*COVID-19 - Measures to Increase Social Distancing
Further to HM Government of Gibraltar’s policy to increase social distancing and slow the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19, the following measures have been put in place by the Office of Fair Trading.
The OFT remains committed to providing the best possible service to the public despite these measures. We apologies for any inconvenience caused.*
The OFT’s aim is to simplify the process for the establishment of new businesses in Gibraltar and provides free guidance and support to individuals or businesses that wish to start up. In particular the OFT can offers guidance about the legal registration requirements necessary before a business can start operating locally. This includes information about obtaining the relevant licence, registering with the Income Tax Office and the Department of Employment and any other related matters.
The OFT may also assist applicants by liaising with other Government departments and providing necessary information and documentation.
Under the provisions of the Fair Trading Act 2015 (FTA), any business which carries on a trade (be it wholesale or retail) or provides a service in Gibraltar must have an appropriate business licence (unless they are otherwise regulated by other Gibraltar legislation). The Business Licensing Authority and the OFT shall be responsible for the issue, renewal and administration of business licences in Gibraltar.
Notice of intention to apply for a Business Licence.
Any person intending to apply for a new licence must, in accordance with section 73 of the Fair Trade Act, first give notice to the public of their intention to apply for a licence by publishing two completed copies of Form No 1a “Notice Of Intention to Apply for a new Business Licence”:
The first publication must be made in the Gibraltar Gazette. This publication is arranged directly through the OFT at its offices in Suite 975, Europort. The fee for publishing a notice in the Gibraltar Gazette is £20. The cut-off time for publications in the weekly Gazettes published every Thursday is noon on the previous Friday.
The second publication must be made in any newspaper circulating in Gibraltar at the time. This is arranged by the applicant directly with the relevant newspaper. Prices may vary between local newspapers however these are normally in the region of £50 to £70.
Please note that publishing these notices does not constitute an application (see below).
Please also note that the notice should include up to date contact details and a mandatory postal address from Gibraltar. Postal addresses from other jurisdictions are not accepted.
Seven days after the date of the latest publication of the above-mentioned notices, the applicant may then submit to the BLA a completed Form 2a “Application for a new Business Licence”, accompanied by the following documentary evidence in support of applications:
1. Original or copy of the rental/tenancy agreement or lease over the premises from which the business shall be carried out (if you are applying for a premises waiver this will not be necessary, however you will be required to provide a written explanation regarding how your business can operate without a premises);
2. Original or copy of site plan in relation to the premises from which the business shall be carried out (not applicable if applying for a premises waiver);
3. A copy of the notice published in the local newspaper and the Gazette clearly showing the name of the newspaper and the date of the publication;
4. Where the applicant is trading under a different business name, an original or copy of the Certificate of Registration of Business Name; and
5. A copy of the identity card or passport of the applicant(s) or, where the applicant is a company, of the identity card or passport of the applicant's directors.
Should the premises from which the business shall be carried out require planning permission, an application to Town Planning must be submitted prior to applying for a business licence.
You will find copies of form 1a, form 2a and all other business licensing forms, along with useful guidelines and checklists here.
For more information about business licences, the application process and other relevant matters visit the 'Business Licensing' section of our website or contact us:
T - 20071700
Department of Employment
The Department of Employment is responsible for matters pertaining to employment as provided under the Employment Act and other subsidiary employment legislation. Employment related issues are multiple and varied and consequently this is reflected in the Department’s functions.
The Department assists the registered unemployed find employment, it maintains a comprehensive employment database and ensures employment law is enforced. It also provides a general employment resource service to its various ‘client groups’ and all constitute the day-to-day functions of the Department.
Amongst its various statutory responsibilities the Department of Employment also undertakes an important function which is the due registration of all businesses, trades and professions.
With regard to this last function, the following are the requirements for registration:
Requirements for the registration of a Company under the Business Trades and Professions (Registrations) Act
Persons wishing to register a Company under the Business Trades and Professions (Registrations) Act shall submit the application for registration form duly completed together with the following supporting documentation:
• Certificate of Incorporation (Companies House);
• Particulars of Directors (either: (i) a company profile from Companies House; or (ii) a register of directors certified by an accountant, lawyer or company secretary);
• Completed Notice of Terms of Engagement for “working” Directors (Department of Employment); and
• Valid Business Licence, if required (Business Licensing Authority).
Requirements for the registration of a Business Name under the Business Trades and Professions (Registrations) Act
Persons wishing to register a Business Name under the Business Trades and Professions (Registrations) Act shall submit the application for registration and personal details Form (Passport or ID Card required) duly completed together with the following documents:
• Approval from the Income Tax Office/Department of Social Security;
• Certificate of Registration of a Business Name (Companies House);
• Valid Business Licence, if required (Business Licensing Authority); and
• Gibraltar Trading Address (recent proof of address).
Requirements for the registration of a Self-Employed Person under the Business Trades and Professions (Registrations) Act
Persons wishing to register as a Self-Employed person under the Business Trades and Profession (Registration) Act shall submit the application for registration and personal details form (Passport or ID Card required) duly completed together with the following documents:
• Approval from the Income Tax Office/Department of Social Security. Valid Business Licence, if required (Business Licensing Authority); and
• Gibraltar Trading Address (recent proof of address).
Note: All documentation together with a fee of £50 must be received prior to the processing of applications. Cheques must be made payable to “Government General Account”.
Requirements for the registration of an Employee
The requirements for registering an employee are that the employer must be registered with the Department of Employment and that the employer must submit a Notification of Vacancy and Notice of Terms of Engagement in respect of the employee.
In the case of non-entitled workers/”working” Directors (e.g. non-E.U. nationals) an application for a Work Permit must be submitted at the same time as the Notification of Vacancy; Notice of Terms of Engagement and Passport together with a fee of £20.00.
Self Employed Persons Personal Details Download PDF Application For Registration Of Business Trades And Profession Regulations 1991 Download PDF
T - 20011000
W - www.employment.gov.gi
Income Tax Office
The Income Tax Office is responsible for the administration of the Income Tax Act 2010, Rules and Regulations and for the assessment and collection of income tax, corporation tax and social insurance contributions.
Tax is charged on income accruing in or derived from Gibraltar, on the profits or gains of a company or trust from any trade, business, profession or vocation. Tax is charged on the income accruing in, derived from or received in Gibraltar (or in any other place) by an individual ordinarily resident in Gibraltar from employment or the exercise of any self-employment activities in connection with a trade, business, profession or vocation. Dividends, pensions and emoluments of office accruing in, derived from or received in any place other than Gibraltar by an ordinarily resident individual are also taxable in Gibraltar.
Generally, when taxed in the country of accrual and not received in Gibraltar such income is not taxable in Gibraltar. Tax is charged on income of all individuals and companies in respect of any rents, premiums and any other interest in real property located in Gibraltar. Income arising outside Gibraltar, which although not actually received or transferred, is obtained in Gibraltar by an individual in the form of an equivalent benefit, is treated as having been received in Gibraltar.
If you commence a new business or company, or if you start working as a self-employed individual, you need to register at the Income Tax Office immediately. The forms you are required to submit are:
S1 Self-Employed Individuals and Businesses Download PDF S3 Self-employed Taxi Driver Download PDF S4 Persons in receipt of Rental Income Download PDF CT3 Companies Download PDF
Please note that you must first be registered with the Department of Employment before registering with the Income Tax Office
For further information please visit the Income Tax Office website at www.gibraltar.gov.gi/new/income-tax-office
The Environmental Agency is contracted as an enforcement authority for HM Government of Gibraltar in the fields of environmental and public health. The Agency is responsible to the Minister for the Environment and plays an important role in delivering the environmental policies of HM Government of Gibraltar.
Some of the areas the agency is closely involved with are food hygiene and safety, the abatement of statutory nuisances, monitoring of air, drinking and bathing water quality, the control of dust, waste management, monitoring of building applications and investigation of infectious diseases. The Agency is also the competent authority for the issue of Hawkers and Pedlars Licences. Some activities overseen by the agency require licensing or registration, these are listed below:-
- Waste handling/dealing
- Scrap Metal handling/dealing
- Importation of milk and water
- Food premises
- Importation of meat or meat products
- Skin piercing/tattooing
- Any activity where dust might be generated
Environmental Agency officers take an active part in health and environmental promotion campaigns throughout the year and visit schools and give presentations to interested parties. They are also involved in the delivery of training in the following areas:
- Food Safety
- Health & Safety at Work
- Environmental Principles
Access all of the relevant Environmental Agency forms on our website.
T - 200 70620
W - www.environmental-agency.gi
Town Planning & Building Control
The Town Planning section’s remit covers the control and use of land, and the appearance of the built and natural environment. The section is responsible for forward planning, formulation of planning policy and development control. All "development" in Gibraltar requires planning permission (in addition to approval under the building regulations where relevant) before works may start. The decision-making authority is the Development & Planning Commission.
The Town Planning section's work also covers the administration of advertisement consent applications, applications for tax relief on external improvements, tables and chairs licences and sandwich board licences. The section works closely with Building Control and other government departments, agencies and non-statutory bodies on matters relevant to town planning.
Apply Online (eGov.gi)
Department of Town Planning & Building Control
Suite 631, Europort
Tel: +350 20075483
Fax: +350 20074086
The Building Control Section's main duties include the administration and enforcement of building regulations made under the Public Health Act, by inspection of deposited plans. This is followed by inspections to determine that works have been carried out according to approved specifications.
On the satisfactory completion of the works, a joint exercise is put in place with the Environmental Agency and the Fire Prevention Department to establish whether the new building is fit for occupation. If satisfactory, a Certificate of Fitness is issued. Additional duties comprise the overseeing of demolition operations and the provision of technical advice to the Town Planning section.
Apply Online (eGov.gi)
Department of Town Planning & Building Control
Suite 631, Europort
Tel: +350 20075483
Fax: +350 20074086
Planning and Building Application Download PDF Demolition Application Download PDF Advertisement Application Download PDF Tree Application Download PDF
HM Customs Gibraltar (HMCG) is responsible for collecting, securing and accounting for all customs duties and fees, and any other incidental charges imposed in respect of goods imported into and exported from Gibraltar. HMCG, through its enforcement service is the community’s first line of defence against the importation of dangerous goods and has a primary law enforcement role in the prevention and detection of smuggling.
In summary, the role of HMCG can be defined in terms of the following functions:
1. The collection, securing and accounting of all duties, fines, fees and charges imposed in respect of goods imported into/exported from Gibraltar;
2. Primary law enforcement role in the prevention and detection of smuggling of any goods or substances that are deemed to be regulated, restricted or prohibited altogether under existing legislation;
3. The enforcement of legislative controls required under the provisions of the Imports & Exports Act, Imports & Exports (Control) Regulations, Import Duty (Franchise) Regulations, Import Duty (Integrated Tariff) Regulations, Tobacco Act, Endangered Species Act, Crimes Act, Criminal Procedures & Evidence Act and other laws for which the Customs Department is solely responsible for enforcement or has a duty to assist in the enforcement’.
Under Section 21 of the Imports & Exports Act 1986 of the Laws of Gibraltar, any person (or Company) importing any goods, or his/her duly authorised agent, is required to make a declaration to customs concerning any goods imported into Gibraltar. The declaration must be delivered to the respective Officer in such form and manner and contain such particulars in support of the declaration as may be prescribed by the Collector and/or regulation.
The Import Duty (Integrated Tariff) Regulations contains information on the duty of customs chargeable on goods imported into Gibraltar and shows the Commodity Code numbers used for this purpose and for the statistical classification of imports and exports. It also sets out particulars of existing prohibitions and restrictions on imports and exports from Gibraltar. The Imports & Exports (Franchise) Regulations also provide information on export fees and additional information on relevant rates of duty.
The Entry Processing Unit is open for the presentation of declarations and clearance of goods during the normal business hours;
Monday to Friday - 8.00 am to 3.00 pm
Attendance at other times can be arranged with prior notice by contacting the Customs on-call officer on Telephone Number 54015284.
At present there is no charge to the importer or agent for the extra attendance involved outside of normal business hours.
Goods may not be removed from the place of importation without Customs authority.
Any business intending to import or export goods to or from Gibraltar will need their Business Licence to cover the importation of the goods and the sale and export (if applicable) by way of wholesale or retail trade. An application for a Business Licence has to be as explicit as possible in detailing the goods to be traded with and cover every angle of the business operation.
All importers and exporters engaged in the clearance of goods on a commercial basis are also required to be registered with HM Customs, once the relevant licenses and permits have been obtained.
A duly completed and signed computer application registration form must be submitted to the Customs Entry Processing Unit at British Lines Road, supported by a copy of the Business Licence and Certificate of Incorporation/Business Registration.
Computer Registration Application Form Download PDF
With this link you can quickly access the online forms directly. This is for those users who know exactly what forms they require. Please note that in order to be able to use the OFT eGov service you will need your new eID card, password and card reader.
Further Useful Information
Gibraltar Business Nurturing Scheme
The OFT collects and processes applications for Gibraltar Business Nurturing Scheme loans on behalf of the Ministry of Commerce.
The scheme has been established by HM Government to financially support the development and progression of new business start-ups… Read More
Most businesses trade as limited companies and/or under a specific business name. These businesses are required to register with Companies House Gibraltar.
Trading under a business name
Any business wishing to trade using a specified business name should… Read More