Frequently Asked Question
1) How do I register my company if I no longer apply for a Foreign Investment Registration Certificate (FIRC)?
The investor will now register directly with the Registrar of Companies however, Investment Fiji will provide facilitation assistance to register the projects.
2) Do I need an agent to help me set up my business?
It is not mandatory for investors to engage agents to set up a business in Fiji. In the case the investors are not present in the country and need a representative to make lodgments and submissions on their behalf, investors can engage agents to make the necessary submissions and lodgments. This will depend on investor preference.
3) What form of business (entity) can I operate in Fiji?
Investors can operate their business through the following types of entities:
a) Sole Trader (1 owner - individual)
b) Partnership (2 to 25 partners)
c) Private Company (1 – 49 shareholders)
d) Foreign Company (100% owned by parent company)
e) Public Company (minimum of 7 shareholders)
g) Non-Profit organization (NGO)
4) Do I need a local partner to operate any business in Fiji?
No. However, the company needs to have a resident director. (refer Companies Act2015)
5) How much should I invest in Fiji?
The foreign investor needs to invest a minimum of $300,000 to undertake activities in Fiji. However, foreign investors investing in restricted activities need to invest the specified amount as per the Investment (Reserved & Restricted Activities) Regulation 2022.
6) Where can I set up my business?
You can setup in any location of your preference. However, it is important to note that there are two main shipping ports - in Suva and Lautoka, which are also the two major cities in Fiji. Fiji’s International airport is located in Nadi and Nausori/Suva. Foreign investors should locate their business in appropriate land classification to suit their business operation
7) How do I go about obtaining land for my business?
There are three different types of land ownership structures in Fiji, i.e., Native land, State land and Freehold land.
• Native land –makes up 91% of all land mass in Fiji. The iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) is the statutory body that controls and administers iTaukei lands on behalf and for its owners. For available native land for lease, please refer to the TLTB website https://www.tltb.com.fj/
• State land –makes up 4% of the total land mass in Fiji. The Ministry of Lands administers a total of 18,000 State land leases. For available state land leases, please refer to the Ministry of Lands website http://www.lands.gov.fj/
• Freehold land – the remaining 5% is Freehold land that is sold and purchased privately. Foreign citizens are restricted from purchasing freehold land within the town/city boundary for residential purposes. Any purchase of freehold land more than one acre requires Ministerial approval (Ministry of Lands). Available freehold land may be advertised through licensed real estate agents.
8) Do I have to bring into the country the specified level of investment money straight away?
The foreign investors will be required to remit $300,000 into Fiji within 3 months from the date of incorporation. For investors investing in restricted activities needs to remit $300,000 within 3 months from date of incorporation and the balance needs to be remitted within the 12 months.
9) When can I open a bank account in Fiji?
The investor can open the company's Fiji dollar bank account after obtaining approval from Registrar of Companies (ROC), Fiji Revenue & Custom Services (FRCS), Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF). It depends on commercial bank on the requirement of investor permit approval from Fijian Immigration Department.
10) Is there enough infrastructure in Fiji for me to conduct my business successfully?
Yes. Fiji has a reliable telecommunications network. Fiji is linked by optic fiber cable to Australia, New Zealand, USA and rest of the world. Mobile phones are also used extensively in Fiji. The Energy Fiji Limited provides power or electricity services to most parts of Fiji, catering for residential properties, commercial, industrial and the tourism industries. The Water Authority of Fiji provides piped water and sewerage facilities to the public. The main commercial centres of Fiji are linked by road, air or sea. Presently the road infrastructure is developed and generally well maintained with tar-sealed highways linking various cities and towns along the southern/western parts of the island. Buses operate scheduled services within and between cities, towns and other populated areas all around Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, Fiji’s two main islands. The Nadi International Airport is used by most international airlines operating on the transpacific air routes. Fiji’s International airline, Fiji Airways, operates scheduled flights between Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Los Angeles (USA), San Francisco (USA), Hawaii, Singapore and Hong Kong as well as through other regional countries of the South Pacific namely, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Tuvalu. There are regular daily flights between Nadi and Suva through Fiji Airways domestic airline, the Fiji Link. Fiji also has international shipping services. Suva is the main port and its wharf facilities are capable of handling large cargo and passenger vessels. Lautoka, Savusavu and Levuka are the other smaller ports of entry.
11) Are there regular shipping/air services to Fiji?
Fiji's strategic location in the South Pacific makes it an ideal trading port, which is serviced by international shipping services. Fiji's ports of entry provide Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (Biosecurity) services. The country’s international airport is based in Nadi and is equipped to handle all types of aircrafts including the Airbus330-300s. The Nadi International Airport services Fiji Airways, Air New Zealand, Jetstar Airways, Virgin Australia, Air Niugini, Air Vanuatu, Air Calin and Our Airlines provide international services through Nadi Airport.
12) What is the minimum wage rate in Fiji?
The minimum wage rate in Fiji effective from 2023 will be FJD $4.00 per hour. However, there are separate minimum wage rates and terms and conditions for specific industries.
13) What is the new procedures of applying for new investor permit application, would there be any assistance provided from Investment Fiji.
The new investor permit application form can be downloaded from the link below. The form needs to be filled and uploaded with the supporting documents on the Fijian Immigration Department website: www.immigration.gov.fj
Investment Fiji will assist investor to fast track the application with Fijian Immigration Department
14) Would I be able to bring in foreign workers to work in my business?
Yes. You may liaise directly with the Fijian Immigration Department for requirements and approvals to bring in foreign workers. For more information please refer to the Department of Immigration website: https://www.immigration.gov.fj/
15) Can I as an investor obtain loans from commercial banks in Fiji?
Yes. Foreign Investors can apply for loans from commercial banks in Fiji. However, the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) will monitor commercial banks’ lending to different sectors. Loan applications will be approved on a case-by-case basis as per commercials banks requirement.
16) Can I as an investor invest in a personal property?
Yes. However, non-citizens will not be able to purchase land within the town and city boundary for the purpose of residing only If the freehold property, outside the town or city boundary, is larger than one acre than the approval of the Minister for Lands is required first. For more information you can refer to Land Sales (Amendment) Act 2014.
17) What is the Corporate Tax per annum?
Corporate Tax Rate is 20%. A foreign company that establishes/relocates its Head quarters to Fiji will be subject to a low corporate tax rate of 17%, however effective from Tax Year 2023 will increase to 20%. A listed company on the South Pacific Stock Exchange (SPX) will be subject to a low corporate tax rate of 10%,however effective from Tax Year 2023 will increase to 20%. Income earned from trading of shares in SPX will be exempted from Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax. For more information: https://www.frcs.org.fj/
18) I would like to change my business activity. What should I do?
The investor must write a formal letter of request for “Change/Amendment/extension in Business Activity” to Registrar of Companies (ROC). For more information investors can liaise with ROC.
19) Can I include an additional trading name to the registered company name?
Yes. Companies or businesses may have additional trading names as long as Registrar of Companies (ROC) approval is obtained.
20) What will happen to my existing FIRC? Do I need to remit the minimum investment threshold if I am investing in any restricted activity?
The FIRC’s granted under the Foreign Investment Act 1999 prior to the commencement date of the Investment Act 2021 continues accordingly to its tenor and may be varied or revoked accordingly, however all other approvals from other government departments remain valid and the entity can continue its operations. Any extension of business activity in restricted listing under the 2022 Regulation will require the investor to bring in the minimum threshold as per Schedule of Investment (Reserved & Restricted Activities) Regulation2022
21) If my company is registered with FIRC before 1 Aug 2022, will I be required to get the minimum investment of $300,000?
All FIRC registrations before 1 Aug 2022 will not be required to bring in the minimum investment of $300,000 unless the business activity falls under the Restricted Activity.
22) What business activities can I undertake?
Domestic investors can undertake any activities as per Fiji Industrial Classification Code (FSIC) 2010 except for activities that are prohibited. Foreign investors can undertake any activities as per Fiji Industrial Classification Code (FSIC) 2010 except for activities that are prohibited. However, the minimum investment threshold (in form of paid up capital) is $300,000. In addition, foreign investor investing in Restricted activities needs to invest specified amount outlined in the Schedule 2 of Investment (Reserved & Restricted Activities) Regulation 2022.
23) Does Investment Fiji still provide assistance to foreign investors for their registration?
Yes, Investment Fiji will still provide registration facilitation assistance and after care services to foreign investors.
24) Will Investment Fiji provide a progress report for the extension/renewal of my work permit?
No, Investment Fiji will not issue progress reports from 1 Aug 2022. All investor permit applications for extensions and renewals are lodged directly with Fijian Immigration Department.
25) What is the new role of Investment Fiji after this transition?
Investment Fiji will become an Investment Promotion Agency focusing entirely on promoting investment and exports. In addition, Investment Fiji will also provide Facilitation, Aftercare and Policy Advocacy services to both foreign and local investors.
26) What facilitation and aftercare services will Investment Fiji provide for unimplemented and implemented projects?
Services will be as follows:
· Coordinate and interact with investors and private sector representative to identify the issues and challenges limiting foreign direct investment; define strategies and actions to address challenges
· Analyze and report on the state of the investment ecosystem for priority sectors
· Formulate and submit proposals to improve the investment ecosystem based on feedback from prospective investors in priority sectors
· Advocate and follow up on government actions to improve the investment ecosystem for investors in priority sectors.
· Follow up with other organization for company approvals
· Request and arrange meeting with relevant stakeholders on behalf of the investors
· Initiate connections between investors and other relevant stakeholders
· Provide solutions to customer on investment and trade queries/issues
· Conduct site visits and assist in project progress
27) What will happen if I am not able to fulfill the minimum threshold?
The investor may apply for waiver and refer to the Investment (Reserved and Restricted Activities) Regulation 2022.
28) Is there any provision to waive the minimum investment requirement?
Yes. Refer to the Investment (Reserved and Restricted Activities) Regulation 2022.Application could be made online via https://www.bizfiji.com/fir-waiver
29) Do I still have to bring in $300,000 for any extension of business activity to my company or will this be a one-off investment?
For any extension of business activity, the minimum threshold will be applicable if the foreign investor is investing in any restricted activity from the Schedule in accordance to the Investment (Reserved and Restricted Activities) Regulation2022. Other activities not listed in Schedule will not require any addition capital investment for existing entities.
30) Who will monitor the minimum investment requirement?
The respective Government Departments will monitor based on their business activity.
31) Where can I go to lodge a complaint against a company for any illegal business activities?
Depending on the business activity, any complaints for any illegal business can be reported to the relevant Government Departments. Also, if there is any compliant in regards to criminal activity, the investor can compliant to Fiji Police Force.
32) If I am not able to open a company bank account and remit funds into my lawyer’s trust account, external account or local Directors account, will this be considered as fulfilling the minimum investment requirement?
The investment brought into Fiji in form of cash needs to be verified and approved by Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF). The minimum investment condition will be verified by RBF.
33) Would there be a waiver process if an investor is not likely to repatriate the funds within the 3months timeframe
Yes, there is a waiver process under the Investment (Reserved & Restricted Activities) Regulation 2022
34) What happens to those companies who are classified as social enterprises, would they also have to remit the minimum $300,000.
These companies can apply for waiver to the Ministry. Based on Minister’s discretion the conditions may vary.
35) What provisions are available to the investor if they are unable to put in the required $300,000 and if their request for a waiver is not granted by the Minister?
The company has to remit the $300,000 as stipulated under the new Investment Act2021. If the investor is unable to remit the minimum threshold value, reference will be made to Section 4 of the Investment (Reserved & Restricted Activities) Regulation 2022.
36) Does Investment Fiji have a Checklist on the new changes for the process approvals that have come into effect?
Investment Fiji had designed a new business setup process which is available on Investment Fiji website. Reference will be made to respective Government Departments checklist for forms and documents that needs to be submitted.
37) If there are any outstanding issues for investors that are pending with Investment Fiji, what happens in this case, would these issues be finalized especially for those investors with existing FIRC’s?
All issues pending with investment Fiji will become void from 1 August 2022 if it falls under regulatory objective. The facilitation and aftercare services will continue.
38) Restricted activities – what permits and approvals are required for project in the restricted activities listing?
The permits and approvals are same for restricted activities. Only the minimum threshold value will change depending on type of business activities undertaken by foreign investors. The permits and approvals will be obtained from Tier 1 and Tier 2 approval agencies depending on activity type.
39) Section7 (2) of the Act requires a foreign investors to apply for approval from the Minister for certain investments. Investment Fiji to clarify exactly which investments require prior approval of the Minister and when will regulations be promulgated in relation to the process of approval in accordance with Section7 (3) of the Act?
The National Interest Test Regulation is in process of being developed. Once the regulation will be gazette then awareness will be created accordingly. For further information reach out to the Ministry of Commerce Trade Tourism and Transport and/or Investment Fiji on the investors in any such related sectors before the registration of business. We will provide all the guidance and support.