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All of the businesses above went bust

Business in Cape Verde

Applications for licences and approval, establishing a business

For this you need authorisation from Cabo Verde Investimentos in Praia. Dr Victor Fidalgo, 00238 260 4111 cvinvestment@cvtelecom.cv

It is not easy to do this as A from Paris found out.

"I don't mean to be discouraging about opening a cafe in Mindelo. I have been there many times. I fell in love with Sao Vicente and Santo Antao, and I am now setting up a small bed and breakfast business. I just want you to be aware that Cabo Verde Investimentos is very difficult to deal with. An individual approach is absolutely useless. Going to the office in Praia does not help either. The way that I might get authorisation for "foreign investor status" to have a business and for "tourist use certificate" to get tax breaks is by creating an Lda and giving shares to a Cape Verdean friend. This is supposed to make things easier. But it's already taken several months and things are moving really slowly. Some people have obviously made it. But it is not easy and it takes a LOT of patience. I talked to many people, including the 2003 World Wave Windsurf champion, Hawaian Mark Angulo, whose wife is Cape Verdean. Even he said that it had not been easy to set up a business in Sal. If you are persistent and you have time you will manage. But you really have to want it badly.".

L from California comments on some problems of the bureaucracy
"So I just got back from the post office, and I feel I need to say something. The post office here in Sal Rei is the worst place in the universe. I know you may be thinking "Really? Well, what about prison? Death Valley in the summer? A fire ant nest?" No, I assure you, it's the post office. Generally, if you arrive before 10:30 am, it's not so bad. You can pick up a package or send an envelope in 10 minutes or so. The problem is that they have several services there: regular post office stuff, all CVTelecom stuff (land lines and cell phones), plus Western Union. So there are people there to send stuff, receive stuff, pay phone bills, get contracts, send money to their families, receive money from abroad, etc etc. So really, it's a madhouse. And it could work well. Except for one guy. He is my mortal enemy. Granted, most things in Cape Verde run a little slower than usual, and I'm fine with that. I can just relax and let things go at their own pace, and it rarely bothers me these days. But this guy... oh man. We joke that he is the most useless human being in the world. Sometimes, even when there is no one else there, he will literally lie to you about something to avoid completing some task. He's the reason it took 6 weeks to get a phone installed. We asked him for a printout of our phone bill last week, and he said it was impossible without filling out a request for the main office in Praia. Two days ago, I asked someone else (the manager, who is awesome and supremely helpful), and the detailed bill was in my hand 45 seconds later.) Today, I was 5th or 6th in line to pick up a box, and it took over an hour. Just because the simplest tasks take him 15 to 20 minutes. It's really pretty amazing.!"