The Republic of Seychelles is an archipelago that consists of more than one hundred islands and is surrounded by a natural coral reef. The islands are located in the southern waters of the Indian ocean, and most of them are uninhabited. The total area of the island nation is more than 500 thousand square kilometres and the population of Seychelles approaches 100 thousand mark. Victoria is the capital and the administrative centre of the state.
The local population of the Seychelles is a melting pot of different cultures and religions. Seychellois are descendants of Dutch and French colonists, merchants from China, Middle East and India, British sailors and African slaves. In the distant past, the island group was a refuge for sea-robbers and pirates. Today it is the largest business and financial centre and a member of the British Commonwealth.
The Law and Economy of the Country
The applicable legislation of the Seychelles is based on the rules of the English common law as well as custom law and French civil law. The international Hague Convention was signed in 1961.
Farming and agricultural sectors are the traditional pillars of the island’s economy. However, in recent years, such market segments as tourism industry and financial service sector have become the major sources of government revenue. The reforms, which were conducted in the island’s fiscal and corporate legislation, have significantly contributed to the development of these two sectors. The advanced government regulations have served as a basis for creating international business companies and attracting foreign investments into the local economy.
It is worth mentioning that the Seychelles jurisdiction enjoys annual increase in the number of registered insurance companies and banking institutions that open their representative offices and foreign branches in the territory of the country. The registered companies and offshore firms can count on the professional servicing in the spheres of management, accounting and provision of business legal support.
The attractiveness of the Seychelles jurisdiction as an international offshore zone remains indisputable.
Seychelles offshore jurisdiction – key insights
The island nation’s corporate legislation on the creation of the offshore schemes is based on the legislative act of 1994, which regulates the activities of international business companies. The provisions of this act warrant that the offshore companies, which are registered in Seychelles, possess a right to carry out their commercial and business activities anywhere in the world.
Registration of an International Business Company is required in order to get a possibility to create offshore schemes in Seychelles. Such a legal form of organization provides for both various possibilities and limitations.
International business companies are allowed to carry out any business activity that does not contravene the legislation applied in Seychelles. However, offshore companies cannot operate on the territory of the jurisdiction. There are also some limitations on certain activities, including banking, insurance and trust activities. Getting a special state license is a mandatory condition for legal implementation of such activities.
State registration of an international business company requires a mandatory availability of a registered legal address and a local agent possessing certain privileges provided by the state.
Authorised capital of an International business company
The law of the Seychelles stipulates that the authorised capital of the offshore companies is entirely of a declared nature and its payment is not obligatory. The capital is usually divided into a certain number of nominal shares, however, this does not exclude the possibility of issuing non-denominated securities. Offshore companies can also issue shares to bearer, but this option is hardly used in practice due to the current regulations.
Shareholders and managers of the Seychelles offshore companies
Both shareholders and managers of the Seychelles offshore companies operate under the similar rules and requirements. In particular, their minimum number is one and they may be both legal and natural persons without a resident status. In addition, the law allows usage of nominee services in order to enhance secrecy of information.
Nominee services for the Seychelles offshore companies
The services, which are rendered by nominee shareholders and managers of offshore firms, provide ultimate beneficiaries and owners of offshore firms with a maximum confidentiality and secrecy of information about their businesses. As the result, only the nominee employees will appear in all the official documents, and real business owners will get a general power of attorney.
The management of an offshore firm is carried out on the basis of this power of attorney. Moreover, nominee employees sign an undated exemption letter, which allows owner to terminate them at any time in his sole discretion. The declaration of trust, confirming the fact that the nominee shareholders own securities in the interests of the beneficiary and do not have the right to dispose company assets without a proper agreement, is made between shareholders and authorized representative.
Financial reporting and taxation of international business companies
Taking into consideration the fact that in Seychelles an income tax is levied only on the incomes earned on the territory of the country, it becomes evident that the international local companies are not taxed at all, as they do not carry out any activities on the local market.
The Seychelles offshore companies also do not need to conduct financial audit and file annual reports. Maintenance of a primary accounting is enough to indicate business activities and financial condition of a company.
The government does not set limitations on the assets repatriation and does not apply foreign exchange controls. It means that the financial transactions may be carried out in any foreign currency, and financial assets may be withdrawn outside the jurisdiction without any limitations.
Please contact us, if you are interested in registering an offshore company in the Seychelles jurisdiction or purchasing the already registered international company, and get an expert advice. Visit other sections of the website to find a lot of useful and interesting information concerning this offshore jurisdiction.