1. How do we get approvals to do business in Fiji?
Complete an FIRC Application form and submit the completed form to tInvestment Fiji.
If approved, the applicant will be issued with a Foreign Investment Registration Certificate (FIRC). The investor must then begin the process of obtaining other required permits, licences and approvals. The number and type of approvals to be obtained depend on the nature of the investment.
A list of key follow-up approvals will be provided with the Foreign Investment Registration certificate. However, it is the responsibility of each investor to identify and comply with all requirements of obtaining the permits, licences and approvals required under Fiji law.
2. Where do we go to obtain approvals to set up a business in Fiji?
To set up a business in Fiji, foreign investors need to obtain a Foreign Investment Registration Certificate (FIRC) from Investment Fiji.
3. Are there any fees or charges?
Yes. The processing fee for an FIRC application is F$2,875.00(VIP).
4. How much should I invest to obtain an approval?
The investment level is dependent on the project. For example to open a real estate management business which is 100% foreign owned will require an investment of at least F$1m. (For more information, please refer to the current Foreign Investment Regulations)
5. How long does it take to evaluate and approve the proposal?
Under the amended FIA-2004, if all the information is provided it should take no longer than 5 working days.
6. How much should I invest to obtain an approval?
The investment level is dependent on the project. For example to open a real estate management business which is 100% foreign owned will require an investment of at least $1m. .
(For more information, please refer to the current Foreign Investment Regulations).
7. As an investor, am I entitled to any tax and duty incentives?
Depending on the type of business, the investors are entitled to tax and duty incentives, provided they meet the requirements under the respective incentive package (For most updated set of trade and investment incentives, please refer to the Fiji Revenue & Customs Authority)
8. Is the Tax Free Factory incentive still available?
A tax-free factory (TFF) is no longer available but tax free zone (TFZ) is only available to those who would like to set up a new Information Communication Technology (ICT) company.
However, companies with the existing TFZ approvals will continue until the expiry of the approvals. There are similar attractive incentives available to companies, which manufacture for export. They include the Duty Suspension Scheme (DSS) and tax deduction on export income.
9. Can I get government protection if I was to relocate my business to Fiji?
Government policy is one of deregulation and as such government promotes competition.
10. Can I set a Casino in Fiji?
The legislation in Fiji does not allow for casinos.
11. If the FIRC is not issued by the CEO of Investment Fiji, how can I get around the FIA to do the project?
There is an appeals procedure in place. The conditions in the FIA must be met, however if the investors are not happy with the decision, they are entitled to appeal to the Minister under section 15 of the FIA-2004.
12. Where do I go to obtain Work Permit(s) for my project?
The Department of Immigration is responsible for the issuance of work permits. The Department of Immigration's policy requires any investor seeking a key post work permit to invest at least $50,000 before they will be considered.
13. How much does it cost to get a work permit?
The Department of Immigration's fees for work permit are as follows:
a) Application fees- F$465.00
b) Upon approval issue fees- F$185 per person
c) There is no fixed Immigration bond which differs from country to country.
14. What form of business can I operate in Fiji? Investors can operate their business through the following vehicles:
a) Sole Trader
c) Limited Liability Company
d) Branch operation
15. When can I open a bank account in Fiji?
The investor can open his/her company's Fiji dollar bank account after obtaining Foreign Investment Registration Certificate from Investment Fiji, approval from the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) and incorporating the company with the Registrar of Companies. Individual investors can open their personal Fiji dollar bank accounts only after obtaining their work permit.
16. Do I need a local partner to operate any business in Fiji?
No, only those wishing to invest in the Fisheries sector require at least 30% of equity to be held by locals and the foreign investor must have at least $500,000 in owner’s contribution or paid-up capital. The foreign investor can operate any other business activities listed under Restricted Activities by meeting the minimum capital requirement.
However, activities under reserved activities are prescribed for Fiji Citizens only.
17. Where can I set up my business?
You can be setup in any town you prefer. However, there are two main shipping ports - in Suva and Lautoka which are also the two major cities in Fiji. The International airport is in Nadi. You must locate your business in the appropriate land classification to suite your business operation. The business license is issued from the town or city where your business is located after paying the appropriate fees.
18. Can I as investor invest in a personal property?
Yes, investors can purchase personal property. However, if the freehold property is larger than one acre than the approval of the Minister for Land must be sought first. You do not need to be a citizen of Fiji to purchase land in Fiji. For the first residential property purchase under one acre you do not need an investor permit but you would need residence and/or Work Permit on the property. You also need to register with Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FIRCA) for tax purposes.
19. Can I as an investor obtain loans from commercial banks in Fiji?
Yes, investors can apply for loans from commercial banks in Fiji. However, the Reserve Bank of Fiji will monitor commercial banks’ lending to different sectors. The approval of loan application depends on a case by case basis.
20. Do I have to bring into the country the specified level of investment money straight away?
If the paid up equity is below $2.5m, then it must be transferred to the company’s Fiji dollar bank account within one year from the time that Investment Fiji issues a Foreign Investment Registration Certificate (FIRC).
However, if the paid up equity is $2.5m or more, then it must be transferred within eighteen months to the company’s Fiji dollar account.