Types of Nonprofits in St. Kitts and Nevis

Cersai Stark

Cersai Stark

One of the top jurisdictions for registering a private foundation is St. Kitts and Nevis. Generally, these types of nonprofits come with excellent asset protection, beneficial tax systems, and are safe and secure. The country operates under a democratic system modeled after the British parliamentary system.

In this article, we will consider the various types of nonprofits in St. Kitts and Nevis and their operations. 


Types of nonprofits
Types of nonprofits


  • In Saint Kitt and Nevis, a government-NGO partnership has long overseen and supported the nation’s environmental affairs 
  • A Nevis entity that already exists can be changed into a foundation.
  • Environmental conservation accounts for a large portion of NGO activities. 


What are the types of nonprofits in Saint Kitts and Nevis?

There are five nonprofit classes recognized in Saint Kitts and Nevis. We will go further to outline each of them briefly. 

1. Cooperative Societies 

The Cooperative Societies Act of 2011, governs both cooperatives and credit unions operating in Saint Kitts and Nevis. Generally, these types of nonprofits primarily conduct their activity for the benefit of their members. 

Equally, the Act effectively promotes cooperative principles. As a result, it does not impose membership or social capital restrictions. There are no primary or secondary objectives related to the promotion of political or religious ideas of nationality or race. Likewise, the Act states that membership in cooperatives is open, voluntary, and available to anyone willing to use their services and ready to accept membership responsibilities. 

The Act makes particular provisions for Specialized Co-operative Societies. This includes Credit Unions, Consumer and Housing Co-operative Societies, Industrial Co-operative Societies, and Apex Bodies. Each of these entities has its degrees of restrictions, limitations, and operational standards, among other requirements. 

2. Foundations 

These types of nonprofits are governed by the Foundations Act of 2003. Basically, the Foundation Act allows for the establishment of a Foundation by a person who is qualified to conduct corporate or trust operations under the applicable Federal legislation.

Hence, a Founder or any person acting on their behalf may apply for registration. This is after submitting the Articles of Foundation to the Register and paying the registration fee. A founder is anybody who signs the articles of foundation, transfers the foundation’s first assets or capital, and then applies to have the foundation registered in line with the Act’s provisions after paying the required registration fee.

Essentially, a Foundation shall not be subject to assessment or liability for any tax in the Federation. Likewise, its beneficiaries are also exempted from all income, capital gains, and withholding taxes of the Foundation. 

3. Charitable Trusts 

The Trusts Act primarily governs these types of nonprofits. A charitable trust is one in which the income, capital, or both of the trust property are used for an endeavor deemed charitable. Specifically, any individual who is not a kid, under arrest, or insolvent may establish a trust for any legitimate reason.

Regardless of any law or equity to the contrary, a purpose shall be regarded as charitable notwithstanding that it may not be of a public nature or for the benefit of the public. It could be that the charitable act may benefit just a segment of the public or members of the public or may privately benefit one or more persons within a group or class. 

Subsequently, the Minister must issue an order listing the purposes that are considered charitable under this section. In addition, the Minister may prescribe changes to the list. However, these changes will have no impact on a charitable trust that was already created before the change was made. Also, only a written document may establish a charitable trust.

4. Companies Limited by Guarantee 

For these types of nonprofits, any one or more individuals associated with a legal purpose may form a Company Limited by Guarantee. This is done by signing a memorandum of association. Equally, the memorandum may limit the members’ liability to the amount that each member may agree to contribute to the company’s assets if it is dissolved. 

By and large, any signatory to a company’s memorandum of association, or someone acting on their behalf, may apply for registration. This follows before sending the memorandum to the Registrar of Companies and paying the required registration fee.

On the other hand, a corporation may be wound up and dissolved. This could either be through a summary winding-up if it is solvent, through a court-ordered winding-up if the court determines that it is just and equitable to do so or through a creditor-ordered winding-up if the company is insolvent.

5. Nongovernmental Organizations (NGO)

An NGO is a nonprofit organization whose goal and objectives are to promote sustainable human development via voluntary service. Hence, these types of nonprofits must be registered under the NGO Act

Subsequently, every NGO registered with the NGO Act must develop internal accounting and administrative procedures. Also, its financial and additional resources must be used to achieve its goals.

NGOs are required to abide by the rule that requires them to submit specific reports to the Registrar of NGOs. This includes Annual Audited Statements, certified copies of their financial status, and a Report of their program of activities and policies during the fiscal year. 

Forthwith, any NGO registered with the NGO Act is exempt from paying business taxes and corporate income taxes.

What regulatory framework governs the activities of nonprofits in St. Kitts and Nevis? 

In St. Kitts and Nevis, foundations are exempt from all taxes. This is primarily because these types of nonprofits can be managed from afar and set up in many ways. Likewise, NGOs are also given tax exemptions. 

Furthermore, the Foundation is permitted to carry out commercial activities anywhere in the world. This is once all conditions have been satisfied and a memorandum of establishment has been submitted. However, foundations cannot engage in conventional business operations or commerce. Nevertheless, these entities can obtain earnings from sales, investments, and deposits.

Also, a Nevis entity that already exists can be changed into a foundation. Even more, any two or more entities—from inside or outside the nation—can combine to form a national multiform Foundation.

Legally speaking, no one owns a private foundation in St. Kitts and Nevis. As a result, its assets are owned by the entity alone. To illustrate, if a person places a house, stocks, or bank account under a foundation and is sued by a creditor, they cannot seize those assets because they are not yours. Rather, they belong to the foundation.


In Saint Kitt and Nevis, a government-NGO partnership has long overseen and supported the nation’s environmental affairs. The conventional nonprofit action areas of human rights, education, health, and gender rights see little participation from NGO organizations. 

Overall, environmental conservation accounts for a large portion of NGO activities. 

If you enjoyed reading this article, please share your comments and suggestions with us at the bottom of this post. 


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