Expanding your business operations into new territories can be an exciting venture, and purchasing property in Guam is no exception. This picturesque island offers unique opportunities for growth, but there are several key legal considerations businesses should be aware of before making such an investment. Here is a brief guide to help you navigate the property market in Guam.
Know the local laws and restrictions
Guam has specific laws that govern land ownership, which can differ from those on the mainland U.S. It is important to complete due diligence before moving forward with a plan to purchase real estate. This can include the following:
- Research the Chamorro Land Trust Act, which affects most land transactions.
- Understand restrictions on foreign ownership and how they may apply to your business.
- Be aware of zoning laws that could impact the type of business activities you can conduct.
Taxation in Guam also operates under a different system, and it is vital to know how it affects property purchases. Consider the impact of Guam’s tax structure on your overall business operations and consult with a tax professional who has experience with Guam’s tax laws.
Consider the environmental regulations
Guam is subject to strict environmental regulations that can influence property usage. As such, it is wise to investigate potential environmental hazards or restrictions on the property. This could include an assessment of the potential need for environmental impact studies or permits.
There is also the possibility for more localized environmental protection laws to impact your plans. Take these into account before finalizing a deal.
Assess infrastructure and access
The availability of infrastructure can greatly affect your business operations.
- Check the availability of utilities, roads, ports, and other infrastructure.
- Consider the logistical aspects of shipping, supply chain, and access to markets.
- Evaluate the cost of infrastructure improvements, if necessary.
It is important to note that this area in particular is rapidly changing. President Joseph Biden and his administration have made it clear that they support growth in Guam. This was recently highlighted with over $186 million in funding to aid infrastructure growth such as work on roads, bridges, water access, public transit, and internet access. These efforts can make it even more beneficial to pursue real estate investments in Guam.
Consider using a team of professionals to help meet your goals
Navigating Guam’s property market requires specialized knowledge. It is often helpful to engage with a local attorney to guide you through the legal process.
As you consider expanding your business into Guam, it is crucial to do your due diligence and understand the unique aspects of the local property market. By being well-informed and seeking the right professional guidance, your business can set the stage for a successful venture in this dynamic location.