Here is an overview of the most significant recent developments affecting doing business in Bermuda, as well as an introduction to the legal system; foreign investment, including restrictions, currency regulations, and incentives; and business vehicles, including the restrictions and liabilities that may be associated with them. The page also summarises the rules governing employment relationships, including redundancies and mass layoffs, and offers brief overviews of the laws governing competition, data protection, and product liability and safety. It also includes a list of further resources. Additional sections include taxes and tax residence, as well as intellectual property rights related to patents, trademarks, and registered and unregistered designs, to name a few areas of expertise.
What are the most significant recent changes that have an impact on conducting business in your jurisdiction?
Bermuda has lately seen a resurgence of interest in its international business sector and continues to be regarded as a global risk capital in the insurance industry. As host of the 35th America’s Cup in 2017, Bermuda gained more worldwide exposure while also seeing an improvement in the state of its infrastructure and economy.
Over the last several years, Bermuda has enacted legislative and regulatory changes that have re-energized the island’s high-net-worth client and asset management sectors, as well as the overall economy. Consequently, with the passage of legislation in 2013 that makes it simpler and less costly to start-up funds in Bermuda, Bermuda has received a continuous stream of support and endorsements for its fund’s environment over the last several years.
A number of changes to Bermuda partnership law were enacted in May 2015; these amendments were then modified in 2016 to provide Bermuda partnerships many of the same powers that those granted to Bermuda corporations. These modifications continue to improve the various fund vehicles available in Bermuda, and they serve as a demonstration of Bermuda’s commitment to remaining responsive to the needs of its private equity and fund sectors, as well as to remaining a preferred jurisdiction for both new and established businesses. In addition to bringing additional money to Bermuda, fund managers are urged to develop a presence in the island, with the Bermuda Business Development Agency playing an active role in marketing Bermuda in this respect.
As a result of the passage of the Limited Liability Company Act in 2016, Bermuda became the first jurisdiction in the world to allow for the formation of a limited liability corporation (LLC), which is a hybrid organisation that combines features of both a partnership and company limited by shares. A helpful additional structure option to supplement the current selection of vehicles available in Bermuda is provided by this arrangement. A new legislation modelled after its counterpart in the United Kingdom, the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 2016 enables parties to modify the common law concept of privity of contract, which was first introduced in 2016.
Bermuda has emerged as the most important market for the relatively recent inflow of insurance-linked securities, catastrophe bonds, and other alternative risk transfer vehicles into the United States. Investing in insurance-linked securities brings together the investment funds sector and the insurance/reinsurance industry. Bermuda is by far the most popular location for ILS-linked fund managers, with about US$55 billion in aggregate assets under management in the island state.
Because of the business-friendly nature of the Bermuda government, and the more simplified and informational regulations relating to work permits that were implemented in March 2015, business possibilities in Bermuda have been encouraged.
As a further example, Bermuda has maintained its position at the forefront of openness and global compliance requirements by adopting the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard as an early adopter jurisdiction, which became effective on January 1, 2016. Bermuda is the 33rd country to sign the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement for Country-by-Country (CbC) reporting, which is a component of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) programme.
As a result, Bermuda’s commercial (re)insurance regime has become fully equivalent to the European Union’s Directive 2009/138/EC on the taking up and carrying on of business in the insurance and reinsurance sectors (Solvency II Directive), as amended in 2016, granting Bermuda the status of “third-country equivalence.” Bermuda and Bermuda commercial reinsurers, insurers, and insurance groups have taken a major stride forward as a result of this decision, ensuring that they are on a same footing whether operating in Europe or across the world.
Recent company law changes mean that Bermuda companies are now required to file director information with the Registrar of Companies, which will be stored in a central database that will be open to the public. Additionally, the Bermuda Monetary Authority implemented the requirement that Bermuda’s corporate service providers be licenced and regulated, which took effect in 2016.
The legal system is comprised of the following elements:
On what legal principles is the legal system founded (for example, civil law, common law, or a combination of the two)?
Bermuda’s legal system is based on the common law of England and Wales, with a few minor modifications. In addition to being a British Overseas Territory, Bermuda is governed under the Westminster system of government. The Bermuda Constitution establishes the judiciary as a separate and independent arm of government, which is distinct from the other branches of government.
The Bermuda judicial system is comprised of the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court, the Magistrates’ Court, and a number of other administrative tribunals. In the United Kingdom, the Privy Council is the last point of appeal in certain situations.
Foreign direct investment (FDI)
What limitations exist on foreign investment (including any authorizations needed by the federal or state governments)?
Bermuda’s 60/40 rule mandates that a business be owned by at least 60% of Bermudians in order to be legally valid. The regulation applies to any and all local businesses. In addition, there exist limitations on the ownership of property by companies, whether they are local or exempted from the restrictions.
With the passage of an amendment to the Companies Act 1981 in 2012, Bermuda’s limitations on foreign investment were loosened even more. This amendment makes it easier for foreign investors to participate in a variety of local sectors by eliminating the condition that these companies be owned and managed by at least 60% Bermudians from the equation. Certain industries (for example, insurance, telecommunications, banking, and international transport services by ship or aircraft), as well as energy and hotel operations, were exempted from the 60/40 rule, provided that the applicable business is carried on by a company that is listed on the Bermuda Stock Exchange or another stock exchange designated by the relevant minister (or the company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of such a listed company).
If there are limitations on doing business with certain nations or jurisdictions, what are they?
A strong anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing framework, as well as anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws, exist in Bermuda.
Comprehensive economic and trade sanctions, as well as more targeted measures such as weapons embargoes and banking restrictions, are among the penalties that may be used against a country (for example, asset freezing measures).
The administration is dedicated to the preservation of international peace and security, and as a British Overseas Territory, it is responsible for carrying out the United Kingdom’s international sanctions responsibilities.
Afghanistan, Iran, Libya, North Korea, and Syria are among the nations on a non-exhaustive list of those prohibited from entering the country.
The most up-to-date legislation is accessible at www.bermudalaws.bm (International Sanctions Act 2003 and International Sanctions Regulations 2013) and www.legislation.gov.uk (International Sanctions Act 2003 and International Sanctions Regulations 2013). (sanctions-related orders).
Do you know whether there is any exchange control or monetary restrictions in place?
Company exemptions and non-resident individuals have the ability to trade and keep bank accounts in whatever currency they want, remitting or repatriating their money without the need to worry about currency exchange restrictions. Foreign Currency Purchase Tax (FCPT): Bermuda levies a 1 per cent per transaction foreign currency purchase tax on the purchase of all non-local currencies, including the United States dollar.
This covers all purchases of foreign currencies for travel and commercial reasons, as well as any telegraphic (wire) transfers of money from Bermuda to people and companies located in other countries, including the United States.
Which subsidies or incentives are offered to investors, and what are they?
There are no particular grants or incentives that are available at the moment.
Vehicles used for business purposes.
What are the most frequent types of commercial vehicles to be found in use?
Companies that are exempted from taxation are the most frequent kind of business vehicle utilised by foreign corporations in Bermuda. The primary advantage of using an exempted company vehicle is that it allows foreign businesses to conduct operations in Bermuda (a respected international business jurisdiction with a commitment to transparency and sensible regulation).
Bermuda is seen as a model of openness and cooperation by the international community, and it was one of the first countries to embrace the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard in 2005. Under the Exempt Undertakings Tax Protection Act 1966, businesses that are exempt from certain taxes are able to get a certification stating that they are exempt from certain taxes. Moreover, exempted corporations may be fully controlled by foreign investors and are not required to comply with the 60/40 Rule.
It is possible to establish a local Bermuda corporation to do business in Bermuda if you are a Bermudian firm, trust, or person within the terms of the Companies Act 1981.
In accordance with the 60/40 Rule, local corporations must be controlled by Bermudians, so that Bermudians own 60 per cent of the shares and 60 per cent of the board of directors, with the remaining 40 per cent controlled by foreigners (Companies Act 1981). In the case of the 60/40 Rule, there are a few exceptions.
Companies that are exempted
An exempted company is usually a multinational corporation founded by non-Bermudians that has its headquarters in Bermuda and does business outside of Bermuda from a Bermuda-based place of business. If an exempted firm wishes to do domestic business in Bermuda, it must get a business licence from the Bermuda Government.
Limited liability corporations (LLCs) are a kind of corporation that is not subject to the laws of the state in which it is formed (LLCs)
The limited liability company (LLC) is a hybrid entity that combines features of both a partnership and a corporation limited by shares. There are many advantages to using a flexible vehicle, and it may be a helpful alternative structuring option to supplement the current selection of vehicles available in Bermuda.
Companies with a limited liability guarantee
In Bermuda, corporations may be formed for charity or other socially beneficial reasons, according to the country’s corporate legislation. Members of a guarantee company make contributions to the assets of the business up to the amount of their guarantee in the case of the firm’s insolvency or liquidation.
A Bermuda exempted partnership may be formed by two or more partners who submit an application to the Minister of Finance.
Companies that have permission
In order to do business from a place of business in Bermuda, a corporation that was formed outside of Bermuda must get a permission from the Minister of Finance and be registered in Bermuda.
Bermuda has established itself as a leading trust jurisdiction throughout the years. Purpose trusts (i.e., non-charitable trusts established for a particular purpose) and unit trust funds are two business structures that are very popular. Trusts may be established in Bermuda by individuals, public trust corporations, and private trust organisations, among others.
Capital-gains funds Capital-gains funds may take the form of open-ended or closed-ended mutual fund companies, unit trust funds, partnership funds, or limited liability corporations.
What are the primary registration and reporting requirements for the most popular type of corporate business vehicle used by foreign firms in your jurisdiction, and how do you ensure that these requirements are met?
The process of registering and forming
Each and every individual seeking to do business in or from Bermuda via any kind of company structure is subject to scrutiny by both the local service provider and the monetary authorities, the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA). In addition, transfers of shares by non-Bermudians are subject to examination and/or regulation by the Bermuda Securities Commission. Companies must get permission before doing business in specified zones (Companies Act 1981).
The following are the primary registration and formation requirements:
To reserve a prospective business name, an application is submitted to the Registrar of Companies (RoC). The reservation is valid for three months from the date of booking.
An application to the British Medical Association (BMA) requesting authorisation of the nature and planned business of the firm, as well as the proposed ownership, has been submitted. The BMA provides permission for both direct and indirect beneficial ownership at the same time, as well as for exchange control approval. Because of the licencing of corporate service providers (CSPs) in 2017, the primary responsibility for approving the issuance and transfer of shares and other securities will be transferred to the licenced CSPs rather than the BMA, although the BMA will receive notification of such transactions for the purpose of maintaining information on beneficial ownership.
It is necessary to submit a registration application to the RoC in order to finalise the company’s formation.
In most cases, a simple incorporation may be completed in 24 to 48 hours or even less.
The company’s Memorandum of Association, which must be filed to the RoC, must include the following information, among other things:
The authorised share capital of the business, as well as the partition of that capital into appropriate classes of shares with a defined par value
Whether the responsibility of the shareholders is restricted or limitless is a matter of debate.
The goals and authority of the organisation. Bermuda corporations may be formed with an infinite number of objectives and all of the rights and powers of a natural person.
Requirements for reporting
An exempted business is required to submit an Annual Declaration with the RoC by the 31st of January of each year. The yearly government fee, which is calculated on a sliding scale (with the lowest rate being BM$1,995) and is based on a company’s assessable capital as of the previous year’s 31 August, must also be paid by the 31 January deadline. With certain exclusions, assessable capital is the sum of the authorised share capital and the share premium plus any interest earned on the shares.
Recent amendments to Bermuda company law now compel businesses to disclose information about their directors with the Registrar of Companies, as well.
For investment funds, insurance firms, and other regulated organisations, there are extra particular filing requirements that must be met.
Share capital is a term used to describe the amount of money that a company owns.
Company formation in Bermuda is no longer subject to any universal restrictions in terms of minimum share capital. For insurers that have share capital, there are rules regarding the amount that must be paid up on the share capital in order to meet the minimum payment obligation (Insurance Act 1978).
Non-cash considerations are taken into account
If allowed by the bye-laws of the business, shares in kind may be issued in lieu of cash.
Shareholders’ rights are a kind of ownership interest.
Restriction on the rights that are attached to shares. In most cases, the bye-laws of a corporation authorise the Board of Directors to issue shares with any rights and limitations the directors decide are appropriate.
Automatic rights are attached to stock certificates. According to the Companies Act 1981, shareholders are given a number of safeguards, including the ability to vote on a modification of their class rights.
Explain the management structure and major liability concerns associated with the most typical corporate business vehicle utilised by foreign firms in your jurisdiction, along with any other relevant information.
Organizing a management structure
Bermuda corporations are required to have a board of directors. Single directors are permitted to be appointed to ordinary limited liability companies, according to the Companies Act 1981. A secretary must be chosen, but whether or not any additional officials are appointed in a typical company is entirely up to the discretion of the directors.
Restriction on administration
Unless a licence is given or an exemption applies (in accordance with the 60/40 Rule), the board of directors of a local business must be comprised of at least 60% Bermudians, unless an exception is granted.
Directors and officers are subject to responsibility
Directors are not personally liable for contracts entered into on the company’s behalf that are within the extent of their power and are thus made on the company’s behalf. Generally speaking, Bermuda law provides for directors to be indemnified by their respective companies, with the exception of any responsibility arising from a director’s fraud or dishonesty.
Liability of the parent corporation
There is no responsibility for a parent business that extends beyond the limits of common law principles, according to the law.
Employment laws, contracts, and permissions are all important considerations.
What are the most important pieces of legislation governing work relationships?
Regulations governing employment relations are set forth in the Employment Act 2000 (as modified) (EA), which applies to all workers engaged or providing services entirely or mostly in Bermuda, as well as international employees working in Bermuda.
Some of the fields of employment law are governed by additional laws and common law principles, including the following:
The Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956 (as modified) (Immigration Act) regulates the issuance of work permits and the exemption from the need for work permits.
It is illegal to discriminate or harass someone at work on the grounds of race, national origin, colour, ancestry (including sexual orientation), marital status (gender), handicap, legitimacy, religious belief or political opinion under the terms of the Human Rights Act 1981 (HRA)?
Employers are required to create and manage a pension plan for their workers under the National Pension Scheme (Occupational Pensions Act 1998), which came into effect in 1998.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1982 puts obligations on businesses to ensure the health and safety of employees at work, as well as to set minimum health standards for workplaces.
Trade unions are governed by the Trade Union Act 1965, which includes requirements for registration, the ability to initiate and defend actions, and their basic legal competence.
Is it necessary to have a written contract of employment? If so, what are the most important words that must be included in it?
The employment relationship is governed by any implicit conditions and/or collective bargaining agreements, if applicable.
An employment contract is defined as any contract that requires an employee to undertake specified services for an employer under the terms of the Employment Act 2000 (as amended) (EA):
Whether the communication is explicit or implicit, verbal or written?
Employers are required to give an employee with a written description of the terms and conditions of employment under the EA.
The following issues must be addressed as part of this process: (EA):
Employer and employee’s full names are required.
The date on which the employment began.
Description of the job for which the person has been hired in a concise manner
The location where the person will be employed.
The gross wage or the method of determining the gross wage, as well as the intervals at which it is to be paid, are all specified.
Normal working days and hours are shown below.
Holiday entitlement under a contract, encompassing public holidays and the amount of paid yearly vacation that has been accrued.
Sick leave for illness or other injury-related reasons is defined in this section.
The amount of time within which an employee is allowed to provide or receive notice in order to terminate the contract.
Pension arrangements, whether they are part of the National Pension Scheme or not, are important.
Procedures for disciplinary action and grievances
When the job is not permanent, the length of time that the employer expects the position to last.
If the job is for a set period of time, the date on which the employment will come to an end.
The length of any probationary term that may be applicable.
There is no such thing as a dress code.
Existence of a collective bargaining agreement that has the potential to have a direct impact on the terms and conditions of work.
If there are no specifics for the final reasons listed above, the statement of employment must indicate that no such specifics are available at the time of filing. In the event that an employer fails to give a new employee with a statement that includes all of the information listed above, the employer will be in violation of the EA.
Some companies and utilities may be subject to collective bargaining agreements. Among other things, they may define the minimum salary that must be given to certain workers.
Among the rights covered by the EA are disability leave and maternity leave.
Medical leave of absence.
Maternity leave is granted to women who get pregnant.
Overtime pay is provided.
Rest intervals are scheduled during work hours.
Severance compensation is provided.
The EA offers protection for workers and stipulates that it is not allowed to contract out of the requirements of the EA (save in very restricted situations). Because of these considerations, any clause in an employment contract that purports to exclude a specific work relationship from the provisions of the EA would be considered unlawful.
An employer and an employee may create a contract that gives the employee with additional rights beyond those provided by the EA.
Do foreign workers need work permits and/or residence permits in order to work in the United States?
The majority of non-Bermudan workers are required to get work permits from the Bermuda Government Department of Immigration, which is governed by the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956 (as modified). In general, work permits are not needed for non-Bermudians who: are married to Bermudians; or have children with Bermudians.
According to the Work Permit Policy, which was published in March 2015, the following are the primary types of permits that are available:
Typical work permits are available for durations ranging from one to two to three to four or five years. Seasonal and occasional work licences are also available.
Work authorization for a duration of up to six months or a periodic work authorization.
A worldwide work permit is required in order for a person who is currently employed by a global business in another country to move to another jurisdiction.
Business work permit to enable an exempted business new to Bermuda to obtain automatic approval of work permits for the first six months of its operation under the Bermuda Business Exemption.
In the case of exempted businesses or start-ups, a Global Entrepreneur work visa is valid for up to one year.
The anticipated turnaround time for granting of a work permit varies depending on the kind of application submitted, ranging from 48 hours for emergency work permits to 20 working days for regular work permits. Fees may range from BM$874 for a one-year permission to more than BM$6,000 for a multi-year permit, depending on the kind of permit requested.
Work permit exemptions are provided for non-Bermudian top executives who, if they meet the requirements of the applicable law, may also be granted permanent residence in the territory of Bermuda.
Termination and redundancy are two terms that are used in the workplace.
In the case of business transactions (such as redundancies and disposals), are workers entitled to management representation or to be consulted on the matter?
There is no particular law governing the rights of workers in the context of business transactions in the United States. However, a certain company may have a duty to consult with workers as part of its corporate papers or internal rules, or some employees may have such rights as part of their employment contracts, depending on the circumstances.
How are individual employment contracts terminated in accordance with applicable laws?
Unemployment benefits cannot be terminated by an employer unless and until there is a legitimate cause for the termination. The cause for termination must be related to the employee’s skills, performance, or behaviour, as well as the needs of the employer’s business operations. In these situations, the EA specifies the different notice periods (or pay in lieu of notice) that must be provided before a termination may take effect.
When an employee commits serious misconduct that is directly related to the employment relationship or has a detrimental effect on the employer’s business, the EA allows the employer to terminate the employment relationship without notice. This is permissible in the following circumstances: An employee commits serious misconduct that is directly related to the employment relationship or has a detrimental effect on an employer’s business to the extent that it would be unreasonable to expect the employer to continue the employment relationship.
Both: an employer has issued a written warning to an employee who has engaged in misconduct that is closely linked to the work relationship but does not constitute “severe misconduct,” and the employee engages in misbehaviour within six months of the date of the warning.
In both cases, an employer has issued a written warning to an employee who is not performing his or her duties satisfactorily, and the employee has failed to demonstrate that he or she is capable of performing his or her duties satisfactorily during the six-month period beginning on or after the date of the written warning.
It is possible to distinguish between claims of wrongful dismissal and claims of unjust dismissal in employment law. Dismissal in violation of contract is considered to be wrongful dismissal and is a common law claim. Fair dismissal, on the other hand, is covered under the Employment Act, which also includes constructive dismissal. Claims for unfair dismissal must be filed in accordance with the processes established by the EA.
Are redundancies and mass layoffs subject to government regulation?
The EA is in charge of redundancies. The termination of an employee is deemed redundant if it is the consequence of a decrease in the employer’s labour force that is a direct result of (EA) the following:
A process of modernization, mechanisation, or automation of the employer’s company, in its whole or in part.
The cessation of all or a portion of a commercial operation.
The sale or other disposition of the company’s assets.
The reorganisation of the company’s operations.
It has become necessary to scale down operations as a result of current economic circumstances.
There has been a decrease in the amount of work, sales, or demand.
The difficulty or impracticality of continuing on business as normal in the current environment.
Whenever a union member is laid off, an employer must notify the union in advance of doing so. The trade union should be notified of the specifics and number of workers who are likely to be impacted by the decision.
Bermuda law does not recognise the term “mass layoffs” in its strictest sense. These layoffs are permissible, provided that the employer follows all applicable provisions of the EA and applicable Bermuda legislation.
Taxes on employment Taxes on employment
Under what conditions is an employee subject to taxation in your jurisdiction, and what factors are utilised to determine that taxation?
There is no income tax in the country. Instead, a consumption-based tax known as payroll tax is levied and collected from both workers and employers. Employees are also required to pay to social insurance. All workers of companies with a physical presence in Bermuda are subject to payroll tax and social insurance payment obligations.
During the course of the working relationship, what income tax and social security payments are required to be paid by both the employee and the employer?
Regarding taxes, Bermuda does not make a distinction between workers who are Bermudian and those who are non-Bermudians. All workers of companies with a physical presence in Bermuda are subject to payroll tax and social insurance payment obligations.
Because there is no income tax in Bermuda, there are no income tax filing requirements. Instead, Bermuda has a consumption tax that is payed by both the employer and the employee. Payroll tax is paid and filed by the company, and the employee is liable for it. Payroll tax rates are governed by the Payroll Tax Rates Act 1995, which was passed in 1995. Employees also make a contribution to their social insurance by having a deduction made from their paychecks.
Depending on the kind of employment, compensation levels, and exemptions available, different rates of payroll tax are charged. Payroll tax is levied on the entire sum of cash and perks paid or provided to an employee in exchange for services performed in Bermuda. Employees’ salaries and earnings are subject to payroll tax at a standard rate of 15.5 percent, with a statutory percentage of 6 percent that may be deducted and retained by an employer from such salaries and wages.
Vehicles used for business purposes
When does a business vehicle become liable to taxation?
When a business is established in Bermuda, it obtains tax residence in that jurisdiction. Exempt enterprises (that is, exempted corporations, permit corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, and trusts) are, on the other hand, entitled to get a tax exemption certificate. The certificate serves as an assurance from the Minister of Finance that an exempted enterprise would not be required to pay certain taxes for the period up to and including March 31, 2035. These taxes may be classified as follows:
Profits or income are imputed to the company.
Any capital asset, gain, or appreciation is subject to this calculation.
It is similar to estate duty or inheritance tax in nature.
Any company with workers physically located in Bermuda, whether local or exempt, is liable to Bermuda’s consumption tax system (regardless of whether or not they have a certificate of exemption).
Non-resident businesses are subject to taxation.
Bermuda does not levy any taxes on tax-exempt non-resident companies.
What are the primary taxes that may possibly apply to a business vehicle subject to taxation in your jurisdiction (as well as the applicable tax rates?)
Bermuda has a well-established indirect tax system that comprises the following components:
The Revenue Act of 1898 was enacted (for the collection of customs duty).
Tax on real estate.
Companies are subject to annual government levies.
Tax-exempt enterprises are able to acquire a certificate of exemption from taxation.
All Bermuda taxes are dependent on the jurisdiction in which they are levied
Dividends, interest, and intellectual-property royalties
What is the taxation structure for imports and exports?
Customs duty is levied on imports by the government to cover the cost of transportation. Tariff rates are set by Tariff Classification Officers and are enforced by H.M. Customs on products that are imported into the country from other countries.
Double tax treaties are a kind of agreement that allows two countries to share the same tax revenue.
Is there a comprehensive network of double taxation agreements?
Bermuda is not a party to any double tax treaties since it solely has consumption-based taxes, which are not recognised internationally. Bermuda, on the other hand, is a party to the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters of the Council of Europe and has tax information sharing agreements with over 115 countries.
Bermuda was also an early adopter of the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard as well as the OECD’s BEPS Country-by-Country Reporting framework, all of which were introduced in 2012.
Are restrictive agreements and practises subject to the provisions of the antitrust laws? Is unilateral (or single-firm) behaviour subject to the provisions of antitrust law?
Although there is no explicit statute governing competition, common law concepts are applicable in this area.
Regulatory power in the area of competition. This is not relevant.
Agreements and practises that are restrictive
If restricted agreements and practises are acceptable under the law, they are governed by common law standards.
Conduct that is unilateral.
Regarding unilateral behaviour, there is no law in place.
Do mergers and acquisitions fall within the purview of merger control?
There is no particular law that governs takeovers in the United States. The Businesses Act 1981, on the other hand, applies to all companies established in Bermuda and provides for both mergers and amalgamations as well as a court-approved plan of arrangement to be implemented. Neither merger control nor takeover testing are required by law. All of the businesses that are listed on the Bermuda Stock Exchange are subject to distinct regulation.
Describe the most important intellectual property rights?
Defining terms as well as legal criteria Patents are awarded to inventors for their innovations. A patentable invention is defined as any new method of manufacturing that is not either of the following at the time of the application for the patent:
Others are putting it to use.
This is illegal, harmful to the state (by increasing the cost of goods), harmful to commerce, or just plain annoying for everyone involved!
A claimed innovation is included in the definition of invention. There are two kinds of patents: utility patents and design patents.
Patent for Bermuda (on a national scale).
Confirmatory (re-registration) of UK or European patents is possible, provided that the application is submitted within three years of the date of issue of the UK registered patent in question.
In order for a patent to be issued, all of the following conditions must be met:
The application has been authorised by the agent.
A patent application is a formal request for the award of a patent.
A specification that includes a description of the invention, a claim or claims, and any drawings that are referenced to in the description or any claim in the appropriate form is required.
An abstract written in the correct style.
Registration. The application should be submitted by the inventor or by the inventors who worked together. The Intellectual Property Department is in charge of the register.
The application of the law and the availability of remedies It is possible for the patent owner to file civil lawsuits in court for violation of their patent. The Registrar-General has the authority to rectify the register if the situation calls for it.
Injunctive relief is one of the available remedies.
Taking possession of, or destroying, the offending product
Damages. A statement that the patent is valid and that the patent has been infringed on is required.
Protection for a certain period of time. Patents in Bermuda (on a national level) are valid for 16 years. Confirmatory (re-registration) UK or European patents have a lifespan of up to 20 years, depending on when the application in Bermuda was filed and whether or not the UK patent is still in force in the United Kingdom.
Trademarks are protected by law.
Defining terms as well as legal criteria when a trademark is awarded, it may be for anything that can be used to differentiate between products and services. This includes a device, brand, heading, label, ticket, name, signature, word, letter, or number (or any combination of these), among other things.
The application of the law and the availability of remedies A registered trade mark may only be enforced by the owner or by a person who has been authorised by the owner under a licence. When an identical or confusingly similar mark is infringed upon, the owner is entitled to statutory protection, which may be enforced via the judicial system. Anyone who can demonstrate the necessary repute, usage, and confusion may bring a passing off case against an unregistered mark in the courts, thus enforcing the mark in question.
Protection duration and renewability are important considerations. The first period of protection for a trademark is seven years in length. Each renewal period is for a period of 14 years (unlimited).
If you are interested in owning a franchise in Bermuda, you must first work with a local partner or agent.
The agreement between the parties, which is comparable to a partnership agreement in effect, governs franchise agreements, despite the fact that they are not controlled by law. In addition, under the Prohibited Restaurant Act 1997, fast food franchises are strictly prohibited from operating in the country (1997 Act). Fast food franchises that were formed before to the passage of the 1997 Act, on the other hand, are permitted to continue to operate under the terms of the 1997 Act.
Are there any regulations that govern e-commerce (such as those governing electronic signatures and distance sales)?
The Electronic Transactions Act 1999 (ETA) regulates e-commerce and addresses various aspects of e-commerce, including: legal recognition of electronic records in terms of their effect, validity, admissibility, and enforceability; and legal recognition of electronic records in terms of their validity, admissibility, and enforceability.
Legal requirements for electronic records, such as delivery, electronic signatures, and certification, are outlined in the following sections.
Consumers and companies will be protected by a standard for electronic transactions.
Describe the laws and regulations that govern advertising?
The Advertisement Regulation Act 1911 governs the practice of advertising in the United Kingdom. Billboards and advertising are prohibited in most places, with a few exceptions (Advertisement Regulations Act 1911). Sale announcements may be made in shops, but exterior signage can only provide information about the company’s name and basic nature. Signs and advertising that are illuminated and visible against the sky from any street or public way are likewise banned from appearing.
Do you know whether there are any particular statutory data protection laws? If not, are there laws in place that provide an equal level of protection?
On July 27, 2016, the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) was signed into law by the Queen. PIPA is intended to govern the use of personal information by organisations in Bermuda where the information is used wholly or partially by automated means, or where the personal information forms or is intended to form part of a structured filing system, as defined by the Privacy and Information Protection Act. As previously stated, the Government of Bermuda advised that PIPA would not be implemented for approximately two years in order to provide organisations with sufficient time to prepare for its implementation. Nevertheless, discrete sections of PIPA that are applicable to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner came into effect in December of 2016.
Defendants are liable for their products.
Product liability and product safety are governed in what way, exactly?
The Department of Consumer Affairs regulates product liability and safety via the authority granted to it by the Consumer Protection Act of 1999. (1999 Act). This includes consumer products that do not meet the general safety standards of the country in which they were manufactured or imported.
Consumer products that do not meet the general safety standards if they are not reasonably safe in all the situations are considered to be unsafe.
The safeguards provided by the 1999 Act are only available to individuals who are operating in the course of their company.
The Consumer Affairs Board (CAB) was established under the Consumer Protection Act of 1999. The CAB is responsible for reviewing the technical aspects of consumer protection, with the Department of Consumer Affairs taking over the administrative responsibilities of the CAB. In line with the 1999 Act, it is the CAB’s duty to resolve any complaints that are lodged with them.