Offshore Services

Offshore Banking

b The advantages of opening bank accounts offshore are:

* strong privacy
* less restrictive legal regulation
* low or no taxation (i.e. tax havens)
* easy access to deposits (at least in terms of regulation)
* protection against local political or financial instability 

open an offshore bank account

Offshore Company Formation

Offshore companies have the following features which may be beneficial:

  • Taxation - In most jurisdictions authorities will not seek to tax companies which they treat as non-resident, save perhaps for a nominal fee -$300 BVI, £320 Isle of Man etc.
  • Simplicity and Reporting - except for regulated businesses, such as banks or other financial institutions, some jurisdictions make it relatively simple to set up and maintain companies especially with reference to lesser reporting requirements than so-called onshore jurisdictions - the level of information required by the registrar of companies varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
  • Legal and asset protection - some jurisdictions have stricter provisions for allowing a court to pierce the corporate veil, and in many cases corporate governance rules require the laws of the jurisdiction where the corporation is chartered - rather than where it is sued - to apply. For example Gibraltar makes it illegal for the trustee of an Asset Protection Trust to surrender its assets to a creditor of the settlor and in Switzerland it is illegal to disclose banking information.
  • Fees - some jurisdictions impose much higher fees to incorporate than other jurisdictions. They may also impose much higher maintenance fees on a corporation's yearly renewal of its charter. This will vary from service provider to service provider and will be significantly based on the cost of local disbursements.
  • Anonymity - by carrying out transactions in the name of a private company, the name of the underlying principal may be kept out of documentation, since the company is a separate legal entity. Having said that, current anti-money-laundering regulations often require banks and other professionals to look through structures. This will always be the case for any reputable bank but it does not render ineffective the use of corporate structures, rather it ensures they remain legally compliant.
  • Thin capitalisation - Some offshore jurisdictions tend not to impose "thin capitalisation" rules on companies (except for regulated entities such as banks and insurance companies), allowing them to be formed with a purely nominal equity investment.
  • Financial assistance - offshore companies are usually not prohibited from providing "financial assistance" for the acquisition of their own shares, which avoids the needs for "whitewash" procedures in certain financial transactions.
  • Cost of operation - In many cases, i.e. where a self employed consultant provides services to a number of jurisdictions and travels frequently, it is a matter of choice where he chooses to incorporate. In this case the fact that companies in an offshore financial centre are considerably cheaper than buying or renting premises, arranging to engage accountants, receptionists, IT providers etc. would be.

Open an offshore company


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