In 2019, we are no longer restricted by boundaries, time zones, or distance when it comes to doing business. Savvy entrepreneurs that were once confined to setting up a business in their own country or where they physically reside now have a much wider choice of jurisdictions.
Based on Fast Offshore’s 21 (and counting) years of experience in international corporate services and company incorporation, these are the top 5 countries to incorporate a country in.
For those looking for an EU base with great fiscal incentives, Malta is an obvious choice. The Maltese government operates a full tax imputation system which means that depending on circumstances, tax rebates can be paid as dividends to shareholders resulting in tax rates as low as 0% with a maximum cap of 10%. Incorporation costs and times are low and the minimum share capital is EUR 245. It also has over 50 double taxation treaties and no exit taxes, wealth taxes, trade taxes, or payroll based tax. You can also enjoy the prestige of an EU company with the fiscal benefits of non-EU jurisdictions.
Anyone opening a company in the British Virgin Islands can conduct business without the need to pay corporate tax or do tax reporting within the country. There are no requirements for tax returns, annual returns, audits, or local directors, but the company is required to keep adequate accounting records. Only the company’s certificate of incorporation and memorandum and articles of association are part of the public records and no information of ultimate beneficial owners or directors is made public.
Those looking to set up a company in Curacao can enjoy 100% exemption from all types of tax and 100% foreign ownership by incorporating a Curacao Tax Exempt NV Company. This option allows a lot of flexibility in terms of business structures for international investors. Other types of Curacao company enjoy tax rates of 2% or 3% depending on the type. There is no requirement for minimum authorised share capital and you only need one shareholder who can also be a Director. Audits and the yearly filing of financial statements are not required, but accounting records must be maintained. Tax returns are only required if tax is paid.
Cyprus is another EU jurisdiction with extremely favourable tax benefits. One of the most popular places in Europe to register a company, the uniform tax rate is 12.5% which is one of the lowest in the bloc. Incorporation is straightforward and quick and there are no restrictions placed on the residence or nationality of the owner or where operations of the company are conducted. Cyprus also provides for 0% tax on interest income and dividend income as well as any profit derived from the disposal of shares, debentures, bonds, or other forms of security. The country is also party to over 45 double taxation treaties and is on the OECD white list. It takes around one week for the incorporation of a Cyprus company to be complete.
The Seychelles are famed as a dream holiday destination but they are also a perfect jurisdiction to incorporate an offshore company. Benefits include zero tax payable, no minimum share capital required, no nationality requirements on directors and shareholders who can be 100% foreign. Only one director and shareholder is required and they can be the same person and there is no requirement for a company secretary. Levels of confidentiality are high and there are minimal reporting requirements such as there being no need for audit or tax returns. Lastly, ongoing maintenance of a Seychelles company is cost effective and there is no specified minimum share capital requirement.
If you are looking to incorporate a company in any of these jurisdictions, or elsewhere, contact us to draw on our decades of experience.