Can you give me a ‘Road Map’ for the Application/Purchase process
for a Non-Cook Islander, when buying a business that is currently available for sale?

Assuming that you have identified and made an offer on a business(es) that has been listed on  this site ( Cook Islands Real Estate) then the following is the road map for the purchase process.

1. An offer is agreed on by both the vendor (owner) and the purchaser (yourself) 

2. A sales and purchase agreement is then drafted up via your Cook Islands registered legal representative. (The cost associated with the sales and Purchase agreement being initiated, is usually, borne by the vendor). Your Rarotongan Property representative can put you in contact with a registered lawyer 

3. Your legal representative will have you complete the necessary paperwork associated with this application and return these to his/her office (paperwork includes, copies of the picture page of passports / medical forms which are completed in your home town / police clearances initiated from your home town / a business plan of your what you will be doing with this business / names of 2 referees that can verify your existence. Your Rarotongan Property  representative can assist with soft copies of this paperwork, including templates for the Business plan and the medical forms which outline the test to be done. 

4. Your legal representative will collate these documents and a copy of your Sales and purchase agreement and submit these to the BTIB(Business Trade Investment Board) [application fee to BTIB is NZ$1,400.00] The BTIB is the Government Dept that must approve all Non Cook Islanders coming to these islands and they meet once monthly. The board consists of a Chairman, a C.E.O. and four board members. 

5. The board will consider the merits of each application with the view to ‘what is the net benefit’ to the Cook Islands and Cook Islanders. 

6. Upon approval by the BTIB, your sales and purchase agreement will be deemed to be now unconditional and the BTIB will (if included in the application) direct the Cook Islands Immigration department to grant the applicants their work and residency permits to come and live here in the Cook Islands and to conduct the business that they have now purchased. 

7. Welcome, you have arrived ! 

Road map :

The ' how to'  on buying a business here in the COOK ISLANDS