Starting your own business in Cape Verde

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Regards,
Henry

HELLO MR CV ANGELO.     MY NAME IS MR OBAGO I AM  FROM NIGERIA I WANT TO COME FOR A BUSINESS SURVEY IN CAPE VERDE THIS MONTH END    BUT THE PROBLEM I AM HAVING IS THAT I HEAR THAT THE IMMIGRATION OFFICERS   DONT LIKE BLACK COMING TO CAPE VERDE AND THEY SAY IF U ARE NOT CAREFULL THEY WILL DEPORT U BACK  TO YOUR COUNTRY   I NEED BOTH OF US TO DISSCUSS ABTY MY COMING TO CAPE VERDE SO I  WILL NOT MAKE ANY  MISTAKE  .*

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OBAGO :

HELLO MR CV ANGELO.     MY NAME IS MR OBAGO I AM  FROM NIGERIA I WANT TO COME FOR A BUSINESS SURVEY IN CAPE VERDE THIS MONTH END    BUT THE PROBLEM I AM HAVING IS THAT I HEAR THAT THE IMMIGRATION OFFICERS   DONT LIKE BLACK COMING TO CAPE VERDE AND THEY SAY IF U ARE NOT CAREFULL THEY WILL DEPORT U BACK  TO YOUR COUNTRY   I NEED BOTH OF US TO DISSCUSS ABTY MY COMING TO CAPE VERDE SO I  WILL NOT MAKE ANY  MISTAKE  .PLS   EMAIL ME OR FACEBOOK ME        AT     WWW.OBIEZEPRINCE[at]YAHOO.COM    .... 08102940341 FACEBOOK

Hi Obago,

The only advice I could give you is that under immigration laws, you may come as a visitor on holiday or to investigate business opportunities without a problem. You will need to produce the following documents and information:

1.A return plane ticket
2. The name of the hotel at which you will be staying including your reservations
3. Demonstration that you have sufficient funds available to pay for your stay including room and board for your entire stay

It's that simple.

If you plan to come for a longer period, for example to start an operate a business, you can extend your stay if you then provide the business registration documents plus your various contracts for rental of business location, etc. You can get all of that in order, while you are here on vacation.

-what are the document one will need to start a business in cape verde if you are not from cape verde becos 'm considering moving to the country by next yr ? .
-and what are the likely business that  one can invest on for start ?.
-pls can i get your email address or any contact sir ?

BeNaZ101 :

-what are the document one will need to start a business in cape verde if you are not from cape verde becos 'm considering moving to the country by next yr ? .
-and what are the likely business that  one can invest on for start ?.
-pls can i get your email address or any contact sir ?

First, you must be able to legally enter Cape Verde. That is a whole other issue. You can read all of the extensive postings on the forum about how that works and what documents you will need to legally be admitted to enter the country.

However, you don't need any documents to start a business in CV other than your identification (such as a passport). You simply have to register the business at the business registration offices which is called Casa de Cidadão. The application is entirely in Portuguese. If you don't speak the language or unless you have someone who speaks the language to execute on the ground, I would strongly advise that you NOT start a business here as it will be extremely difficult for you.

Cabo Verde is an extremely small market and the consumers are very poor. If you are thinking of a business to serve the local population, then think about what poor people need most: food and clothing. In addition, mobile technology can be lucrative. But you can imagine that it is extremely competitive in those sectors, and you should not hope to make large amounts of money as the market simply is too small by definition to generate such profits.

Business owners here simply make a living. It is the alternative to trying to find a job because the economy is too small to generate sufficient jobs. If you want to be rich, look elsewhere towards markets that have millions of consumers. Cape Verde is not the place to invest unless you are planning to serve foreigners (like tourists) or foreign markets using Cape Verde as a base of operations.

Bom dia
Returning to CV Feb/March 17 for searching where/what/how to set up a small business during every winter season from 2017/18 Oct to April.
I would like to get in touch with locals/residents before this journey in order to get information on different issues. I already have contacts on Maio island but I'm probably more interested in a small project on Santiago island, e.x. Ribeira Grande/Praia region.
The project is not yet 100%  defined because it always depends on the local possibilities & oportunities but I already have some ideas but I am open to adjust. Since I have most experience in hotel/catering and tourism business it most probably goes into that direction. My 3 "has to be":
1. Earing money to at least partially pay my life on CV during my stay
2. Cooperation with local people so they can also earn something
3. Helping/setting up a small local charity project (perhaps in combination with the plastic/rubish problems)
I am looking forward to getting some reaction/reply. Thank you and regards, Ro

It sound like good idea to work start a business in hotel/catering but as you must read do noy expect to earn a lot of money from it. I believe you can make a decent living.  I was in CV 3 weeks ago and I want start business there but I will take my timword to analyse the condition as Cape Verdean personally I can see your point you live a good life there, the Chinese, Portuguese, and Italian, etc ;are doing business so why can't we do it as well.
Let me know how it's going . .I am from Santiago

You should really do your homework before investing here in CV. Do not trust the feedback from locals. Most are poor and not particularly knowlegeable about such things. they will tell you what you wish to hear. And those who are more informed will also tell you what you wish to hear because they will see it as an opportunity to extract funds from you.

You must be extremely careful. Only trust the hard economic data. It is there on the website of the INE (Institute of National Statistics). But it is in Portuguese (though it can be translated).

The market for products and services provided to locals is extremely small in terms of revenues that can be generated. The reason is that the total population is only 500,000 who are predominantly poor and they are divided among 9 islands, with Santiago holding 50% of the country's population.

It sounds like you may be interested in the eco-tourism area. Tourism is a long established sector but eco-tourism is a new sub-sector. The supporting infra-structure is extremely lacking. And only about 10% of the tourists who come to CV are to be found in Santiago. Most of the eco-tourism is found on the island of Santo Antao.

My whole point here is to go in with your eyes wide open, trust only the hard data, and be realistic about how much business you can generate. In many cases, many investors have learned the reality only after unsustainable losses. Only a fraction of the italian, french and portuguese business people who invested here are successful. Those who have been successful have found a small niche serving either locals or tourists, and even so it is not easy for anyone. But your expectations appear to have been set at realistic levels (you are looking for a business to finance only part of your costs of living here).

Regards and good luck,

Angelo

Dear Angelo
Thank you very much for your interesting reply.
Like everywhere in the world, one has to be very careful meeting or even listening to people. I do hope I will find a trustworthy person who can help me to deal with the local authorities and those who want to sell to me or do business with me. I am not naive to think that they all want to only make me pleasure but most of them want to get the most out of me....
I'm not a rich man with only modest savings so I cannot look for a huge investment in CV. But I have long experiences in the hotel and catering business so I want to find a small businss according to the local situation. I am flexible (one has to be) to adopt to the local and above all affordable opportunities. The range is streching from a small icecream kiosk to a tapas (small dishes) lounge to a small bed&breakfast etc.
For the moment I have contacts and a project (nothing decided yet) on the island of Maio but I am very keen on finding an opportunity in Ribeira Grande de Santiago which I find a very nice place with a lot of potential in future. Having spent only 3 days in November, I want to have a better look at this "World heritage" on my next visit in Feb/March 17.
Hoping to keep in touch with you I remain
Faithfully, RoM

Hi RoM,

It's good to see that you would be very careful. And as you recognized, 3 days are not nearly enough to really get even an initial grasp of the validity of any business concept here.

You keep referring to the World Heritage site at Ribeira Grande. You should refer to it as Cidade Velha which is the name by which all the local residents call it. It definitely has potential for a small business catering to the tourists and some locals.

So definitely keep in touch. I would be happy to direct you to the appropriate resources and local authorities upon your return. But again, as I noted in my last message, do not trust ANYONE here unless you know them extremely well and/or they are recommended to you by someone trustworthy.

Angelo

Dear Angelo,

In your post you have mentioned about "labor laws of Cape Verde", can you please provide me the link of documents/pdf files about the labor laws of Cape Verde which I can download and try to understand it.

Regards,
Salaam Namaste

Please Angelo, can you hint me some of these mistakes?thanks

There isn't any need for links or reading through dozens of pages of laws. Suffice it to say that the law gives substantial preference to employees. Once you hire them, it is extremely difficult to fire them except at high cost. If you get taken to court by an employee, the courts almost never rule in favor of the employer. Thus employees effectively have a job for life.

Employers are required to provide employees with an employment contract. In other words, employment is not "at will". Employers can indeed initially hire the prospective employee for a probationary period of up to 6 months, and they can repeat that probationary (or temporary) contract for another period of up to 6 months. the worker can be dismissed if they do not survive the probationary term. However, upon the second renewal of the temporary contract, the worker must be provided a contract that renews automatically at least annually (and if no contract is provided, the employer is assumed to have given a PERMANENT employment contract for life, which is no different than an AUTOMATICALLY renewing annual contract). Technically, thereafter probation, a worker can be dismissed only for cause, but they must be essentially given another chance to correct their errant performance. As you can imagine, it could take months or years to document poor performance. And even so, the courts almost never agree with the cause. And hence my contention that workers are effectively employed for life.

No worker here ever leaves a job voluntarily...for example, workers here do not aspire to grow. So they do not search out new opportunities in the hopes of learning new skills and gaining broader experiences. They simply try to get a job collecting a monthly salary and then stay in that one job for life if possible...because you cannot get rid of them. Or you will end up paying 2 weeks of salary for every year they are employed. Imagine getting "stuck" with a bunch of workers who cannot be fired except at substantial cost...so there is no incentive to increase performance or even to perform as expected/required for the job and this bogs down the business of the employer.

That is the labor issue! It is no wonder that many of businesses of major foreign investors import foreign workers to fill the most important and most highly paid positions in the company. You could not afford to do otherwise as the owner of a major business. In other words, these onerous labor laws only hurt Cape Verdeans!

Angelo

salaamnamaste :

Dear Angelo,

In your post you have mentioned about "labor laws of Cape Verde", can you please provide me the link of documents/pdf files about the labor laws of Cape Verde which I can download and try to understand it.

Regards,
Salaam Namaste

Dear Angelo,

Thanks for your reply.

Regards,

Hi CVAngelo,
came across this posting and I have read this from start to current page.

I don't know whether you are still active on this forum so just posting this to see whether i receive a response.

Thanks
Dx

Hi there. I am continously active on the Expat forum. If you check my profile, you'll see that my last post may have been just a few days ago.

You can also private message me directly.

I'm here to help.

Regards,

Angelo

DxCapeVerde :

Hi CVAngelo,
came across this posting and I have read this from start to current page.

I don't know whether you are still active on this forum so just posting this to see whether i receive a response.

Thanks
Dx

Many thanks for your reply. I will send you a private message shortly.


CVAngelo :

Hi there. I am continously active on the Expat forum. If you check my profile, you'll see that my last post may have been just a few days ago.

You can also private message me directly.

I'm here to help.

Regards,

Angelo

DxCapeVerde :

Hi CVAngelo,
came across this posting and I have read this from start to current page.

I don't know whether you are still active on this forum so just posting this to see whether i receive a response.

Thanks
Dx

Hi, CVAngelo

I am looking for a place for my family to start a small business and do and "easy living". Would much appreciate if could answer couple of questions.
1) After opening a company - do you have obligations to hire local people or you can work only yourself/ family?
2) Does having a company give an option to stay in CV for a long term ( 6 months ) from visa perspective ( extension of VISA/ residence permit, etc )
3) Is kite/wind/surf school a good direction for the new business ? I can't get from internet idea how busy this market is already on island.

Thanks in advance for you input.

Hi there,

Happy to answer your questions. See below:

1) After opening a company - do you have obligations to hire local people or you can work only yourself/ family? There is no obligation to hire locals. You can hire only yourself and/or your family members, or anyone whom you choose.

2) Does having a company give an option to stay in CV for a long term ( 6 months ) from visa perspective ( extension of VISA/ residence permit, etc )? Yes, exactly. You can only obtain a long-term resident visa (6 to 12 months) if you have a valid purpose, such as running your own Cape Verdean business, for remaining in Cape Verde. After you have been a resident for 5 years, you can apply for permanent residency.

3) Is kite/wind/surf school a good direction for the new business ? I can't get from internet idea how busy this market is already on island. Yes, you are in the target zone. The best direction for a new business is the tourism sector, and you need to be looking at the island of Sal. Cape Verde will have nearly 800,000 tourist arrivals in 2018 (a 10% increase over 2017) and over half choose Sal. I have lots more data on tourism numbers for Sal including nationality of the tourists, etc. I also can help you figure out which types of tourism businesses are most likely to be promising for an entrepreneur.

You see, while tourism has been increasing about 10-15% in Cape Verde, tourism in Sal has been increasing even faster (15-20% annually! But the options for entertainment activities for the tourists has simply not kept up for two reasons: a) there are not enough potential investors like yourself who are aware of the huge opportunities in Sal; and b) starting a business, getting all the licenses and obtaining the "tourist investor" designation involves a lot of bureaucracy and language barriers ... so some of the potential investors get frustrated by the process. Thy simply have no one to help them so they abandon the opportunity.

But believe me, to start a business and get all your licenses as well as your tourism investor benefits (duty-free importation of your business equipment, and waiver of income taxes), it only takes 3-4 months once you know what you're doing, and if you can speak the local languages (Portuguese and Kriolu). Unfortunately, the government simply does not make it easy for investors, most of whom speak English, and the process is not properly documented. And even where they do publish information, it is very limited, hard to understand, and is all in Portuguese. I have benevr figured out why governments are so useless! LOL

There is only one other economic sector that presents an even bigger opportunity than tourism. And that is the maritime transport sector because Cape Verde is separated in 9 islands and all the goods must move between the islands by sea. And because most of the population is poor (per-capita income is only €3,000 per year), most of the locals travel by boat to go from one island to another. So the movement of goods and services is an opportunity that can generate huge revenues and profits. But of course it requires a bigger investment.

Hope this is helpful. If you have more detailed questions or need help with anything, just send me a private message.

Regards,

Angelo

Dearty :

Hi, CVAngelo

I am looking for a place for my family to start a small business and do and "easy living". Would much appreciate if could answer couple of questions.
1) After opening a company - do you have obligations to hire local people or you can work only yourself/ family?
2) Does having a company give an option to stay in CV for a long term ( 6 months ) from visa perspective ( extension of VISA/ residence permit, etc )
3) Is kite/wind/surf school a good direction for the new business ? I can't get from internet idea how busy this market is already on island.

Thanks in advance for you input.

Many thanks Angelo. That's more info than I expected :). I think I need to come first as tourist and see on my eyes to take the decision. Will definitely contact you if some.
Thanks again.

Hi Dearty,

That's the way to do it. Spend a week in Sal and see for yourself. Most of the tourism businesses there are owned and operated by people just like you...they initially went to Sal as tourists and immediately saw the opportunities. Then they went back and invested.

Always happy to help. Best regards to you and your family..

Angelo

Dearty :

Many thanks Angelo. That's more info than I expected :). I think I need to come first as tourist and see on my eyes to take the decision. Will definitely contact you if some.
Thanks again.

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