De Facto Prosperity Zone

Sark

A formerly feudal possession of the British Crown, this self-governing island is an autonomous remainder of a bygone world.

Location

Bailiwick of Guernsey, English Channel

Residents

~600

Businesses

n/a

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Language

English, Sark-French

Climate

Oceanic

 

Key Industries

Local Economy, Remote Work

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Overview

Legal Status

How to Move in

Private Initiative

Overview

Sark is one of the Channel Islands in the English Channel, off the coast of Normandy. It is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey and is the smallest independent state in the British Commonwealth. It has its own set of laws and its own parliament. Sark has a population of about 600 individuals and can be considered an independent European island.

Sark has no income tax, no capital gains tax, no inheritance tax, and no VAT. The island can be attractive to entrepreneurs that want a less bureaucratic and expensive country from which to operate their businesses.

Legal Status

Sark is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a British Crown Dependency. However, neither Sark nor the Bailiwick of Guernsey is part of the United Kingdom.

Despite being tied to Guernsey, Sark enjoys legislative autonomy from the Bailiwick since legislation cannot be made which applies to Sark without the approval of the Chief Pleas (the parliament of Sark). Sark is also fiscally separate from Guernsey, setting its own taxes and expenses.

Unlike Prosperity Zones proper, Sark is not managed by a private entity but by a traditional local government.

How to Move in

In order to move to Sark, prospective residents need to have the right to remain in the United Kingdom. The UK offers multiple residency options, the most common of which are various work visas, reuniting with family, or having ties to the British Commonwealth through one’s ancestry. Check official sources for further details and a full list of options.

Private Initiative: Move to Sark

As a reaction to a falling population, German entrepreneur Swen Lorenz has started a campaign to attract possible new inhabitants which helps interested people assess the opportunity of moving to Sark.

The initiative seeks only to bring attention and newcomers to Sark, not to achieve any political goals or further independence.

By mid-2021, Swen Lorenz attracted more than 100 new residents to Sark through his initiative, increasing the local population by more than 20%. His resources on why and how to move to Sark continue to be available on Lorenz’s website.

Free City Functional Elements

Business and Commercial Autonomy

Full

What does this mean? Business and Commercial Autonomy refers to the City's powers to regulate business and commercial law at its own discretion. This includes labor law, building law, local environmental regulations, company law, and legal tender laws.

Financial and Social Autonomy

Full

What does this mean? Financial and Social Autonomy refers to the City's powers to establish its own tax, customs, and social regime, independent of the regulations of the Host State.

Property Rights Autonomy

Full

What does this mean? Property Rights Autonomy referes to the City's powers to set its own rules for the acquisition of property, including real estate, and whether property titles thus obtained are recognized by the Host State.

Criminal Justice Autonomy

Partial

What does this mean? Criminal Justice Autonomy refers to the City's powers to set its own criminal justice code, which applies within the city limits, independent of the Host State.

Internal Affairs Autonomy

Substantial

What does this mean? Internal Affairs Autonomy means that Host State and its organs may not interfere in the internal affairs of the City, its inhabitants, or businesses, and that the Host State’s law enforcement staff are not allowed to enter the City in an official capacity without the City’s approval.

Migratory Autonomy

Substantial

What does this mean? Migratory Autonomy referes to the City's powers to expel unwanted persons or deny them entry, even if they are citizens of the Host State. It also includes whether the City may issue residency, work, and visitor visas at its own discretion, and whether visas issued by the Host State are not required for entry into the City.

Self-governance

Substantial

What does this mean? Self-governance signifies whether justice, law enforcement, and administration are carried out under the City’s own control and by its own staff.

Status Guarantee

Full

What does this mean? Status Guarantee refers to whether the special legal status of the City is guaranteed by the Host State for a long period of time (ideally 99 years or longer).

Investor Protection

Not applicable

What does this mean? Investor Protection signifies whether all investments made in the City are subject to guaranteed special investor protection contractually set between the City and the Host State.

Get Involved

Swen Lorenz is looking to connect with people who are considering relocating to Sark.