Guide on Opening an Offshore Company

An offshore company is a corporation incorporated in a foreign country where none of the founders is a resident. Offshore business processes are facilitated in a number of locations around the world and, when investors open an International Business Company, a common business form for this purpose, they will not be allowed to trade locally in that jurisdiction.  This short guide on opening an offshore company aims to offer a number of clarifications on the process of opening a legal entity in another location.


1. Choose the jurisdiction

Offshore companies offer a number of advantages, from easy incorporation to low taxation regimes and the ease of doing business internationally. Of course, these characteristics will vary according to the chosen jurisdiction. Therefore, selecting where the company will be based is very important.

Investors who start a business in Singapore will enjoy a number of advantages, even though the city-state is not perceived as an offshore jurisdiction in the traditional sense of the word. Low taxes and an easy set up process are available here, with none of the disadvantages of the jurisdiction being included on any blacklist.

Investors who establish a company in the Isle of Man will also benefit from tax advantages (with a 0% tax rate for selected types of activities) and a fast incorporation process. Moreover, this is the preferred jurisdiction for those who wish to enjoy the zero tax advantages in a location that is close to Europe.

Popular offshore jurisdictions also include the British Virgin Islands, where the International Business Company can be incorporated, the Cayman Islands, Seychelles or Labuan, among others.

2. Begin the incorporation of the company

Company formation in many of the offshore jurisdictions is simple and has low requirements. A minimum of one shareholder and one director will be required and the minimum share capital is low. Nevertheless, the company will need to have a registered address and in some cases, a registered agent is also mandatory. In some locations, the presence of a local company secretary is also required.

Entrepreneurs will be required to provide all of the needed details for incorporation and they can also select nominee director and nominee shareholder services during the initial incorporation stages if they wish to protect their identities.

Opening an offshore company has a number of benefits and it is a simple process that can be easily handled by foreign investors regardless of their country of origin.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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