10 Best Islands to Live On for Starting a Business | Islands

10 Best Islands to Live On for Starting a Business

To start a business on an island, answer these questions: Are there lots of expats on the island? Can you find reliable help? If yes, then you’re first step after landing on the island is to make connections by volunteering at local events. These places make the most sense for all of the above.

Read more in our Ultimate Best Islands to Live On Guide.

Best Island Careers: Islands to Live On to Start a Business: Aruba, Move to an Island

No. 10: Aruba

Aruba has the infrastructure. It has the air service. It has loyal visitors. And yes, it has big-name hotels. A boutique alternative could be just what it needs. arubachamber.com

Zach Stovall

Best Island Careers: Islands to Live On to Start a Business: Greece, Move to an Island

No. 9: Cyclades, Greece

Perfect for entrepreneurs and investors, as most anyone with a residence permit can start a business or buy property. To get the permit, you can extend your 90-day tourist visa, and use that time to find a permanent place to live. You do have to submit your residence permit while in Greece. startupoverseas.co.uk

visitgreece.gr

Best Island Careers: Islands to Live On to Start a Business: Guam, Move to an Island

No. 8: Guam

While American tourists tend to think of Guam as a poor man’s Hawaii, it does get 1.2 million visitors a year. It has even been called a theme park for the Japanese. And the island favors American-owned business. ibtimes.com/

iStock

Best Island Careers: Islands to Live On to Start a Business: St. Thomas, Move to an Island

No. 7: St. Thomas, USVI

It’s an easy island to scout (no passport needed for U.S. residents) and to feel at home on. There’s a Home Depot after all. There are also tax incentives for qualified businesses, and the island has a strong record of successful start-ups. www.usvieda.org/

Zach Stovall

Best Islands to Live On for Starting a Business Florida Keys

No. 6: Florida Keys

Sometimes the best opportunities are right under our noses, or in this case, three hours down Highway 1 from Miami. It’s easy to scout these little islands, which are home to more than 50 dive shops alone.

Jon Whittle

Best Island Careers: Islands to Live On to Start a Business: Cozumel, Move to an Island

No. 5: Cozumel

A new business needs that golden combination of high traffic and low competition. They don’t call it a niche market for nothing. Cozumel gets high numbers of visitors from cruise ships and crossing from Cancun. What’s the one thing they need that no one is yet selling them? That’s where you come in. Hint: It’s not skeleton figurines or beer goggles. Hint two: Make a long visit before you invest. cozumel.travel/

iStock

Best Island Careers: Islands to Live On to Start a Business: Eluethera, Move to an Island

No. 4: Eleuthera, Bahamas

Visiting shows you the surface of a place — ethereal white beaches and blue water, for example. Living there let’s you get to know the place — the good-spirited, welcoming people, for example. But starting a business makes you part of it. The island’s fortunes become your fortunes. And what better place to be part of than this Bahamian out island, still a little wild and crazy beautiful. internations.org

Lori Barbely

Best Islands to Live for Starting a Business American Samoa

No. 3 American Samoa

For American prospective business owners, American Samoa has the distinct advantage of being an unincorporated territory of the USA — no visas problems and low licensing fees. Also, this is an island in the South Pacific — wasn’t that the first requirement? Large cruise ships bring in tourists (customers to you) year-round. Dive shop? Techno-gadget emporium? Guest house? Take the business start-up course through the Small Business Development Center here to learn the requirements and steps. Then build it.

Jon Whittle

Best Island Careers: Islands to Live On to Start a Business: Dominican Republic, Move to an Island

No. 2: Dominican Republic (Las Terrenas)

Again, what’s the best way to research an island business model? Take a long trip to the island and see what goods or services you just can’t find there. There’s your product. Now you just need a source, a license and a shingle. Proximity and ties to the US make it doable in the DR. What’s missing in Las Terrenas, heart of the Samana Peninsula? Go find out. (It’s not sunshine or soft sand.) doingbusiness.org

Jon Whittle

Best Island Careers: Islands to Live On to Start a Business: St. John, Move to an Island

No. 1: St. John, USVI

For all its earthly splendor, this little virgin may lack for certain services — perhaps a vegan bed-and-breakfast with a wade-in wedding chapel amid the reefs? Got a better idea? We hope so. Start the research with a visit. In fact, make it a year so you can see the island in all seasons. Worst case you spent a year on St. John and didn’t lose your shirt, except while working on your tan. usvichamber.com

Zach Stovall

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