Private businesses in Cuba

In recent years an unprecedented growth has been experienced in the amount of self-employed people who increase the private sector in Cuba, arriving at 496 400 at the end of 2015 according to reports from the Ministry of Work and Social Security. This number represents 7% of the Cuban population in labor age.

Among the most delivered licenses to work as self-employed are contracted employees, restaurants (known as “paladares”) and cafeterias, private cars rental (known as “boteros”) and rooms/homes rental. Just in Havana have been granted 8000 licenses for rooms/homes rental.

Certainly the figures could be larger if self-employed were allowed to access a wholesale market for acquiring goods at competitive prices or import them with customs rates according to wholesale trade. Besides, there isn´t a legal framework for private businesses in Cuba to work as private companies, with the rights and duties a company has, since self-employed are recognized only as natural people and can´t be a legal entity.

In the future the amount of authorized activities should be enlarged to exercise self-employment, as well as allowing private businesses to evolve into private companies. According to current legislation, published by means of Resolution 42 of the Ministry of Work and Social Security on September 26, 2013, there are 201 authorized activities to work in Cuban private sector.

Listing of authorized activities:

  1. Musical Instrument Tuning and Repair
  2. Water Delivery
  3. Construction Laborer
  4. Animal Rental
  5. Formal Wear Rental
  6. Knife Grinder
  7. Party Entertainer, clowns or magicians
  8. Mule Driver
  9. Artisan
  10. Mechanical Saw Operator
  11. Babysitter/Nanny
  12. Barber
  13. Embroiderer/Knitter
  14. Wagon or Pushcart Operator
  15. Flower Bed Arranger
  16. Carpenter
  17. Mobile Hand Cart Hawker of Agricultural Products
  18. Locksmith
  19. Furniture Repairman
  20. Collector and Payer of Bills
  21. Operator of Children’s Fun Wagon Pulled by Pony or Goat
  22. Buyer and Seller of Records (including CDs)
  23. Used Book Seller
  24. Builder/Seller/Installer of Radio and TV Antennas
  25. Craftsman/Seller/Repairman of Wicker Furniture
  26. Breeder/Seller of Pets
  27. Window Glass Repair
  28. Animal Caretaker
  29. Public Bathroom Attendant
  30. Caretaker of Elderly/Handicapped
  31. Public Park Caretaker
  32. Leather Tanner
  33. Decorator
  34. Palm Tree Trimmer
  35. Restaurant Owner (paladares)
  36. Café Owner (cafeteria)
  37. Non-Alcoholic Beverage and Food Seller (home delivery)
  38. Café Owner (cafeteria, light snacks and beverages)
  39. Street-based Seller of Food and Beverages
  40. Charcoal Manufacturer/Seller
  41. Wine Maker/Seller
  42. Maker of Yokes, Harnesses and Rope for Oxen
  43. Electrician
  44. Automobile Electrician
  45. Building Superintendent
  46. Book Binding
  47. Electric Motor Rewiring
  48. Animal Trainer
  49. Flower Wreath Arranger
  50. Button Coverer
  51. Photographer
  52. Car washer/Oil Changer
  53. Bus/Train/Taxi Stop Barker (calls out instructions to waiting passengers)
  54. Engraver of Numbers
  55. Blacksmith/Seller of Horseshoes and Nails
  56. Trader of Scrap Metals
  57. Driving Instructor
  58. Sports Trainer
  59. Gardener
  60. Clothes Washing/Ironing
  61. Woodsmen/Logger
  62. Shining Shoes
  63. Spark Plug Cleaner and Tester
  64. Septic Tank Repairman and Cleaner
  65. Manicurist
  66. Make-up Artist
  67. Masseuse
  68. Plasterer
  69. Refrigerator Mechanic
  70. Typist and Copier
  71. Messenger
  72. Seamstress/Tailor
  73. Miller of Grains
  74. Audio Systems Installer/Operator
  75. Tire Repair
  76. Children’s Ride Operator
  77. Parking Attendant
  78. Hairdresser
  79. Animal Groomer
  80. Cleaning/Household Help
  81. Car Painter
  82. Furniture Painter and Polisher
  83. House Painter
  84. Sign Painter
  85. Ornamental Fish Farmer
  86. Plastic Covering Maker for IDs
  87. Plumber
  88. Well Digger
  89. Producer/Seller of Items Used at Home
  90. Producer/Seller of Rubber Accessories
  91. Producer/Seller of Clay Goods
  92. Producer/Seller of Bricks and Tiles
  93. Producer/Seller of Articles and Animals for Religious Use
  94. Producer/Seller of Harnesses, Blankets and Saddles
  95. Producer/Seller of Costume Jewelry
  96. Shoemaker/Shoe Salesman
  97. Producer/Seller of Brooms and Brushes
  98. Producer/Seller of Plaster Figurines
  99. Grower/Seller of Ornamental Plants
  100. Piñata Maker/Seller
  101. Grower/Seller of Plants for Animal Feed and Medicinal Purposes
  102. Music/Art Instructor
  103. Shorthand, Typing and Language Instructor
  104. Computer Programmer
  105. Metal Polisher
  106. Collector/Seller of Natural Resources
  107. Collector/Seller of Recyclables
  108. Watch Repair
  109. Leather Repair
  110. Jewelry Repair
  111. Bedframe Repair
  112. Automobile Battery Repair
  113. Bicycle Repair
  114. Costume Jewelry Repair
  115. Fence and Walkway Repair
  116. Stove/Range Repair
  117. Mattress Repair
  118. Small Household Goods Repair
  119. Office Equipment Repair
  120. Electronic Equipment Repair
  121. Mechanical and Combustion Equipment Repair
  122. Eyeglass Repair
  123. Sewing Machine Repair
  124. Saddle and Harness Repair
  125. Umbrella and Parasol Repair
  126. Disposable Lighter Repair and Refill
  127. Tutor (currently employed teachers not eligible)
  128. Doll and Toy Repair
  129. Art Restorer
  130. Night Watchman or Building Doorman
  131. Welder
  132. Leather Craftsman
  133. Upholsterer
  134. Roofer
  135. Accountant/Tax Preparation
  136. Textile Dyer
  137. Machinist
  138. Roaster
  139. Part-time Farm Laborer
  140. Document Translator
  141. Shearer
  142. Thresher
  143. Vegetable/Fruit Street Vendor
  144. Shoe Repair
  145. Contracted Employee of a Self-Employed
  146. Event Planner
  147. Mason
  148. Real Estate Broker
  149. Repair of Measurement Instruments
  150. Food Wholesaler
  151. Food Retailer (in kiosks and farmers’ markets)
  152. Room/Home Rental
  153. Postal Agent
  154. Telecommunications Agent
  155. Building Construction Services
  156. Car Body Remolding
  157. Maker/Seller of Marble Objects
  158. Maker/Seller of Soaps, Dyes
  159. Foundry Worker
  160. Iron Worker
  161. Welder/Flamecutter
  162. Maker/Seller of Aluminum Products
  163. Maker/Seller of Non-Ferrous Metals
  164. Floor Polisher
  165. Repairer of Water Pumps
  166. Space Rentals in One’s Home to Self-employed
  167. Insurance Agent
  168. Maker/Seller of Food and Beverages in “China Town”
  169. Private Construction Contractor (in Havana´s “Old Town”)
  170. Horse and Carriage Rides
  171. Antique Dealer
  172. Habaneras (women posing in colorful colonial attire)
  173. Fortune Tellers
  174. Folkloric Dancers
  175. Mambises-style Musical Groups
  176. Caricaturists
  177. Artificial Flowers Seller
  178. Painters (who sell pictures in the street)
  179. Dandy
  180. Hair Braider
  181. Fresh Fruit Peeler
  182. Dance Duo “Amor”
  183. Benny Moré Dance Team
  184. Trained Dog Exhibitor
  185. Musical Duo “Los Amigos”
  186. Extras
  187. Traditional Barber
  188. Truck Driver
  189. Station Wagon Driver
  190. Small-Truck Driver
  191. Bus Driver
  192. Mini-Bus Driver
  193. Taxi Driver
  194. Handcar Operator
  195. Jeep Driver
  196. Passenger Boat Operator
  197. Motorcycle Driver
  198. Three-Wheeled Pedal Taxi Driver
  199. Cart Operator
  200. Horse-Drawn Carriage Operator
  201. Pedal Taxi Driver

 
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