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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING OFFSHORE COMPANY FORMATION

Questions regarding companies

What is an offshore company?

Offshore or non-resident companies are described as companies that conduct an insubstantial or zero volume of business within their jurisdiction of incorporation.

More specifically, offshore companies have three characteristics: Firstly, they should be registered as an entity within the jurisdiction of incorporation. Secondly, the 'incorporators' should be domiciled outside of the jurisdiction of incorporation. Finally, the company should transact the majority of business outside of the jurisdiction of incorporation. However, most associate the term 'offshore company' as a means of increasing tax efficiency.

Why should I choose you to open my offshore company?

Our professionals have more than 30 years of experience in Offshore consultancy. During this time we have been able to develop a network of offshore service providers that remains unparalleled.

Which jurisdiction should I choose for my company?

The most important factor in choosing a jurisdiction is to be sure that your company will be incorporated in a country that has :

  1. reliable means of communication
  2. political and economical stability
  3. good reputation
  4. sophisticated corporate laws

All the jurisdictions we work with enjoy the above mentioned advantages. However, the right choice of jurisdiction also depends on where you live and on the business you conduct. Our advisors can assist you in finding the jurisdiction that makes the most sense with regard to your personal situation.

Why are your fees lower than those of your competitors?

Having our own offices or partners in the jurisdictions where we provide our services, we are able to offer straight-forward and competitive prices, given we can avoid any intermediaries.

How can I settle my company fees?

You can either pay by bank transfer, credit card, cheque or banker's draft or also cash in our offices, if you prefer.

Does my company have to provide accounts to any tax authority?

No, generally not. This is one of the main advantages of "offshore" companies.

How long will it take for me to receive my corporate documents?

Every jurisdiction has its own incorporation timeframe. Once the company has been incorporated, it will generally take about 2-6 days for the corporate documents to reach you.

Can I choose the name of my company?

Yes.

What is a shelf company?

Off the "shelf companies" are corporate entities that have been established by a provider, who holds the company until a purchaser is found. Post transaction, the ownership of the company transfers from the provider to the third party, who then commences trading activity under the company name. The benefits of purchasing an off the shelf company includes:

To the time it would take to create a new corporation

To allow contract bidding (some jurisdictions require a fixed business age to allow this functionality)

To create the appearance of corporate longevity

Note : shelf companies are usually more expensive than newly incorporated companies because of their age.

What is the difference between a shareholder and a director?

The shareholder is the person who owns the company through a share certificate. A company can be owned by one or several shareholders. The shareholder can be an individual or a company.

The director is the person responsible for the management of the company. He will sign any business contracts, account opening forms etc. Directors are usually elected by the shareholders, but sometimes are appointed by resolution. A company can have one or several directors. The director can be an individual or a company.

Can the same person be a shareholder of the company and act as its director at the same time?

Yes. In most jurisdictions it is possible (and common) that the same person acts as shareholder and director of the company.

When do I have to pay my company’s yearly fees (Renewal Fees)?

You will be asked to settle the yearly fees prior to each anniversary of your company, not at the end of each calendar year. To avoid any last minute rush, we will send you a renewal invitation two months before the anniversary.

Do I have to pay taxes on profit or interest earned by my company?

No. Most of the jurisdictions we work with do not impose taxes on profits made or interest earned by the company.

Who should use an offshore company ?

An offshore company may be of interest to a great number of people and it may be used for various activities:

Businessmen:

Creating an offshore company allows you to begin an activity without having to deal with the set-up of a complicated infrastructure. An offshore company allows you to quickly create a stable structure with a simple administration and enjoy all the benefits of the offshore jurisdiction.

Commerce over the Internet (E-Commerce) :

Internet traders can use an offshore company to maintain a domain name and to manage internet sites. An offshore company might be ideal for people whose business is on the internet. You might choose to incorporate the registered office of your company in an offshore jurisdiction to take advantage of the various benefits offered by these jurisdictions.

Consultants

You can also carry on your consultancy or counselling business through an offshore company. You will find it easier to manage your company, while being registered in a stable jurisdiction and benefiting from all the strengths of this jurisdiction.

International business :

International commerce can be carried out through an offshore company. It will handle purchases and sales operations. Holding intellectual property rights :

Any kind of intellectual property right (a patent or trade mark) may be registered in the name of an offshore company. The company may also buy or sell this type of rights. It may also grant rights of use to third parties against payments.

For the custody of movable and immovable property :

Offshore companies are used to hold both movable property (such as yachts) and immovable property (e.g. houses and buildings). In addition to confidentiality, the benefits and advantages they offer include exemption from certain types of taxes (e.g. inheritance tax). It should be noted, however, that some countries do not allow the acquisition of movable/immovable property through offshore structures and therefore those wishing to form an offshore structure are advised to check with a competent authority before proceeding.

For inheritance purposes :

An offshore firm that always stays afloat (provided all costs associated with running it are paid) may, in some countries, be used as a means of avoiding inheritance tax laws. With a view to optimizing inheritance tax liability, the offshore structure may also be combined with a trust or a foundation.

Stockbroker/forex :

Offshore companies are very often used for share or foreign exchange transactions. The main reasons being the anonymous nature of the transaction (the account can be opened under a company name).

Questions regarding additional services

What is a nominee director?

The nominee director service is used to ensure the highest degree of privacy and confidentiality, as the name of the director will appear in the corporate documents, in any business contract and eventually in the jurisdiction's business register.

Upon appointment of a nominee director, a Nominee Service Agreement will be signed between the client and the nominee. It will guarantee the client that the nominee can only act or sign documents upon the client's request and with the client's prior approval.

What is a nominee shareholder?

The nominee shareholder is appointed in order to shield the real owner of the company from being publicly associated with the ownership of that company.

Upon appointment of nominee shareholder, a nominee service agreement (declaration of trust) will be signed between the client and the nominee

What is a Virtual Office?

The Virtual Office allows your company to have an address in Dubai and to receive mail there, which, in some cases, can lend more credibility to your company.

What is the notarisation and apostille?

A notarisation means that a notary will check all the documents we issue for your company and they will confirm their authenticity.

An apostille is an internationally recognised certification and legalisation of the corporate documents by the Government of the jurisdiction where your company has been incorporated.

We highly recommend to choose this option if you consider opening a bank account or if you need your corporate documents for any legal proceedings (such as concluding a contract, for example).