The Commonwealth of the Bahamas (“The Bahamas”) is a 100,000 square mile archipelago located just some 50 miles off the coast of the Florida peninsula. Comprised of some 700 islands and cays this island nation has a population of approximately 370,000 nearly two thirds of which reside on the island of New Providence in which is the capital of Nassau.
The entire Bahamas resides in the Eastern time zone (Eastern Standard time ‘EST’ same as New York) and the capital, Nassau, is a short 30 minute flight from Miami; two and a half hours form New York; and three hours from Toronto, Canada.
The Bahamas, a former colony of the United Kingdom, achieved independence on July 10th 1973. As an independent and sovereign nation, The Bahamas has maintained membership in the British Commonwealth and is also a member state of the Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM). The country has enjoyed political stability since independence and, much like other Commonwealth nations Canada and New Zealand, the government is based on a British Westminster model with a Prime Minister as the executive head and the Queen of England as its official Head of State. The Bahamas government is elected by a ‘first past the post’ popular vote of citizens who elect persons to parliament primarily from two dominant political parties.
The laws of The Bahamas are based on the British common law system and much of the statutes and jurisprudence derives from English statute and case law. Within The Bahamas there exists Magistrates Courts, Supreme Courts and Courts of Appeal. The highest and final court of appeal in the nation is the Privy Council located in the United Kingdom.
It is said that Christopher Columbus first set foot in the new world on the island of San Salvador in The Bahamas in 1492. Since then The Bahamas has been key to the international trade and shipping routes linking the old European world with the new American one. In many ways The Bahamas today reflects this history.
The Bahamas enjoys a rich culture in music with ‘rake n scrape’ and goombay music being the dominant indigenous music. On December 26th (“Boxing Day”) and January 1st (“New Year’s Day”) of every year Bahamians celebrate Junkanoo – an indigenous street parade which has its roots in celebration by slaves dressed in costumes and dancing through the streets of the capital.
Situated just 50 miles off the coast of Florida, The Bahamas offers the best of all worlds for families and businesses with choices in lifestyle and residency. The Bahamas is easy to travel to, politically stable, predictable legally and rich culturally. Access to both local and international professionals only add to the allure of The Bahamas for families and businesses alike. A competitive and complimentary business environment makes The Bahamas a can’t miss destination….did we mention the beautiful beaches, year-round sun, and pristine waters?