One of the most commonly requested products in offshore asset protection planning is the formation and maintenance of an offshore company. If you believe what you read on the internet (yes I know, you are also reading this on the internet), the options are virtually unlimited and everyone proposes they have the best solution.
You can find information about Cayman Islands, Belize, Nevis, Cook Islands, Hong Kong, Gibraltar, Isle of Mann, Vanuatu, Mauritius, BVI, and the list goes on and on. To be clear, many of these jurisdictions are excellent for offshore company formation and each person’s needs must be assessed individually.
Today we will discuss the benefits and proper use of a Seychelles Offshore Company (IBC – International Business Company).
The Seychelles International Business Company Act was signed into law in 1994, and has had several amendments over the years in 1995, 1997, 2000, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011. To summarize, the key features are as follows:
- competitive License fees fixed for life
- no requirement to disclose the identity of the shareholders of an IBC without a court order
- directors may be elected at the first company board meeting
- no minimum capital stipulation
- only one director or shareholder is required
- all civil proceedings in respect of IBCs may be heard by a judge in Chambers
- an IBC may own or manage a vessel or aircraft registered in Seychelles
- no need to file accounts with the Registrar
- confidentiality is guaranteed by law
Seychelles maintains one of the fastest IBC registries in the world with efficient systems that allow company formation in just 1-2 business days. The registration process is quite simple and straight forward unlike many of the other offshore centers that require extensive due diligence and background checks on shareholders and directors.
A Seychelles Offshore Company can be used for a variety of purposes; investment management, trading, import/export, international trade, internet business, asset ownership like IP, and more.
Zero Tax: According to article 109.1, any company organized under the Seychelles IBC Act, or a shareholder thereof, shall not be subject to any tax or duty on income or profits accruing to or deriving from such company or in connection with any transaction to which that company or shareholder, as the case may be, is a party. Thus, you can establish a tax exempt offshore company serving multiple purpose of personalized services corporation, trading company, intellectual property, financial investment and offshore real-estate investments.
No Reporting: Exemption from stamp duty on exchange of shares or asset sales with zero requirements of annual filings as well as audited statements.
Secrecy: Confidentiality is one of the key features of the Seychelles International Business Company as details of the company beneficial owners, directors and shareholders are NOT part of public record. There is complete privacy for shareholders and directors with no chance of disclosing of any sensitive information.
Safe: Seychelles IBC Act provisions against confiscation of property and assets of any offshore company. Free foreign exchange controls and liberty to operate in any global currency.
Flexible: A flexible structure that enables an international business and asset management in a convenient manner. No minimum or maximum standard capitalization requirement necessary. Minimum formalities as dual role of director and shareholder can be taken up by a single individual. Also, no need of holding annual shareholders’ meetings or board meetings.
A Seychelles Offshore Company is also well recognized internationally by banks and trading companies which means you can establish a bank account, brokerage account, or other such financial accounts quickly and easily with minimal hassle.
For Americans, one excellent option is to set up a Seychelles Offshore Company coupled with a bank account in St. Vincent. This provides a easy, low cost way to get your offshore business up an running quickly. As many banks around the world are now shunning Americans due to the new FATCA (foreign account tax compliance act) Laws, St. Vincent remains an excellent banking option for many Americans looking to transact business internationally and privately.