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Investing - Planning to buy a property then open a business

There are 101 things to consider before moving or investing anywhere!

There are 10 islands in Cape Verde. The islands of Sal, Boavista, Santiago and now Sao Vicente have international flights. Sal and Boavista are the main tourists islands, but there is less 'to do' on Boavista than on Sal.

Business Opportunities

Most tourists stay in the All inclusive hotels and some use the tours offered by the reps at the hotels. If most of the tourists are in All Inclusive hotels they may not want to spend any more money on items/services you are selling outside the hotel, that is one of the reasons for 'Welcome Meetings' the day after tourists arrive, so that the hotels and tour reps can sell tourists excursions before the tourists leave the hotels and go elsewhere. How would you target that market?

Having a business plan and not knowing the area, island, language, laws, institutions, regulations etc has and will make people wonder if they have or are making the right move or decision. Some people have invested a great deal of time, effort and money here, but have found that things didn't quite turn out as they'd hoped.

Sal and Boavista for example have been quieter in the summer than the winter as there are more Kitesurfers visiting the islands during the winter and Sal and Boavista are seen as winter sun destinations.

Fishing and other water sports are popular on the Sal and Boavista but you would need to check how they fair on a seasonal basis.

Setting up a business

Setting up a business from scratch may be more difficult than taking a business over, however, people that have also taken a business over have come un-stuck because they don't know all the laws, regulations etc as mentioned above. There may be licences required, the number of staff you employ may need a contract, some of them in some circumstances will need to be local people who may not have the experience or language skills you require them to have! INPS payments my need covering.

Recently some shop owners who hold a license have been informed that they and their staff who sell items to the public have to have the same medical health checks performed as those that are selling or handling food (Jan 2017). This could change and expand to other operators or service providers, or in the future be deemed un-necessary, who knows!

Your lawyer and accountant should be able to provide you with more up-to-date information on what you need to consider before you jump in blindly. There is some more information held within the Porton di nos Ilhas web link below.

Porton di nos Ilhas

Those that are classed as being 'self-employed' will be required to declare their income and use the online system which you can view here (Portuguese or English). However I haven't quite worked out how to use the system in the English version, it usually involves a trip to Finanza office in Santa Maria or in Espargos to ask for help to fill in tax information in Portuguese. Alternatively you can pay an accountant to do these entrees on your behalf. To use the system for recording income you first have to register. LINK: www.portondinosilhas.gov.cv   

Looking for employment?

Unless you can find employment with an established company that pays well, it may be difficult to find work. The minimum wage in Cape Verde is very low, some manual workers receive 200 euros a month!

If you have a skill, such as being a qualified electrician, or you are an engineer, it will be an advantage. There are plenty of local carpenters and painters. Being able to speak Portuguese, Spanish, French is obviously an advantage when working in a foreign country.

Buying or Selling property, land or commercial units.

People are always enquiring about a good Real Estate Agents / Management Agencies. You need to speak investors who have bought property or those that are selling, they may be able to tell you about some of the things they have discovered. Make various enquiries with Real Estate / Management and Rental Agencies.

Carry out as much research as possible, come visit the islands first, this will give you a better insight to life and any possible options you need to consider. Speak to expats and locals about the medical provision on the islands. As I said there are a 101 things to consider, but you won't think about all the questions you need to ask or even obtain answers to some of your questions quickly.

Speak to people and Management Agencies about condominium fees, the cost of water and electricity on the islands or comparisons between the condominium/management costs for a small block of apartments in the town, compared to an apartment in a Resort! Find out how much ANNUAL PROPERY TAX you will need to pay and other fees related to buying a property or running a business on the islands, or how to set up a business, licences you may need, insurance to be paid, tax you need to pay on earnings etc.

Seek advice from your own Embassy. British Nationals should look at the British Embassy Guidance notes. Always consider taking legal advice, so that you obtain accurate and up to date information as we do not provide this at Cape Verde Tips.


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