The chief executive of the Cook Islands body with which overseas companies are required to register if they wish to operate in that country says there's widespread abuse of the regulations.
A local communications company has lodged a complaint with the Cook Islands Business Trade and Investment Board involving nine telecommunications firms.
The local company's director says the Board's confirmed that none of them is registered.
The Board's Terry Rangi says companies are operating illegally but it's an issue for which Cook Islanders must also take responsibility.
"People on this end need to be aware, hey, you can't bring in foreign businesses. They need to go through a process. At the same time we need to work in with immigration and make sure these people are aware of what the rules are. So we sort of have an idea of what needs to be done, it's just a resource problem and a co-ordination problem."
The chief executive of the Cook Islands Business Trade and Investment Board, Terry Rangi.