Top 10 Jurisdictions to Form An Offshore Company
Hong Kong is a class A jurisdiction. Incorporation is fast and efficient. Provided the profits from the Company are made outside Hong Kong they will not be taxed in Hong Kong due to the territorial tax regime there. You will need a local agent to be your representative in Hong Kong and file any official paperwork. Annual running costs have been creeping up in recent years and you can expect to spend around $2,000 per year to maintain a tax free Company in Hong Kong.
If you want to keep a high level of privacy in your affairs Panama is a top rate option. Panama has no Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties with other countries so will not divulge any information to snoopers from your home country. Panama also has a territorial tax system so any profits earned outside Panama will be tax free. No accounts can be filed and beneficial owner information is not public.
Belize is a completely tax free jurisdiction. There are no taxes on IBCs. The only publicly available information will be the fact that the Company exists and the address of the resident agent. No information regarding directors or shareholders is available to the public. Belize is one of the few jurisdictions that still permits bearer shares. Whoever holds the bearer share certificate owns the Company. This can be a useful feature if a you need to transfer the Company quickly and anonymously.
The Cook Islands
Companies incorporated on The Cook Islands are completely tax free and offer similar privacy options to other jurisdictions. It would be all but impossible for anyone in your home country to discover that you have an interest in a Cook Islands LLC. In addition The Cook Islands do not recognise foreign judgements so even if a creditor in your home country got a judgement against you it would be all but useless to them. They’d have to start proceedings all over again in The Cook Islands. That would discourage all but the most determined litigants.
Nevis is a small island in the Eastern Caribbean just beyond Puerto Rico. Nevis is a 100% tax free jurisdiction and permits single member LLCs. Nevis has some of the best asset protection legislation in the world. They do not recognise foreign judgements so any creditor would have to start proceeding in Nevis. Lawyers in Nevis are not allowed to work on contingency and any party starting litigation against a Nevis LLC has to lodge a bond of $100,000 with the court. Even after that any court order granted in Nevis charging the assets of the LLC will expire after 3 years. Any creditor is going to think long and hard before suing a Nevis LLC. They would have to spend significant sums to get started with no guarantee of success and even if they were ultimately successful they’d have to start over again in 3 years if they weren’t able to find the assets of the Company in that timeframe.
The Cayman Islands
Cayman Islands Exempted companies have long been popular. Caymans companies can be formed in one day. The process is fast and efficient. Only one director is required. There are no personal or corporate taxes in The Cayman Islands and it is white listed by all major jurisdictions. You will have no problem doing business anywhere in the world with a Cayman Islands Company. Directors and shareholders are disclosable here so if privacy is your main concern you would have to use a nominee or hold the ownership in a trust. No accounts need to be filed.
Georgia is an independent Country that was once part of the Soviet Union. It is one of the most efficient jurisdictions for forming companies. According to the World Bank Georgia rated number seven out of 190 in it’s ease of doing business ranking for 2019. You can easily form a company in a few hours in the Capital Tbilisi. Georgia is in an advantageous location between Europe and Asia. There is no tax on profits generated outside Georgia. Annual running costs are low here too. Directors and shareholders are disclosed so if privacy is a concern nominees can be used.
The Seychelles is a zero tax haven for Companies. There are also minimal filing and disclosures making it ideal if you’re looking for a degree of privacy. Secrecy provisions are enshrined in law and there’s no information sharing agreements. No financial information needs to be disclosed here.
St Vincent is a Caribbean Island with a population of 103,000. St Vincent has strong financial privacy laws that protect against disclosure of your confidential information to foreign authorities. You can keep your affairs private as there is no public register of directors or shareholders. Bank accounts can be opened here without an in person visit making it an ideal jurisdiction for offshore banking.
The UAE has no income taxes. It is not a member of the OECD so not subject to the CRS disclosure system. It is an ‘off the radar’ jurisdiction and will not disclose your private information to third parties. Incorporation and filing procedures are simple and efficient. Only one shareholder and one director is required. There are a good choice of banks in the UAE but a personal visit will be needed to open an account. The UAE could be a good choice if you are trading in the Middle East or as a safe and private jurisdiction to operate bank accounts which can’t be easily compromised.
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