Roatan Honduras Economy Report

Honduras has a large United States business presence in Standard Fruits, Dole Industries, huge lumber concerns, textile clothing as well as substantial U. S. aid and military presence. New Orleans has become a major import export city dealing with Honduras. Because of the good relationship with the United States government, Honduras has proven good stability with a governing system much like the United States.

Experts recognize that considerable potential exists for the development of a major tourism industry on the Honduran Bay Islands. Although some entrepreneurs have purchased large amounts of prime acreage, opportunity is out there for those who are adventurous enough to develop tourism and service-related business.

In Honduras, you can start a business that qualifies for one of the “free trade zones” or “export processing zones” where concessions are available. Possibilities exist in tourism and a wide variety of products for export including: fruit and vegetables, seafood, lumber and other forest products, minerals and light manufacturing or assembly operations. If you qualify for a “free trade zone”, you can import goods duty free, manufacture or assemble a product and then export the financial product without any export duties.

You are also exempt from income tax for 10 years. Even a tourism project is eligible for a “free trade zone”. Honduras does this to promote jobs for their people. One helpful organization is The Foundation for Investment and Export Development (FIDE), a private nonprofit organization with USAID. Contact the Industrial Development Group Honduras, (FIDE Branch Office) at one of these two locations: 170 Hamilton Ave., Suite 211, White Plains, NY 10601; Tel 914/761-4233; fax 914/761-4389, or Airport Corporate Center, 72001 9th St. NW., Suite 303, Miami, FL 33126; Tel. 305/592-3166; fax 305/592-3969.

Taxes and Banking Roatan, Honduras has a sales tax of 12% to be applied to merchandise and services. There is an alcohol beverage and cigarette tax of 15%. There is a 4% tourism tax for tour related services. Property tax in Roatan is .0035% of the assessed value of said property. Based on a $100,000 recorded value villa, the annual property tax will be approximately $350.00. The U. S. dollar is widely accepted in Roatan.

It is recommended that you exchange dollars for Lemps for ease of purchases. Please see exchange rate to be posted with frequency. Travelers checks are accepted in most establishments in Roatan but can be a burden. Also they must be in US Dollars only.Most major credit cards are accepted for most purchases with the addition of a small processing fee that is standard in Roatan.

Most of the banks in Roatan including Credomatic, will give cash advances on major US Dollar credit cards. Money wire transfers from the states to Roatan can be very time consuming and costly also a burden. Wires are not recommended for tour visitors unless absolutely necessary for the island of Roatan.

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