Doing Business In Haiti

  1. Haiti’s overall Doing Business 2013 ranking is 174 out of 185 economies, recording a 1 point decrease compared to last year. This reflects a 7 point decline in the Paying Taxes indicator.
  2. According to the Investing Across Borders Indicators, foreign investment in Haiti is subject to a general ownership restriction across all business sectors as stipulated in the country’s Commercial Code. Any locally incorporated company, regardless of the business sector in which it is active, must have at least 3 shareholders, one of whom must be a Haitian national. Haitian law further stipulates that any foreign investment with a “potential impact on the country’s economy” is subject to presidential approval, regardless of the business activity concerned. In addition to these general restrictions, the country imposes sector-specific limits on foreign equity ownership in 2 of the 33 sectors covered by the Investing Across Sectors indicators.
  3. According to the latest World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Report (2010), Haiti is ranked below the 10th percentile for the Government Effectiveness, Rule of Law, and Control of Corruption indicators.
  4. Haiti’s economic freedom score is 50.7, making its economy the 142nd freest in the 2012 Index. Declines in labor freedom, business freedom, and the management of government spending have driven its overall score 1.4 points lower than last year. Haiti is ranked 24th out of 29 countries in the South and Central America/Caribbean region, and its overall score is lower than the world and regional averages.

Source: World Bank


Visa Information

Unless you’re a citizen of the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Panama or China, no visa is needed to visit Haiti, just a passport valid for six months and a return ticket. Your entry stamp entitles your to stay for up to 90 days. You’ll also be given a green entry card to be produced on departure from Haiti – don’t lose this.

Business Etiquette

General Business Hours

Banks are usually open from 8:30am to 1pm weekdays, with larger branches also open from 2pm to 5pm weekdays. Shops and offices usually open at 7am and close at 4pm weekdays, often closing earlier on Friday; most shops are also open on Saturday. Government offices are open 7am to 4pm weekdays, closing for an hour at midday.

Local restaurants open for food around 8am, with lunchtime being the busy period; they generally close around 9pm. More expensive restaurants keep more traditional hours; they often close in the afternoon, but are open as late as 11pm. Many restaurants are closed on Sundays.