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Puerto Rico Is Open For Business

Client Alert

Puerto Rico has the highest vaccination in the nation. More than 73% of the total population is fully vaccinated. The U.S. national average is just over 57%. The ports opened in June 2020 and San Juan held its first live concert this past summer. It is important to remember that Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and there is no need for visas. The banking system is almost identical to the mainland, and the Island uses the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. dollar as its currency. There are thousands of flights from the U.S. to Puerto Rico daily and all main airlines fly to the Island.

Puerto Rico is known for its tax incentives program to promote the investment of foreign companies in the Island. The Puerto Rico Incentives Code (Act 60) passed on July 1, 2019, has standardized 15-year term tax exemptions, which could be extended for an additional fifteen years. Some of the exemptions are directed to Export (Services and Goods), Financial and Insurance Services, Visitor Economy, Manufacturing, Infrastructure, Farming, Creative Industries, Entrepreneurship, Air and Sea Transport.

All residents of Puerto Rico are exempt from U.S. federal taxes, and Puerto Rico is in charge of making its own local tax laws. As an example, an export service company that sets up an office in Puerto Rico can get a 4% corporate tax rate and full tax exemption on all dividends. The company is only required to hire one local employee if the company's annual revenue is over $3 million. Furthermore, the Act offers full exemption from all local taxes on passive income to individuals that have not lived in Puerto Rico for the last ten years. It also requires the individual to purchase residential property and to donate at least $10,000 a year to a local non-profit.

The location of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean makes it ideal for business. The Island has two international airports, and it has three major ports. Furthermore, Puerto Rico's legal system is similar to the mainland, and the Island’s law schools are approved by the American Bar Association. Attorneys admitted in U.S. jurisdictions can appear ad hoc without much trouble. In addition, there is a United States District Court, and its appeals are taken to the First Circuit in Boston.

Puerto Rico provides similar benefits as any tax haven jurisdiction and also provides a strong rule of law to protect the interest of any business. Puerto Rico is the best of both worlds.

For additional questions, please contact International Law Attorney Omar Carmona at ocarmona@bmdpl.com.


Valley National Bank/Trulieve Loan: A Big Step Out of the Shadows

In a late December press release, Trulieve announced that it had secured a $71.5 million commercial bank loan. In addition to the amount of the loan, which may be the largest commercial bank loan to date to a cannabis company, the release prominently identified Valley Bank and featured both a quote from Valley’s Senior Vice President, John Myers, and a description of the Bank’s service platform and commitment to the cannabis industry.

The End of Non-Competes? The Impact It Will Have on the Healthcare Industry

On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced a proposed rule that, if enacted, will ban employers from entering into non-compete clauses with workers (the “Rule”), and the Rule would void existing non-compete agreements. In their Notice, the FTC stated that if the Rule were to go into effect, they estimate the overall earnings of employees in the United States could increase by $250 billion to $296 billion per year. The Rule would also require employers to rescind non-competes that they had already entered into with their workers. For purposes of the Rule, the FTC has defined “worker” to also include any employees, interns, volunteers, and contractors.”

2022 Healthcare Recap and 2023 Healthcare Check-Up

As the country begins to return to a new “normal” following the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many healthcare rules changing on both the federal and state levels as a result. Thus, it is important for healthcare providers and their employers to be aware of these changing rules, and any implications they may have on their practice. Look back on healthcare in 2022 and find a checklist for 2023.

Direct Support Professional Retention Payments

On December 15, the Ohio Senate and House passed House Bill 45, which authorizes the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), in conjunction with the county boards of developmental disabilities, to launch their initiative to issue retention payments to Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). These retention payments will be distributed quarterly to participating home and community-based waiver providers to address the workforce crisis in the direct provider sector. Governor DeWine needs to sign the Bill to begin the payments, but he is expected to do so by the end of 2022.

Real Estate Investors Position for 2023 Opportunities

Real estate investors weathered another year in a post-pandemic world, with the year closing with yet another interest rate increase coupled with both uncertainty and heightened interest carrying into 2023. Just last Wednesday, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate 0.50 percentage points, shifting the target range to 4.25% to 4.50%. The new level is the highest the fed funds rate has been since December 2007 and marks the seventh rate hike this year. So what does this mean to investors, brokers, lenders, and others in the real estate world? Read a few perspectives below from stakeholders familiar with our BMD clients and the markets in which they do business.