Offshore Company Registration
Offshore company registration refers to the incorporation of offshore companies in countries known as offshore jurisdictions. An offshore company is often referred to a company which has been incorporated outside of the country where its business operations take place. Offshore registration is also done for entities such as offshore foundations, offshore trusts, offshore limited liability companies, offshore partnerships and offshore limited partnerships. Offshore jurisdictions which do offshore company registration include the Caribbean islands of Dominica, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, St Kitts, Nevis and the Bahamas, Seychelles, Belize, Singapore, Hong Kong , Panama, Dubai and Switzerland among other countries of the world.
Offshore company registration follows a simply process which may be slightly different in the various offshore jurisdictions. Offshore company registration involves filing documents to the Registrar of Companies or a similar authority in the world’s offshore jurisdiction. In return if the procedure is done properly a certificate of Incorporation will be issued by the Registrar of Companies or the registration body in the jurisdiction. Some offshore jurisdictions like those in the Caribbean stipulate that in order for offshore company registration to take place a registered agent is needed. On these islands there are many offices (offshore service providers), lawyers and solicitors who are registered agents and specialize in offshore company registration. In offshore jurisdictions where legislation demands the use of a registered agent for incorporation the Registrar of Companies will not consider issuing a Certificate of Incorporation if no registered agent is used.
Offshore registration in most offshore jurisdictions involves submitting a complete Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association with the registering authority in the jurisdiction. Registered agents have this responsibility as well as paying a registration fee. Information which is submitted in the above mentioned documents are listed below.
- The proposed name for the offshore company
- The purpose for forming the offshore company
- The registered address of the proposed offshore company
- The name and address of the registered agent
- The authorized share capital of the company
- The currency in which the share capital will be issued
- The number of shares to be issued
- The types of shares to be issued by the offshore company
- The classes of shares to be issued
- In cases where more than one class and type of share is issued the rights, privileges, limitations, powers, voting rights and restrictions placed on each type of shares must be stated
- State if bearer shares can be exchanged for registered shares and vice versa, state if is a company limited by shares
- State the type of company to be registered( company limited by shares, Company limited by guarantee, Company limited by guarantee with authorization to issue share, company limited by guarantee not authorized to issue shares, unlimited company)
- The names and addresses of company directors
- Names and addresses of company shareholders
- The length of time the company will be in existence for (optional)
- The type of business operations to be carried out by the offshore company
- The by- laws of the company
The process of offshore company registration can take one (1) working day in most offshore jurisdictions however there are those jurisdictions which can take up to two (2) weeks to complete offshore company registrations. The cost of offshore registration also differs from one jurisdiction to the next.
There are many advantages to offshore company registrations. For starters offshore jurisdictions are also tax havens which offer very low tax rate for offshore companies. Many offshore jurisdictions especially those in the Caribbean have zero local taxes in place for offshore companies since offshore companies are prohibited from doing business within these jurisdictions. Offshore company registration also results in companies which provide asset protection and companies which make excellent trading companies.