Dutch St. Maarten Real Estate Laws and Taxes
If buying a private residence or lot in your own name, you must present your passport or other pictured identification. If buying in a company name, you must present articles of incorporation and a statement showing the company is in good standing. You need not become a resident to own property on St. Maarten.
Personal or business accounts can be opened at local banks as off shore accounts are not restricted to local foreign exchange taxes. Dollars can be moved freely from one country to another.
There are three basic types of deed transfers for real estate on St. Maarten: fee simple, government long lease, and private long lease. All deed types give registered ownership. Properties in protected subdivisions are fee simple (same as in U.S.). Properties are always closed using the European system where the Civil Law Notary, appointed by the Queen of Holland, is responsible by law to both parties and is obligated to do a proper title search to insure a clear title transfer. The responsibility of clear title is with the Notary, thus title insurance is not needed. Closings take place on St. Maarten in English within the time frame set by the Sales and Purchase Agreement. Closing costs are minimal. There is a one-time government transfer tax of 4%, plus the Notary's fee with the total of both amounting to no more than 6% of the gross sale price. These costs are the Buyer's responsibility.
- Long lease and fee simple deeds
- Approximately 6% transfer fees; includes notary stamp and all fees
- No land taxes what so ever
- No capital gains tax
- Offshore companies and investors welcome
- Building permits and zoning are routine
French Saint Martin Real Estate Laws and Taxes
On French St.Martin, real estate transactions are always handled by the Notaire (Notary). The Notaire is responsible for preparing the final deed and obtaining all relevant searches about the property. The Notaire must check that each party has full capacity or the right either to sell or purchase property. Like on the Dutch side of St. Maarten, the Notaire is responsible, by law, to both parties and is obligated to do a proper title search to insure a clear title transfer. A personal attorney is not necessary. As of 01 July 2007 the Commune St. Martin is directly attached (together with St. Barth’s) to mainland France and no longer under the jurisdiction of Guadeloupe.
- Land lease and fee simple deeds are available.
- Approximately 10% transfer fees; includes Notary and taxes.
- Land tax is applicable. Call or e-mail us for more information.
- No V.A.T. even though St. Martin is a borough within France.
- 33.5 % capital gains tax.
- Offshore companies are welcome but with restrictions. But recently it has been possible to establish “local branches” of foreign companies. Such branches can purchase, sell and manage land in St. Martin
- Land speculation is limited. Build within six (6) months or additional taxes apply.
- Building permits and zoning require some local knowledge.