Desarrollo Economico de Puerto Rico

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Author: Christian Newman

Best careers for puerto ricans in florida

Puerto Ricans are now one of the majority groups in the state of Florida, and they are continually taking and forming part of the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) economy. Particularly in the Engineering and Medical fields, Puerto Ricans are finding satisfying careers and well compensated 

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) – CNAs, also known as certified nurse aides are a job area which is experiencing rapid job growth worldwide, but growth has been especially strong in the state of Florida. The reason for this strong growth is that Florida has been one of the fastest growing states in the nation of the past decade, driven in large part by a large increase in the Hispanic community. This increase has meant that there is a higher demand for CNAs that are able to communicate in Spanish, and Puerto Ricans find themselves uniquely well positioned for this fact. CNAs are also in high demand due to the large portion of the population in Florida that is over 65, and a rapidly rising nursing home population.

Most Puerto Ricans become CNAs by taking part in online CNA courses, as even though they can not obtain their CNA license online, they can train for the course online and then take the test in person. Florida is the lowest cost state in the nation for becoming a CNA. The only requirement is that applicants be older than 18 years old, which makes it a great opportunity for those that do not have a college education. Starting salaries average around $15/hour in the space. 

Nursing Careers – Along the same lines as CNAs, all nursing careers are currently very popular among Puerto Ricans moving to Florida. At the moment, nurses and registered nurses are among the professionals who experience the biggest pay increase when moving from Puerto Rico to Florida, in many cases earning double their salary in Florida. There are many factors are play causing this: insurance reimbursement rates, tighter job market and a stronger overall economy all influencing this outcome. It really does make it hard for many nurses unfortunately to justify staying on the island. Nursing also provides a progression option for those that have acquired their CNA license and wish to move to a more technical and better paid profession in the medical field.

Careers in the services industry – Services industry jobs tend to be very plentiful and well remunerated in Florida, in part helped by the large part tourism plays in the economy. Due to the overall strength of the economy in the state, these jobs are better paid than they are in places like Puerto Rico. Some common service jobs that Puerto Ricans explore when moving to Florida are real estate brokers, insurance service providers, human resource jobs, and certainly a great many jobs in the tourism industry. 

Our site focuses primarily on the economy of Puerto Rico, and as such we seek to empower the residents of the island to reach their own economic independence. We wish that every one could reach their full potential in the island, but we realize that everybody’s situation is different and that for some residents the best option is to move to the mainland, particularly to Florida.

Personal Loans in Puerto Rico

Residents of Puerto Rico certainly have more limited options in terms of credit than residents of the mainland USA. Puerto Rico is served by local institutions who tend to be very conservative in their lending, and almost all mainland credit providers will exclude Puerto Rico from the list of elegible areas they cover for consumer lending. Business credit is somewhat more flexible, but we will cover that in a separate post. This post is specifically talking about what options a consumer in Puerto Rico has to obtain a personal loan.

What is a personal loan?

A personal loan is the generic term used for what is typically an unsecured loan taken by an individual. These typically range from $5,000-$50,000 (though some lenders go as high as $100,000), feature terms from 1-5 years, and have no collateral pledged by the borrower.

Who provides personal loans

In the mainland US, the market is very well served by a set of novel FinTech players who cover all sectors of the market.

In Puerto Rico, there is one FinTech player domiciled here, eLoan, but they actually serve the mainland market and do not lend in Puerto Rico.

Loans from local banking institutions

The first place you should turn to for a loan are the local banking institutions. Following a protracted economic recession on the island dating back to 2006, banks have consolidated into 3 main financial institutions. This has both positive and negative consequences, the positive being that the remaining banks are stronger and healthier financially, but on the negative side that means less options for the consumer and likely less access to credit for most people. Below we have a list of the three main banks:

Loans from specialty lenders

Personal loans from traditional banks generally come with favorable interest rates and terms, but are typically only available for individuals with good to excellent credit. There are other institutions that specialize in personal loans for individuals whose credit needs some work. Below is a sample of those institutions:

  • Island Finance
  • America’s Leading Finance
  • TitleMax Title Loans
  • Borinquen Title Loans

Best Lottery Games in Puerto Rico

Lottery games have been popular in Puerto Rico since the times of the Spanish Rule. Over the last few decades, the games have evolved to meet the different needs and tastes of the local citizens, and today make Puerto Rico one of the most complete jurisdiction in terms of the games that it offers. Puerto Rico also has a surprising densitiy of winners for the national lottery, the Power Ball, with multiple winners just over the past five years. Below are what we consider to be the top lottery games in Puerto Rico:

Powerball – Powerball has been available in the United States for many years, but only recently has become available in Puerto Rico. It has become inmensely popular since, and incredibly, Puerto Rico has already produced a number of winners of this game, despite the incredibly low odds of success when playing this game. Powerball has also produced the largest prize ever for a lottery in the United States, clocking in at $1.586 million when three winning tickets claimed the prize in Jan. 13, 2016. Each ended up receiving a total prize of $533 million before taxes as an annuity if they did not elect the $328 million lump sum.

Electronic Lottery (Loteria Electronica) – When people in Puerto Rico talk about the “Loto”, this is usually the game they’re referring to. Prior to Powerball being available in Puerto Rico, the electronic lottery had the biggest prizes, consistently paying out multi-million dollar prizes to its players. The electronic lottery is played by picking a combination of six numbers. Traditionally in Puerto Rico, this type of lottery is purchased at convenience stores, gas stations, and supermarkets.

Traditional Lottery (Loteria Tradicional) – The oldest game in Puerto Rico, the traditional lottery is typically sold by senior citizens as part of a special incentive program setup by the government. The traditional lottery is the most complex of all the current games, as every day a long list of numbers is published, in which a multitude of different combinations can result in different prizes depending on how many numbers you match and in what order.

Pega 3 – Pega 3, and its variations, Pega 4 and Pega 2 are possibly the most common and popular games in Puerto Rico. What makes Pega 3 special is it has just the right combination of odds and prizes. For getting a 3 number combination, the player will receive the decent sum of $500. In the case of Pega 4, the prize is $5000, and in Pega 2 it is a mere $500. An user will win if they actually match their picked combination with the combination drawn as the winning numbers. This type of game is also typically bought at gas stations and convenience stores.

Those are the top lottery games being played in Puerto Rico, and any newcomer should become familiar with the rules of each game before picking one and playing. It is important to note that all lottery games have a very low probability of winning, and you are much more likely to lose money than to make any money when playing any of these games, no matter how long you play them. Never the less, they are still very popular among the population, and many citizens enjoy the game for the sake of entertainment, even if they know the probability of receiving an actual cash payment is not very high.

Best Puerto Rico Tax Incentives

Puerto Rico’s special status as a US territory allows it to provide very attractive tax incentives that it would not be able to otherwise . Here is the list of what we believe are the best tax incentives:

  • Best for Young Entrepeneurs: Act 135
  • Best for Expats with Passive Income: Act 22
  • Best for Online Businesses: Act 20
  • Best for Private Equity: Act 185
  • Best for Doctors: Act 14

Let’s go into the details into why each of this are the best in their respective categories:

Best for Young Entrepeneurs: Act 135

Act 135 is available only to entrepeneurs under the age of 35 who are starting a new business. The gist of the act is that the first $500,000 in income generated by the corporation is exempt from taxation. Those under 26 years of age can also gain exemption for the first $40,000 of personal income.

Best for Expats with Passive Income: Act 22

Act 22 provides the most tax-efficient structure for a US citizen with passive income anywhere in the world. The main requirement for Act 22 is that the individual must not have been a resident of Puerto Rico prior to 2006; which in effect means almost all the recipients of the act today are expats. Those that qualify receive a total exemption on all capital gains taxes as long as the individual becomes and remains a bona-fide resident of Puerto Rico. One of the main caveats of this act is that the individual must give a $5,000 donation to a registered charity in Puerto Rico.

Best for Online Businesses: Act 20

Act 20 is often used in combination with Act 22 and the two are often referenced together, but it is important to understand that they have meaningful differences. Act 20 is designed for businesses, while Act 22 is meant for individuals. In order to qualify for Act 20, the business needs to be established in Puerto Rico, and more than 80% of its revenue must be generated by sources outside of Puerto Rico. Once a business qualifies for Act 20, it will pay a flat corporate tax of 4% of net income, and any dividend distributions from the business will be tax-free. In addition, the business receives a 60% exemption from the “patente municipal“, which is a tax levied by the municipalities on the gross revenue of the business. One thing to factor into the Act 20 calculation is that before dividends can be distributed, all employees must be paid a fair market salary. This means that if you are the manager of the business, the business needs to pay you a taxable salary before it can pay you tax free dividends.

Best for Private Equity: Act 185

Act 185 was designed specifically for private equity funds of at least $10 million who establish themselves in the island. Funds that invest more than 60% will typically pay a 4% tax rate. There are various intricacies to this act, which is why anybody considering this approach should read the law itself and consider whether it is appropriate for their situation.

Best for Doctors: Act 14

Doctors who seek to start or maintain a practice in Puerto Rico can benefit from the full support of the government of Puerto Rico. Citizens who take advantage of this act can enjoy a 4% tax rate on their income, and enjoy significant tax savings over their life. All should factor into the calculation that medical salaries are typically lower in the island than they are in the mainland.

These are really the top tax incentives at the moment offered by Puerto Rico. Laws in the territory are always in constant flux, and new incentives are usually part of a new administration. Thankfully many of these incentives come with legally binding decrees that guarantee the grantee preferential rates for 15-20 years. Evaluate all the options above, along with doing your own research, and consult with your tax professional whether a move to Puerto Rico is the right move for you and your business.

Disclaimer: PuertoRico4business.com is not a licensed tax advisor, and the opinions stated above have not been reviewed by one. Reader assumes all risk when making tax decisions.

The Top Resources for Starting or Running a Business in Puerto Rico

  • Hacienda – The department of Hacienda is Puerto Rico’s equivalent of the IRS. As a business owner, you will no doubt become intimately familiar with them and their portal as you pay your taxes.
  • Departamento de Desarrollo Economico (DDEC) – The Department for Economic Development is the place to go for information on tax incentive, entrepreneurship programs, and overall information on big government initiatives to drive economic strategy.
  • Caribbean Business – Caribbean Business is Puerto Rico’s main business newspaper, has been around for a while, and is a reliable source of information on Puerto Rican financials and business.
  • Sin Comillas – Spanish-only, but truly the best source of information on Puerto Rican economic data, and also good coverage of Puerto Rican companies.
  • News is my Business – This is a smaller and newer business-focused news publication, but you can find some interesting gems here at times that aren’t covered in the other major newspapers.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) – This is the link for the San Juan office of the SBA; an useful resource for any entrepreneur since SBA guarantees can provide attractive rates on debt from banks.
  • Parallel18 – Puerto Rico’s original and today’s main startup accelerator. The program is for companies in early revenue stages and provides $40,000 of equity free financing and five months of mentorship at its Santurce headquarters.

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