Second Residence Options: PANAMA

If you’re looking at second residency options (and are tired of living in a cold climate!) you might want to consider taking a close look at Panama.


Panama Offers what’s known as a “Friendly Nations Visa”.


With this VISA there is nothing to invest midterm or long term, you just need to:

(a) create a company in Panama where you will be the President and Shareholder and claim that it will be used for professional services in Panama; and

(b) open a bank account in your name in Panama. (This bank account would have to be funded with a minimum of $5,000.00. If there are dependents to be included with the main applicant, then $2,000.00 per dependent needs to be added).


Most of the bank account opening process can be done without you needing to visit Panama, so we can advance 90% with that and, once you arrive in Panama, finalize everything so that the account is opened in approximately 2 weeks.


You will need to travel to Panama at least twice.


On the first trip you will need to meet the bank and finalize the account opening, sign the power of attorney empowering us to file the application and have your passport registered with the Immigration Service.


Once the bank account is open you will need to send funds to activate the account and obtain from the bank a letter of reference and/or a statement of account stamped by the bank. Once you have that we can then start the process of incorporating the company (it takes roughly 5 days to incorporate a company in Panama). The account would need to be funded with $5,000.00 and $2,000.00 extra per dependent if such is the case.


If you’re able to stay in Panama for an extended period, we can file the application right away and obtain the provisional residence permit and multiple entry and exit permit (this last one is necessary to leave the country while the visa is being processed as otherwise upon the return of you can be penalized with a fine of $2,000.00).


On the second trip, ie once the Visa is approved, you will need to travel to Panama to obtain your permanent resident card.


Our legal fees are $4,500.00 + 7% service tax for the main applicant, plus $400.00 + 7% service tax per dependent. The fee includes the company formation.


The approximate expenses are:

$1,690.00 for main applicant and $1,300.00 per dependent. (Children under 12 years of age are exempt from the repatriation deposit of $800.00).


Our legal fees for the attainment of the Multiple Entry and Exit Permit is $200.00 + 7% service tax (per applicant) + $100.00 (per applicant) in costs payable to the Immigration Service.


To open the account, you will need to travel to Panama and meet the bank, and bring with you the following documents:

- Reference letter from a bank

- Reference letter from a lawyer, accountant or other professional

- Reference letter from a business partner

- Copy of your entire passport (the bank will make a copy)

- Copy of a secondary ID such as a driver’s license

- Proof of income, which can be provided in the form of payment stubs from your current employment or by submitting the last three tax returns you have filed.


These documents can all be submitted in English.


For the Visa, it is imperative that you have the bank account, so after the bank account has been opened we can move forward with the Visa application.


The documents each applicant needs to bring with him/her for submission as part of the Visa application are:

- Valid passport

- Police record issued by the FBI, RCMP or equivalent authority in your country (except children under 18)

- Marriage certificate (applicable if legally married and spouse is applying as dependent of main


- Birth certificate (applicable if children of the applicant under 18 years of age are applying as dependents of the main applicant).


The rest of the documents can be obtained in Panama, including the Declaration form of personal background information.


Any and all documents issued abroad have to be legalized by means of a Panama Consulate or via Apostille and duly translated into Spanish.


Translations prepared abroad would also need to be legalized via Consulate or be Apostilled.


Would you like to know more? Then please Contact Us:


What Is a Registered Agent and Why Do I Need a Registered Agent?

A Registered Agent is a responsible third-party who is physically located in the same jurisdiction in which a business entity was established and who is designated to receive service of legal process notices (eg law suits), correspondence from the Registrar of Companies, and other official government notifications, on behalf of the Company/Entity.


Why Do I Need a Registered Agent?


Every Offshore Company must have a Registered Agent AND a Registered Office on the ground in the country of incorporation. The Registered agent will accept documents on your behalf. The jurisdiction in which your business is registered needs to know it has a contact person for your business within the jurisdiction at all times; accordingly, PO boxes are not acceptable addresses for registered agents.


These days it may not be enough to have a “brass plate” office in the country of incorporation. If you want to show some substance on the ground – and thereby minimize the chances of your Company being classified as resident or controlled from onshore – what you might want or need as part of your Corporate structure is:


  • A Nominee Director resident Offshore and/or in the country of incorporation
  • A local phone number in the country of incorporation
  • A serviced (or, ideally, stand-alone) office in the country of incorporation
  • A stand-alone PO Box in the country of incorporation
  • A local tax number issued in the country of incorporation


OCI can supply all these things as part of your Company Formation package.


Would you like to know more? Then please Contact Us:


How To Invest in an Offshore Fund Using a Tax Free Offshore Company

Investing in a Company or Fund that trades online is an activity that lends itself well to an Offshore Corporate Structuring plan. By way of intro check this link:


How it works is:


(a)  You incorporate a tax free Offshore Company (“OC”)


(b)  You structure the Company in such a way as to ensure that the Company is seen to be managed and controlled from Offshore; This can/will be achieved by via deployment of a tax haven based Nominee Director (which is a service that OCI can/will provide)


(c)   Your OC either signs a general investment agreement with the Fund Company or subscribes for shares in the Fund Company


(d)  You advance funds to your OC


(e)  The OC then advances funds to the Fund Company (see below “How to move money offshore” which explains your options in that regard)


(f)    The Fund Company invests/trades your money


(g)  The Fund Company pays a return periodically to your OC (eg monthly or quarterly or 6 monthly or yearly).


(h)  Returns paid to your OC can be banked and or reinvested Offshore potentially free from tax




Depending on your individual situation there are several ways you might achieve this aim:


  • You could set up a dual structure (ie an Offshore Company the shares of which are held by an Offshore Private Foundation). You would set up the Foundation in such a way so that appears to be a Charitable Foundation and then make regular donations to the Foundation (which would then transfer that money to the IBC eg as share capital).


  • Set up 2 International Business Companies Offshore (ie “IBCs”). The first IBC you would enter into a speculative (eg high risk/potentially high return) general (long term) investment with. This IBC would then invest money with your trading IBC. The investment with the first IBC could be structured in such a way as to ensure that you won’t be paid a return on that investment for quite a while. If the IRS ever asks meantime whatever happened to the money you would just tell them I’m not yet entitled to a return.


  • Convert your local money into bitcoins. Transfer ownership of the bitcoins to the IBC. Have the IBC convert the bitcoins into hard currency which the IBC would then use to invest in whatever.


  • Engage a lawyer to DD on the Offshore Company or Foundation you intend to send money to. Whilst he’s making inquiries to confirm that the entity exists etc, (as you might do prior to a real estate purchase) you park the money you intend to invest in the Lawyer’s Trust/Client/Escrow Account. Once he’s completed his inquiries you instruct the Lawyer to send the funds from his Trust/Client/Escrow account to the Offshore Company or Foundation’s Bank Account


  • “Gift” the money to a family member (or close friend) overseas and then have that family member transfer the money to your Offshore Company


  • If you are holding funds in your own name you could set up a personal account Offshore and then transfer the money from your Onshore bank account to your Offshore Bank Account. Same could be done in the case of funds being held in a Company account onshore (ie you set up an Offshore Privacy Haven Account in the name of your local Company and have funds transferred from the Company’s Onshore account to your Company’s Offshore account). If you open the account in the right place onshore predators will really struggle to find out where the money went once it landed offshore.


  • You could set up your IBC as an Investment Company and enter into an arms’ length general investment agreement (or loan agreement) with the IBC on commercial terms. Provided the IBC is incorporated in a Privacy Haven (and in a country which does not have a TIEA with your home country) no one should ever know that you actually own the IBC.


  • You could withdraw your money from the bank in cash, use that cash to buy something of great value which is easily transportable (eg jewelry, gemstones, watches, an artwork/s, collectibles etc) fly overseas with these items (ideally to the country where your Offshore Company has its bank account), sell them to a broker or privately whilst abroad and then deposit that money into your Offshore Company’s Bank Account.


  • If you are an online trader (eg Forex/Commodities/Derivatives/Share Trader) you could open a Brokerage Account in your own name, transfer funds to your personal brokerage account, then open a Brokerage Account (with the same broker) in the name of your Offshore Company and move monies (as an internal transfer, ie beyond the view of “onshore” authorities) from your personal Brokerage account to the Company’s Brokerage account.


Local laws can have an impact. Hence it would be wise to seek local tax/legal advice before committing to embark on such an endeavour.


Would you like to know more? Then please Contact Us:


How To Use a Tax Free Offshore Company To Own a Patent or Brand

We are often asked “How can I hold a patent or brand using a tax free Offshore Company?”.


A patent or Brand is a piece of Intellectual Property (“IP”).


In the case of a Patent, whilst you might save on tax by having the brand owned by a tax free Offshore IP Holding Company, you’ll want to firstly make sure that your Patent is recognized and capable of enforcement world-wide. The starting point therefore should be to ensure that your IP Holding Company is incorporated in a country which is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization.  The full list of member states can be viewed here:


Zero or low tax countries in that list where we can incorporate a Company for you include:


Cook Islands

Costa Rica








St Vincent









Say you’ve developed and applied for a Patent for a breakthrough eyewear related product.


What you could/should do is:


(a)          Set up a zero tax Company to own the Patent/IP (‘the IP Company”)

(b)          Incorporate a 2nd (nil tax or low tax) Trading Company.


How it would work is:


1.            You would transfer ownership of the patent now (ie whilst its almost valueless) to the IP Company. See below which explains the process

2.            The IP Company would grant the Trading Company an exclusive license to market the IP

3.            The Trading Company would pay the IP Company licensing fees (eg a percentage of the sale every time a product containing the brandname/patent is sold)


The advantages of the twin Company structure are in essence:

(a)          The Trading Company is the one in the market place. It will incur the debts and pay staff/suppliers etc. Any law suits (or potential liability) will fall on its head thus protecting the key asset at the core of the business

(b)          It enables you to later on sell the business (ie The Trading Company) but retain a passive income stream (ie royalties or license fees paid to the IP Company)


How 2 Transfer Ownership of IP 2 an Offshore Company


Intellectual property (“IP”) is a creation of the mind and includes things like inventions, literary and artistic works, designs and symbols, software code, names and images used in business.


IP is commonly protected in law by way of patents, copyright and trademarks which enable the person who came up with the idea to securely earn recognition or financial benefit from whatever it is he/she has invented or created.


An Offshore IP company is an ideal vehicle for the administration and management of licenses and intellectual properties including computer software, technical know-how, patents, copyrights and trademarks.


The first step is to transfer ownership of the IP rights to the Offshore Company/Entity.


Once that’s done the Trading Business then enters into a legal agreement (contract) with the IP Company whereby, in return for being allowed to use the IP, the Trading Company agrees to pay the Company royalties or license fees. The income arising from these agreements can then be accumulated offshore in a nil or low tax environment.


Timing is of critical importance – It is clearly preferable to acquire the IP (for example, a patent) at the earliest possible time (e.g. at the patent pending stage) before the IP becomes highly valuable. That way the capital payment for the acquisition of the IP (e.g. patent) can be set at a lower amount i.e. before its true worth has been determined in/by the market. (These capital payments may even be deferred and or staggered by way of an instalment contract such as would enable the IP Company to use subsequent royalty payments to fund the cost of the IP).


If a deal is struck for the Offshore IP Company to buy the IP before the IP gives rise to a product or service which is offered/advertised in the market the IP might even be transferred for nominal consideration enabling the IP inventor/creator to transfer patent, copyright or trademarks in favour of the low/nil tax company before the IP suffers significant appreciation in value.


Alternatively you might transfer ownership of IP to a tax free Offshore Company (“OC”) for an agreed price but subject to a deferred or gradual payment basis. How that would work is you would transfer ownership of the IP up front and agree for the OC to pay you in stages in consideration of a price premium and/or in consideration of the OC engaging you in an ongoing/consultancy capacity.


However you transfer ownership of IP to an OC the transaction should be seen to be on commercial terms for fair market value. If you are unsure of market value you could either brief a licensed Valuer for an opinion or advertise the IP for sale publicly. The highest bid would be fair market value. At the end of the day in the market place a piece of property is only worth what someone else is prepared to pay for it!


Local law can have an impact. Hence you should seek local legal and financial advice before committing to incorporate an Offshore Company for such purposes.


Would you like to know more? Then please Contact Us:

How To Wind Up a Seychelles Trust

We are often asked “How do I shut down my Seychelles trust”?


The Seychelles IBC Legislation provides a procedure for striking off IBCs.


Under the provisions of the Seychelles International Trusts Act 1994 however, there are no provisions for “striking off” Trusts.


Commonly, a standard Offshore Discretionary Trust is established on an irrevocable basis. Usually such a Trust will only come to an end once the Trust assets have been distributed absolutely to the beneficiaries or to a different Trust with common beneficiaries (and the Trustees cease to hold any Trust property), either at the end of the Trust period or on an earlier final distribution of Trust property.


To bring the Trust to an end a supplemental Trust Deed needs to be drafted an executed. There are two formats of Deed that could be used: Option 1 relates to where the trust is terminated after a final distribution of Trust property; Option 2 assumes that the Trust has ceased to hold assets (including any initial trust property, e.g. US$100 to establish the Trust) – you can use whichever one is appropriate and have your Lawyer or Trust Service Provider tailor it to your circumstances.


Finally once the Trust has been terminated and is no longer an International Trust within the meaning of the Seychelles International Trusts Act 1994 Act, your Trustee must notify The Seychelles Financial Services Authority under section 4(5).


Would you like to know more? Then please Contact Us:








In essence affiliate marketing involves a Product/Service Seller paying a commission to other online entities, known as affiliates, for referring new business to the Seller’s website. Affiliate marketing is performance-based, which means affiliates only get paid when their promotional work actually results in a sale.


Affiliates can be any kind of site, but usually they tend to be bloggers or other content sites related to the merchant’s industry. Affiliates work to introduce their visitors to the Seller’s brand. They might write/blog a post about a new product or promotion on the Seller’s site, feature banner ads on their site that drive people to the Seller’s site, or offer visitors a special coupon code. If buyers come from that affiliate’s site and make a purchase, the affiliate gets paid.


Traditionally many affiliate programs were comprised of coupon and loyalty sites. As the industry has matured, content bloggers have come to play a more prominent role in many programs. Innovative programs are stretching the definition of an affiliate even more, partnering with schools, nonprofits, and individual professionals.


An Affiliate Marketing Business is but one example of an Online Business.


Online Businesses are difficult to tax.




Often an order is placed with one business, product is manufactured by a 2nd business and fulfillment (ie product delivery/dispatch) is provided by a 3rd business. This is completely different to a traditional point of sale (ie retail) business where typically the business is managed/controlled from and, the product is handed over/payment made in, a defined physical location. Clearly in the retail situation offer and acceptance are concluded (and consideration is tendered) in the one place leading to a taxable event in that locale.


Generally speaking as a matter of contract law when you have offer and acceptance (& assuming you have legal capacity to contract + intention to create legal relations + consideration) a contract is formed.


Under general tax law principles a taxable sale is made where the contract is concluded. It follows therefore if the seller concludes the contract (ie accepts the buyer’s offer) and is based in a zero tax country and the product or service is supplied digitally (ie on or via the Internet) no tax will be applicable (either in the buyer’s or the seller’s jurisdiction) to/re profit made on the sale .


An online businesses requires no physical presence: the Seller becomes entitled to a payment once certain events conclude electronically. The sale is effectively concluded in cyberpace. This affords the Seller an opportunity to determine as a matter of contract where the sale is concluded. Hence expertly drafted terms and conditions can provide that no contract is formed until the seller Company communicates acceptance of the buyer’s offer, meaning that the contract is concluded where the Seller Company/Business is domiciled and/or managed from.


More specifically, in the case of an Affiliate Marketing business an Agreement is entered into between the Seller and the Affiliate whereby the Affiliate becomes entitled to payment once certain events occur in Cyperspace. The source of the income is in effect the contract. Thus if the contract is effectively concluded, and the Affiliate Marketing Business is domiciled in, (and seen to be managed and controlled from) a nil tax jurisdiction (and provided the Company is structured/administered a certain way) it is possible to bank profits made from such ventures free from tax.


Would you like to know more? Then please Contact Us:








How To Mine Bitcoins Using a Tax Free Offshore Company

Bitcoin mining is a process that anyone can participate in by running a computer program. Although Bitcoin can be mined using a traditional computer, some businesses have designed specialized Bitcoin mining hardware that can process transactions and build blocks much faster (and more efficiently) than regular computers. The process of validating transactions and committing them to the blockchain involves solving a series of specialized math problems.


Each Bitcoin miner is competing with all the other miners on the network to be the first miner to correctly assemble the outstanding transactions into a block by solving those specialized math problems. In exchange for validating the transactions and solving these problems, Bitcoin miners are rewarded for all of the transactions they process. They receive fees attached to all of the transactions that they successfully validate and include in a block. In addition to transaction fees, miners also receive an additional award for each block they mine.


This block reward is also the process by which new bitcoins are created, as specified by the Bitcoin protocol.  Currently, that reward is 12.5 new bitcoins (worth over $US51,000 at time of writing) for each block mined.


Because the reward for mining blocks is so high, the competition to win that reward is also high. At any moment, hundreds of thousands of supercomputers all around the world are competing to mine the next block and win that reward. In fact, the total power of all the computers mining Bitcoin is over 1000 times more powerful than the world’s top 500 supercomputers combined. And the competition doesn’t stop—the Bitcoin network has gotten stronger and stronger over the past several years, growing by as much as 10 percent per month.


The block reward if received by you personally would of course be classified as assessable income where you live (taxable income = assessable income less allowable deductions). If you want to minimize the tax that would otherwise be payable on those rewards what you can do is:


  1. Set up a tax free Offshore Company eg an International Business Company (“IBC”)
  2. Include a (tax haven based) Nominee Director and Nominee Shareholder as part of the Corporate structure so that the Company is seen to be managed and controlled from Offshore
  3. Have the IBC buy the Computer and operating software
  4. You lease the computer and the software
  5. All such lease payments would be received Offshore and banked tax free
  6. You could/would/should claim a tax deduction at home for those lease payments


Alternatively you could establish the IBC as a Bitcoin mining Company and have it employ/engage you as an authorized miner. You could be paid a percentage of fees generated or a fixed rate or a combination of the 2. The income you generate from this would of course be assessable income where you live, but the remainder of Bitcoin mining profits could be banked and or reinvested Offshore potentially tax free.


Domestic laws can effect the viability of such a structure. Hence you should seek local legal and financial advice before committing to incorporate an IBC for such purposes.



France & Germany Discuss Google Tax

Paris: France is working with Germany and other partners to plug loopholes that have allowed US tech giants like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon to minimise taxes and grab market share in Europe at the expense of the continent’s own companies.


France will propose the “simpler rules” for a “real taxation” of tech firms at a meeting of European Union officials due mid-September in Tallinn, Estonia, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in an interview in his Paris office on Friday.


“Europe must learn to defend its economic interest much more firmly – China does it, the US does it,” Mr Le Maire said.


“You cannot take the benefit of doing business in France or in Europe without paying the taxes that other companies – French or European companies – are paying.”


The push reflects mounting frustration among some governments, regulators and, indeed, voters, at the way international firms sidestep taxes by shifting profits and costs to wherever they are taxed most advantageously – exploiting loopholes or special deals granted by friendly states.


Germany and France discussed tax issues at a joint Cabinet meeting last month and Germany can be expected to discuss specific proposals after its national election on September 24, Denis Kolberg, a finance ministry spokesman, told reporters in Berlin on Monday.


The European Commission last year ordered Apple to pay as much as €13 billion euros plus interest in back taxes, saying Dublin illegally slashed the iPhone maker’s obligations to woo the company to Ireland. Apple and the Irish government are fighting the decision.


The clampdown on tech firms is part of French President Emmanuel Macron’s muscular approach to ensuring a level playing field, after seeing first hand during his election campaign how French firms struggle to compete with countries where taxes and social security payments are lower.


To that effect, Mr Macron is renewing a broader call for the 19 euro-area states to better align their tax systems.


Mr Le Maire said that Mr Macron’s pledge to lower corporate taxes to 25 per cent by the end of his five-year term should be seen as an opening gambit in this process. He urged countries with lower tax rates to raise them.


France is making “a considerable effort,” Mr Le Maire said. “We’re asking other member states of the euro zone to make a similar effort in the other direction.”


Again, the country’s historic alliance with Germany is at the heart of Mr Le Maire’s plan to bring around other EU countries. He said once the euro area’s two biggest economies are aligned, that would be the basis for a wider convergence.


“The objective is a common corporate tax with Germany in 2018 which should be the basis for a harmonisation at the level of the 19 member states of the euro zone,” he said.


Germany’s corporate tax rate is currently between 30 percent and 33 per cent, according to Deloitte.


Mr Macron is also cutting taxes on financial wealth, dividends and capital gains, while simplifying labour rules as he tries to make the country more attractive for investors.




How To Appoint a Reserve Director For A Seychelles IBC

Where a Seychelles company has only one member who is an individual and that member is also the sole director of the company, notwithstanding anything contained in the memorandum or articles, that sole member/director may, by instrument in writing, nominate a person who is not disqualified from being a director of the company as a reserve director of the company to act in the place of the sole director in the event of his death ie per section 135 of the new Seychelles IBC Act (which can be viewed via this Link: ).


The nomination of a person as a reserve director of the company ceases to have effect if:

(a)        before the death of the sole member/director who nominated him: (i) the person resigns as reserve director; or (ii) the sole member/director revokes the nomination in writing; or

(b)        the sole member/director who nominated him ceases to be the sole member/director of the company for any reason other than his death.


The procedure is:


  1. We would need to collect via email and review DD/KYC re the reserve Director per the requirements
  2. We would draft and arrange for the reserve Director sign a Consent to act as Reserve Director
  3. We/you would call a board meeting for your IBC and pass a resolution at the meeting authorizing the appointment of the Reserve Director
  4. We would then note the Company’s statutory records re the appointment of a/the Reserve Director
  5. We would then advise the Reserve Director that he/she has been formally appointed



Controlled Foreign Corporation Laws & Offshore Company Structures

A lot of people think that all they have to do to legally avoid paying tax in their Home Country on their non-local earnings is set up a tax free Offshore Company (eg an International Business Company ie IBC).


But depending on where you live there is at least 1 (and possibly 2) other hurdle(s) you’ll need to jump in order to achieve your aims.


The first thing you’ll need to address is Management and Control. In short if your tax free Offshore Company is seen to be managed and controlled from onshore it can be taxed onshore. How that issue can be addressed is by deploying a (tax haven based) Nominee Director and Nominee Shareholder as part of the Corporate Structure.


But that isn’t going to fully address the issue if you live in a country which has a Controlled Foreign Corporation Law.


A Controlled Foreign Corporation (or CFC) Law is a local law which purports to tax onshore income or capital gains made by Companies incorporated Offshore but which are controlled from onshore. Most western countries have them (see below which lists ALL countries with CFC laws presently).


Essentially how a CFC law works is if an individual owns or has the capacity to own the overriding majority of shares in an Offshore Company (the percentage of which varies from country to country) the that person is required to declare in his local tax return profits made by the Offshore Company.


How CFC laws came about was around 30 years ago the big western countries began to realise that certain of their citizens were using nil tax Offshore companies to avoid having to pay tax at home on their non-local sourced (ie international) income. In particular the CFC laws target the use of Nominee Shareholders and Directors. If you live in a country which has CFC laws (regardless of whether you are the director/shareholder of the Company or not) if you have the capacity to own and control the company by reference to shareholdings then you would be required to declare and pay tax at home on your Offshore Company’s earnings.


There are several ways to get around CFC laws. Historically clients used commonly to deploy an Offshore (Discretionary) Trust to own the shares of the Offshore Company. However with more and more “Onshore” tax systems claiming tax from any Trust with an onshore resident beneficiary discerning clients these days usually prefer to establish Private Foundations (in particular Seychelles Foundations) as the ultimate holding entity as such entities should not caught by CFC laws or by CFT (Controlled Foreign Trust) Laws. For more details click on these links:


Countries with Controlled Foreign Corporation (“CFC”) Laws include:






















New Zealand




South Africa