This article takes some of the mystery of the offshore incorporation process. It brings you a summary of the different stages which the incorporator goes through when setting up an offshore company.
There are many optional offshore jurisdictions in which you can incorporate your business. In this guide we focus on two of the most popular jurisdictions and list other separately.
The Cayman Islands consist of a group of three islands in the Caribbean. The main island- Grand Cayman- is situated at approximately 1100km south of Florida. The three islands have a total area of 260km², the Grand Cayman by itself having an area of 200km² . The population of all three islands is of approximately 30 000 inhabitants most of which reside on Grand Cayman where the capital, Georgetown, is located.
The Cayman Islands are a British colony and the United Kingdom retains the right to legislate. They have a special statute that has allowed them to become an important Offshore Financial Centre where all the big banks are established or represented for years. In this jurisdiction there are no income tax or currency exchange controls. Approximately 50 000 companies, 450 to 500 insurance companies ( most of which are captive of great International groups ) and between 600 and 700 offshore banks are incorporated in The Cayman Islands. The islands are an appealing jurisdiction to open offshore banks.
During the year 2000, the Cayman Government decided to negotiate a “Goodwill” agreement in order not be listed as ” Non Cooperative Country” by the OECD’s Financial Action Task Force. The name of Cayman Islands was not anymore on the June 2001 report (the latest one) probably as a result of negotiations with the FATF. Will this lead to the removal of bank secrecy and exchange of tax information with the members of the OECD ? This yet unanswered question leads us not to recommend this jurisdiction as an alternative on a long-term basis.
However, it is correct to say that this situation will cause no problems whatsoever to our existing clients since all the companies created for them were done with Nominee Shareholders, Nominee Directors etc. The names of the Beneficiaries are not registered on Public or Private Records in Cayman Islands. Actually, and this is true for all of our tax-optimizing structures, the only entities that know the names of the Clients are the banks themselves, those chosen for the opening of the commercial accounts. For obvious reasons of confidentiality and assets protection we always recommend to select a different Jurisdiction for locating the Bank operations of your newly formed company.
Seychelles International Business Companies are useful alternatives to offshore companies established in jurisdictions such as the British Virgin Islands. In December 1994 the Seychelles enacted legislation enabling the registration of International Business Companies, International Trusts and the licensing of International (free) Trade Zone Companies. More recent legislation covers the licensing of offshore banks, offshore Insurance, mutual funds activities and the regulating of a securities industry. The new laws were a result of intensive studies of long established offshore jurisdictions and world-wide trust legislation.
Although not dissimilar to those of the well-established offshore jurisdictions such as the Cayman, the laws take a most comprehensive, modern and attractive approach to the establishment and operation of offshore companies, mutual funds, offshore banking, offshore insurance and freeport activities. Seychelles is one of the fastest IBC registrar in the world. The International Business Companies Act, 1994, governs the operations of offshore companies. The registration process in Seychelles is straightforward.
LIST OF OTHER OFFSHORE JURISDICTIONS
-British Virgin Islands
-Isle of Man
-Turks and Caicos
International Business Companies – IBC
What is IBC?
A term used to define a variety of offshore corporate structures. Common to all IBC’s are the dedication to business use outside the incorporating jurisdiction, rapid formation, secrecy, broad powers, low cost, low to zero taxation and minimal filing and reporting requirements. An increasing number of offshore jurisdictions are permitting the use of nominee shareholders, directors and officers.
Your entity’s name must not match or be too similar to the name of an existing company registered in your desired state.
Officer is appointed by the board of directors and responsible for the daily operation of the corporation. The titles and duties of each officer are usually listed in the company’s bylaws. Common officer titles are president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. An officer can be one of the shareholders, owners or employees of the entity. Officer is part of the entity’s management.
Shareholders: Owners of the issued stock of a corporation. Shareholders do not own specific corporate property; they merely own an interest in the corporation. Shareholders appoint the entity’s board of directors which oversight the entity’s management (officers).
Once the incorporation has been completed the entity can set up a bank account.
The information we need to collect from you includes:
Proof of Identity
To establish the identity and signature of directors, account signatories and beneficial owners you must provide a copy of a current valid full passport. Such copy must bear a photograph, a signature and the number and must be certified by:
Passport photographs of each party – The passport copy you send to us must be sent by mail or courier (not Fax) and it must bear the ORIGINAL signature of the person certifying the identity document; it must not be a copy.
Proof of Residential Address – To validate the home address of directors, account signatories and beneficial owners please provide one of the following, for each party original recent (not older than three months) credit card statement or three original utility bills (telephone, electricity etc.) showing the residential address.
References – All the banks require original bank references from the personal bankers of the directors, account signatories and beneficial owners.
A Merchant Account is simply a relationship between a retailer and a merchant bank that enables retailers to accept web-based credit card payments from their customers. This is the account into which a Merchant Account Provider deposits payments into your business checking account from the transactions made online. To qualify for a merchant account, retailers must meet the bank’s requirements.