inquire before you come. If driving, a temporary license will be needed at a cost of US$12 and can be obtained from the car rental company.

Don’t forget - Dominicans drive on the left!

What language is spoken in Dominica?

English, French patois and English are spoken in Dominica. English is the official language of Dominica, however, many locals communicate in a hybrid language known as Creole French.

What are the primary religions in Dominica?

Roman Catholic, Protestant

What are the main cities/towns in Dominica?

Roseau is the capital of Dominica. Other principal urban centers are Portsmouth, Grand Bay, and Marigot.

What currency is used in Dominica?

East Caribbean dollar the local currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$). The rate is set at EC$2.68 to US$1.00. Many businesses accept US Dollars, but you will get the most favorable exchange rate at the banks. Major Credit Cards are accepted in most places.

What is the time zone in Dominica?

Dominica is one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time on Atlantic Standard Time. However, Dominica does NOT observe Daylight Savings.

Is there a Departure Tax in Dominica?

Yes, the Departure Tax in Dominica is:

  • Non-Nationals: EC$59.00/US$22.00
  • Non CARICOM Nationals: EC$59.00/US$22.00
  • CARICOM Nationals: EC$45.00/US$18.00
  • Nationals EC$:45.00/US$18.00
  • Children 12 years and under – Exempted
  • Note: Only cash is accepted for payment of departure tax

What are the visa requirements when visiting Dominica?

Dominica maintains a fairly open visa regime for visits to the country lasting less than 21 days. However, nationals of most non Western countries require a Dominican consular visa stamped in a passport.

For further details click here.

Typically, the following do not need a visa to enter into the Commonwealth of Dominica:

Persons wishing to enter into the Commonwealth of Dominica for a period not exceeding six months, from the following countries:

  • Countries in the Commonwealth of Nations (Member States of the Commonwealth)
  • Czech Republic
  • Lithuania
  • Estonia
  • Poland
  • Austria
  • Finland
  • Romania
  • Bulgaria
  • Hungary
  • Slovakia
  • Cyprus
  • Latvia
  • Slovenia
  • CARICOM member states
  • Persons from European Union Countries 
  • Persons with either a Schengen, American, British or Canadian visa

Persons wishing to enter into the Commonwealth of Dominica for a period not exceeding three months, from the following countries:

  • Argentina
  • Belgium
  • Costa Rica
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Suriname
  • Sweden 
  • United Kingdom
  • Venezuela
  • Netherlands (including Netherland Antilles)
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