How To Apply For a Nevis Money Services License

If you’re in the Money Services Business (eg payment processing or currency exchange) and you’re looking for a private, low red tape, low tax place to incorporate Offshore then you’ll be pleased to hear that Nevis now offers a license regime for Money Services Businesses.


In Nevis a Money Services Business License can be issued to a business which plans to provide as a primary service any of the following services:


  • transmission of money or monetary value in any form;
  • cheque cashing;
  • currency exchange;
  • the issuance, sale and redemption of payment instruments;
  • any other services the Minister may specify by notice published in the gazette; or the business of operating as an agent or franchise holder.


Key Features – Overview


The several classes of licence issued under the Money Services Act, No. 26 of 2008, shall authorize the holders to carry on money services business as specified:-


  • Class A licence permits the holder to carry on the transmission of money or monetary value in any form, the issuance, sale or redemption of money orders or traveller’s cheques, cheque cashing and currency exchange.
  • Class B licence permits the holder to carry on the issuance, sale or redemption of money orders or traveller’s cheques, cheque cashing and currency exchange.
  • Class C licence permits the holder to carry on cheque cashing.
  • Class D licence permits the holder to carry on currency exchange.
  • Class E licence permits the holder to carry on pay day advances.


Where different places of business are kept in the name of the same legal person, a separate licence is required for each such place of business.


Legal Requirements


Requirement Description
  • Corporate  vehicle permitted
Nevis International Company
  • License application fee
USD 2,000 (Class A to E)
  • Annual license fee
USD  10,000 (Class A to E)
  • Local physical office required
Share capital or equivalent
  • Minimum paid up capital
  • Minimum number
  • Corporate directorship allowed
  • Local director required
  • Minimum number
  • Corporate shareholder allowed
  • Local shareholder required
Service Providers Required
  • Company secretary
  • Auditor
  • Legal adviser


Tax Treatment


Corporate income tax is only payable for locally generated profit, transactions made solely to non-resident entities is not subject to tax.


Duration to Set Up


Minimum 3 maximum 6 months


Distinctive Benefits of Licence


  • Numerous tax advantages
  • Ease and speed of licensing


Licensing Procedure


In order to obtain a licence as a money services business, you must apply, via your Nevis Agent, in writing to the Financial Services Regulatory Commission, pay the prescribed application fee, complete Form A and Form B as outlined in Schedule 2 of the Money Services Business Act of 2008 and submit the required documents. (Contact Us if you wish to view/receive a copy of the said Act &/or the Application form provided for by the Act).


The Nevis Financial Services Regulatory Commission will process the application in accordance with its application processing procedures. Upon completion of this process, if it is satisfied that an application is in order and the applicant is a fit and proper person to be licensed to conduct money services business, the Financial Services Regulatory Commission will approve the application and issue a licence to the applicant subject to the applicant paying the prescribed licence fee and making the prescribed statutory deposit in accordance with the Money Services Business Act.


It is anticipated that every sponsor will arrange for a delegation of its senior officers, or, in the case of an independent institution, of its principal controllers, to make a presentation in respect of the applicant and its proposed business before a formal application is submitted.


The cost to apply for us to asset you to apply for such a license would be between $US12,000 and $20,000 depending largely on how much of the heavy lifting can be done your side.


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


How To Obtain a Belize International Money Lender’s License

As a result of the GFC and resulting consumer lending fallout, US Legislators decided to clamp down on 2nd tier lenders (and, in particular lenders of last resort such as pay day lenders).


When this happened the progressive International Offshore Financial Centre of Belize saw a business opportunity. The idea morphed into a plan which became Legislation. In short the Belize Offshore Industry Regulators had the foresight to realize that such a business model was never going to go away, that in particular US based business owners would be looking for a new domicile, that IBCs were likely to be used for such purposes and better they offer a Licensing regime to bring such businesses out into the open and thus attract the more serious players.


The legislation ie the INTERNATIONAL MONEY LENDING (SHORT TERM & UNSECURED SMALL LOANS) REGULATIONS, 2008 (a copy of which can be downloaded from this site: ) provides that:

  • A regulated entity may make loans of not more than $5,000 per loan
  • The loan cannot be secured against real estate, motor vehicles or “other tangible personal property”
  • The loan must have an initial repayment period of not more than 1 year
  • Such loans must be for household purposes and personal expenses only
  • Loans can only be made to “consumers”


There are also provisions regarding pre-contractual disclosures. In particular in the Lenders website (or in the loan contract) it must be stated:


  • That the loan is designed as a short term cash flow solution & not as a solution for long term financial needs
  • Additional fees may accrue if the loan is refinanced


Other features include:


(i)             A provision specifically providing that Belize law shall govern the loan regardless of where the Borrower is located

(ii)           The identity of the borrower must be proven

(iii)          The lender must satisfy the Regulator that at least 2 of its Management Level staff/team members have short term personal lending industry experience

(iv)          The Lender must keep in Belize books & records relating to the loans (in hard or soft form)

(v)            Not less than 70% of duties & activities relating to the Lenders business must be seen to be carried out from inside Belize (though these can be outsourced)


A Belize international money lending license requires you to form a Belize Company with paid up capital of not less than $US75,000. This amount can be increased by the BeIize FSC depending on your style of business model and your commercial/career background.




Company name:


We will check if the desired name is available and reserve the name. The IBC Registry allows us to reserve the name for 10 days free of charge. Thereafter, we can reserve the name for 90 additional days at a cost of $30. (NOTE – it may take up to one week for the IFSC to give an answer).


Company Incorporation:


(i)              Authorized Share Capital.

The authorized share capital depends on the what type of license is desired. For this type of Company the authorized share capital must be not less than $75,000.


(ii)            IBC Registry fees

The incorporation fee and annual renewal fee charged by the IBC registry (which is separate from IFSC fees) for a company with $US75k authorised capital is $1,000. The annual renewal payable to the IBC Registry is due January 1 every year, but we usually pay during the month of December before the due date.


(iii)          Bearer shares strictly prohibited

All shares must be registered shares. Bearer shares are not permitted. The Memorandum and Articles of Association of the company must state that bearer shares are strictly prohibited.


(iv)          Shareholders and directors

A shareholder may be a corporate entity, such as a company from another jurisdiction. However, that company must have physical persons as shareholders and directors. Any additional corporate layers are not allowed.


The company is required to have at least one director. (Trading in Securities and Foreign Exchange Services applicants are required to have two directors, one of which must be a resident of Belize.)


Bank Account


It is a requirement that every license holder keep a capital deposit in a bank in Belize as prescribed by the regulations. For example, a company that holds an International Money Lenders License is required to keep an unencumbered capital deposit of $75,000 in a bank in Belize.


After the bank receives the application form and other required documents, it takes two weeks for the bank to give its initial review. After we’ve addressed any issues raised in the review, it typically takes another two weeks for the account to be approved or declined.


Customer Due Diligence (CDD) requirement (for each beneficial owner/shareholder, director, officer and signatory):


  • Photo Identification -  Notarized color copy of passport. Only the pages that show identification information, photograph and signature are required.
  • References – An original reference letter is required as regards the beneficial owners/shareholders, directors, and signatories to the account. The reference letter should be from a bank (preferred), a practicing attorney or a licensed accountant. References should be recent (not older than three months), prepared with official letterhead, and should indicate the following:

(a) a period of relationship for at least (2) years;

(b)  type of relationship conducted;

(c) status of relationship;

(d)  clear contact details of the person who signs the letter.

(e)  Confirmation of Address – A utility bill issued within the past three months with complete residential address. A P.O. Box address is not accepted.


Note, where documents are issued in any language other than English, they must be translated to English by a certified translator.


IFSC application


The application package must contain the following:


  • The application form properly completed and certified, along with the non-refundable application fee of $1,000.  The application form must be signed by a director or a shareholder/beneficial owner and the signature must be notarized.
  • Certified biographical affidavit of beneficial owner, director/s, and signatories to the bank account. Also required is the certified biographical affidavit of the management of the company. In the case of corporate entities, the beneficial owners, directors and beneficial owners of that entity must also submit certified biographical affidavits.
  • Know Your Client (KYC) documentation including:

i.     Proof of ID (Notarized passport – same as bank CDD requirement)

ii.     Proof of address (notarized recent utility bill)

iii.     Curriculum Vitae – showing education and work experience

iv.     Professional reference – from a lawyer or certified accountant (similar to the reference required for the bank account application)

v.     Bank reference and bank statement (the bank reference must be from a bank where the individual has done business for more than two years.)

vi.     World Check report – (we will provide this report)


  • Business Plan – Detailed business plan including a three-year financial projection, together with diagram illustrating the company’s corporate structure.
  • Detailed Anti-money laundering compliance, Complaints and Internal Control policies and procedures.
  • Corporate documents (same as those mentioned in section 2.  Company Structure above). As registered agent, we provide a notarized set of copies which we then submit along with the application to IFSC.
  • Proposed website name that will be used once the licence is approved.
  • Name of external auditor who will prepare the audited financial statements on an annual basis.
  • Certificate of Qualification of Directors and Management – At least one person must possess the expertise relevant to the type of licence being sought.
  • Letter from either the Director, Shareholder or Beneficial owner of the applicant company indicating awareness of the following:
  1. That a licensee should not offer services to residents of a country whose laws require such a licence prior to engagement of such services.
  2. The Standard Conditions attached to the type of licence.
  3. That the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the company will not be amended to provide for the issuance of bearer shares.


IFSC Evaluation process


In processing applications, the IFSC will conduct its own due diligence of shareholders/beneficial owners, directors and management and will evaluate and assess the following:


  • The fitness and probity of each shareholder, director and management
  • The viability of the business plan
  • The AML/CFT Compliance Policy and Procedures to ensure compliance with the respective law and regulation
  • The Complaints and Internal Policies and Procedures to ensure that they are detailed and address all pertinent areas.


It may take up to three months for the IFSC to review the application. At this point, the IFSC may need further clarification of information or request additional information. Once all the information is submitted, the application will be evaluated and it will be determined whether the licence is approved or denied.


Approval of the application


Once the application is approved, a letter will be sent to the Registered Agent requesting payment of the licensing fees and requesting that the company provide the bank confirmation letter. Upon evidence to this effect, the license certificate will be prepared and issued.


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




We are often asked How Can I Change The Name Of My Foundation?


To change the Name of a Foundation, in the first instance, we will need from you (if you have not provided this already) written instructions via email to change name confirming the existing name in FULL and intended future name (it’s wise to submit two preferred names in case the first choice is not available).


  • Once in receipt of an email copy of the above authority (together with our fee, see below) within 24 hours we will:

(a)   seek name approval from the registry and advise you of name approval/refusal: &

(b)   draft and send to you (and then collect from you via email and airmail please, duly signed) a Change of Name minute/resolution


  • Once we have received by email a signed copy of the resolution, within 48 hours we will draft & submit to the registry an amended Charter & a Board Meeting resolution extract (signed by us, containing all the relevant points of the above resolution but with the Foundation Councillor’s names not mentioned, to preserve privacy). If no reply is received from the Registry within 48 hours we will follow them up with a phone call


  • Once the communication/certificate is received from the registry confirming that that  the PIF’s name has been changed (this should be received within 48 hours of our submitting to the registry the amended Charter & a meeting resolution Extract), we will email you, within 24 hours, to advise that the name has been changed


  • Once the Change of Name Certificate has been received within 24 hours we will email you a copy and will dispatch original by airmail or courier as advised by you


Cost of attending to Change of Name as set out above is $399 inclusive of government charges and courier if required. As per Company policy payment is required in advance and may be made by bank transfer or credit card, or via paypal account (see ac details attached; if you’d prefer to pay by car or via paypal account please advise and we will send you the necessary).


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

How To Form an Offshore Company Using a Foundation


We are often asked what the process would be, practically speaking, for a Foundation to form/own a new Company. How it normally works is:


Let’s assume you have already set up a Foundation.


You (ie our client, ie the person who set up the Offshore Entity) are, or should already be, appointed by way of Consultancy Agreement as the Foundation’s Authorised Representative or Investment Adviser.


  • You would advise the Foundation Council of the need to form, or desirability of forming, a new Company and would suggest a Company name/s
  • The Foundation Council would call a meeting and pass/sign a resolution (a) authorizing the new Company to be formed and (b) appointing OCI/Your International Corporate Service Provider as the agent to form the new Company.
  • You would submit a Company order form signed by you as authorized representative of the Foundation
  • We will issue an invoice for/re the Company formation
  • Once the invoice is paid the formation will proceed forthwith


Foundations are widely used as part of an Offshore Corporate Structuring Plan, ie to own/hold the shares of a tax-free Offshore Company.


Setting up a Foundation to own your Offshore Company can be beneficial in two ways:


(a)   It can potentially enable you to avoid Controlled Foreign Corporation Laws – meaning you shouldn’t have to declare/pay tax at home on your Offshore Company’s income (you should only have to pay tax if/when the Company or Foundation actually pays you “income”).

(b)   Having a Foundation holding the shares of your Company makes you no longer the “beneficial owner’ of the Company. This is the ideal position to be in (i) when opening a bank account for your Company (ie so your name doesn’t appear in the bank’s records as the “beneficial owner” of the Company) or (ii) if you are ever facing a laws suit or governmental investigation/prosecution (in that case you can swear under/on oath “I am not the beneficial owner of the Offshore Company under investigation”).


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