Your questions about the cost of offshore company registration and maintenance in year one is a reason to discuss the real value of such a venture.
Offshore company formation remains a popular solution not only because of the owners’ tax bill optimization aspirations. There is so much more to it.
Any offshore company offers a lot of advantages in terms of assets protection, privacy, and ultimate separation of personal assets from liabilities of a legal entity. Moreover, entities incorporated in offshore zones are reasonably inexpensive in maintenance and most often require minimal effort, if the application portfolio meets the requirements.
The hereby article estimates how much it is to kick-start a business entity in classic zero-tax and low-tax offshore jurisdictions that offer a broad scope of benefits and incentives. We will also look at the average maintenance costs incurred by an offshore company’s owner during its first year.
Offshore Pro Group experts offer company planning, set-up, and consultancy services based on their profound experience, comprehensive knowledge of every relevant matter, analysis of different jurisdictions, attention to each client’s specific needs. Please contact us at the e-address given at the top of this page. You are guaranteed success in building a steady profitable business.
Cost of Essentials During the First Year of an Offshore Company
The costs of registration of your offshore company begin with the fees payable to the state. These include the registered agent’s services (engagement of this agent is a prerequisite in almost all jurisdictions), licensing, state duties charged by the authorities. In certain cases, you will also need to pay the courier, notary, and administrative fees, depending on the package of services you order.
If you choose the minimum package of offshore company registration services, it will include the following must-haves:
1. The fixed state duty (a filing fee).
2. Registered agent’s services in the jurisdiction of incorporation.
3. Annual report (non-financial) prepared by the agent.
4. Administrative office costs (legal address).
5. Courier services.
Depending on the country of incorporation, additional fees may be charged, for example, for filing an audited financial statement, or a small corporate tax rate (in Mauritius, Liechtenstein, Labuan, Cyprus, and other low-tax jurisdictions).
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Possible Additional Costs During the First Year of an Offshore Company
Depending on the wishes of the clients and/or their business needs, the cost of maintaining an offshore company during the first year of operation may involve bills for such additional services as the following ones:
- the services of a nominee director;
- the services of a nominee shareholder;
- mailing incoming address for commercial documents;
- accounting and preparation of financial statements, day-to-day bookkeeping;
- a Certificate of Good Standing;
- Powers of Attorney;
- Preparation of the Minutes of general meetings of shareholders;
- drafting of tax returns, their certification;
- licenses and their renewal;
- other services.
The above-mentioned list of extra services is not complete, because each client’s company is a separate case. The customer-specific budget estimates require a tailored approach and a precise study of all the client’s intentions, needs, and nice-to-haves. The spending plans would be different when you open an offshore company for developing e-commerce or set up an international trust, or an investment fund.
Please note: we have to advise against cooperation with any opportunists promising to register an offshore entity without submission of personal documents of the ultimate beneficiary. As a rule, you can recognize scam offers by their rates – the fee is too cheap. Otherwise, if you are lured into such a shady deal, you won’t be able to build a legal business and prove in the future that you are the real owner.
Estimates Across Jurisdictions – Offshore Company Registration and 1st Year Maintenance Total Cost
Popular tax havens are gradually introducing new rules for company incorporation, as well as for economic substance. Today, many offshore states allow foreign companies registered under their jurisdiction to operate in their territory and obtain the tax residence. At the same time, foreign investors have the right to register an international commercial offshore company without its economic presence in the country of incorporation. Such entities cannot use the advantages of DTT agreements and are taxed at the source of income (in the country of its actual activity).
We recommend that before you register your offshore company, the most efficient business concept should be designed by/with our experts specialized in international law. We know what it takes to build a structure deriving utmost benefit from the virtues available in offshore jurisdictions.
Depending on the jurisdiction, the offshore company set-up cost plus the first-year expenses can range from several thousand to tens of thousands of US dollars.
Overview of company registration and 1st-year maintenance costs across some most popular offshore jurisdictions (the end of 2020*)
|Jurisdictions||Registration +first-year costs of S.A./INC/CORP or IBC||Basic package services||Extra costs|
|The Bahamas||USD 2,850||Company registration.|
|Registration at a new address USD 3,810|
Redomiciliation to Bahamas USD 3,825
Payment for next year’s company renewal service (charged at the time of registration)
Corporate documents (portfolio or original copies).
Director USD 1,399
Shareholder USD 1,399
|Bermuda||USD 13,450||Fees for registration with the Monetary Authority and Company Register. |
Annual fee (to be paid at the time of incorporation).
Registration of the director.
Tax exemption certificate.
|Change of the agent USD 1,000|
Professional Executive Director services from USD 10,000
|Company registration.State duty (filing fee) for the registration. |
Registered agent services in the BVI.
Portfolio or original copies of documents.
The first appointment of the Director (mandatory within 30 days after the registration).
Worldwide courier services.
|Virtual office package USD 400 per month|
Certificate of Good standing original USD 400 Virtual office package from USD 400 per month Certificate (the first) of Good standing 400 USD
|The Cayman Islands |
A company with an authorized capital of USD 50,000
|Company registration.All state duties and filing fees.|
Drafting and completion of Articles of Association.
Memorandum of Association.
Minutes of Director’s appointment.
Annual renewal fee.
|Virtual office up to USD 4,500|
Secretarial services. USD 2,250
Fund registration from USD 6,000 to USD 22,500
|Dominica (IBC) ||USD 2,299||State duty.|
Registration and data entry.
|Company redomiciliation in Dominica USD 2,450|
Liquidation USD 2,400
Option 1: a company without documents for the bank
Option 2: a company with documents for the bank
|Standard incorporation. |
Legal address for 1 year.
Agent’s services for 1 year.
In Option 2 – apostilled and certified documents.
|Urgent registration:- without documents to the bank EUR 4,200 – with documents to the bank EUR 4,700|
Redomiciliation in Gibraltar EUR 4,999
|The Isle of Man |
|Company registration in the Isle of Man. |
Certified :Certificate of Incorporation.
Articles of Association.
Memorandum of Association.
Minutes of Director’s appointment.
Annual tax return).
Annual compliance fee.
Bank account set-up (standard rate of EUR 2,999).
|Hybrid company EUR 8,900|
Trust/fund registration EUR 5,900
|Labuan (LLC with Standard Authorized Capital of up to USD 10,000)||USD 5,050||State duty.|
Offshore entity registration and data entry.
|License for a private foundation USD 8,200|
|Registration of an offshore company.|
Filing fee (state duty for registration).
Local registered agent.
Corporate documents (one portfolio of original copies).
Worldwide courier services.
|Virtual office in Panama USD 3,000|
Tax certificate USD 900
|Trust deed and registration in Nevis.|
PTC with you or your Directors as nominees.
|Certificate of Good Standing+ apostille EUR 725|
Certificate of Authority EUR 445
|USD 2,950 |
Registered agent services.
For extended package – issue and receipt of extra documents
|Private fund registration – from USD 3,080|
Liquidation of the company USD 3,000
|Offshore company registration.|
Registered (licensed) agent.
Portfolio of original corporate documents.
|Professional Executive Director services USD 3,200 plus operating costs|
Virtual local office from USD 3,500 a year
|St. Lucia |
Standard Company without Corporate Account
Standard Company+account with St. Lucia BOSLIL BANK
Company+account in another country’s bank
Portfolio of original corporate documents
In Options 2 and 3 – documents for the bank.
|Certificate of Good Standing EUR 1,000 |
Registration of the merger EUR 2,100
*The fees of registered agents and other prices are subject to change. The given rates refer to the basic packages and are for your general reference only. For updates, please contact our experts.
Actual total prices depend on the choice of services ordered by the client. Our experts are ready to help with the establishment of offshore companies, as well as entities in onshore, midshore, and low-tax jurisdictions.
Annual Offshore Maintenance Costs
The annual maintenance fee may include (besides the renewal fee and the fee for the registered agent), a variety of fees, depending on the ordered services. The total costs can be computed only after analyzing the client’s needs and requirements. For example, in the case of hiring a professional Executive Director, the total cost significantly increases. Or, if you are the owner of a foreign company and are not going to prepare financial statements, it is necessary to hire an accountant.
Therefore, the total operating costs of an offshore company need to be specified individually. Moreover, some changes in legislation may and often affect the compensation amounts payable to staff (for example, a secretary or an accountant).
Please note, that the annual payment of the state duty/filing fees in some jurisdictions is tied to the date of the registration, and no postponement is allowed. This is a recurring mandatory payment. Other essential costs can be inevitable from the second year and onwards and thus increase the total annual amount. Such expenses may be associated with the following needs:
- remission and issuance of shares, including those signed by nominee directors;
- notarization of documents, apostilling of corporate documents;
- submission of the Charter amendments to the Company Registry;
- Certificates of Good Standing, awarded authority, etc;
- change of the registered agent;
- Power of Attorney;
- trust tax returns;
Our company is ready to fully support your endeavors and help you issue or obtain all the necessary documents at any time. We can also compile your annual financial statements, conduct audits. If necessary, you can order the liquidation of an offshore company (please note that commercial entities should never be abandoned without annual renewal or complete closure). For more information, please order an individual consultation with our experts.
It is also useful to keep track of other regular publications featuring all relevant issues, updates of the fee and tariffs schedules, other matters of incorporation, maintenance, renewal of offshore companies.
What costs will I incur in year 1 of my offshore company?
The main costs include the registration filing fee, the registered agent’s fee, the registered office rental fee, and the tariffs for specific certificates. Additionally, you may need a general Power Of Attorney, notarial translation, apostille of documents. For a full list of additional services and fees, please contact our jurisdiction-specific experts.
How much is it to set up and keep my offshore company (the first year)?
Depending on the nature of your business, your needs, and the regulations of the chosen jurisdiction, the company’s first-year maintenance can range from USD 2,000 to USD 50,000 or more (just consider the difference between, for example, forex brokers and investment funds). It is possible to reduce the cost of annual maintenance by eliminating the services of nominee directors and shareholders, as well as by preparing and filing financial statements by your efforts (provided that you have the necessary knowledge).
What additional costs may arise in the future?
It is quite obvious that the service of a professional Executive Director is rather expensive yet quite popular. In many jurisdictions, there is a requirement for every company to recruit at least one top executive with tax residence in the state of incorporation. This is just one of several reasons why the registration of an offshore entity can not be cheap, and why you should avoid set-up offers at giveaway prices. The rates of about USD 1,000 or EUR 1,000 cannot be cost-effective and are impossible in principle. Be sure you make informed and thoughtful decisions