Can I Do Business in Cuba?
Traveling to Cuba and potentially doing business there has been a hot topic of interest ever since the recent easing of government sanctions implemented by the Obama Administration. Travel for business is permitted when it is in relation to professional research or meetings, journalistic or educational activities, public performances, clinics or workshops, or athletic and other types of competitions and exhibitions. This means that if your business is engaged in commercial activities falling into these categories, you can legally engage in travel and other transactions there.
It’s important to recognize however, that while certain activities are now allowable, they remain highly regulated by the US government’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which regulates the licenses needed to do business and travel there. For example, tourist travel is technically not permitted despite stories of our friends or relatives having traveled there on “vacation.” In fact, only 12 specific categories of travel, including those presented above, are authorized under a general license from OFAC which permits travel only when its purpose is for one of OFAC’s designated reasons.
Despite this licensing scheme however, US companies are poised to take advantage of the opportunities available with the opening of Cuba’s border. With its proximity to the US, Cuba should be on anyone’s radar looking to start or expand their business through exports.
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Office of Foreign Assets Control