Friday , March 1 2024

OPINION: where is the protection for established businesses on Saba??

Dear Editor,

What are the rights of businesses that are established on the island, businesses that had to go through the ropes of obtaining a business license ect. Businesses that have employed foreigners to work and those same workers are now seeking similar business licenses to cut out their employers. How are we, the established businesses, to survive if this is permitted?

My question is how fair is this? Imagine if one business has 10 employees and all ten of them request a business license for the same type of business operation?

Saba is too small an island to permit this to continue. Is it then so, that someone that has one year or six months barely can do this? If that is the case there would be no work for none. How can the authorities protect us against this type of thing happening. Something should be done.

I beg those in authority to intervene and protect us business people.

Much thanks.

(Name withheld on request)

Opinion: Integrity Chamber Kingdom–wide
Editorial in The Daily Herald: “Never a dull moment”


  1. See the 205 wet vestiging bedrijven BES. It states that:
    1.The license may be refused if the applicant apparently has insufficient skills to manage a business or apparently has insufficient financial means necessary in reason to start a business as the one for which the license is applied for.
    Who made this law?
    The Dutch Government since 10-10-10.
    Who can change this law?
    The Second Chamber.
    Now do you see why the approval of business licenses no matter who applies for them cant be stopped?
    Ask Statia why they have a Spatial Development Plan.

  2. Drs René Caderius van Veen

    At least a business could have protected itself by having formulated in their employment-contracts that employees would not have the permission to start a business in the same sector or to be employed by another company in that sector after the contract is ended at least for a certain period. This is a standard procedure and is sounds as if it is a pity that not all enterprises are informed about these normal paragraphs in employment contracts.

  3. This happened to me more than once. We even had the paragraph in our contracts Rene mentioned but it was impossible to enforce it or we were told that this doesn’t apply for Saba. Everyone, experienced or not can just open a restaurant or bar. I wish people would be more diverse. Open something Saba really needs, like Patrick with his carwash for example. This is more successful then opening the number 20 restaurant on the island and take away other peoples living. Most of these places not even employ people because then they had to pay social premiums and wage taxes.

  4. Drs René Caderius van Veen

    Dear Wolfgang, The one who told you that this was not appicable on Saba is an enormeous stupid fool, who knows nothing about law. Such a contract has nothing to do with public law but only with private/civil law: it is an agreement that cannot be violated without consequences. Maybe that it is a good idea to add to the clausule that the one who is violating the agreement has to pay you $ 10,000,- for each month that the violation is going on. The Dutch term for it is “Concurrentie-beding”. Especially in the sector of restaurants (horeca) it is quite usual. In other sectors, such as transport, it is possible that the government puts a limitation of numbers of permits to be given (for instance in transport) and only in that case it is a regulator by government.