Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an offshore company?

Offshore companies are the companies that conduct an unsubstantial or zero volume of business within their jurisdiction of incorporation. Offshore companies are registered as an entity within the jurisdiction, the incorporators should be domiciled outside the jurisdiction of incorporation and the company should exclusively transact outside the jurisdiction of incorporation.

Who should use an offshore company

An offshore company might be of interest to many people for various different purposes such as:

  1. Businessmen who wish to begin an activity without having to deal with the set-up of a complicated infrastructure, since an offshore company allows for the fast creation of a stable structure with a simple administration.
  2. Internet traders (E-Commerce) who can use an offshore company to maintain a domain name and to manage Internet sites. People who make business on the internet may find an offshore company ideal as they may choose to incorporate the registered office of their company in an offshore jurisdiction to take advantage of the benefits offered.
  3. Consultants and counsellors as it is easier for them to manage their company while being registered in a stable jurisdiction and receiving the benefits of that jurisdiction.
  4. International businesses can be carried out through an offshore company and can handle purchases and sales operations.
  5. Holding intellectual property rights may be registered in an offshore company and the company may also buy and sell this type of right or grant rights of use to third parties against payments.
  6. For the custody of movable or immovable property as the benefits they offer include exemption from certain types of taxes. However, some countries do not allow the acquisition of movable/immovable property through an offshore company, so those who wish to proceed are first advised to check with a competent authority before proceeding.
  7. For inheritance purposes and in relation to inheritance tax laws, with a view to optimizing inheritance tax liability the offshore company can also be combined with a trust or foundation.
  8. Stockbroker/forex where the transactions can be performed with an account opened under a company name.

How does offshore company formation work?

  1. Provide details for all shareholders and directors and select the services of preference.
  2. Provide proposed company names to check for eligibility in each jurisdiction’s company registry.
  3. Settle the payment of our service fee.
  4. After collecting your full information, we pass through your Offshore Company kit.

How do I choose a jurisdiction for my company?

Jurisdictions are chosen based on their tax benefits, political stability, good reputation and sophisticated corporate law. All jurisdictions guarantee their confidentiality and integrity to investors.

What is the best jurisdiction to register my company?

A lot of factors need to be taken into consideration before registering an offshore company including:

  1. Your company activity.
  2. Your place of residence.
  3. Your nationality.
  4. The location of your clients and providers.
  5. Your affinity with certain regions of the globe.
  6. Your willingness to provide audited accounts or no.
  7. The kind of banking facilities that you need.

Another important factor when choosing your jurisdiction is to ensure that your company will be incorporated in a country that has:

  1. Reliable means of communication.
  2. Political and financial stability.
  3. Good reputation.
  4. Sophisticated corporate laws.

Can the shareholder and the director of the company be the same person?

Yes, it is possible that the shareholder of the company acts as its director as well.

Can I establish a bank account for my company?

Yes, we can support you in opening a bank account by providing the bank with your business activities and future plans, proof of current business activities with the use of brochures, a company website, business contracts and a lease agreement would help support your bank account application.

How long does it take for the process of opening a bank account for a company to be completed?

After submitting your documents to the bank, then it takes around 7 working days for the bank to approve and activate the account, bearing in mind that there could be delays activating the bank account as the Bank may request extra documents/information to proceed.

Why should I open an offshore bank account for my company?

An offshore bank account provides more privacy and profitability. In some countries it is even a crime for a bank employee to disclose any information about either the bank account or its owner.

Also, offshore bank accounts help you avoid the high service costs and offer very attractive interest rates.

Some offshore bank accounts are financially stronger and better managed than major domestic banks in some cases. This happens because an offshore bank must maintain a higher ratio of liquid assets to accumulated debts.

What fees apply for maintaining the bank account?

This depends on the establishment that holds your account.

What is required to open a bank account for a company?

Banks usually require certified documents of a company’s certificate of incorporation by law of Memorandum and Articles of Association and the resolutions of the directors to open a bank account.

What is also required is evidence of beneficial ownership in the form of certified copies of passports and the resolutions by the Board.

Also, banks ask to know the detailed plans for the company’s operations and most banks require an initial deposit to be placed.

Can my bank account serve different currencies?

Once your bank account is opened there is a multi-currency account option. This allows you to keep different currencies in the same account.

Does my company have to provide accounts to the tax authority of the jurisdiction in which it is incorporated?

A lot of jurisdictions do not require financial reporting or auditing. However, some jurisdictions such as Hong Kong, Cyprus, Gibraltar and the UK require that the companies produce yearly accounts and to have them audited and pay taxes in some cases as well. Even if a jurisdiction is not subject to tax reporting, again you should consult your own tax, legal or accounting advisor to determine whether you or your company have any reporting obligations in other jurisdictions, including the jurisdiction in which you are a tax resident.

How do taxes work in a Trust?

The income of the trust is reported directly on the tax report of the current beneficiaries. It is not recognized as a separate taxable entity separate from the grantor for tax purposes. It is “Income Tax Neutral” to the grantor and for tax purposes it is equivalent to holding the funds in your name. From an asset protection viewpoint, it is the difference between keeping and not keeping your own money. It can also pass real estate tax deductions and mortgage interest deductions to your personal tax return.

What is a Registered Agent?

A registered agent is defined as the person who is at any particular time performing the functions of registered agent and has a license for trust activities. The license gives the authority to incorporate companies in offshore jurisdictions and represent the company before government authorities.

What is an Authorised Agent?

An Authorised Agent is a person who is designated by a company to act as an intermediary between the license holder and the government authorities.

What are the minimum requirements for a company management license?

The minimum requirements for a company management license include a proven company-management experience, a minimum paid-up capital and the physical presence of the applicant.

What is the Virtual Office?

A Virtual Office allows your company to have a local address and receive mail there and, in some cases, can lend more credibility to your company.

What is a shelf company?

Shelf companies are corporate entities which are established by a provider who holds the company until a purchaser is found. After the transaction, the ownership of the company is transferred from the provider to the purchaser and then the purchase can commence trading activity under the company’s name. The benefits of the purchase of a shelf company are:

  • Reduces time it would need to create a new corporation.
  • Enables contract bidding.
  • Corporate longevity.

Can I choose the name of the company?

Yes, you are encouraged to choose the name of your company by applying for it and then we check with the Company Registry of the offshore jurisdiction for the availability of the name. While choosing the name of your company, bear in mind that the following are forbidden:

  1. Names that are very similar to existing well-known brands.
  2. Names that include any prohibited word, phrase or abbreviation like Bank, Parliament, Registrar etc, or any word or abbreviation that has a similar meaning.
  3. Names that include activities that require a specific license like College, Foundation, Fund etc.

Can the name of the company change?

The name of the company can be changed after it is approved by the registrar in the country of incorporation to ensure that the name is not already taken or forbidden. A board resolution is drafted and signed by the directors of the company and then the new name is filed with the company registry in the country of incorporation.

Can the directors of the company change?

The directors of the company can change after a board resolution is drafted and signed by the directors of the company. Then, if that is required by the law in country of incorporation, the resolution is officially filed with the company registry. The new directors are asked to provide a copy of their passport, proof of permanent home address, telephone/fax number and email address accompanied by a signed letter mentioning that they wish to become the director of the company.

Can the shareholders of the company change?

The shareholders of the company can change after a board resolution is drafted and signed by the directors of the company. Then, if that is required by the law in country of incorporation, it is officially filed with the company registry. The new shareholders are asked to provide a copy of their passport, proof of permanent home address, telephone/fax number and email address accompanied by a signed letter mentioning that they wish to become the shareholder of the company.

How long does it take to set up the payment gateway?

It can be completed within 3 working days without including the bank application processes and it can also depend on the complexity of the customization services you would like for your e-commerce business model.

What is document and process apply license?

Depending on the type of license you require, it is usually a legal entity document, shareholder/director information, business plan and other like Finance Statement audit, rental office agreement, etc.

What is Bookkeeping/Accounting/Audit services?

Accounting and & Audit services ensure that your company is within compliance with the requirements of laws, financial reporting standards, regulations, rules, contracts, or grants.

What is the difference between an annual return and a tax return?

An annual return is to confirm whether a company or close corporation is still in business/trading or will be in the near future, while a tax return focuses on taxable income of a company or close corporation in order to determine its tax liability to the State.

What is a nominee director?

To bring customers the services they require, they will act as the customers’ representative and all contracts and documents will show up the name of the nominee director.

The nominee director will also be assigned to sign on all of the corporate and partner agreements. It is a commitment that the nominee director will not proceed in any obligations without the customers’ request and permission.

What and why do you use the Nominee Director/Shareholder services?

A nominee shareholder is a non-beneficiary role where a person or corporate body is appointed to act on behalf of the true shareholder in a name-only capacity. A nominee is mostly used when a limited company shareholder wishes to remain anonymous and keep their details off the public.

A nominee director is a person or a corporate body who is appointed to act as a non-executive capacity on behalf of another person or corporate body.
The main purpose is to protect the identity of the true company director, as nominees are given no executive “hands on” duties, but they are asked to sign documents on behalf of the true director or secretary.

What is a nominee shareholder?

The nominee shareholder is appointed in order to shield the real owner of the company from being publicly associated with the company.

What are the annual renewal fees?

The annual renewal fees are the government and professional fees you would pay in order to maintain your corporate company in good standing under the laws of the state of registration.

Can I transfer my current company to another jurisdiction?

The process of Company Migration is sometimes referred as Re-domiciliation or Continuation and refers to de-registering a company from one jurisdiction and registering in another.

Continuation, as its name suggests, has the privilege of continuity which means that while the company is amending its registered address, it does not cease to exist. Business is neither interrupted nor disrupted and the company keeps its original date of incorporation. What this means is that the company continues to exist, but it just migrated to a different jurisdiction.

The reason why this happens is mainly because the original reasons why a company was incorporated in a particular jurisdiction might no longer be valid, so another jurisdiction might present advantages that the previous one did not.

The process is relatively easy while assuming that both jurisdictions allow the continuation procedure, the company would have to submit documents such as a special resolution confirming the company’s intention to migrate, the articles of continuation, a director’s solvency statement and a registered agent consent letter. Other documents might also be required depending on the complexity of the case.

Can I switch my Offshore Company from one Registered Agent to another?

The change of the agent is a very standard procedure and it can be done by requesting the current Registered Agent to resign and pass the administration of the company to a different Registered Agent.

What documents are required to ensure my complete control over the company and to enable me to resign any officers or agents if needed?

The nominee shareholder will provide you with trust declaration and such an undertaking can also be made by the nominee director. An alternative option is for the nominee director to issue an undated resignation letter which can be executed by you at any time and remove the director from office with either immediate or post effect. If it is specifically required by the circumstances, a detailed and specific company management contract can be drafted and concluded between you and the registered agent who represents are the involved nominees..

What are the required documents for the change of the registered agent?

The forms that the new registered agent must provide are:

  1. Shareholder’s resolution mentioning the change of the registered agent.
  2. Change of registered office signed by the director/shareholder.
  3. Notice given to the old agent about their resignation and submitted to the local authority.

Why do I have to pay for the Registered Office and the Registered Agent since I don’t use them?

In fact, you do use them. The registered agent lends their office to be used as the legal address of your company and they are also responsible for the safe custody and updating of different documents, like the memorandum and articles of association of the company, the register of members or a copy thereof, the register of directors or a copy thereof and copies of all notices and other documents filed by the company in the previous ten years.

The registered agent is also most of the times custodian for meetings and resolutions of shareholders and directors. The registered agent is responsible to keep these documents up to date and available for inspection by the company directors, shareholders and owners.

The registered agent finally acts as an intermediary between the offshore company and the government, regarding the timely payment of the government renewal fees and the filing of the administrative returns. Generally, the registered agent has an overall legal and practical role, thus an annual fee needs to be paid by the offshore company.

Can all companies apply for deregistration?

Yes, all companies can apply for deregistration/strike off.

What are the general requirements for a company to apply for deregistration/strike off?

The company needs to meet the following criteria in order to apply for deregistration/strike off:

  1. All the members of the company to agree to the deregistration.
  2. The company has not been involved in operation or business or has not been active three months prior to the application.
  3. The company has no outstanding liabilities.
  4. The company is no party to any legal proceedings.
  5. The company has obtained a Notice to Authority/Company Registry.

How can I restore a deregistered company?

An application of restoration is needed in which we will guide and aid you, together with the appropriate fee applicable for the specific jurisdiction to restore the Company.

What are the differences between deregistration, striking off and winding up?

Winding up is the process of settling the accounts and liquidating the assets of a company in order to make distribution of the net assets to members and dissolving the company.

Deregistration is a simple, inexpensive and fast procedure where dormant solvent companies are dissolved.

Strike off is the process during which the Registrar believes that the company is not in operation or carries on business and strikes the name of the company from the Registry The company is then dissolved after its name is struck off the Companies Register. Striking off is a statutory power of the Registrar, thus a company cannot apply for a strike off.