CFI - invest in Haiti
Haiti is open for Business
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Incentives and eligible sectors
a. Which sectors are eligible?

Eligible sectors and types of activities are:

  • Agriculture
  • Handicrafts
  • Tourism and related services
  • Export and re-export oriented investments
  • Investments made ??in national production involving 35% of value added on the final product
  • Investments in free zones
  • Investments in other sectors or special regimes
b. What are the privileges granted by the Investment Code?

There are general privileges such as:

  • Total exemption from income taxes for a period which should not exceed fifteen (15) years
  • Accelerated depreciation of properties, equipment, hardware, software, and some expenses
  • Exemption from local taxes, except for the fixed professional tax, for a period which should not exceed fifteen (15) years
c. Given the particularities of each sector, are there specific incentives for each sector?

Specific privileges are determined according to the sectors and eligible types of activities.
Please see the appropriate chapter in the Investment Code.

d. How can I receive the incentives outlined in the Investment Code?

To obtain these icentivess, the following conditions must be met:
Have a company registered in Haiti or in training. Issue a request to CFI's General Director, along with the following documents:

  • Feasibility study and business plan for the project
  • Form outlining the incentives applicable to the related sector
  • Detailed list of equipment, material, and commodities to be imported
  • Ministry of Commerce and Industry's authorization, and copy of the official newspaper "Le Moniteur", with the publication of the company's by-laws
  • Copy of newspaper publication of the legal notices of registration for partnerships and limited partnerships.
  • Business name certificate issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for sole proprietorships.
  • Tax Identification card
  • License
  • Fiscal clearance (Quitus fiscal)
  • Opening accounting statement at the local tax administration (Direction Générale des Impôts - DGI)
  • Income tax statement of the company's board members or partners
    Note: the process is more flexible for company's working in the assembly sector, in which case we only require a summary of the project and not the complete feasibility study.
e. What are the requirements for company applying for incentives?

The types of businesses targeted by the Investment Code are:

  • Those that are registered in Haiti
  • Those that are starting operation
  • Those that were already in operation but are making a new investment, launching a new activity.
  • Those that were already taking advantage of the privileges offered in the Code, and that are expanding, acquiring new equipment and modernizing.
f. Are the incentives exclusively reserved for Haitian investors?

Haitian and foreign investors enjoy the same rights and privileges. The Investment Code does not differentiate between Haitians and foreigners.

g. Where can get the application form for incentives?
Applications are available at the Centre de Facilitation des Investissements (CFI) located at:

27 rue Armand Holly, Debussy. They are also available online in the "taxes and incentives" section.

h. Where should I submit complete file to request incentives?

Dossiers should be submitted to the Center for Facilitation of Investments (CFI), which is the Technical Secretariat of the Inter-ministerial Commission for Investments.

i. What are the institutions involved in approving requests for incentives?

The institutions involved are:
The CFI: Technical Secretariat of the Inter-Ministerial Commission on Investments - Interface between the investors and public institutions
The Ministries involved, by sector and related fields of activity:

  • The Ministry of Agriculture: projects related to agriculture, silviculture, aviculture, aquaculture, fishing, industrial stockbreeding,
  • The Ministry of Tourism: hotel construction projects, leisure, catering, transport and excursion services, development of seaside resorts, etc ...
  • The Ministry of Public Works: construction projects for bridges, roads, buildings, energy and mining
  • The Ministry of Finance: projects related to ports
  • The Ministry of Commerce and Industry: projects involving exports and re-exports (textile), local industry
  • Other Ministries
  • The Inter-ministerial Commission for Investments, which makes the final decision on whether or not to grant incentives and privileges
j. What is the timeframe for granting these incentives?

Based on the current procedures, the average time is twenty (20) working days.

2. Request land concession
a. Is it possible to have a concession of land in Haiti?

Yes, it is possible for a company, based on its needs, to receive a land concession, especially in the tourism sector.

b. What are the requirements in order to be eligible?

In order to get a land concession, you must first:

  • Check with the municipality where the project will be located to ensure that the land belongs to the State
  • Obtain the municipality's approval
  • Submit a request to the Ministry of Economy and Finance to present the project, including the location, the promoters and the space necessary; you must also include the municipality's approval, a project summary, and pictures of the unit.
c. How long can a concession last?

A concession for land belonging to the State may last for a maximum period of 50 years.

3. Availability of industrial spaces
a. Are there industrial parks and where are they located?

It is necessary to differentiate between industrial parks belonging to the
governemnt and the private Parks

Public parks:

  • PIM-SONAPI, Rte de l'Aéroport (Airport Road)
  • oNorthern Industrial Park (under construction), in the Northeast, in Caracol

Private Parks:

  • SHODECOSA, Rte Nationale # 1 Varreux
  • Hispaniola Investment S.A., Cité Soleil
b How much does a square foot (square meter) cost?
The price per square foot in public or private parks:
  • For industrial buildings, the price per square foot varies between USD 2.25 and 2.50 in the public parks, and is higher than USD 5.00 in the private parks.
  • For land, the price per square foot may be approximately USD 0.50.
4. Are there any free zones in Haiti?

Yes there are free zones in Haiti

a. How many free zones are there functioning in Haiti?

There are 3 free zones already functioning:

  • The Compagnie de Développement Industrielle, S.A. (CODEVI) - 46 ha. 44, 7,000 jobs and projection of 3,000 additional jobs for 2012 (Ouanaminte, Northeast Department)
  • Astro Carton d' Haiti S.A. - 15 ha., 74 jobs and a projection of 1,500 additional jobs created in two years
  • Hispagnola Investment (which houses E-Power) - 20 ha., 60 jobs (Cité Soleil)

There are projects already authorized by the National Council of Free Zones for 3 additional free zones:

  • RHÉA Free Zone, S.A. (Croix-des-Bouquets)
  • Quisqueya Free Zone, S.A.
  • West Indies Industrial Mills, with a projection to create 20,000 direct jobs (Varreux)
b. What are the incentives granted for investments made in the free zones?
  • Promoters or free zones operators benefit from the following privileges:

  1. Total income tax exemption for individuals and legal entities for a period not exceeding fifteen (15) consecutive years. After the period of total exemption, partial taxation will be applied;
  2. Customs and fiscal exemption, including registration taxes for goods, equipment or material necessary for space management, with the exception of vehicles for tourism;
  3. Exemption from local taxes, except for the fixed professional tax, for a period which should not exceed fifteen (15) years.
  4. Registration and transcription in the balance of all acts including acquisition, mortgage, pledge.
  • Investors or companies in the free zones benefit from the following privileges:
  1. Deduction of the amount invested in the free zone, but they are prohibited from selling the title for five (5) years as of the date of the investment.
  2. Total tax exemption on revenue generated by the investment in the industrial free zones for a period of ten (10) years.
c. What is the difference between a �free zone' and a company �operating under the free zone legislation'?

Companies operating under the free zone legislation benefit from the regime and privileges set by the law on free zones.

The free zone is a portion of land clearly bounded and completely enclosed, making it an enclave where a special customs and fiscal system is applied, under observation by the Customs Administration (Administration Générale des Douanes � AGD).

d. What types of activities can be implemented in the free zones?
  • Industrial activity: production of industrial goods, assembly of diverse articles, including agriculture transformation, electric power production, etc...;
  • Commercial activity: purchases, sales, storage, fairs and exhibitions, diverse uses of goods without modification of tariff headings;
  • General services: All activities related to international trade, including logistics and packaging, maritime and air transport, insurance companies, legal consultation firms, customs services, training centers, etc...
  • Special Services:
    • Financial services: banking, foreign exchange services and other services;
    • Tourism Services: hotel and related services that meet the standards and requirements for �tourist-free zones';
    • Clinics or specialized hospitals: retirement homes for the elderly, rehabilitation centers, residences for thermal wax healthcare (therapeutic baths);
    • Scientific Services;
    • Electronic Services.
5. Financing availability
a. What are the financial institutions?

In Haiti, commercial banks remain the main financial Institutions

  • Two (2) State Commercial Banks: Banque Nationale de Crédit (BNC), Banque Populaire Haïtienne
  • (BPH)
  • Four ( 4) Private Commercial Banks: UNIBANK, SOGEBANK, Capital Bank, Banque de l'Union
  • Haïtienne (BUH)
  • Two (2) subsidiaries of foreign banks: Citibank, Scotiabank
  • A mortgage bank: Sogebel

There are 2 additional institutions specializing in credit:

  • Fonds de Développement Industriel (FDI)
  • Société Financière de Développement Economique et Social (SOFIDES)

Some international institutions also provide financing to projects:

  • Clinton Foundation
  • International Finance Corporation of the World Bank
  • IADB
b. How do interest rates vary on the credit market?

Because of the partial dollarization in the Haitian economy, companies can borrow in Gourdes or in U.S. Dollars. Loans are made for consumption and investment purposes. The rates vary between 9 and 11% per annum.

c. What are the loan terms?

Loan terms vary depending on the types of investments, and may go up to 30 years.

6. Types of companies and the registration process?
a. What are the various types of companies?

In Haiti, there are associations of people and associations of capitals.

Among the associations of people there are sole proprietorships, general partnerships, and limited partnerships.
Among the associations of capitals there are corporations, publicly traded partnerships, subsidiaries of foreign companies.

b. What are the required steps to register a company or business?

The registration process varies depending on the type of company:

Please click on the appropriate link

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • General Partnership
  • Limited partnership
  • Corporation
  • Publicly traded partnership
  • Subsidiary of foreign company
c. What type of company limits the investor's liability to his investment in the company?

Only corporations, limited partnerships and publicly traded partnerships limit the investor's responsibility relative to his personal assets. Personal property is not affected in case of bankruptcy or corporate debts, except in case of serious mismanagement.

d. What are the different taxes and rights regarding businesses?

The tax code provides for the imposition of a corporate tax. This tax is directly imposed on real earnings or net revenues realized during a fiscal year. The corporate tax will be calculated on net income earned by businesses and other entities at a rate of 30%.

The law also provides for the payment of an indirect tax; it is the tax on revenues calculated at a 10% rate on consumer transactions or on the use of goods and services in Haiti, and on self-supply of goods or services.

Besides these two main taxes, the investor must pay various other taxes:

  • Payment of fees for obtaining a tax identification number (Matricule Fiscale). This fee is only 50 Gourdes.
  • Payment of fees for obtaining the professional identification card. This fee is 6 Gourdes.
  • Fee for the issuance of a license to function. Payment of 100 Gourdes for the stamp required on the declaration. (Annual fee)
  • Stamp duty on shares representing 2% of the nominal capital of each action.
  • Transmission right and tax on shares in case of cessation of shares and conversion of securities.
  • Payroll tax representing 2% of paid wages and all other salaries and compensations. (Monthly fee)
  • Foreigner license on payment of 10 Gourdes to the DGI. This fee represents 50% of the quintupled amount of the license, and it is based on the current municipal rate. Foreigners with multiple business establishments or with different lucrative activities are subject to multiple licenses. (Annual fee, however it is dividable)
  • Fee to obtain the tax clearance (Quitus Fiscal)of 250 Gourdes. (Annual fee)
e. Is there any agreement to avoid double taxation?

No, there is no agreement to avoid double taxation in Haiti and the country of origin.

f. What are the costs to obtain work permit for foreigne worker?

The work permit is issued or renewed on payment of 1,000 Gourdes, or about USD 25 per fiscal year.

7. The growth sectors
a. What are the growth sectors of the Haitian economy?

The main growth sectors are:

  • Agriculture and /or organic farming
  • Tourism
  • Textile
  • Construction

Other sectors are also considered to have a lot of opportunities:

  • Services: outsourcing, offshore, new banking products
  • Energy (conventional and renewable)
  • New Technologies of Information and Communication (NTIC).
  • Mines
b. What are the growth regions?

According to the zoning plan being elaborated, three growth regions were identified:

  • The North for tourism activities (historic monuments) and textiles

  • The South mainly for agricultural development and tourism (beaches)

The West which already has a strong economic activity in various sectors

In addition,

  • The Centre and Artibonite are popular for farming and agriculture
  • The Southeast is suitable for tourism and cultural development
  • The Grand-Anse is ideal for fishing and ecotourism
c. Where are economic activities and economic potentials mainly concentrated?

In the metropolitan area of ??Port-au-Prince, this includes Petion-Ville, a former residential area which is progressively becoming an economic powerhouse, Delmas, Carrefour and Croix des Bouquets.

More than one third of Haiti's population lives in the metropolitan area, 95% of the government revenue comes from it.

8. Cost of services
a. What is the cost of electricity?

In Haiti, the cost of electricity is around USD 0.33 per KWh, this cost increases according to consumption.

b. What is the cost of water?

On average the cost of water is USD 0.96/ m3.

c. What are the costs of telephone services?

Three companies offer cordless telephone services. The costs for fixed telephones vary between USD 12.5 and USD 40 per month for contracts. Pre-paid services may vary between USD 0.025 and 0.175 per minute, depending on the company and the usage.

d. What are the costs of internet services?

Currently, 4G service is available on the market and its cost varies between USD 30 and 500 per month depending on the usage and the speed. Companies can supply up to 1G/s.

e. How much does it cost to rent industrial buildings?

The square foot varies between USD 2.25 and 2.50 for the public industrial parks, and may be higher than USD 5.00 in the private parks

f. What are the average fees for attorneys?

Attorney fees are difficult to establish, however, based on the results of an informal investigation, on average they charge USD 3,000 for legal services related to starting a corporation.

g. What are the average fees for notaries?

On average, notaries charge USD 1,000 for the legal registration of a company.

h. What is the minimum wage?

The minimum wage is USD 5 per day for unskilled workers.

i. What is the average salary for mid-level staffs?

Mid-level staffs include accountants, executive secretaries, team leaders, and other university graduates. Their salaries vary between USD 500 and USD 1,200, depending on their work experience.

j. What is the average salary for senior executives?

Salaries for senior executives, more specifically managers, engineers, experts and others, vary between USD 1,500 and 3,000 US.

k. What are the rates for hotel rooms?

The nightly rates for hotel rooms vary depending on the location and the level of comfort desired. The prices range between USD 60 and 250. In general, the rates includes breakfast, air conditioning, hot water and internet.

9. The main institutions
a. What are the Haitian institutions that deal with investments?
  • The Center for Facilitation of Investments (CFI), which informs and assists investors throughout the implementation of their projects and their establishment in Haiti.
  • The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI) for the registration of companies, trademarks, patents, export licenses and professional ID cards (CIP).
  • The National Press for the publication of the corporation's by-laws.
  • The Tax Office (DGI) for the payment of duties and taxes.
  • The Customs Administration (AGD) for cargo clearance, to recuperate imported equipment and raw materials and to pay customs duties.
  • The Inter-ministerial Committee for Investments for the granting of the incentives outlined in the Investment Code.
  • The Direction of Free Zones for the creation of free zones, or companies operating under the free zone legislation.
  • The National Council of the Free Zones for the statutory incentives for free zones.
  • The National Association of Industrial Parks (SONAPI) for the allocation of industrial spaces in the public industrial parks.
10. Procedures for entry and residence
a. Do foreigners need a visa? A resident permit?

The procedures for entry in Haiti are simple. Only citizens of the Dominican Republic, China, Colombia and Panama (who are not holders of an American, Canadian, European Visa, or of a residence card) require an entrance visa. A tourist cannot stay in Haiti for more than ninety (90) days. After the 90-day timeframe he/she will have to go to the Immigration and Emigration Service to obtain a residence permit.

Anyone with a foreign nationality has to have a residence permit in order to stay in Haiti for more than three (3) months. However this rule does not apply to people of Haitian origin.

Investors who want to stay in Haiti longer will have to obtain a residence permit. The following steps and documents are required to obtain the permit:

  • Write a letter to the Direction of Immigration and Emigration
  • Copies of the three (3) first passport pages
  • Police record from the country of origin, or the last country where he/she resided for more than two (2) years.
  • Medical certificate
  • Bank Statement
  • Copy of disembarkation card
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Two (2) recent colored passport photos
  • The sum of five thousand (5,000) Gourdes (USD 125) paid by check to the order of the TRESOR PUBLIC (PUBLIC TREASURY). In case of renewal the sum would be two thousand five hundred (2,500) Gourdes (62.5 UD)
  • Residence permit form to be filled out right away
b. Does a foreigner need a work permit or an employment license?

A foreigner cannot have a lucrative job or profession, as a self-employed or paid employee, without a work permit from the Workforce Direction of the Ministry of Social Affairs (MAS).

There is a difference between a work permit and an employment license:

  • The employment license is for the salaried employees of a company
  • The work permit is for those who have a job in an independent way or as employees.
c. How can a foreigner obtain a work permit:
  • To obtain the work permit or the employment license, a foreigner must provide the following documents:
  • Passport, residence permit and three passport photos;
  • Certificate of good conduct from the country of origin, or from any place where he/she lived during the past five years;
  • Certificate from the Service of the General Inspection of Labor stating that he/she does not have a job or a profession that will compete with local workers who have the same profession or job with equal skill, or an employment contract under the Department of Labor;
  • Academic qualifications, college degrees, or certificate of technical competence.