COCI ceases Business Inactivation Status with immediate effect

As part of the ongoing efforts to maintain accuracy of the trade registry and ensure compliance
among the business community, the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry (COCI) has
taken the decision, and adopted with immediate effect, the cessation of the status of

Businesses and foundations will no longer receive an inactive declaration notice
from COCI and existing inactive businesses and foundations will have until December 31st
2021 to re-activate or close their business and/or foundation.

In the past, the status of inactivation was implemented for the sole purpose of facilitating
businesses that wished to temporarily stop their operation and to justify not filing the monthly
Turn Over Tax (TOT) at the Tax Office.

While the inactivation status was initially meant to offer temporary alleviation to businesses, it
has proven to have several long term negative consequences for country Sint Maarten. The
most detrimental being the inaccurate representation of the current economic climate and
landscape. This is as a result of the large majority of inactive businesses choosing to remain
inactive indefinitely, instead of closing their business. In addition, the registry statistics of COCI
play an instrumental role in determining the level of tax compliance on Sint Maarten.

With the recent changes to Article 25, Book 2 of the Civil Code, a legal entity must be
accurately registered within the trade registry of COCI and is required to pay the annual
registration fee. Failure to do so, will result in the business being de-registered from the trade

In the event that a business chooses to temporarily halt its operations, but remain registered in
the trade registry, the business will be responsible to maintain updated registration and
payment at COCI and still file its monthly TOT at the Tax Office. On this premise, COCI is
willing to establish payment plans for businesses for a period not exceeding one year, for
annual registration fees.

In the event that a business chooses to close their business, they are required to de-register at
COCI. Subsequently, the business will need to provide the de-registration declaration at the
Tax Office in order to avoid tax assessments.