21 Options to Incorporate an Offshore Company
Have you been wondering whether it’s the right time to incorporate an offshore company? Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place, as our team at Europe Emirates Group has decades of expertise in offshore company incorporation services. Even if you know that it’s what you want, there are many questions about how to incorporate offshore and what jurisdiction best suits your needs. We’ll cover it all, as well as highlight 21 ideal options full of offers that suit your fancy. Let’s get started.
What are the benefits of incorporating offshore?
Before we move any further, the definition of an offshore company is that you establish your entity in a jurisdiction that’s not where your enterprise originated, which is that you’re based in one place. Still, you make most of your profits somewhere else. While we often hear about people illegally using offshore corporations, you can reap the benefits of offshoring as long as you declare it.
What are the benefits of offshoring, you may ask? Some of the ways that offshoring is helping the companies that choose to do so are gaining from lower taxes and fewer regulations, allowing them to maximise their savings on operating costs. As a result, many corporations find the offshore company tax benefits quite attractive. Many offshore jurisdictions do not allow these entities to operate where they have their domicile, and as we’ll see, you will find these entities all over the world.
21 of the best countries (and jurisdictions) to incorporate offshore
All of these jurisdictions offer optimal cost savings. While you will not have to pay any taxes in most jurisdictions, you may face liabilities in your home country. Our team will be delighted to consult you on the financial obligations going offshore could entail in your home country. Each of the offers below grants you the needed documentation to operate entirely from the day of registration, including:
A locally-issued Certificate of Incorporation
Secretarial maintenance services
The Memorandum and Articles of Association
A head office (a registered agent and registered address)
Most of these jurisdictions also let you incorporate your offshore company remotely online, permitting the utmost flexibility given the wave of travel restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also take advantage of our Bank Introduction services to make the necessary connections for a bank account to ensure you can perform the required transactions. Our partner financial institutions are worldwide, ensuring you can find an offshore banking solution that grants you business flexibility with minimal liability.
This Caribbean archipelago nation offers attractive offshore incorporation benefits and incentives to people from all nationalities. Our current fixed offer for Bahamas-based International Business Companies governed under IBC Act 200 has everything you need. You also will not pay any taxes in the Bahamas.
Belize offshore incorporation
Belize boasts an outstanding commitment to corporate confidentiality (along with no taxes). The only disclosure that you must carry out is publishing your business’s Memorandum and Articles of Association. Plus, under Belizean law, the only people given the ability to search share registers are your shareholders. You needn’t travel to carry out the process, and all IBCs following the stipulations in the IBC Act of 1999 can have their registration process complete in just a few days.
The British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands has long been one of the most coveted European offshore jurisdictions. As a British Overseas Territory, the area has long been a stable economy, making it a reliable choice for prospective offshore business owners. Whilst you needn’t any paid-up capital, you will need a registered address (regardless of whether you’re a BVI resident). Fortunately, our current offer will ensure you fulfil all the requirements for an operational entity.
Cayman Islands offshore business setup
The Cayman Islands is a leading offshore financial services leader that meets global standards. Its Companies Law (2016 Revision) ensures global compliance while offering the benefit of offshoring for prospective entities. You must fulfil Economic Substance Requirements to register an offshore entity in the Cayman Islands, and we can work with you to ensure you can meet the requisites.
For those looking to incorporate an offshore company in the European Union, Cyprus can fit your needs. It boasts one of Europe’s lowest tax rates on worldwide profits (12.5%). The Cyprus Bar Association governs International Business Company (IBC) formation in Cyprus, meaning you must go through a law office. Fortunately, our offer will streamline this process while procuring the needed documents:
Certificate of Incorporation from the Cyprus Bar Association
Memorandum and Articles of Association
Head Office (a registered address and agent)
Delaware offshore company formation
The US state of Delaware is the corporate domicile of choice for some of the most established corporations both domestically and internationally. Should you choose to register in Delaware, you’ll join a business community that includes listed entities on the New York Stock Exchange and many of the premier American financial institutions. It’s also a world-class jurisdiction in the offshore company sector.
You will not have to pay any business taxes as long as you do not carry out any operations in US territory. There is no travel requirement for offshore company formation. However, Delaware is strategically on the Northeast Corridor from Boston to Washington, DC, uniting a critical part of the American economy and population and government centre.
Florida is another American standout jurisdiction for setting up an offshore company. Its proximity to Latin America and the Caribbean and no taxes for entities performing transactions outside of the United States make it quite attractive. You can form a Florida-based LLC in as little as three days, with the Florida Secretary of State overseeing the entire process. You will also benefit from no personal income tax (a perk for many people looking to become Floridians) and complete anonymity for all your shareholders.
This British Overseas Territory at the tip of the Iberian peninsula offers favourable offshore company incorporation benefits, with the process taking five days. If you would like to settle your family, there are plenty of schooling options on the Rock or nearby Spanish cities. Its strategic location at the crux of Europe and Africa has made it a booming economy, attracting a wealth of corporate entities to establish it as your headquarters. Whilst there’s no need to travel to Gibraltar to complete the process, you’ll be sure to fall in love with it upon your first visit.
Offshore incorporation in Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s legal system rooted in British corporate legislation (due to its previous status as British territory before 1997) has long fostered an undemanding and business-friendly approach that has granted it a coveted strategic position in East Asia’s economic landscape. Companies based in Hong Kong that do not operate in the territory will not see taxes on their profits, and you won’t find many maintenance costs for your entity. A Wholly Foreign-Owned Entity (WFOE) investment vehicle can bring you the benefits of working with China while boasting cost savings.
On 1 January 2018, a new tax regime went into force in Latvia, making undistributed corporate profits tax-exempt. It covers active and passive assets, as well as capital gains. Non-resident companies can also take advantage of this new tax regime. The country offers a stable jurisdiction and trustworthy corporate registry services that make it a worthy contender of being the new home for your next offshore venture.
When it comes to offshore incorporation options in Europe, Malta has long been on the list of the most reputable jurisdictions. Its status as a gateway to the EU, coupled with a transparent financial system, gave it this coveted status. What makes Malta attractive? For starters, its tax system has many rebates that foreign shareholders can apply for and get up to 80% of the standard corporate tax rate of 35% on distributed profits back, possibly leading to a corporate tax rate of only five per cent. Malta also does not have transfer-pricing rules, ideal for those firms seeking to lower their overall tax burden.
This Pacific archipelago offers a very affordable offshore incorporation option with low setup fees and the beneficial Marshall Island Associations Law of 1990 that exempts all non-resident companies from paying any local taxes. That includes exemptions on corporate taxes, asset taxes, exchange controls and stamp duties. You can use this to your advantage while opening your business up to an array of possibilities.
Nestled in the southwestern Indian ocean between Madagascar the French island of Réunion, Mauritius offers two company formats popular with those looking for an efficient structure while carrying out the process remotely. The Global Business Company has resident status and has a flat tax rate of three per cent. However, note that some sectors off-limits to GBCs, such as assurance, reinsurance, banking, asset management, insurance, collective investment schemes, fund management and trusteeship services. There is also the Authorised Company that is more of a traditional offshore structure. Global banks recognise Mauritius for its ease of doing business, and it is in the top spot for the African region. You will have no corporate taxes as an Authorised Company and no paid-up capital requirement.
The Netherlands stands out as a reputed jurisdiction that many international investors trust for company formation. The country has a corporate tax rate of 19%, giving it an advantage compared to other EU countries with one of Europe’s lowest corporate tax rates. It also got rid of its minimum level of authorised capital declaration in 2012. The Dutch corporate sector fosters full compliance with global financial standards with optimal levels of transparency. As a result, it stands out as a top EU jurisdiction for foreign investors.
Panama offshore company incorporation
There are very few regulations concerning company formation in Panama, making it one of the premier business destinations in Latin America. It also stands out as one of the offshore jurisdictions that allow this entity class to operate locally. You’ll also not have to pay any local taxes as a company founder. Offshore companies registered in Panama also have the right to act as holding companies or own real estate anywhere in the world. Plus, it’s home to the Colon Free Trade Zone along the Panama Canal, granting you a strategic location in global trade.
Ras Al Khaimah, UAE offshore company incorporation
The northernmost emirate in the UAE, just an hour from Dubai International Airport (DXB), Ras Al Khaimah’s RAK ICC (Ras Al-Khaimah International Corporate Centre) Free Zone is a corporate registry offering attractive offshore company options in the UAE. RAK ICC grants you the option of taking on one of five structures for your International Business Company (IBC). Along with the standard IBC, you can also set up an intellectual property holding company (IPHC) or acquire the Premium Product to operate onshore in cooperation with the Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) and offshore. RAKICC also stands out for letting you transfer an existing entity’s domicile instead of having to start from scratch whilst enjoying the lack of taxes in the UAE.
Seychelles offshore company incorporation
We recently discussed International Business Companies (IBC) in Seychelles. The complete registration process takes less than two days, with approval of your new entity possibly occurring in less than 30 minutes. As long as you perform all activity and earn all income outside of Seychelles, you don’t need to file tax returns, meet any accounting requirements or file account information, along with the tax exemption. However, you should have the records in order in case you have to prepare them. In addition, IBC owners can own a boat or plane that flies under the Seychelles flag, creating an additional benefit of registering your offshore company in Seychelles.
Singapore offshore incorporation
Singapore is a standout economy in Asia and worldwide for its strong intellectual property protections in the region and ease of doing business. It’s also one of the most competitive, if not the most, economies in the world. The Singapore Global Investor Programme scheme is also an attractive means of establishing residency in Singapore while taking your business ideas forward and living in the country. Entities choosing to establish themselves in Singapore can choose between a Private Limited Company (Pte Ltd), Subsidiary Company or a Branch Company. One reason Singapore is advantageous is that personal tax rates start at 0% and get capped at 22% for residents earning more than $320,000. For non-residents, there is a flat rate of 15-22%. You will not have to pay taxes on any income accrued outside of Singaporean territory.
Vincent and the Grenadines
The Caribbean island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has offshore banking as one of its top economic activities. The others are tourism, agriculture and construction. St. Vincent has some of the world’s most assertive privacy statutes per the Preservation of Confidential Relationships (International Finance) Act of 1996. Companies in St. Vincent are exempt from taxes for 25 years from incorporation and enjoy a 25-year exemption on Stamp Duties on share or property transactions.
Switzerland has long been a popular company formation destination in Europe with no ownership restrictions for foreigners. With a 13.99% corporate tax rate on profits per the Federal Act on Tax Reform and AHV Financing enacted in 2019, it also offers an efficient tax structure compared to other places on the European continent. The cantons or regions have sets of perks for new businesses around the country that you can enjoy as they compete for new business. The tax burden varies across the cantons, but you can get participation relief for your dividends and capital gains. Shareholder names won’t appear on public registries, granting an added level of privacy.
The United Kingdom offers you the option of three company formats: a private limited company (Ltd.), a public limited company (PLC) or a limited liability partnership (LLP) through the regulatory entity known as Companies House. As for taxation, the corporate tax rate is 21 per cent for entities earning less than £300,000. For any income above that, there are differing tax brackets. One of the unique benefits of company formation in Britain is that an entity set up in the UK does not need to set objectives in the Memorandum of Association, letting you open yourself up to a plethora of activities with your firm.
How to register an offshore company
Now that we’ve given you a look at each of these jurisdictions, we know that there are many attractive jurisdictions for registering an offshore company. Europe Emirates Group offers some of the best offshore company incorporation services and advising to best suit your needs. We will guide you in understanding the offshore company tax benefits you can enjoy, as well as analysing your business goals to determine which of these destinations is the best fit. Would you like to get started? Don’t hesitate to contact us today.
CEO, Europe Emirates Group