Offshore jurisdiction of the Seychelles offers the registration of offshore companies for the implementation of international commercial activities. The procedure for the registration of such companies and their subsequent activities are regulated by the corresponding legislative act “On International Business Companies” of 1994.
Incorporating offshore companies and basic requirements
The incorporation of international companies in the Seychelles is performed on the basis of the norms of this law and under the following obligatory conditions:
- Offshore companies do not operate on the territory of the Seychelles;
- Company cannot acquire real estate on the island;
- Offshore companies have no access to banking and insurance activities and cannot engage in trusts and re-insurance.
Naming an offshore company
As a name for an offshore company, the following word combinations and words are not allowed: Chamber of Commerce, Construction Company, Bank and other names, which may imply some connection with the state bodies and the ruling royal family.
There are no requirements for the official language of the name of an offshore company. In addition, the use of abbreviations to indicate the degree of responsibility of shareholders (Corp., Ltd., Inc., GmbH, etc.) is permitted.
Requirements for the contents of constitutional documents
The memorandum on the establishment of an offshore company must contain the following information:
- Full name of an offshore company;
- Its registered office address in the Seychelles;
- Legal address and personal data of a local agent with appropriate authority;
- Currency of the authorized capital and its size;
- Types and conditions for the transfer and exchange of securities;
- Regulations on the issue of securities to the bearer.
The charter of an offshore company contains provisions regulating internal and external economic activities of an offshore company, including international commercial activities.
Offshore company in the Seychelles – mandatory provisions
An offshore company must have a registered office in the Seychelles, as well as a local agent with such authority. As a local agent, both physical and legal persons can act. It can be a lawyer, a licensed management company or a local law firm.
Legal entities and individuals with foreign citizenship can also act as the head of an offshore company. The minimum number of directors is one. It is acceptable to appoint other employees, such as an offshore company secretary or deputy director.
Despite the fact that information on the heads and employees of an offshore company is submitted to the state register (this is necessary to obtain a state offshore certificate), this information is of a closed nature and is not available to a wide range of persons.
Requirements for the share capital of an offshore company
Legislation of the Republic of Seychelles allows the share capital of an offshore company to be formed in any currency. It doesn’t have to be expressed in nominal value. There are no requirements to the minimum threshold of the authorized capital, although in practice companies with an authorized capital of no more than US $5,000 are most often incorporated, which is explained by the annual license fee for this category of offshore companies comprising only $100.
Accordingly, if the face value of the share capital exceeds $5,000, the annual license fee is increased to $300.
Requirements to shareholders of an offshore company and tax exemptions
Shareholders of an offshore company may be individuals and legal entities, their minimum number is one. It is worth noting that the shares of an offshore company subject to issue must be paid for. An officially registered office of an offshore company must keep a register of all shareholders. This register is also closed to the general public.
Offshore companies are relieved from the necessity to file annual financial statements and conduct financial audits.
International companies registered in the offshore zone of the Seychelles are fully exempt from tax payments. Legislation provides for only an annual license fee, the amount of which depends on the working capital ($100, $300, $1000).
Meetings of shareholders and managers of an offshore company are conducted in accordance with the norms of the Constituent Documentation, both in the territory of the Seychelles and beyond. Annual meetings of shareholders are not mandatory.
Terms of incorporation and alternative options
If the name of the prospective offshore company has been approved by the relevant government agencies, the incorporation of the company will take no more than a day. In addition, there is an alternative possibility of opening an offshore company in the Seychelles. If there is a time limit, you can always purchase a ready-made offshore company. As a rule, ready-made companies have everything they need for direct economic activities.
Features of the offshore zone of the Seychelles
Typical differences of offshore jurisdiction in the Seychelles are the availability of flexible corporate legislation, minimum requirements for the registration procedure and maximum confidentiality of information related to business. Such factors make the international offshore company in the Seychelles an effective tool for tax optimization.
If we summarize all the possibilities of offshore and corporate legislation in the Seychelles, it has the following advantages:
- Relative economic and political stability;
- Modern infrastructure and communications;
- Developed banking and public financial sectors;
- Effective legal protection of assets and flexible corporate legislation.
Thus, the popularity of the Seychelles, as the world’s largest financial center and a favorable tax haven, is understandable. More and more entrepreneurs all over the world have already evaluated these advantages and successfully apply them in their own business.