For those who would like to start or own a business in the Cook Islands, you will need to register with the Business Trade Investment Board for Foreign Enterprise registration.  The B.T.I.B. grants the necessary approval (to Non-Cook Islanders) to carry on business in the Cook Islands.

Your Cook Islands Real Estate agent has the know-how and the contacts to get you started

man and women seated on a Rarotongan beach
Birds Eye view of Rarotonga Airport


snap shot  :

a quick overview on investing here


  • The Cook Islands has a  Government which welcomes and encourages local and foreign investment
  • Attractive life-style in a relaxed and safe environment
  • Developed infrastructure for business, quality housing for expatriate staff and good health and education services
  • No Foreign Exchange Controls
  • Freedom to repatriate capital and profits
  • No Wealth Tax
  • No Gift Tax
  • No Property Tax
  • No Capital Gains Tax
  • No Death Duty Tax
  • Income Tax (company)  20% for residents, 28% for non residents
  • Value added Tax - 15%  (V.A.T. also known in some other countries as G.S.T)
  • Sophisticated telecommunication links with the rest of the world and regular air services to New Zealand, Australia and the USA


The Cook Islands  have been described by some international investors as the sleeping giant of the south pacific. The giant is now awakening and although still renowned as a friendly, laid back tourism destination, these (tourism) numbers are growing exponentially.

 The understanding of the friendly nature of the people here, the pristine and safe location of the Cook Islands, and the beauty of this island group, has slowly tricked out to all corners of the travelling globe. Most observers agree that a dramatic rise in tourism arrivals is only restricted by available accommodation and public infrastructure.


Land tenure in the Cook Islands can be considered unique and is based on leasehold rather than freehold. This, in most cases, allows for a smaller initial investment into property and/or businesses if compared to similar in a freehold sense.

Maximum period of leases are 60 years, although most are open to renewal by negotiation, at any time, with the landowners.

Foreign investors will find that domestic homes and vacant sections of land are not available as their initial way of entry to these islands, and that the purchase of an existing business (that is for sale) is the most straight forward way of entry. Once you have been approved to purchase a business, and after operating that business for several years, then residential property can then be explored with approval from the B.T.I.B ( i.e. the Business Trade Investment Board , which is the government body that approves all foreign investors)  There is always a good choice of long term rental properties in the meantime.

 So, good local knowledge from your Real Estate agent is important as exceptions to the general rule are sometimes possible.

 Here in the Cook Islands, tourism pretty well supports the entire economy, with other income generating industries then supporting this core sector. Business and private infrastructure is well established and efficient, but a major overhaul of water quality and distribution, waste disposal, transport and roads are currently underway, paid for with large, soft loans from overseas

This will allow tourism arrivals to continue to grow and this is good news for the tourism industry and investors.

The time has never been better to invest in the Cook Islands than right now, and we need the right people to get involved and grow along with this new wave.