Seychelles is an independent Republic in the Indian Ocean and a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. The country boasts financial stability (it is the second richest country in the African region), flexible corporate legislation, and total absence of taxes for local companies. When registering an offshore company in Seychelles, you have a wide choice of company ownership forms and various banking opportunities. The administrative costs are going to be extremely low if you start an offshore company in Seychelles.
We would like to stress that the Government of Seychelles supports and protects offshore businesses in the country. The procedure of registering an offshore company in Seychelles is perfectly transparent. Please apply for a free consultation on setting up a foreign company in this jurisdiction by dialing +372 5 495 26 39 or by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
General information about Seychelles as an offshore jurisdiction
The local legislation is an amalgamation of English and French laws with some indigenous elements. Since 1961, Seychelles have been among the countries that have signed the Hague Convention. The capital of the country is the city of Victoria. The population is about 80 thousand people. The man pillar of the local economy is tourism while the financial sector is rapidly growing.
At the moment, Seychelles is one of the most popular offshore jurisdictions in the world as it allows scaling international business and helps large commercial organizations plan their taxes. The local Government passes new legislative acts that make the country even more attractive for foreign investors by simplifying the procedure of registering corporations there. If you have been thinking of setting up an offshore company, then you have to give Seychelles some serious consideration. Foreign investors find the banking and insurance sectors of the country’s economy especially attractive to put money in. Over the recent years, more and more subsidiaries and affiliations of large international corporations have been appearing in Seychelles. In this way, the corporations manage to lessen their tax burden and decrease the operational costs.
Should you buy an offshore company in Seychelles or register a new one?
Some business people believe that purchasing a shelf offshore company in Seychelles is preferable to setting up a new one. This may work a bit faster of course, but there are some points to consider. First, as Seychelles-registered companies are allowed to do business all over the world, you will have to conduct a global legal check to make sure that the company you are buying does not have any liabilities in any country. Second, the shelf company may prove ill tuned for your business purposes. Some types of businesses can enjoy very heavy incentives in Seychelles and it would be a pity not to qualify for a serious benefit.
On the other hand, when you register a new offshore company in Seychelles, you can choose the form of company ownership that suits your business objectives perfectly well. Besides, you are free to ally for banking services to any financial institution that you wish including payment systems and neobanks.
The legal and fiscal characteristics found in Seychelles make the jurisdiction especially inviting for the companies engaged in the following types of business activities:
- Stockbrokerage and FOREX brokerage;
- Inherited property management funds;
- Investment consulting and other types of consulting;
- Intellectual property management;
- Property storage services.
In 1994, a law was passed in Seychelles that allows registering international commercial companies in the country. In Accordance with the International Business Companies Act (amended in 2016), any legal entity incorporated in Seychelles is entitled to do business in any part of the world. The country issues licenses to international trusts, free trade zone companies, mutual funds, offshore banks, and offshore insurance companies.
Requirements to Seychelles-based offshore companies
The exceptional attractiveness of Seychelles is attributable to the fact that local companies are tax exempt. A company domiciled in Seychelles has to pay a fixed annual fee of US$ 100 regardless of the amount of its registered capital and any other characteristics and that is all. No other taxes are payable to the state budget of Seychelles.
Let us discuss the opportunities that a foreign investor can find in Seychelles when registering an offshore company there.
Forms of company ownership available in Seychelles
The most popular form of company ownership in the jurisdiction is an International Business Company or IBC. Besides, companies of other ownership types can be registered there: their names can end in Incorporated, Limited, Corporation, BV, GmbH, SARL, and other abbreviations.
Some less popular but still available forms of company ownership in Seychelles include the following ones:
- Limited Partnership;
- Special License Company – a resident company engaged in a licensed type of business activities. It is subject to a 1.5% profit tax.
As of today, Seychelles do not impose any regulations with regard to the company registered capital. Often, offshore companies opening in the jurisdiction choose to register US$ 100,000 as the charter capital but they do not have to do it, actually.
Company ownership shares
Those companies that register the specified amount as the charter capital often choose to issue one hundred shares one dollar each. Bearer shares are not permitted in Seychelles.
As the OECD and other international organizations are combating tax evasion, money laundering and terrorism financing, most offshore jurisdictions have to toughen their internal requirements. Seychelles in particular, now require that companies registered there should establish some physical presence in the country. They have to acquire some tangible assets (or ‘substance’) in Seychelles. Specifically, every company must have an office in the country and sign an agreement with a licensed agent.
Prohibited types of business activities
No offshore company registered in Seychelles can engage in any business on the territory of the country nor buy any property there. (Well, it can but it is going to be taxable then.) Engaging into banking, insurance, or investment services requires obtaining a license.
Company shareholders and directors
As is the case in many other offshore jurisdictions, a single person can set up a company in Seychelles. He or she can simultaneously be the only company shareholder and the only company director. It does not matter if the company is founded by a private individual or a corporate entity. The nationality and residency of the company founder do not matter either.
Registers of company founders/ beneficiaries
These registers are closed to the public.
The Seychelles-based company can keep the corporate documents as well as all current records at any place in the world.
Bookkeeping and reporting
Registering an offshore company in Seychelles
If you would like to optimize your tax burden and make your business more efficient, setting up an offshore company in Seychelles would be a perfect option. Our partners in Seychelles are a licensed law firm specializing in company registration. We provide only top-quality services when it comes to registering foreign companies for our clients. Our experts will gladly assist you in performing the following tasks:
- We provide ongoing legal support to ensure seamless business operations of your company.
- We provide administrative support including annual extension of company registration.
- We will help you acquire a legal address in Seychelles and find a licensed agent there.
- We will assist you in applying for various licenses in the country.
- We provide nominee services as well – we will find a nominee shareholder/ director for you if you would like to remain incognito.
- We will help you set up a corporate bank account with a reliable bank or with a payment system.
- We provide secretarial services if you need them.
- We can do many other things for you Seychelles-registered company too.
How much time does it take to set up an offshore company in Seychelles? If you go there (and the place is worth seeing indeed), you will be able to do it within one to three days. However, you can register a company in Seychelles remotely as well. In this case, the registration process is going to extend to five to seven business days, as documents will have to be sent back and forth. Please mind that setting up a corporate bank account is going to take some additional time. We will be happy to help you open a bank account for your Seychelles-based company in the same country or in a different jurisdiction.
We would like to note that an offshore company registered in Seychelles can issue and sell ownership shares. Besides, our partners in the country can help you structure your Seychelles company in the most efficient way.
Documents required for setting up an offshore company in Seychelles
If you decide to register a new company in Seychelles rather than buy an existing one, you will be able to choose the most appropriate company name and select the preferred form of company ownership and will fit your business goals. The following documents need to be submitted when registering an offshore company in Seychelles:
- A notarized passport copy for the company founder;
- A notarized passport copy for the company director (if it is a different person);
- If the company in Seychelles is founded by a corporate entity rather than a private individual, corporate documents are required (copies);
- In nominee services are used, nominees’ IDs are required;
- Memorandum & Articles of Association.
Corporate documents that you will obtain when registering a company in Seychelles
Our partners in Seychelles will file the application for company registration on your behalf. When the application processing is over and the company is registered with the authorities. You will acquire the following corporate documents:
- Certificate of Incorporation;
- Company seal;
- Minutes of the First Board of Directors Meeting);
- Share Certificates;
- Subscribers Resolution;
- General Power of Attorney;
- Declaration of a Beneficial Ownership;
- Memorandum & Articles of Association (authenticated).
If the legislation of your home country requires that the corporate documents be apostilled, we can do it for you. If the documents need to be legalized in a consulate (if your home country is not a signatory to the Hague Convention), we can help with that too.
Your offshore company in Seychelles: annual maintenance costs
As no taxes are levied on offshore companies in Seychelles, the company maintenance costs are nearly negligible. As we have pointed out above, the annual registration fee to be paid is only US$ 100. There will be other costs related to annual company extension and nominee service use. If you take into account the office rent and the licensed agent fee, the total cost of maintaining an (idle) company in Seychelles is going to be around US$ 1,000. However, if you need some additional services, the costs are going to be higher. We discuss the possibility to provide additional services with each client individually.
In addition to Seychelles, our clients also register companies in other popular offshore jurisdictions such as BVI, Marshall Islands, Nevis, Belize, and so on. We have partners in more than fifty countries of the world so we can find a business solution that suits your purposes best of all. The right choice of the jurisdiction where you would like to set up an offshore company will minimize your tax burden, allow you to diversify your assets, and keep your financial information confidential. Please contact us by email (see top of the page), telephone, or live chat and compare various options with the help of our experts.
How long does it take to register an offshore company in Seychelles?
If you take into account the time needed for document translation, legalization, and postage, the process of offshore company registration in Seychelles will last for five to seven days. If you need a corporate bank account or an account with a payment system for your company, more time is going to be required.
What are the requirements to Seychelles-based offshore companies?
One person (or one corporate entity) is enough to set up a company in Seychelles. There are no requirements as to the registered capital amount. No company secretary needs to be hired but the company must have a legal address and an agreement with a licensed agent. Banking, insurance, investment, and some other kinds of business activities require a license.
What are the main advantages that a Seychelles-based company can enjoy?
Zero taxes payable in the jurisdiction, a symbolic registration fee of US$ 100 per year, cheap legal address rent, an advanced banking sector, a simple procedure of company registration, and a high level of confidentiality of company beneficiaries are the main advantages that offshore companies find in Seychelles.