Guide to Doing Business
in Suriname


Ownership (eigendom) is the right to freely enjoy and dispose of an item of property such as real estate property,  provided that no nuisance is caused to the right of other parties. The aforementioned applies, subject to expropriation for public use as described in the Expropriation Urban Planning Development and Residential Facility Act (Wet Onteigening Stedebouwkundige ontwikkeling en Woningvoorziening, in exchange for prior compensation (article 625 et seq. of the Suriname Civil Code (Burgerlijk Wetboek)).

Ownership is acquired (in no other way than) by expropriation, accession, prescription, legal or testamentary succession and by transfer in ownership by an individual or entity with the legal power of disposal (article 639 et seq. of the Suriname Civil Code). Transfer of real estate property is carried out by entry in the appropriate public registers (article 670 et seq. of the Suriname Civil Code). The deeds by which the immovable properties are alienated, divided or assigned, as well as by which real rights on immovable properties are created or transferred, must be executed by authentic (notarial) deed under the penalty of nullity, unless the Republic of Suriname is a party.

The original ownership of all real estate in the former colony Suriname belonged to the owners of the Colony (West Indian Company, City of Amsterdam and the Dutch Van Sommelsdijck family). A specific long lease hold was granted to private persons and companies by a special title ‘Allodial ownership and hereditary possession’, not regulated by law but by specific contract. This original title is nowadays considered and treated a full Civil Code ownership although some incidental limitations may occur on intervention by Government  when those titles are transferred, a special kind of expropriation.