New Guy here! Hello...
 
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New Guy here! Hello. Business move to islands

 
bluehairdave
(@bluehairdave)
Active Member

Hello everyone! Ive been lurking and learning for a while now and thought id say, 'Hello!".
My company is looking to move to the USVI to take advantage of the EDC tax program to entice businesses like ours to relocate.
We are in the process of seeing if we have a really good chance of qualifying. My business partner is moving to STT from Costa Rica (hes a US Citizen) to get things started. We could be moved as soon as this Winter...

Ive read just about everything I can on here and ordered the book about relocating. Ive only spent vacation time there recently and about 2 weeks there 19 years ago.. 🙂 My biz partner has already been living a secluded 'island' type lifestyle in Costa Rica. As i mentioned he is doing his extended visit/stay by this winter and I will as well.

My first questions would be these...

- 1.Has anyone moved their company to the USVI to take advantage of the Economic Development Commissions tax incentives or used the RTPARK program? http://www.uvirtpark.com/apply#faq-eligibility

our company is an Internet based knowledge business so I think we qualify for either program.

- 2. How do Virgin Islanders view companies or people that move there to take advantage of the programs? I'm thinking it could be a dual edged sword since the tax breaks are pretty incredible but we would be supplying jobs, income etc to some USVI native residents and adding to the tax base. I just dont want to ruffle any feathers and wanted to get an idea on the business climate.

Our thoughts are" Hey! why not save on taxes and live in a beautiful location?
As far as costs I currently live in San Diego and housing actually costs more here as far as I can tell so far from looking at the realty sites Also, I have a wife and a newborn... so any input on something like that would be great. Or ill save that for a later post! lolol.

thanks for listening and I would love to hear anything and everything from everyone!

Thank you!

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Topic starter Posted : September 18, 2010 8:12 pm
stxer
(@stxer)
Advanced Member

I can't help you with the legal stuff. I have heard that EDC companies are under greater scrutiny because some in the past, have not been totally above board. I sense that the requirements for local employment are being enforced better. Most locals like the jobs, but think that the EDC companies are here just to get a deal (which is probably true).

You are correct when you note that the cost of living here is no more ( and might be less) than living in San Diego county. However middle income homes in San Diego are much nicer than here. That is... a $350,000 home in the San Diego suburbs is head and shoulders better than a $350,000 home in the Virgin Islands.

Good Luck with your 'adventure".

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Posted : September 19, 2010 2:42 am
bluehairdave
(@bluehairdave)
Active Member

thanks for the info! I really do appreciate it. Oh how I wish i could find a $350k house in San Diego proper. A 1500 Sq townhouse in a good neighborhood runs about a half million here. Seems to be what im looking at for something similar there but maybe with a view? thoughts? Or am I looking at a shabby 1500sq foot townhome in STT for 500k?

Ill probably rent for a long while until i figure out exactly where we want to live. If anyone knows of a rental agency please feel free to send them my way.

I suppose you are correct that EDC companies are there just for the deal as that is its purpose and I could certainly understand some resentment. If they had something like that here in San Diego and I had to pay full pop of 35% + 9%= 44% total in taxation of income (yea thats what it is for fed and state combined) and someone else only had to pay 4% id be pretty bummed.

also you are correct in that they have requirements to hire 80% 'residents' (as described in the program outline) and a minimum of 10 with insurance, training and retirement. Even though our operation is only 3 of us right now I would actually create paying benefit jobs just because of the program as the tax benefits are indeed that great. Whoever we hire might have the coolest jobs on the island. lol

We are also required to donate to local educational charities and buy locally first. I think all of these requirements make sense and its a good trade off. I wonder why more companies dont take advantage of it....

unlike some other companies we arent a big company. Just 2 guys really. And were not a 'subsidiary' sending down some guys from the Hamptons' to live in STT for a few months a year to get the tax break. ( i think that is what happened when they first made the law).

Thanks again for the insight! Looking to hear more. Especially on what the best way to get the best internet for our offices. We would have to rely on it for communications.

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Topic starter Posted : September 19, 2010 5:34 am
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

Have you thought about looking at STX as well? If you have a family I would definitely take a look at stx for that more relaxed laid back lifestyle. You can also get more house for your money here as well.

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Posted : September 19, 2010 1:14 pm
stxer
(@stxer)
Advanced Member

When I referred to the San Diego suburbs, I probably was thinking Escondido and beyond. There are several condos in the Virgin Islands in the $500.000 range that are quite nice. The HOA costs are usually on the high side here, more like LaQuinta or Palm Desert.
Higher end condos on St Croix have $15,000 to $20,000 a year in HOA costs, much of it to pay for insurance.

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Posted : September 19, 2010 4:05 pm
CAtoSTX
(@CAtoSTX)
Trusted Member

Blue - I moved from SD to STX last year and it CAN be less expensive to live here in the VI.
We were in a 2bd. apartment in Pt Loma and moved to a 1 bed - we brought less, and we use less, we go out less, we drive less...
We are moving into a 2bd. - we are now staying longer than the original 1yr. plan. and the 2bd we are moving into is MUCH larger than out place was in Pt Loma, and it's fully furnished - so again... need less, use less...

As for moving the company here for EDC - I know of a few people who have happily done that. They are very particular about following all the steps to get it done correctly, but in the end - it's apparently really worth it.

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Posted : September 20, 2010 1:40 am
bluehairdave
(@bluehairdave)
Active Member

Thank you for the insight. That is exactly the kind of info I need to learn. $1000k a month Plus HOA is definetly something to consider. I knew hurricane/home insurance would be expensive, but not that expensive. Thank you!.

@CAtoSTX- Thanks for the info... I have had a few people ask me why I am not moving to STX.... Truth be told I thought it would be too boring for a couple in their 30's with a young child. Can you elaborate on how living is on the that island? Thanks!

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Topic starter Posted : September 20, 2010 1:47 am
CAtoSTX
(@CAtoSTX)
Trusted Member

Blue - I'm in my 30's but no kids - I don't think it's boring at all. But instead of going to Events, concerts, theatre, etc as we did (and spent a lot of money on in SD)- a lot of the things to do here are just getting together with friends - going to the beach, pot-luck dinners, pool parties..

We know lots of 30 somethings with kids and a few on this board can probably address that more.
You can check out my blog too: http://sheras.wordpress.com/
Take a peek at the Stx Lime: http://www.stcroixlime.com/ - They keep a calendar of live music and other happenings.

Best!

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Posted : September 20, 2010 2:44 am
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

You do realize that the RT Park is on St Croix -- ?? - not on STT -- if that is part of your plan

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Posted : September 20, 2010 4:49 am
Beeski
(@beeski)
Trusted Member

You do realize that the RT Park is on St Croix -- ?? - not on STT -- if that is part of your plan

RTPark companies can be located on any USVI island....there is at least one on STT.

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Posted : September 20, 2010 11:02 am
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

There is an attorney on St Thomas, Marjorie Roberts, who specializes in EDC info. I think they have actually changed their name to EDA, but old habits die hard: http://www.usvieda.org/

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Posted : September 20, 2010 12:36 pm
roadrunner
(@roadrunner)
Trusted Member

Blue - I'm in my 30's but no kids - I don't think it's boring at all. But instead of going to Events, concerts, theatre, etc as we did (and spent a lot of money on in SD)- a lot of the things to do here are just getting together with friends - going to the beach, pot-luck dinners, pool parties..

We know lots of 30 somethings with kids and a few on this board can probably address that more.
You can check out my blog too: http://sheras.wordpress.com/
Take a peek at the Stx Lime: http://www.stcroixlime.com/ - They keep a calendar of live music and other happenings.

Best!

Have to second this advice. We're in our 30s, and we're never bored. If you want to sit around and be entertained (and pay a lot for it), you might be bored, but if you're the type who likes to go out and find your own entertainment, you'll be fine.

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Posted : September 20, 2010 2:19 pm
diana robinson
(@diana_robinson)
Active Member

There is great opportunity for business people in the U.S.V.I. I am an eligable EDC provider as well as a licensed real esate broker on all three islands. I would be happy to email you the EDC info or give you contact information for you to speak directly with them. I hope you do decide to move your business to the U.S.V.I. particularly St. Croix which is more open to new business and needs more business investors as compared to St. Thomas.
Best of luck!

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Posted : September 20, 2010 3:53 pm
bluehairdave
(@bluehairdave)
Active Member

Awesome advice! What part of the Island has the best weather? Maybe not as hot? I hear that the North side of STT gets more breeze etc.. Is there any part of STX like this? I dont want to be smack in town but not out in the boonies either. I am to understand that STX is much larger and has two main towns. Thoughts?

Thanks! this is very helpful.

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Topic starter Posted : September 20, 2010 3:53 pm
Beeski
(@beeski)
Trusted Member

Awesome advice! What part of the Island has the best weather? Maybe not as hot? I hear that the North side of STT gets more breeze etc.. Is there any part of STX like this? I dont want to be smack in town but not out in the boonies either. I am to understand that STX is much larger and has two main towns. Thoughts?

Thanks! this is very helpful.

Weather can change from one valley to another, one bay to the next, all on the same part of an island.
Everyone has their favorites....I won't begin to start an argument pitting one area over another.
The best thing to do is to spend time over multiple days at a site to get a feel for wind, temperature, insects, etc.

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Posted : September 21, 2010 3:42 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

But basically, on STX east is dry and west is wet.

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Posted : September 21, 2010 7:26 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

ON STX
Using the term "towns" is a bit of a stretch on any of the islands. C'sted is generally considered the main town, it has more shops, business, lawyers, etc there. F'sted has the pier where cruise ships come in once to a couple of times a week and even then it's only one ship so it's not crowded like charlotte amalie. West has beautiful sunsets and the rain forest. Northwest or North shore is often compared to Hawaii. Center island can be flat or hilly but it's very convenient if you need to get around the island. East & and Southwest (south shore) are more spread out and mostly residential area.

There is generally not one area that is going to be the breeziest, you have to check that in person. Generally anything in on the beach or very high up in the hills will be a guarantee. Stx is more then double the size of stt and has the same population so there is more room. We have less traffic but also have fewer restaurants and bars. It all depends what you are looking for, I would definitely check it out if I were you. It's a great place for families and it's also slightly cheaper then stt.

Sorry if I offended any st thomians, not my intention, just love my island.

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Posted : September 21, 2010 7:30 pm
Tme
 Tme
(@Tme)
New Member

Good day, I was wondering if you moved your business from Costa Rica to the islands? I've just relocated to St. Thomas 3 months ago and I'm seeking a job. I speak fluent English and Spanish and have a degree in International Business and Finance. Please let me know if you're looking for an employee or know of anyone who is! Pura vida 🙂 Gracias y te deseo todo el suerte del mundo con tu negocio nuevo...

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Posted : February 15, 2011 6:24 pm
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