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WHERE TO INCORPORATE AN OFFSHORE COMPANY?

The choice among numerous offshore jurisdictions and various company types can be complicated. Each offshore financial center and entity type carries its own set of advantages, benefits and possible trade-offs. In this article, we will attempt to simplify the selection process and explain some of the fundamental characteristics of offshore companies. 

Offshore Company is a company registered for the purpose of operating outside the country of its incorporation and/or the place of residence of its principals: directors, shareholders and beneficial owners. Offshore companies offer a number of legal and tax benefits, including but not limited to low (or 0%) taxation in their home jurisdiction, anonymity for legitimate purposes and asset protection.

Similar to other businesses, offshore companies may enter into contracts, open bank accounts (including offshore accounts), buy and sell various goods and services and own property. A typical offshore company is known as an Offshore IBC (international business company). IBCs do not pay taxes in the place of registration but must also carry on business outside of their home jurisdictions.

There are 5 main criteria that we have outlined for identifying the best offshore tax havens. These are 1) incorporation and renewal costs 2) popularity 3) reputation 4) processing times and 5) proximity to offshore banking facilities.

Incorporation costs and other business fees are often the main decision criteria when it comes to identifying the best offshore jurisdiction. Offshore incorporationis often chosen for the overall lower costs of doing business; hence these fees play such an important role in the selection process.

Another important factor is popularity. The most popular jurisdictions are often the ones that have the best combination of all criteria; hence many choose to incorporate there. At the same time, there are hidden jewels or new jurisdictions such as Anguilla that are on par with other popular jurisdictions.

Reputation is another characteristic and is similar to popularity. At the same time, it reflects jurisdiction’s standing with the professional business community, various government agencies and international banks. It demonstrates the quality of relevant corporate laws and legislatures, the existence of the business infrastructure and country’s stability.

Processing times, including time to complete the offshore company formationprocess and issue various corporate documents, are another important factor. Some jurisdictions can promptly register companies, while others can quickly issue and deliver original documents. Processing times depend on the effectiveness of the local government agencies and registered agents.

Another important consideration is the proximity to offshore banking facilities. Some tax havens have a well-developed banking system, with banks offering a variety of financial services, including online banking, offshore debit and credit cards, merchant accounts and a brokerage facility.

 

 

DECISION CRITERIA:

Below, we present the decision criteria for identifying the best offshore companies in various tax havens.

Low Incorporation Costs:
1. Seychelles IBC
2. Belize IBC
3. Anguilla IBC

Popularity:
1. BVI Business Company
2. Panama Corporation
3. Belize IBC

Reputation:
1. Hong Kong Limited Company
2. BVI Business Company (BC)
3. Anguilla IBC

Processing times:
1. Nevis Corporation (or LLC)
2. Anguilla IBC (or LLC)
3. Seychelles IBC

Proximity to offshore banking:
1. Belize IBC
2. Seychelles IBC
3. Anguilla IBC

Combination of all factors:
1. Belize Offshore Company
2. BVI Offshore Company
3. Seychelles Offshore Company
4. Anguilla Offshore Company

 

 

THE BEST TO PLACE TO INCORPORATE:

Based on our experience and feedback from our clients, we identify Belize as the best place to incorporate when all relevant factors are considered. Belize has a sound banking system, relatively low incorporation and renewal fees and is popular with many retail clients and professional incorporators alike.

BVI is another pick, coming 2nd in our list. It is still one of the most reputable and most popular jurisdictions. Seychelles as one of the most affordable offshore places to incorporate is another pick. Anguilla is a new promising jurisdiction that occupies a 4th place in our list.

For further information don’t hesitate to contact author by email anelixi@ovi.com

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