Barnes Saint-Barth



Acte authentique de vente 

  • Deed of sale : This is a deed that is drawn up (reiteration of the preliminary sales agreement) and signed in the presence of a notary in his role as public authority, which seals the sale between the parties. The purchaser becomes the owner once the sum corresponding to the sale has been paid and the deed has been signed by all parties.

Acte de propriété

  • Deed of ownership, also known as “title of ownership”: The deadline for receiving a copy of the deed of ownership is approximately 6 months after the signing of the deed. The notary is responsible for contacting the relevant organizations to obtain the title deed.


  • Cadastre : The Cadastre is an administration that collects land parcel registrations from topographic surveys, which are then used to determine land ownership and registration numbers. Land parcel information is public.

Certificat d’Urbanisme

  • Town planning certificate : The town planning certificate (also known as CU) indicates the administrative limits to property rights and the list of applicable planning taxes and participations. The time taken to process a CU is 2 months after receipt of the application by the Direction de l'Aménagement du Territoire, and its duration is 18 months. The CU does not replace a building permit, but has the effect of freezing or "crystallizing" town planning rules for its duration, i.e. 18 months. Once obtained, the CU therefore has the immediate effect of temporarily guaranteeing any negative changes to planning regulations.

Charges de copropriété

  • Co-ownership expenses: These are the incompressible charges linked to the fact that an owner owns a property (a lot) within a co-ownership (several lots), which a syndicate looks after so that the co-ownership is maintained. Once a year, the co-owners meet at a General Meeting to vote on work or improvements to the co-ownership (common areas, roofing, etc.). These amounts are then distributed according to each owner's share. Expenses are generally called quarterly via a call for funds sent by the syndicate. 

Charges d’un mandat de vente 

  • Sales mandate charges: Fees for a sales mandate may be payable by the buyer or by the seller. In Saint-Barthélemy, article 51 paragraph 3 of the Code des Contributions stipulates that fees may be charged to the purchaser on behalf of the seller, i.e. deducted from the final sale price and deductible from the taxable base relating to the duty on the transfer of immovable property for valuable consideration (« droit de mutation à titre onéreux d'immeubles exigés”).

Collectivité d’Outre Mer (COM)

  • Overseas Collectivity (COM) : The COMs are French territories, each with a specific status laid down by an organic law. They are governed by Article 74 of the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, which applies the principle of legislative exception devolved to a competent local institution. It is the departments of the Collectivité de Saint-Barthélemy that legislate in particular on tax and town-planning regulations.

Compromis de vente

  • Preliminary sales agreement: This is a contract, generally drawn up by the notaries of the parties (buyer and seller), concerning the sale of a property. This contract specifies all the conditions of sale. It is usually signed between 4 and 8 weeks after acceptance of the buyer's offer. Once the seller has signed the compromis de vente, he cannot retract. The buyer, on the other hand, has 10 days in which to withdraw without giving any reason. He can also withdraw by lifting one of the conditions precedent specified in the deed, if any.

Condition suspensive

  • Condition precedent : A suspensive condition is a clause concerning a condition in the purchase, usually written and inserted when the offer is drawn up. If the offer is accepted, the condition(s) are then written into the compromis de vente. If one of the conditions mentioned is not met, such as the refusal of a bank loan to finance the purchase, the buyer can withdraw without paying any financial compensation to the seller.


Constructibilité résiduelle

  • Residual constructability : Residual constructibility is the surface area that can still be built on an already-built plot, subject to compliance with the permeability and greening coefficient.


Déclaration de travaux

  • Déclaration of construction work: The declaration of work or preliminary declaration (DP) is a compulsory administrative document for works of minor importance or whose surface area is less than 20m². Applications are received by the Saint-Barthélemy Urban Planning Department, which is responsible for processing them. Applications must be processed within two months (article 133-9 of the Saint-Barthélemy Urban Planning Code), and the prior declaration expires if the work, division or change of use is not undertaken within 4 years (article 133-49 of the Urban Planning Code, amended by deliberation n°2021-050 CT of 24.09.2021).

Délai de rétractation

  • Delay of withdrawal: Non-professional buyers have the right to withdraw from the purchase of a residential property. Under article L. 271-1 of the French Code of construction and residence, this period lasts ten calendar days and begins on the day following the first registered letter notifying the purchaser of the sale agreement, or when it is delivered by hand. Notification of withdrawal must be sent by the purchaser to the seller by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt before the end of the 10-day period.

Dépot de garantie

  • Deposit: After signing the preliminary sales agreement, the future buyer pays a deposit, usually 10% of the value of the property. This sum is paid into an escrow account held by the notary in charge of the file. This account is opened in the buyer’s name. This amount is then deducted from the remainder to be paid when the deed of sale is signed.


  • Diagnostics: Property diagnostics are designed to inform buyers about certain aspects of the property they are planning to buy. It is a mandatory document in the event of a sale, and is carried out by an authorized professional. In Saint-Barthélemy, diagnostics include a report on the presence or absence of asbestos (mandatory if the property was built before 1997), the condition of gas installations (installations over 15 years old), the condition of electricity for installations over 15 years old, and termite diagnostics. These diagnostics are valid for between 6 months and 3 years. For asbestos, if the diagnosis was carried out after April 2013, its validity is unlimited. If the property is in co-ownership, the Loi Carrez survey is mandatory, and is valid indefinitely, except in the case of modification work.

Document d’informations précontractuelles

  • Pre-contractual information document: Prior to concluding a contract, the agent (authorized professional) must inform the consumer on certain points of the proposed commitment. This pre-contractual information obligation enables the consumer to make a commitment with full knowledge of the facts. If the principal is not a consumer, there is no obligation to send the pre-contractual information document.

Douane et droits de quai

  • Customs and wharfage: Since January 1, 2012, Saint-Barthélemy has been an "Overseas Country and Territory" (OCT), located outside the customs territory of the EU, giving it extensive autonomy in customs matters. Import duties on all goods brought into Saint-Barthélemy are set at 5% (municipal decree of May 24, 1879, law 74-1114 of December 27, 1974, law 96-1182 of December 30, 1996 and article 13 of the Saint-Barthélemy Tax Code).

Droit de mutation

  • Transfer rights: These fees, which include registration duties and land registration tax, are payable by the buyer of a property at the time of purchase. In Saint-Barthélemy, these fees are around 5%. The notary collects around 1%, making a total of around 6% to be paid on top of the purchase price.

Droit de préemption

  • Pre-emption rights: Before signing the preliminary sales agreement, notaries check that the property for sale is not located in a pre-emption zone. If this is the case, the local Collectivité has priority to acquire the property. The Collectivité has two months in which to respond.

Droit de rétractation dans un mandat de vente

  • Right of withdrawal in a sales mandate: The Seller must be informed in each sales mandate that, in application of the provisions of articles L. 221-18 et seq. of the French Consumer Code, he/she has a period of fourteen days to exercise, without reason, his/her right of withdrawal concerning the sales mandate he/she signs.


Emprise au sol

  • Ground surface: Ground surface is the total surface area of a building, including exterior walls and excluding roof overhangs



  • Surveyor : Licensed professional who is the guarantor of land ownership. They carry out topographical surveys of land in all types of environments to define their boundaries. This then enables them to be entered in the land register.


  • Gustavia : The capital of the overseas collectivity of Saint-Barthélemy, it is home to the harbour, the town hall, the hospital, as well as numerous monuments, restaurants and stores, and Shell Beach.



  • Agency fees Included : Translated to “Honoraires d’agence inclus” = Agency fees Included. « HAI » prices therefore include the net selling price and agency fees.


Loi Carrez

  • Carrez Law: Law no. 96-1107 of December 18, 1996, known as the "Carrez Law", and its implementing Decree no. 97-532 of May 29, 1997, came into force on June 19, 1997. They oblige the vendor of a property in co-ownership to mention the surface area sold in the text of any preliminary sales agreement. This includes the floor area of enclosed and covered premises with a height of more than 1.80 m, after deducting the areas occupied by walls, partitions, stairwells and stairwells, sheaths, door and window openings, cellars and parking lots.


Mandat de vente

  • Sales mandate : The sales mandate has been a mandatory document since the 1972 Hoguet law. It binds the owner of a property and the real estate agency responsible for putting it up for sale. This bilateral contract sets out the terms of the commercial relationship between the two parties, and covers all services, the financial relationship between the parties, and clauses specific to each property. There are three types of sales mandate: exclusive, simple and semi-exclusive.

    For principal residences? If the owner is married, he or she must inform his or her spouse of the sale of the principal residence, so that he or she can sign the sales mandate. In the case of an inheritance, all undivided co-owners must sign the mandate to sell.

Mandat de recherche

  • Search mandate : The search mandate is a bilateral contract by which a consumer or legal entity entrusts a real estate transaction professional with the search for a property according to precise criteria.



  • Notary : A notary is a public officer responsible for authenticating deeds on behalf of his clients. A notary is required for certain deeds, including real estate sales.

NDA (accord de non-divulgation)

  • NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement): This is a bilateral contract that guarantees the confidentiality of sensitive or strategic information about a company or prospect for the duration of the negotiations, and possibly thereafter if the negotiations are unsuccessful.


Permis de construire

  • Building permit: A building permit is an administrative authorization required before major construction works can be carried out. Applications for a building permit for a plot of land on Saint-Barthélemy must be submitted to the Collectivity of Saint-Barthélemy, which has four months in which to give a positive or negative response. A three-month extension may be granted if the project is located close to a listed building.

    The permit is no longer valid if the construction work, division or change of use is not undertaken within 4 years (article 133-49 of the town planning code, modified by deliberation n°2021-050 CT of 24.09.2021).

    The permit application must be accompanied by a file containing all the information relating to the project. We recommend that you use the services of an architect based in Saint-Barthélemy to help you with your project. Once the permit has been granted, the beneficiary must post it for all to see in the vicinity of the area concerned. After a period of two months (third-party appeal), if no objection has been lodged against the permit, construction can begin.

Plus-value immobilière à Saint-Barthélemy

  • Capital gains in Saint-Barthélemy: Article 103 of the Saint-Barthélemy Tax Code clarifies the notion of the starting point for the holding period.
    In the case of a construction built by the seller: Before July 1, 2017: the starting point for calculating the capital gain is the "date of commencement of work". The date of receipt by the Collectivité of the declaration attesting to the conformity of the work only applies to constructions where work began after July 1, 2017.

    Concerning capital gains for a primary residence located in Saint-Barthélemy:
    - Exemption after 13 years of ownership
    - 1st to 5th year: 35%
    - 6th, 7th, and 8th years: 20%.
    - 9th year: this allowance is 20% for each year of ownership beyond the eighth year (9th year).

    Concerning capital gains on a secondary residence in Saint-Barthélemy:
    - Exemption after 18 years of ownership
    - The capital gains tax rate is set at 35% when the sale takes place before the eighth year of ownership. Thereafter, the rate is reduced to 20%. (Article 108 of the contributions code)
    - From the 9th year onwards, a 10% allowance is applied for each additional year of ownership.

Prélèvements sociaux

  • Social security contributions: Generalized social contributions (CSG) and social debt repayment contribution (CRDS) are taxes levied on income from wealth and capital. They are taxed at a rate of 17.2%.

    If you live in France, work in a country of the European Economic Area (European Union: Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein) or Switzerland and are affiliated to the compulsory social security system of that country, you are not subject to CSG and CRDS. Only the 7.5% solidarity levy is due.

    Social security deduction rates:
    - Less than 6 years: 0%.
    - From the 6th to the 21st year of ownership: 1.65% allowance per year.
    - After the 22nd year: 1.60%.
    - After the 22nd year: 9%.
    - Beyond the 30th year: exemption.


Représentant fiscal accrédité

  • Accredited tax representative: This is an accredited professional who is an expert for non-residents on tax obligations relating to certain taxes such as capital gains on real estate and social security contributions.

Résident à Saint-Barthélemy

  • Resident in Saint-Barthélemy: The benefits of the notion of fiscal residence in Saint-Barthélemy are limited to profits or income corresponding to activities carried out on the territory of the Collectivité.

    The Collectivité is mainly responsible for taxes, duties and fees for:

    Individuals who have been domiciled for tax purposes in Saint-Barthélemy for at least five years, without residing elsewhere than Saint-Barthélemy for more than six months of the year during that period.

    For legal entities (companies) only after having set up their place of effective management in Saint-Barthélemy for at least five years , or when they have set up their place of effective management in Saint-Barthélemy and are directly controlled by individuals residing in Saint-Barthélemy for at least five years.

    When children /students from Saint-Barthélemy study abroad, they do not lose their Saint-Barth tax resident status.

    Once you're a resident of Saint-Barthélemy, you won't pay any direct taxes:
    - No corporate income tax
    - No income tax
    - No capital gains tax on the sale of company shares (other than real-estate companies) or business assets.
    - No inheritance tax between residents



  • SPFE: This is the Service of land publicity and registration. This is a tax department that updates real estate information, registers notarial deeds, collects taxes relating to these formalities and responds to users' requests for information.

Servitude de passage 

  • Right of passage: A right of passage enables the owner of a property that is difficult to access or landlocked to have a right of way over the neighboring property. A de facto right is accepted when a property has no access to the public road and has no other option than to pass through the neighboring parcel to gain access.

Surface de plancher

  • Floor area: The floor area is the sum of the surface areas of all enclosed and covered levels with ceilings higher than 1.80 m, calculated from the bare interior surface (measured from the skirting boards).

    The floor area is obtained after deducting the following areas:
    - Surfaces corresponding to the thickness of walls surrounding exterior door and window openings
    - Voids and hoppers (spaces under staircases and elevators)
    - Floor areas with a ceiling height of 1.80 m or less
    - Floor areas used for parking motorized or non-motorized vehicles (including access ramps and manoeuvring areas)
    - Attic floor areas not suitable for residential use or for professional, craft, industrial or commercial activities (e.g., attic space with a large roof structure or a floor that cannot support loads).



  • Urban Planning Department  : Saint-Barthélemy's Urban Planning Department is a group of public bodies in charge of the development of a territory. Among the various urban zones that can be built on are :
    - The Gustavia zone (UG), where it is possible to build on 100% of the surface area of the plot.
    - UR zone: 20% floor area + bonus of 50m² on the first 1000m² of land. Beyond 1000m², the bonus is 10%.
    - UV zone: 35% floor area + 50m² bonus floor area.
    - URa zone: 120m² floor area.
    This information is publicly available on the Collectivité de Saint-Barthélemy website.



  • Life annuity : Life annuity involves selling a property to a third party in exchange for a periodic annuity. The annuity is accompanied by a sum known as the "bouquet", which is paid in cash on the day of the deed of sale and generally represents 20% of the property's market value. This sale is also carried out under notarial deed.

    There are two types of viager: FREE , where the purchaser disposes of the property directly after signing the deed of sale, and can enjoy it or rent it out and collect the rents, or OCCUPIED, where the seller retains the usufruct, enabling him/her to continue to occupy or rent it out and collect the rents. In this case, the purchaser can occupy the property after the seller's death.