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Doing Business in Guyana

Other Matters of Interest

Local Content

Holders of licenses issued under the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act and parties to Petroleum Agreements with the Government of Guyana, and their sub-contractors, are required to comply with the Local Content Act.  The legislation identifies forty sectors with defined targets that are reserved for Guyanese companies and Guyanese nationals.  

A Guyanese company is defined as being incorporated under the Companies Act of Guyana and which (a) is beneficially owned by Guyanese nationals who control at least fifty-one percent of voting rights; and (b) that has Guyanese nationals holding at least seventy-five percent of executive and senior management positions and at least ninety percent of non-managerial and other positions.  

Environmental Protection

Under the Environmental Protection Act, administered by the Environmental Protection Agency, a developer of any of the following types of project, or any other project that is likely to impact the environment is required to obtain an environmental permit.  

  1. Construction of any hotel, guest house or inn above ten rooms

  2. Installation for hydro-electric energy production

  3. Construction of roads, harbours and airfields 

  4. Dams and other installations designed to hold liquid or to store it on a long-term basis

  5. Installation for the treatment of waste water, industrial or domestic waste

  6. Importing of any waste matter whether hazardous or not

  7. Release, use or keeping of any genetically modified organisms

  8. Harvesting and utilization of forest resources

  9. Extraction and conversion of mineral resources

Currency Matters

The unit of currency in Guyana is the Guyana Dollar which is freely convertible into other currencies based on prevailing market conditions.  All monetary obligations or transactions in Guyana are required to be expressed, recorded and settled in Guyana Dollars unless permission is obtained from the Bank of Guyana which is responsible for the regulation of the financial sector in Guyana. 

Under the Investment Act investors may open accounts in Guyana Dollars and in foreign convertible currencies with licensed banks in Guyana.  

Declaration of Beneficial Ownership

Companies incorporated or registered under the Companies Act of Guyana are required to declare beneficial interest to the Registrar of Companies.  Beneficial interest is defined in AML-CFT legislation as person (or persons) who ultimately exercises individually (or jointly) voting rights of at least 25 percent of the total.  

Anti-money Laundering

The Anti-money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act is the primary legislation in this area.  The Financial Intelligence Unit, provided for under the Act, is responsible for the handling of suspicious transaction reports and other information relating to money laundering, terrorist financing and the proceeds of crime.  

Stock Exchange

The Guyana Association of Securities Companies and Intermediaries Inc. operates the Guyana Stock Exchange.  There are presently fifteen companies on the Exchange.  

Accounting Standards

The accountancy profession in Guyana is regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Guyana (ICAG).  Accounting standards adopted for application in Guyana are the IFRS Accounting Standards.  The ICAG is a member body of the International Federation of Accountants and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean. 

The information contained in this website is for general guidance on matters of interest only and is not meant to be comprehensive. It is recommended that you obtain advice specific to your circumstances from professional advisors before proceeding.