How to register an offshore company in 2020

Please contact us if you would like to set up an offshore company in the jurisdiction of your choice. Our experts will help you choose the best country to register a foreign company and select the optimal company ownership form. Below please find out about the procedure of setting up an offshore company.  

register an offshore company

Choose the jurisdiction to form an offshore company 

The procedure of registering an offshore company is plain and transparent and the whole process takes only a few days. An offshore company can be registered online. For our purposes, the procedure of setting up a foreign company can be broken down into three stages:

  1. Preparatory stage – you have to decide on the jurisdiction to set up the company, the ownership form, and the company name.
  2. Registration stage – you have to pay the registration duty, the agent’s commission, draw up a business plan, fill out and submit the application documents.
  3. The operational stage – you have to decide on additional services that you might need such as registration prolongation, nominee services, office rent, bank account opening, accounting support, and so on. Registering an offshore company is not enough to make it functional and this should be clear. 

At the first stage, you have to decide why exactly you need an offshore company. Possible reasons for opening one can be as follows:

  1. Asset protection;
  2. Charity;
  3. Property ownership;
  4. Investment;
  5. Structuring a holding company. 

Depending on your business objectives, you can choose one of the available company ownership forms and establish a trust, a fund, an IBC, and LLC, and so on. Much will also depend on what your home country is and what you would like to use your offshore company for:

  • If you need an offshore company to make it the owner of a certain asset, then an IBC in Seychelles or Belize will do.
  • If you want to use your offshore company for trading operations in Europe or another financial center plus you want to protect your confidentiality, a more complex option will have to be chosen. For instance, you can consider setting up a limited liability company in Hong Kong, Cyprus, or the USA. 

Please find out more about the differences between different types of offshore companies, their advantages, limitations, registration procedure details by applying for out consultation. 

Several factors need to be taken into consideration when selecting the country to open your offshore company:

1. The geographical position of the jurisdiction is important. Many people prefer to have their foreign companies registered not too far away from home. 

You have to answer the following questions in this respect:

  • Do you plan to visit the foreign country often? Should it be of easy access?
  • Do you want it to be close to home?
  • Is it a good jurisdiction for business operations? 

2. The second thing to find out if the legislation of the foreign country suits your business purposes. Besides, you have to learn what international and bilateral agreements your home country has signed.

  • Is there a double taxation avoidance treaty between your home country and the country where you would like to set up an offshore company? Are there any other agreements between the two states?
  • Is the prospective foreign country a member of the automatic exchange of information group?
  • Does your home country have Controlled Foreign Company (CFC) regulations? If it does, you will have to declare having a company abroad. CFC regulations differ from country to country and in some jurisdictions, they will not affect the structure of your offshore company while in other jurisdictions foreign companies are taxable at home.
  • Is your home country a member of the Common Reporting Standards (CRS) group of countries? If it is, it will limit the opportunities for confidentiality protection. 

All these factors are important, as they will affect the possibilities to economize on taxes and have a bearing on your offshore company corporate structure. 

Please consult our experts on the ways to enhance the confidentiality of foreign company ownership by use of some additional instruments. This will allow effectively protecting your assets. 

3. If you would like to have your offshore company functional, that is, if you want to use it for business purposes, you will have to have a corporate bank account. 

Opening a bank account for your offshore company is not difficult at all: our experts will gladly help you do that! 

You may also need other services that we can provide to you:

  • Opening a merchant account, providing for acquiring opportunities if yours is a virtual online business;
  • Corporate services, managerial (nominee) services, secretarial services (mail and bill handling, virtual office services, etc.). Your offshore company may well need these additional services, which we will be happy to provide. 

How to choose the name for your offshore company

It is important to know that some countries prohibit the use of certain words in the names of commercial companies domiciled on their territories. Here are some examples of prohibited words: Guarantee, royal, university, bank, trust, insurance, imperial, municipal, fund, casino, securities, pharmacy, and words that are indicative of state support provided to the commercial company. Фонд, 

To be on the safe side, please seek our experts’ advice: they will help you pick up a name for your offshore company. 

In addition to that, you have to realize that many company names will be already taken when you submit your registration documents. For this reason, we suggest that you should invent two or three alternative names when registering an offshore company. 

Finally, the company name should end in a word or abbreviation that indicates the company ownership type. These words and abbreviations will be different in every country and some of them include the following ones: «Limited», «LTD», «Corporation», «Corp.», «Incorporated», «Inc.», «LLC», «Société Anonyme», «SA», «Gmb». , «Namloze Vennootschap», «Berhad», and so on.

The procedure of offshore company registration

When you have chosen the jurisdiction where you want to set up your offshore company, you can start collecting the necessary application documents. The company By-laws is the central document that reflects the company ownership structure and defines the obligations of company officers/ shareholders.

Creating a clear company structure and drawing up exhaustive By-laws is of crucial importance. It will determine how well you can protect your assets from possible legal actions or fiscal body attacks. It can be vital especially for trusts, funds, multinational companies, and those having complex ownership structures.   

Please enquire with our experts about the factors important for application document preparation.

How to protect your confidentiality

When the company UBO (Ultimate Beneficiary Owner) wants to remain confidential, he or she can use nominee services that are available in most offshore jurisdictions. The names of the nominee directors/ shareholders will be indicated in the corporate documents while the UBO will have total control over company operations.

Please consult our experts about nominee services in different countries.

Another way of improving the offshore company UBO confidentiality is making another legal entity the owner of the company/ shareholder/ director. In this case, the Corporate Registry is not going to contain the personal names of the offshore company owners.

This is not a perfect way of confidentiality protection for residents of the countries that have joined the CRS group and passed CFC regulations. Your home country’s fiscal bodies will then know that you have a foreign company but it does not have to be a large problem as the information is not going to spread to any other country anyway.

If you are eager to keep your offshore company ownership secret, please consult our experts about using the so-called tax havens.

Document package required for registering an offshore company:

  • Passport copies for the beneficiary owner(s) and director(s);
  • Confirmations of their residential addresses;
  • Confirmation of the payment of the registration duty (a bank slip).

The application documents package can be larger in some instances. You may be asked to fill out a KYC (Know Your Client) form, provide a CV, and so on. Besides, some jurisdictions are quite demanding when it comes to opening a bank account for an offshore company. They may request bank statements, professional recommendations, business-plans, etc. Please consult our experts about the application documents required in each particular case.

The results of offshore company registration

It normally takes the state authorities one to two weeks to process the application documents. After this time, the company will (hopefully) be registered and the data will be entered into the official Register of Commercial Companies. A company Registration Certificate and other corporate documents will also be issued.

You will have to wait for another six to eight weeks before you obtain the paper copies of these documents but your offshore company can start working earlier as it will already be in the Registry. In addition to the Registration Certificate, you will receive the form for annual company registration extension that entails an annual fee.

How to start the process of offshore company registration

Registering an offshore company will be very easy if you apply for our professional assistance. Our company has vast experience in providing such services. To launch offshore company registration please do the following:

  1. Contact us in any way you like: send us an email, call us on the phone, or write in the live chat window.
  2. Order services from us and cover their cost. We recommend that you consider applying for packaged services that include bank account opening, company maintenance, registration prolongation, economic substance provision, etc. in addition to registering an offshore company.
  3. Supply your personal data and the documents required for company registration.
  4. Receive the registration documents package. 

If you have any questions related to offshore company registration, please do not hesitate to send your queries to our email address (see the top of the page).

Can I register an offshore company online?

Yes, you can. Send us the required registration documents and we will submit the application on your behalf. What is usually required is a passport copy for the prospective company owner and proof of his/ her residential address (a utility bill, a bank statement, etc.). Your personal presence is not required. All the documents will be sent with a courier.

How long does it take to register an offshore company?

The registration procedure lasts for several days, maybe a week. The offshore country registration authorities will consider your application and make a decision. When the company is registered, you can start using it for business operations. After a few more weeks, you will receive paper copies of the registration documents.

Where should I begin to register an offshore company?

Choose the jurisdiction, the company ownership form, and the company name. These should suit your business purposes well. If you need assistance, please apply for our professional advice.

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