It is rather hard to find a low-tax jurisdiction these days. OECD, EU, and FATF – these international organizations are trying to bring offshore countries in compliance with their rules making them raise their taxes. The Caribbean state of St Lucia has been maneuvering quite successfully between the tough requirements and the strife to preserve beneficial business conditions that would attract foreign investors.
Registering a company in St Lucia is a lucrative opportunity for those entrepreneurs who would like to lessen their tax burden and enter the international market without a hard struggle. This is what you will find in St Lucia if you register an IBC (International Business Company) there:
- 0% tax on capital gains;
- 0% VAT tax;
- 0% tax on royalties and in some cases on bank interests too;
- from 0% – corporate tax for non-resident companies obtaining profits abroad;
- from 1% – corporate tax for resident companies that make profits from deals with CARICOM countries.
You can apply for our remote company registration service and set up a company in St Lucia with a corporate bank account or without one. Please call us at +372 5 489 53 37 or +372 5 481 04 02 and discuss the details with our experts.
The advantages of registering a company in St Lucia
What makes establishing an IBC in St Lucia so attractive and why many international entrepreneurs choose to incorporate companies in this Caribbean country:
- This jurisdiction is not in conflict with the ‘big and powerful’, that is, with international financial regulators.
- The country has a stable economy that continues strengthening notwithstanding the COVID-19 crisis and the troubles that it brings.
- The logistics and transportation facilities are superb in St Lucia: it provides for easy air and marine connections with all continents and all countries.
- The official language in St Lucia is English, which makes it simple to set up a company there if you are a foreign national.
- The Government of St Lucia put forward minimum requirements to foreign company owners: the company can be 100% foreign-owned, zero tax rates are available as well as double taxation avoidance agreements with other CARICOM states.
- St Lucia offers beneficial citizenship-by-investment conditions.
- It is a tourist paradise where you can rest or live permanently enjoying the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
Other advantages of setting up an IBC in St Lucia include a high level of company owners’ confidentiality, fast company registration, and minimum requirements to the company structure and charter capital.
A foreign company in St Lucia: corporate norms
In order to set up a foreign company in St Lucia in 2020 you have to comply with the corporate rules and procedures effective in the country:
- Pass through the verification procedures at the Revenue Service and acquire a taxpayer number if you are planning to make an income in the country of registration.
- Suggest several variants of the name for your intended IBC that should not be identical to the existing names and that should reflect the company ownership type ending in Ltd, Inc, Corp, S.A. and so on.
- Select the type of business activities that your company is going to be engaged in: commerce, financial operation, insurance, logistics, trusts, finds, etc. You have to realize that banking, insurance, and trust companies require licenses in St Lucia.
- An IBC in St Lucia shall sign a contract with a registration agent that will keep the information about the company directors and stockholders in a closed register without disclosing this information to third parties.
- You will have to register a legal company address in St Lucia that can coincide with the registration agent’s address.
- Draw up company By-laws and indicate what types of shares the company is going to issue: ordinary shares, preference shares, redeemable shares, etc. Please mind that bearer shares cannot be issued in St Lucia.
- The minimum amount of charter capital is not specified in the St Lucian legislation. This means that the charter capital of your IBC can equal the price of one share. Even though it is not required by law, foreign businesspersons normally register US$ 50,000 when establishing companies in St Lucia.
- Both residents and non-residents as well as both private individuals and corporate entities can act as company officers. The company shall have at least:
- 1 shareholder;
- 1 director.
- Depending on what corporate tax rate your company qualifies for, the reporting requirements are different:
- 1% – financial reports shall be submitted;
- 0% – no financial reports neither audit are required.
- Shareholders’ meetings shall be held annually but they do not have to be held in the country of company incorporation.
You also have to be aware that an International Business Company registered in St Lucia does not have the right to own real property in the country.
A foreign company in St Lucia: taxes
Registering an offshore company in St Lucia is so popular with foreign investors because the territorial system of taxation is applied in the country. Here are the taxes that are payable (or not payable) by an IBC registered in St Lucia:
- Profit tax rate for resident companies is 30% if the profit is obtained from local sources.
- Profit tax rate for resident companies is 0% if the profit is obtained from business operations abroad.
- Profit tax rate for non-resident companies is 0% in 2020 if the companies do business outside St Lucia.
- If a non-resident obtains profits in St Lucia and transfers money abroad, the withholding tax is 25% and the interest tax is 15%.
- An IBC registered in St Lucia has to pay only 1% as the profit tax if it does business in the Caribbean region (with CARICOM countries).
For your information: the territorial taxation system applied in St Lucia allows paying zero taxes on the incomes derived from foreign business operations. Both resident and non-resident companies enjoy this privilege. A resident company in St Lucia is a company that is registered there or that is controlled from the territory of the country.
A foreign company in St Lucia: confidentiality protection
As of 2020, there is no public register of international companies in St Lucia, which provides for a fairly high level of confidentiality of the company owners’ personal information. However, this information has to be supplied to the registration agent that will be obliged to submit it to fiscal authorities on well-grounded requests. Nominee services are also available in St Lucia
How to register a company in St Lucia remotely in 2020
Some entrepreneurs do not bother to form a new legal entity and buy ready-made foreign companies instead. However, practice shows that a shelf company may have hidden debts, legal issues, or conflicts with banks. For this reason, we suggest that you should register a new company in St Lucia rather than buy an existing one.
The process of establishing a foreign company in St Lucia in 2020:
- Prepare a business project and assess the possible risks.
- Suggest several variants of the company name and check them for availability.
- Draw up the corporate documents.
- Sign an agreement with a St Lucian registration agent.
- Rent or buy an office for the intended company.
- Pay the registration duty and submit the documents to the Commercial Register of St Lucia.
Let us remind you that if you are planning to engage in banking, insurance, or form a trust, you will have to apply for a license in St Lucia. Other requirements include opening an account with a local bank, acquiring a taxpayer number to pay taxes on the country and comply with the economic substance requirements.
Documents required for registering a foreign company in St Lucia
When forming a company in St Lucia, you have to submit the corporate documents and personal documents for all company beneficiaries. The following documents are required:
- Passport copies for all company beneficiaries that should be translated into English and notarized;
- Proofs of residential addresses for each of them;
- Corporate document set.
Documents required for opening a corporate bank account in St Lucia or outside:
- Company owner’s passport copy;
- Corporate documents for the company;
- Proof of the legality of the sources of income;
- Sample of the signature of an authorized company officer that will be used when signing bank-related documents.
Documents that the foreign company founder will obtain in St Lucia:
- Memorandum and Articles of Association, company By-laws;
- Register of company officers (directors, shareholders, and a secretary);
- IBC Registration Certificate;
- Share Certificates.
Register a foreign company in St Lucia via InternationalWealth portal
If you are unsure where to start, please do not bother finding a registration agent in St Lucia! If you apply for our assistance, our experts will help you compile the application documents package and register a turnkey ready company in St Lucia remotely. Give us your details and sit back while we are setting up a foreign company for you!
InternationalWealth experts will be happy to assist you in the following matters:
- Register a foreign company in an offshore jurisdiction;
- Open a bank account in a reliable foreign bank;
- Acquire a license in a foreign country;
- Buy real property abroad or make other types of foreign investment;
- Acquire foreign citizenship or a permanent residence permit in a foreign state in exchange for investment.
If you are interested in any of these offers, please contact us in any way you like: send us an email, give us a call, or drop us a line in the live chat.
We speak many languages and have partners in almost every country of the world!
Where can I set up a bank account for my St Lucian foreign company?
In any country of the world. International companies in St Lucia do not pay taxes on their global incomes and they can have as many bank accounts as they want wherever they want. A corporate account can also be opened with a payment system instead of a traditional bank.
Do tax returns have to be filed if I have a foreign company in St Lucia?
If your St Lucian-based IBC does not do any business inside the country and thus does derive any profits from domestic business operations, you do not have to file tax returns. Otherwise, you do.
What is the company registration duty in St Lucia?
It is US$ 300.