Locate Guernsey is an agency funded by the island’s government to promote Guernsey as a destination of choice for the relocation of individuals and businesses. The European spoke to the agency’s Director, Jo Stoddart about the island’s superb quality of life and how the flexible legislative infrastructure is tailor-made for business success.
Could you describe the role of Locate Guernsey and how it helps companies and individuals settle into the jurisdiction?
Jo Stoddart: Locate Guernsey provides a single point of contact within the island’s government for those considering relocating here. We facilitate access to key decision-makers within the States of Guernsey and provide free information and advice to assist with business and personal relocation enquiries, helping them connect with the right people to make informed decisions. We also provide opportunities for new arrivals to integrate into island life, build new networks, become involved in the community and make the most of all that Guernsey offers.
Why, in practical terms, is Guernsey such a popular choice for inward relocation?
JS: Guernsey combines a commercial hub that enables businesses to flourish with stunning beaches, panoramic cliff-top walks and vibrant culture. Relocating here is easy – there are no minimum income requirements, meaning holders of UK or EEA passports can simply buy or rent an Open Market Part A home and live and work in the island as such indefinitely. For holders of other passports, the island has special immigration routes for investors and entrepreneurs. Tax is straightforward; personal income tax is levied at the flat rate of 20% and there are caps on the amount of income tax payable by residents. New arrivals can benefit from a tax cap of £50,000 for their first four years living in Guernsey, subject to certain conditions. The island has no inheritance, estate or gifts taxes, no wealth tax, no taxes on capital gains and no VAT or sales taxes.
What will the UK’s departure from the EU mean for the island?
JS: Guernsey has never been part of the EU, so although we benefit from a special relationship through Protocol 3 of the Accession Treaty, this does not have any impact on services. Brexit will therefore have no direct impact on Guernsey’s financial services industries and a limited impact on trade in goods, which represents only a modest part of the island’s economy.
What long-term benefits will being in Guernsey confer on those inbound companies?
JS: Guernsey is a stable, low-tax jurisdiction offering quality professional services and a highly skilled workforce, underpinned by safety and a beautiful environment. With GDP per capita amongst the highest in the world, an independent government and mature legal system, Guernsey offers a dynamic business environment and an exceptional opportunity to achieve that elusive work-life balance. ν