Best Offshore Jurisdictions For Trading Bitcoin?

With the price of Bitcoin having surged by over 100% in the past 12 months (perhaps not surprisingly) we are seeing an upsurge of interest in Cryptocurrency Trading.

 

Cryptocurrency Trading is an activity which lends itself well to an Offshore Corporate Structuring Plan. Here’s how:

 

  • You set up a zero tax Offshore Company/International Business Company (“IBC”) with a nil tax jurisdiction based “Nominee” Director
  • The IBC opens an account with a Cryptocurrency Exchange/s
  • You are appointed as the IBC’s Authorised Trader or Trading Manager (ie you are given the power place the buy and sell orders on behalf of the company)
  • All Exchange Account agreements would be accepted/signed/closed “Offshore” by the Company under the hand or by the authority of the Director
  • You as the IBC’s Authorised Trader or Trading Manager go ahead and place buy orders & sell orders on the Company’s Exchange Account
  • Periodically the Board of Directors meet to review and ratify (ie approve retrospectively) trades made in the previous period by the Authorised Trader/Trading Manager
  • The Director sits in (& is seen to be managing/controlling the Company from) a nil tax jurisdiction.
  • On any objective assessment it is clear that trading profits arise from decisions made by the Company Director ie in a nil tax environment.
  • When you need some living/spending money the IBC pays you a wage, or consulting fees or a commission (eg a percentage of trading profits generated)
  • That living/spending money can be paid to your local bank account (which means it would be assessable income wherever you are tax resident though you should also be able to claim a sizeable amount of allowable deductions eg for home office, car, equipment, insurances, travel, stationary etc etc to reduce the amount of your “taxable” income at home)
  • If you don’t want the vultures to know how much money you are earning by way of wages/commissions you could use an anonymous ATM or Debit/VISA card to withdraw your wages/commissions from an Auto Tele Machine. That said, (unless this is reimbursement for expenses incurred by you in working for the IBC) technically these receipts should be declared
  • The majority of trading profits could be reinvested Offshore potentially tax free.

 

Where to incorporate?

 

If ease of set up/maintenance and/or ownership privacy are priorities and/or if you’re on a budget you might want to think about incorporating your Company in a Privacy Haven ie somewhere which (i) does NOT have a public register of directors, shareholders or owners & (ii) which does not require any local presence. Most people in that position choose to incorporate in either:

 

 

Cost there would be:

 

  • For a Belize IBC Company, including incorporation, registered/agent office service and one year’s basic admin: $US1,000. 2nd and subsequent years $690
  • For a Nevis Company, including incorporation, registered/agent office service and one year’s basic admin: $1,400. 2nd and subsequent years $1,350
  • For a Seychelles Company, including incorporation, registered/agent office service and one year’s basic admin: $720 2nd and subsequent years $575

 

Belize also offers an (Asset Protection focussed) LLC product. Check this link for details.

https://offshoreincorporate.com/belize-offshore-companies/

 

Other low cost and/or low maintenance and/or private and/or potentially nil tax jurisdictions worth considering include:

  1. Panama – For detailed information (including pricing info) Check this link: https://offshoreincorporate.com/panama-offshore-companies/
  2. Samoa – For detailed information (including pricing info) Check this link: https://offshoreincorporate.com/samoa-international-business-companies/
  3. St Vincent – For detailed information (including pricing info) Check this link: https://offshoreincorporate.com/saint-vincent-and-the-grenadines-svg-companies/
  4. The BVI – For detailed information (including pricing info) Check this Link: https://offshoreincorporate.com/products-services/offshore-companies/bvi-tax-free-ibcs/
  5. Hong Kong – For detailed information (including pricing info) Check this link: https://offshoreincorporate.com/hong-kong-companies/

 

(Sadly Nevis has recently declared Cryptocurrency Trading a prohibited activity so you won’t be able to incorporate a Crypto Trading Company there!)

 

You may be interested to know that the most popular place to incorporate a (potentially) tax-free Offshore Company is Hong Kong. Check this link which explains why it’s so popular: https://offshoreincorporate.com/why-incorporate-in-hong-kong/

 

If you’re looking for ease of maintenance you might want to take a close look at Samoa which has the simplest Account Keeping requirements (Check this link for details: https://offshoreincorporate.com/where-to-set-up-an-offshore-company-with-no-accounting-requirements/ )

 

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

 

www.offshoreincorporate.com

 

info@offshorecompaniesinternational.com

 

ocil@protonmail.com

 

oci@tutanota.com

 

oci@safe-mail.net

 

ociceo@hushmail.com

 

DISCLAIMER: OCI is a Company/Trust/LLC/LP/Foundation Formation Agency. We are not tax advisers or legal advisers. You are advised to seek local legal/tax/financial advice in regards to your local reporting/tax requirements before committing to set up or use an Offshore Company or other entity.

 

 

 

Can one Foundation Work or do Partners Each Need Separate Foundations?

Are you looking to incorporate a Joint Venture (“JV”) Offshore with a business partner?

 

Certainly, in many cases, there are a lot of benefits in incorporating a JV Offshore (Check this previous article which explains why: https://offshoreincorporate.com/how-to-set-up-a-joint-venture-tax-free-offshore/ )

 

So what entity are you going to use to hold your/your partners shares in the JV Company?

 

If you are looking to incorporate a Joint Venture Offshore – and you’ve done your research – then you’d know that the best possible holding entity is most likely a Private Foundation.

 

Why?

 

Because unlike a Trust (or a Holding Company) a Private Foundation is presumed at law to be both the legal owner AND the beneficial owner of any asset it holds. This can get you around CFC rules and, when combined with Offshore Management, (ie where Management & Control of the Company is seen to be taking place from Offshore – which can potentially be achieved via deployment of a nil tax jurisdiction based “Nominee’ Director) can lead to a result whereby you may only have to declare and pay taxes locally on profits/income actually received by you from the Company.

 

In a joint venture scenario (ie where 2 parties are coming together to form a Trading or Investment Company), whilst shares could potentially be held in each partner’s personal name, ideally each partner should set up/have his/her own holding entity.

 

Your holding entity is your alter ego, ie it will hold your shares in the JV Company.

 

Ideally, for tax planning reasons, your holding entity would be incorporated in a nil tax jurisdiction.

 

That entity could be a Company or it could be a Foundation (or it could be a Company owned by a Foundation).

 

The latter scenario is commonly deployed by clients who want to have options in terms of how they might go about selling their interests in the JV Company. For example (depending on where the JV Company is incorporated) it might be cheaper in items of stamp duty for somebody wanting to buy your shares in the JV Company to acquire your Holding Company instead. Plus, it would be cleaner and easier for you to sell a Company than to sell a Foundation.

 

Assuming your business partner is also tax resident in a jurisdiction that has a CFC law he/she will certainly want to have a Foundation at the bottom of his/her family/ownership tree.

 

Could you just set up one Foundation to begin with to hold both your shares in the JV Company?

 

Potentially you could do that, but it could get really messy. One would assume you’d both be nominated as beneficiaries of the Foundation. But the problem there is, unlike say a Unit Trust, beneficiaries in a Foundation do NOT have separately divisible/recognizable interests. If there’s only one Foundation but with 2 business partners as beneficiaries you can’t say with any clarity “Hey I am the beneficial owner of X% of the JV Company”. And you’d face big problems should you and your partner decide to split in a scenario where one partner decides he wants to continue the JV Company. If there’s only 1 Foundation owing the JV Company how do you value the exiting partners interests in the JV Company?

 

Usually Private Foundations are deployed as Family asset holding vehicles, one per Partner/Family. Like a Family Trust. (Eg Our typical client is a 50 year old + plus career entrepreneur with a spouse and kids. Usually, he/she sets up a Foundation and nominates himself his spouse and children as beneficiaries of the Foundation).

 

To summarize, when two parties are coming together to form a JV Company (and in particular where both partners are based in a country which has CFC rules) ultimately each partner ideally should set up/have his/her own Foundation.

 

And where 2 Foundations are formed to own the issued shares in a JV Company its always prudent for each Foundation/partner to agree on and sign off on a Shareholder’s Agreement (like a Pre-nuptial agreement for business partners!).

 

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

 

www.offshoreincorporate.com

 

info@offshorecompaniesinternational.com

 

ocil@protonmail.com

 

oci@tutanota.com

 

oci@safe-mail.net

 

ociceo@hushmail.com

 

DISCLAIMER: OCI is a Company/Trust/LLC/LP/Foundation Formation Agency. We are not tax advisers or legal advisers. You are advised to seek local legal/tax/financial advice in regards to your local reporting/tax requirements before committing to set up or use an Offshore Company or other entity.

 

Where to set up an Offshore Company with No Accounting Requirements

Of late we have been receiving a heightened level of inquiry from prospective clients asking where one can set up or domicile an Offshore Company without having to meet onerous Account keeping requirements.

 

The starting point here is to note that it’s the law, in almost every Offshore Company jurisdiction, that you are required to keep financial records from which a set of Accounts (“Books of Account”) could be compiled. The reality of course is that, in most jurisdictions, this requirement is not policed. That said (and coming from a background of having owned multiple enterprises over the course of the past 30 years) it is of course wise to keep Books of Account so that you can monitor the financial health of your business!

 

Unfortunately, over the course of the past 12 months more and more Offshore Company jurisdictions have begun succumbing to outside pressures – forcing their Companies to file accounts (and or to prepare financial summaries) and or to store at least soft copies of the Company’s Financial records/Accounts Offshore.

 

That said there are 2 jurisdictions still that, as at the time of writing (ie 29.1.24), have extremely limited Account keeping requirements.

 

Those jurisdictions are:

  1. 1.     Nevis: – For detailed information click on these Links:

https://offshoreincorporate.com/nevis-llcs-your-questions-answered/

https://offshoreincorporate.com/st-kitts-and-nevis-offshore-companies/ AND

  1. 2.     Samoa – For detailed information click on this Link: https://offshoreincorporate.com/samoa-international-business-companies/

 

Samoa Companies Accounting Records Requirements

 

Every company incorporated in Samoa is required to keep and maintain accounting records:

(a) to disclose the current financial position of the Company;

(b) to enable the directors to check that any accounts prepared by the Company comply with the laws of Samoa;

(c) to allow for the preparation of financial statements;

(d) to detail the following;

(i) all sums of money received and expended and the matters in respect of

which the receipt and expenditure takes place;

(ii) all sales and purchase and other transactions; and

(iii) the Company’s assets and liabilities, or other arrangements; and

(e) for a period of at least 7 years from the completing of the transactions or

operations to which they relate.

 

Additionally, the Company must inform its Samoan Registered Agent in writing of the location where the accounting records are to be kept.

 

Should there be any changes to the location, the Company must inform the RA in writing of the physical address of the new location of the records within 14 days of the change of the location.

 

Accounting records may required by the Samoa Financial Services Authority and upon request they must be made available to comply.

 

Nevis Companies Account Keeping Requirements

 

Accounting requirements in Nevis are thankfully not as onerous as elsewhere.

 

Every Nevis entity is required to maintain sufficient and accurate records from which accounts might be prepared should the Directors or Shareholders choose to do so. In other words, there is no absolute requirement to do so.

 

Unlike places such as BVI, there is no requirement to file any accounting information with the Registered agent, and there is no public filing of accounts, schedules of assets/liabilities etc.

 

That being said, each Nevis entity is required to file an annual Tax Return in St. Kitts & Nevis. Where the management of the entity is conducted outside of St.  Kitts & Nevis, the required return is informational only, and need not include any financial or transactional information.

 

A sample of the current return can be viewed here: https://offshoreincorporate.sharepoint.com/:b:/s/OffshoreCompaniesInternational/EY9qhVbBnDxPqIoqK7hclxgBGxN7pKymMzwgImGS_utnCg?e=PQhIqK

 

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

 

www.offshoreincorporate.com

 

info@offshorecompaniesinternational.com

 

ocil@protonmail.com

 

oci@tutanota.com

 

oci@safe-mail.net

 

ociceo@hushmail.com

 

 

DISCLAIMER: OCI is a Company/Trust/LLC/LP/Foundation Formation Agency. We are not tax advisers or legal advisers. You are advised to seek local legal/tax/financial advice in regards to your local reporting/tax requirements before committing to set up or use an Offshore Company or other entity.

 

Could Abu Dhabi be the new BVI?

For decades, many of the world’s richest people chose to safeguard their assets in overseas locales ranging from the Cayman Islands to Switzerland and the British Virgin Islands. But a new wealth hub is becoming wildly popular with billionaires — the skyscraper-studded emirate of Abu Dhabi.

 

Purportedly one of the richest men in Crypto ie Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, India’s Adani family, hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio and Russian steel magnate Vladimir Lisin are among the dozens of high net worth individuals who’ve set up Special Purpose Vehicles in Abu Dhabi’s international financial centre this year, according to a review of hundreds of corporate filings in the United Arab Emirates by Bloomberg News.

 

More than 5000 SPVs now exist in Abu Dhabi Global Market compared with just 46 in 2016, according to data compiled by M/HQ, a wealth advisory firm that’s among the leaders in setting them up. It isn’t publicly known where individual billionaires moved their assets from, why they did so or what each one contains. Yet the wealth influx reflects broad global shifts in how the world’s rich are protecting their money.

 

Popularised by alleged junk-bond king Michael Milken in the late 1980s, SPVs are separate legal entities that have become go-to structures for high net worth individuals seeking to isolate their financial risk. Essentially holding companies that manage wealth, Abu Dhabi says its SPVs can contain assets such as property and equity.

 

The financial flows to the UAE mark a new role for its $US509 billion ($760 billion) economy as the ruling Al Nahyan family attempts to diversify away from oil. Abu Dhabi’s gains also come at a time when some nil/low-tax jurisdictions such as the British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands have faced greater scrutiny from officials elsewhere in the world and seen a slide in new corporate registrations.

 

“ADGM is a great place to set up SPVs and it’s increasing sharply,” said Bhaskar Dasgupta, a corporate adviser who previously worked for the Abu Dhabi free zone. “We’re seeing more high net worth individuals moving from the BVI, Caymans, Mauritius and Singapore to here.”

 

Billionaire arrivals

 

The Middle Eastern business hub is attractive because of its safeguards to ring-fence assets from foreign jurisdictions and the ability to benefit from the UAE’s double tax treaty network.

 

The UAE’s double tax treaty can help wealthy individuals minimise their tax bill for companies tucked inside the SPV, dependent on whether the additional countries in which they do business have a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (“DTAT”) with the Gulf state.

 

Abu Dhabi is slowly becoming the new financial haven of choice.

 

Abu Dhabi and nearby Dubai have become thriving global cities. Those making large investments here are eligible for long-term residency and even in some cases UAE passports. Then there are Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth funds, which control more than $US1 trillion in assets, and influential private investment firms. (It has also been reported that, for some investors, SPVs offer the potential to bolster high-level relationships with the deep-pocketed Abu Dhabi royals).

 

Dalio made a splash earlier this year when he set up his within ADGM, coinciding with plans to open a branch of his family office in the emirate, Bloomberg reported in April.

 

Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris told Bloomberg News that he’s moving his family office to ADGM as well. It has been reported that it will also be registered as an SPV with some staff shifting over from London and Luxembourg.

 

At the same time, the UAE has in recent years sometimes been a haven for those navigating regulatory challenges overseas.

 

Zhao, the former CEO of digital-asset exchange Binance, bought his first home in Dubai in 2021, citing its pro-crypto policies. ADGM records show the billionaire set up multiple SPVs in Abu Dhabi this year, including Binary Finance Group Holdings, Alphanest Holdings and CZ Labs Holdings. He has UAE and Canadian citizenship, according to US court records.

 

“We obviously think ADGM is a great place to domicile companies,” a representative for Zhao said before the US judgement. “Also note, we have companies in other great jurisdictions, too.”

 

Abu Dhabi’s stamp of approval is also valuable to dealmakers looking to court investment abroad as well as from the emirate’s wealth funds.

 

The international financial free zone, which was inaugurated in 2015, has also become attractive in recent years because the UAE held off on sanctioning countries like Russia while the US, UK and EU ratcheted up their own restrictions. Meantime, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and some Caribbean nations have cracked down on people with ties to countries navigating sanctions.

 

In fact, Abu Dhabi’s structures are increasingly winning the support of the royals themselves. Subsidiaries of Royal Group, which is controlled by National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE president’s brother and one of the world’s most influential dealmakers, have set up a number of ADGM SPVs in the second half of this year, according to filings and people familiar with the matter.

 

One noteworthy new arrival to ADGM is Lisin.

 

The fourth-wealthiest Russian on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index set up the SPVs Serenity II Holdings and Nebula II Holdings in May 2023, Bloomberg reported. Lisin was drawn by Abu Dhabi’s stock exchange, its links to global investors like Dalio, and economic and legal stability, people familiar with the matter said. A spokesperson for the billionaire, who’s not sanctioned by the US, UK or EU, declined to comment.

 

Yann Mrazek, M/HQ’s Dubai-based managing partner, said the war in Israel and Gaza could prompt even greater demand for ADGM SPVs. The Swiss-trained lawyer said he recently got a request from a Palestinian entrepreneur looking to use the structure for asset protection.

 

Caribbean crackdown

 

Money outflows from havens like the BVI began around 2017, when Hurricane Irma ripped through the island. This prompted some key functions for the lucrative corporate-registry business to shift to the head offices of fiduciary firms in Europe and Asia, according to Jocelyn Viernes, the Dubai-based head of administration at Sovereign Corporate Services, another firm involved in ADGM SPV creation.

 

More recently in February, EU finance ministers blacklisted the BVI as a tax haven, hitting the island with administrative penalties and restricting the territory from some European funding. (That move was subsequently reversed in October after legal changes implemented by the local government.)

 

A separate push by the Cayman Islands to get off the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force’s gray list, which was successful this October, prompted the territory to increase its reporting requirements for new corporations.

 

The BVI is currently on pace for its worst year for registrations in at least a decade, according to the BVI Financial Service Commission. Meanwhile, the Cayman Islands are on track to register just over 10,000 companies in 2023, which would mark the fewest incorporations since 2013, according to the Cayman Islands General Registry.

 

The UAE has faced its own scrutiny from the FATF, particularly since its inclusion on the gray list in March 2022, but the issue of SPVs hasn’t been central to conversations on getting off the list, people familiar with the matter said.

 

“ADGM’s strategic location, policy stability and proximity to capital are key attractions for high net worth individuals, offering a secure alternative to the traditional but currently less predictable BVI and Caymans,” said Sam Blatteis, CEO of The MENA Catalysts, which provides government relations advice to firms in the Persian Gulf.

Attractive jurisdiction

 

An ADGM spokesperson said the free zone is attractive for a number of reasons, including the use of English common law, robust investor protection and low taxation. Its SPVs have many benefits such as no minimum share capital requirement, no restrictions on the nationality of shareholders and the ease of share transfer, the representative said.

 

Service providers who help set up the SPVs said part of ADGM’s appeal is the confidentiality granted to wealthy individuals. While the corporate registry lists directors and shareholders, there’s less red tape around auditing and ultimate beneficial owner disclosures, they said.

 

Abu Dhabi’s stamp of approval is also valuable to dealmakers looking to court investment abroad as well as from the emirate’s wealth funds.

 

Indian billionaire Gautam Adani — whose stocks were hit by a short-seller attack this year but are now recovering — has drawn funds from Sheikh Tahnoon’s International Holding Co. in recent years.

 

The billionaire’s family has an SPV set up in ADGM called Ardour Investment Holding, according to people familiar with the matter as well as filings.

 

The free zone’s registry shows that Ardour was set up in August 2023. Its shareholder is RVG Exim DMCC — a firm that Dubai corporate records show was set up by the tycoon’s brother Vinod Adani and managed by Subir Mittra, the head of the Adani private family office.

 

Ardour recently boosted its stake in the billionaire’s Adani Power Ltd., according to company filings. Adani Group representatives didn’t respond to request for comment.

 

Another tycoon to recently set up in Abu Dhabi is Murtaza Lakhani, the Pakistani trading mogul whom Bloomberg reported is central to Russia’s global oil business. His lawyers have denied that their client has any current role in Russian oil.

 

In June, Lakhani registered an SPV called Kings Road Investments Holding Ltd, where he’s listed as the sole shareholder, ADGM records show. Lakhani didn’t respond to requests for comment.

 

Meanwhile, several executives tied to luxury Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet set up their own SPV as far back as December 2021, ADGM records show.

 

Part of Abu Dhabi’s success in wooing more SPVs stems from how the UAE has leveraged its golden visa and passport programs in the past couple years, according to Armand Arton, the founder of citizenship firm Arton Capital. These reforms have encouraged the wealthy to make the Gulf state a more permanent home.

 

“We see this trend of more billionaires moving to the country,” said Arton. “Once they feel welcome and safe, they then look to relocate their businesses and assets, with ADGM being one of the preferred places.”

 

Bloomberg

 

Where To Incorporate a Crypto Business Offshore

 

Are you looking to launch a Crypto or Blockchain focussed Enterprise?

 

If so, straight up, you’ll be pleased to know, that Offshore Companies are widely used in the Cryptosphere including for:

 

  • Bitcoin Mining
  • Trading Cryptocurrencies
  • Investing in Cryptocurrencies
  • ICO Launches
  • Cryptocurrency Exchanges
  • Trading/Manufacturing NFTs
  • Launching DAOs
  • Crypto Token generation/sale
  • And more

 

Crypto Business License Options

 

What kind of Crypto business do you intend to do?

 

Would your prospective/targetmarket dictate (eg in terms of market credibility) that you come to market as a Licensed Organisation?

 

(if so) firstly you will need to work out what kind of Crypto license you could or should apply for.

 

There are a number of Licenses you could potentially apply for “Offshore” for Crypto/Blockchain related Enterprises including:

 

  1. A Gibraltar DLT License
  2. An Estonian Cryptocurrency Exchange (and/or Crypto Wallet Provider) License
  3. A Malta Crypto business license
  4. A Mauritius VASP License
  5. An Isle of Man ICO License
  6. A Swiss ICO license
  7. A Lithuanian Cryptocurrency Exchange/Wallet Provider License
  8. A Caymans VASP License
  9. A BVI VASP License
  10. A UAE Crypto business license

 

The cost to incorporate and apply for a License for businesses of the kind described above typically ranges from $US20,000 to circa $50,00 depending on which jurisdiction you choose.

 

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs)

 

If you’d prefer to not have to go down the VASP Licensing road you might want to consider setting up as a DAO.

A DAO is a Blockchain structure (like a secure database), that any member can leverage to self-govern through participation; A DAO sets rules – baked into code – and permits voting through digital tokens (a form of cryptocurrency) — all while leveraging smart contracts. Only that DAO’s Token holders have the power to vote.

 

In essence, a DAO allows groups of participants to create organizational forms beyond the hierarchical, top-down corporate firm (which must be responsive to the needs of a board and shareholders). DAOs essentially eliminate or minimize the roles of executives and managers in the organization, relying instead on transparent rules that apply to all members and participants.

 

The primary aim behind the creation of a DAO is to create a virtual entity to replace the central management of previous forms of organization. A decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), is an organization, particularized by rules encoded as a computer program, that is transparent, and controlled by the organization members. In terms of decision making a DAO is, in effect, unable to be influenced by any outside party including any central government.

 

DAOs are particularly prevalent in the Ethereum blockchain ecosystem, combining ideas about organizational forms, coordination, network effects, blockchain, and smart contract technology. A DAO allows a group to organize around a mission or goal and to coordinate the mission via smart contracts, enforced immutably and autonomously on the blockchain. DAOs represent an evolution in how people coordinate with one another, as the organization itself is autonomous from any third party intermediary’s influence and goals.

 

The main reason a DAO is formed is to decentralize and automate the governance of an organization. The rules by which a DAO operates are encoded as a computer program that is accessible via the blockchain, and controlled by all of the organizing members, rather than by a central governing board. Since the blockchain is essentially a public record, the DAO seeks to provide total transparency, requiring that all of its financial transaction records be recorded by a public facing blockchain. There is no top-down hierarchal structure to a DAO; A DAO depends almost entirely on the operation of autonomous smart contracts to enliven the rules and carry out the decisions made by/within the organization. In terms of where you might incorporate a DAO in a low or nil tax environment:

 

  1. You could set up a Marshall Islands DAO LLC
  2. You could set up a Wyoming DAO LLC
  3. You could set up a Panama Foundation DAO

 

You could also potentially set up a Caymans Foundation Company to act as a DAO.  However, you’d need to be able to satisfy the Compliance people in the Caymans that what you’re proposing is a not a licenseable under the Caymans VASP Legislation.

 

Non Licensed Options??

 

If you’re a typical start up you’ll probably find it hard to find the 20-50k needed to apply for a Crypto Business License.

 

If you’d prefer to go down the non-licensing road you could incorporate a Crypto Token Manufacturing/Marketing business as a Company in St Vincent (which has passed a VASP Bill but which has not come into existence) or (ideally) in Panama…. Panama tried to pass a VASP law but it was struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Hence there is no risk, if you incorporate in Panama, of a law being passed subsequent to your incorporation requiring you to either migrate/redomicile out of the jurisdiction or apply for a VASP license.  

 

Samoa also has not passed VASP Legislation (and has not publicly stated an intention to do so).

 

Samoa is attractive in that it has rather minimal annual compliance requirements (eg there is no requirement to prepare formal accounts or to file a return)

 

For details in regards to Samoa Company formations check this Link: https://offshoreincorporate.com/samoa-international-business-companies/

 

For details in regards to Panama Company formations check this Link: https://offshoreincorporate.com/panama-offshore-companies/

 

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

 

www.offshoreincorporate.com

 

info@offshorecompaniesinternational.com

 

ocil@protonmail.com

 

oci@tutanota.com

 

oci@safe-mail.net

 

ociceo@hushmail.com

 

DISCLAIMER: OCI is a Company/Trust/LLC/LP/Foundation Formation Agency. We are not tax advisers or legal advisers. You are advised to seek local legal/tax/financial advice in regards to your local reporting/tax requirements before committing to set up or use an Offshore Company or other entity.

 

 

 

Where to set up an Unlicensed VASP Business Offshore

Are you looking to do a Crypto Token Launch?

 

Or to set up a Cryptocurrency Exchange?

 

Most Offshore jurisdictions have either passed (eg Caymans, BVI, Mauritius etc) or are in the process of passing VASP (ie Virtual Asset Service Provider) Legislation. The nett effect of VASP Laws is if you propose to do an ITO or IDO or to mint a new Crypto coin (or if you’re planning to set up a Cryptocurrency Exchange business), and if you want to incorporate in a country where such activity is now regulated you need to apply for a VASP License before you can incorporate.

 

Previously you could set up such a business in Belize or Seychelles or St Vincent without needing to apply for any form of Special License. Unfortunately. these jurisdictions have all announced that they intend to pass VASP legislation/regulations in the near future and until then, as a matter of policy, they won’t be allowing any business that looks or smells like a Virtual Asset Service Provider enterprise to incorporate in the jurisdiction.

 

Unfortunately to get your hands on a VASP license is not easy. You’ll need to have deep pockets (eg $US50,000+) to cover legal fees/set up costs and you’ll need to be patient as such a license can take 3 months+ to be approved.

 

But there is still a viable “Offshore” Incorporation option that does not require one to go down the VASP licensing road, ie the world’s second most popular “Offshore” Jurisdiction, the mighty Panama.

 

How Panama came into play as a VASP Enterprise locale is an interesting story.

 

The Panama Legislature in October 2022 passed a Bill that would have established a VASP regime in Panama for the following activities:

  • Exchange between virtual assets and fiat currencies.
  • Exchange between one or more forms of virtual assets.
  • Transfer of virtual assets.
  • Custody virtual assets or instruments that allow virtual asset control
  • Participation and provision of financial services related to the offer or sale of a virtual asset by an issuer, including, but not limited to security token offerings (STOs).
  • Financing through virtual assets
  •  Authorized virtual asset Liquidity Provider
  • Digital Wallet service provider

 

The bill proposed that the Superintendency of Banks would  be the regulator for VASP (virtual asset service providers), payment systems, and electronic money issuers.

 

The possibility of payments in crypto assets to the State was also to have been regulated by the bill.

 

BUT under the Panama model of republic such a law can be challenged by the President of Panama.

 

Which is exactly what happened…

 

And the Panama Supreme Court found for the President declaring the law Unconstitutional.

 

Which means that you can incorporate a VASP business in Panama without needing to apply for any form of Special License (ie providing you’re not planning to create/offer a “Security”)

 

Panama (which does not tax income earned outside of Panama) offers 2 low cost/low admin entities that could potentially be deployed to own and operate a VASP business ie:

 

A nil tax SA Company: https://offshoreincorporate.com/panama-offshore-companies/ ; AND

 

A nil tax Private Foundation: https://offshoreincorporate.com/panama-tax-free-foundations/

 

OCI specializes in assisting Blockchain startups and can assist you to incorporate in Panama should you wish to head down that road.

 

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

 

www.offshoreincorporate.com

 

info@offshorecompaniesinternational.com

 

ocil@protonmail.com

 

oci@tutanota.com

 

oci@safe-mail.net

 

ociceo@hushmail.com

 

DISCLAIMER: OCI is a Company/Trust/LLC/LP/Foundation Formation Agency. We are not tax advisers or legal advisers. You are advised to seek local legal/tax/financial advice in regards to your local reporting/tax requirements before committing to set up or use an Offshore Company or other entity.

 

BVI PRIVATE TRUST COMPANIES (PTCs) REVIEWED

This Guide focuses on the legislative enactments concerning the establishment of private trust companies in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and illustrates the clarity of the new regulations following the wholesale repeal of the Banks and Trust Companies (Application Procedures) Directions 1991.

 

INTRODUCTION

 

New rules relating to private trust companies (PTCs) known as the Financial Services (Exemptions) Regulations, 2007 (Regulations) came into force in the BVI on 1 August 2007 following amendments made on 15 January 2007 to the BVI’s Financial Services Commission Act, 2001 (FSC Act), the latter paving the way for the introduction of the Regulations. Further amendments to the trust legislation were introduced in 2013, enhancing the PTC regime.

 

In this Guide, we discuss the Regulations and outline the conditions which must be satisfied to enable a company to benefit from the exemption from the trust licensing regime in the BVI as well as, in particular, highlighting the new responsibilities imposed by the new rules upon the registered agent acting for a PTC.

 

Under the current regulatory framework, certain types of company are able to seek an exemption from the usual requirement to obtain a trust licence under the BVI’s Banks and Trust Companies Act 1990 (Act). It was the general intention of the BVI Government to create a system whereby specific classes of trust company are granted an exempt status.

 

Most unremunerated PTCs which do not offer trustee services to the general public (i.e. do not carry on the business of a trustee) are now able to benefit from the new exemption regime. Also, unremunerated BVI-incorporated companies which merely hold assets as nominees (or bare trustees) are automatically entitled to benefit from the exemption, provided that they do not carry on the business of a trustee.

 

WHAT IS A PRIVATE TRUST COMPANY?

 

A PTC is, essentially, a company which possesses trustee powers and which does not conduct trust business with the general public, its sole purpose being to act as a trustee of a family trust or a group of related trusts.

 

The Regulations define the term “private trust company” to mean a company:

  • That is a qualifying BVI company;
  • That is a limited company within the meaning of the BVI Business Companies Act, 2004 (BVIBC Act); and
  • The memorandum of which states that it is a private trust company

 

A “qualifying BVI company” in turn is defined to mean a company that:

  • has first incorporated under the BVIBC Act;
  • has been re-registered under Part II of Schedule 2 of the BVIBC Act;
  • has been re-registered under paragraph 6(1)(a) of Part III of Schedule 2 of the BVIBC Act and in respect of which an election to disapply Part IV of Schedule 2 has been registered; or
  • has been re-registered under paragraph 6(1)(b) of Part III of Schedule 2 of the BVIBC Act and in respect of which an election to disapply Part VI of Schedule 2 has been registered.

 

TRUST LICENSE EXEMPTION

 

A PTC will not be required to obtain a trust licence under the Act where its trust business consists solely of either:

  1. Unremunerated trust business; or
  2. Related trust business.

 

For the avoidance of doubt, the business of a PTC shall be deemed to consist solely of unremunerated trust business, notwithstanding that part or all of such unremunerated trust business also qualifies as related trust business. The same rule applies in respect of related trust business.

 

What is Unremunerated Trust Business?

 

Unremunerated trust business is trust business which is carried on by a PTC where remuneration is not payable to, or received by, the PTC or indeed any person associated with the PTC, in consideration for, or in relation to, the services that constitute the trust business.

 

For the purposes of the rules “remuneration” includes money or any other form of property and it matters not whether such remuneration is payable, or is received, out of the assets of a “relevant trust” (defined by the Regulations to mean a trust with respect to which a PTC is providing services that constitute trust business), from the settlor or beneficiary of such a trust, or from any other person pursuant to an arrangement with the settlor or a beneficiary of a relevant trust.

 

Any remuneration paid to a director of the PTC or a person associated with the PTC is regarded as “remuneration” under the new rules unless it is paid or received by way of the director’s remuneration:

  1. With respect to professional director services provided to the PTC; and
  2. The director is not otherwise associated with the PTC, i.e. by virtue of having a direct or an indirect beneficial interest in it.

 

The Regulations make clear that payments which are made to a PTC to indemnify it for costs and expenses paid or incurred by the PTC (e.g. regulatory fees and registered agent fees) will not be regarded as “remuneration” within the meaning of the new rules.

 

What is Related Trust Business?

 

Related trust business is trust business provided in respect of a single trust or a group of related trusts where each beneficiary of a trust is either a “connected person” in relation to the settlor of that trust, or is a charity. The term “connected person” refers to any person whose relationship to another is established by affinity or consanguinity (which may also be established by adoption).

 

A trust is, in respect of another trust, a “related trust” where the settlor of the first trust is a connected person with respect to the settlor of the second trust. Thus, in a group of trusts, the trusts are “related trusts” if the settlor of each trust in the group is a connected person with respect to all of the settlors of the other trusts in that group.

 

A PTC will be treated as carrying on “related trust business” if it acts as trustee of:

(a) a single trust, all the beneficiaries of which are charities or have certain specified blood, marital or adopted relationships to the settlor or are the settlor; or

(b) more than one trust, each of the settlors of which have any of those relationships to each other and all the beneficiaries of which have any of those relationships to the settlors of the trusts, or are the settlors (or are charities).

 

WHEN IS THE EXEMPTION LOST?

 

A PTC will lose the benefit of the exemption under the Regulations where:

  • it fails to ensure that at all material times its registered agent holds a Class I trust licence issued under the Act (incidentally, where the registered agent ceases to hold such a licence, it has a period of four weeks’ grace from the date on which the licence ceased before the disqualification applies);
  • it carries on business that is not trust business;
  • it solicits trust business from members of the public; or
  • it carries on any trust business other than either unremunerated trust business or related trust business.

 

WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE EXEMPTION BEING LOST?

 

Where the exemption is lost and a company no longer qualifies as a PTC, there will be an obligation on the PTC’s part to ensure that it forthwith removes any reference in its constitutional documents to it being a PTC. The company will be regarded as carrying on unauthorised financial services business if it either carries on any trust business without having the benefit of the exemption or, having the benefit of the exemption, it carries on trust business which is not unremunerated or related trust business.

 

The Regulations impose strict duties on a registered agent which acts for the PTC where the exemption is lost (see section 7 below).

 

SANCTIONS

 

Unremunerated trust business and related trust business are both deemed to represent “financial services business” under the FSC Act. This means that the BVI Financial Services Commission (FSC) has available to it certain sanctions specified under the Act which will apply in the event that there is any breach or contravention of, or non-compliance with, a requirement on the part of a PTC. The PTC is effectively treated as a licensee under the FSC Act.

 

For example, section 32 (power to request information and documents) and the enforcement provisions of sections 36 (appointment of examiners), 37 (enforcement action), 37A (public statements) and 40 (power to issue directives) of the FSC Act all apply to a PTC subject to necessary modifications, although these provisions in no way restrict the powers of the FSC to take appropriate action against a PTC which is acting in breach of the Regulations.

 

DUTIES OF THE REGISTERED AGENT OF A PTC

 

A registered agent intending to act as such in respect of a PTC is obliged:

  • to satisfy itself that the company complies with the requirements of the Regulations;
  • on a periodic basis, to take all reasonable steps to satisfy itself that the company continues to comply with the requirements of the Regulations;
  • to take all reasonable steps to ensure that up-to-date records of the following documents in respect of the company are kept at the registered agent’s office in the BVI:

(a)   the trust deed or other document that creates or evidences a trust and any deed or document that varies the terms thereof, for each trust; and

(b)   documentation and other information on which the registered agent has relied to satisfy itself that the company complies with the requirements of the Regulations; and

(c)   to immediately notify the FSC in writing if at any time the registered agent forms the opinion that the company has failed to comply with the requirements of the Regulations.

 

As alluded to above, these duties call for continued vigilance on the part of the registered agent and the degree to which it adheres to these obligations will be an important measure as to its liability in the event that a PTC is found to be in breach of the Regulations.

 

FORMAL APPLICATION NOT NECESSARY

 

There is no formal process for application to the FSC seeking approval for the grant of exempt status. Exemption will be automatic if the PTC meets the criteria laid down in the Regulations. Apart from an annual return which will need to be filed by the PTC, the only other document required to be filed publicly are the PTC’s Memorandum and Articles of Association.

 

The Memorandum and Articles of Association do not need to include the names of the directors or shareholders of the PTC. Such information is retained separately by the registered agent of the PTC and so those details are not a matter of public record in the BVI. Furthermore, none of the substantive documents relating to the trust, copies of which must be held by the registered agent (as mentioned in section 7 above), need to be presented to the FSC. Some clients may find this a particularly attractive aspect the overall BVI regime.

 

BARE TRUSTEES AND NOMINEES

 

As mentioned previously, a company is not required to obtain a trust licence under the Act where it acts solely as a bare trustee or a nominee. The criteria for determining whether a trustee acts as a bare trustee for the purposes of the Regulations will be specified in the Regulatory Code (which is yet to be issued by the FSC).

 

ADVANTAGES OF ESTABLISHING A PTC

 

PTCs enable family-controlled structures to be created whereby family members and/or trusted family advisers, who together have a wealth of knowledge about the family’s affairs, can become involved in the decision-making processes by assuming the role of director or consultant to the PTC. As the assets of the PTC are controlled by a board of directors comprised of the settlor and his family and/or persons who are familiar to the settlor and his family, this enables them to exercise more control over the trustee’s actions. The structure provides considerable comfort to those who are ordinarily reluctant to relinquish control of assets to third party trustees over whom they are able to exercise little or no governance. This added element of control, also affords greater privacy and confidentiality for the settlor and his family over their assets and activities.

 

Institutional trustees may not be prepared to take on the role of trustee where the trust is comprised of high risk assets because they may consider the potential liability resulting from their fiduciary duties over such assets as being unduly onerous. Where the PTC provides the trusteeship, there is still a role for the institutional trustee as it may be convenient for the board of directors of the PTC to delegate the PTC’s administrative function to a professional trustee services provider. The provider will be more inclined to take on this purely administrative function as it will have only a contractual relationship with the PTC (rather than a fiduciary relationship) with the consequent mitigated risk and restricted liability over the trust assets. This, in turn, is likely to result in a cost-saving for the family as lower risk invariably translates into lower professional fees.

 

Lastly, as it is a company, a PTC also offers the benefits of limited liability status.

 

PTC CAN ACT AS TRUSTEE OF A VISTA TRUST

 

The BVI’s highly acclaimed VISTA trust legislation was amended in 2013 to allow for co-trusteeship of VISTA trusts. A PTC may now be the qualifying trustee of a VISTA trust as an alternative to a licensed BVI trustee. Thus clients have a number of options when selecting trustees of VISTA trusts: the sole trustee may either be a licensed BVI service provider or a PTC; alternatively, one or more foreign companies or individuals may act as co-trustee together with the licensed BVI trustee or a PTC.

 

CONCLUSION

 

In the short time since their introduction, the Regulations have made a positive impact in the BVI as the BVI is now able to offer a more efficient and more cost-effective application process to those seeking to incorporate a PTC than that previously available under the old regime. applebyglobal.com 5 BVI-incorporated PTCs offer significant opportunities for families in their generic wealth planning and protection strategies. Provided that careful consideration is given to the incorporation of the PTC and the transaction is properly structured, a PTC can be a very useful vehicle for those who have previously felt reluctant to adopt trust structures because of traditional concerns regarding trustee control, cost and confidentiality issues. Indeed, it is becoming common practice in the BVI for structures to be established using a BVI VISTA non-charitable purpose trust (which is administered by a locally licensed trust company pursuant to a services agreement) to hold the shares of a PTC, which in turn will hold and deal with the shares of the holding or operating companies in accordance with the terms of one or more family trusts which the PTC is able to administer. As well as benefiting from the advantages offered by the BVI’s VISTA regime thus disengaging the trustee from any responsibility over the management of the PTC and providing an effective succession mechanism in regard to the directors of the PTC through the “Office of Director rules”, the purpose trust is an ideal vehicle for ownership of the PTC where personal ownership can give rise to tax or other problems for individual shareholders.

 

PTCs have become increasingly popular in offshore financial centres in recent times and the new BVI legislative framework for PTCs is intended to be the latest in a series of financial services-related statutes which have been enacted by the BVI government over the last few years and have established the BVI as one of the leading trust jurisdictions.

 

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

 

www.offshoreincorporate.com

 

info@offshorecompaniesinternational.com

 

ocil@protonmail.com

 

oci@tutanota.com

 

oci@safe-mail.net

 

ociceo@hushmail.com

 

DISCLAIMER: OCI is a Company/Trust/LLC/LP/Foundation Formation Agency. We are not tax advisers or legal advisers. You are advised to seek local legal/tax/financial advice in regards to your local reporting/tax requirements before committing to set up or use an Offshore Company or other entity.

 

 

How To Use a Tax Free Offshore Company To Sell Web Domains

With renowned privacy features, relatively low maintenance costs (ie compared to similar onshore entities) and ease of establishment the classic privacy haven International Business Company (eg Belize, Panama, BVI, Nevis, Samoa, St Vincent, Seychelles etc) has risen to become the preferred International Business entity for discerning investors and International/Digital entrepreneurs the world over.     

 

Advantages include:

 

  • Exemption from most taxes, including income/business tax, stamp duty and capital gains tax
  • Shareholder, Underlying Beneficial Owners and Directors’ details are usually not publicly available
  • No need to hold annual general meetings, or to file annual returns
  • No need to file annual returns
  • No need to keep audited accounts
  • Low set up and admin costs
  • Can carry out a wide variety of activities as of right

 

IBCs for selling Web Domains

 

IBCs are commonly used by Web Domain Resellers. 

 

It makes no difference whether you are producing/registering/selling new Domain names or whether you are buying existing Web domains from different providers, trading profits resulting from the sale of such Domains should be taxed in the country of incorporation. 

 

Generally speaking, pursuant to the principles of International Tax law:

1)         The purchase of the product in the above example should not give rise to taxation in Country 1; and 

2)         Provided that the IBC does not have a “permanent establishment” or a fixed business address/office in country B, then no tax assessment should be levied against the IBC in country B 

 

How it Works Practically

 

Here’s how such a setup usually works:

 

  • A nil tax offshore company (commonly an International Business Company “IBC”) is incorporated to own/operate the business
  • You design/launch a website which is owned by the Offshore Company
  • The IBC creates or acquires all proprietary items (including also any Trademarks, Operating software/systems, Domain names and other soft products to be sold/delivered to customers etc)
  • The website ideally should be hosted in a nil tax/private Jurisdiction (Iceland is currently the most popular destination for such web hosting, Singapore is also often favoured)
  • The clients find you and/or contact you via the world wide web. All comms are web based. All products are delivered via the web
  • A web based business has no physical store that a tax man/regulator can point to as the point of sales generation. Hence such businesses are usually taxed in the country from which they are seen to be managed/controlled.
  • The IBC should seen to be managed and controlled from (and ideally beneficially owned from, see below) Offshore. This is achieved via the deployment of a (nil tax jurisdiction based) “Nominee” director.
  • You are appointed, via an  arms-length Consultancy Agreement, as the IBC’s authorised trader (ie you negotiate the deals and place the buy and sell orders on behalf of the Company)
  • Your Company’s standard sale agreement/website terms and conditions should provide (a) that a contract is not formed until the customers offer is accepted by you (ie the Offshore Company) and (b) that the source of the income is the contract. Before the client clicks buy he/she clicks on a button acknowledging that he/she has read and agrees to be bound by your terms & conditions
  • Acceptance of the buyer’s offer would be provided by the Company (which is seen to be managed from “Offshore” via a nil-tax-jurisdiction resident Nominee Director) sending an email to the buyer, after he/she has paid online; In simple terms what that means is that the situs of the Contract ie the place where the contract of sale (ie the agreement between you and the buyer for you to supply goods in consideration of the buyer paying), at law, is formed is the director’s location ie a nil tax environment…
  • Hence the income – from which the contract of sale is the source – has been/is derived, prima facie, in a zero tax jurisdiction (every time a client buys and you send an email thanking him for payment that concludes as contract of sale at law)
  • An Offshore account (which can/will also be set up to receive card payments via a merchant account) is opened in a nil tax banking centre
  • Customers/clients contract with and pay the IBC; All such monies are banked free of tax in the first instance
  • You or your local company would/could also be contracted by the IBC to manage sales/delivery of product/website maintenance/whatever
  • (If you need a regular income) You would invoice the IBC periodically (eg monthly) for this service which income would be assessable income in your home state – though a smart Tax Accountant should be able to assist you to claim a series of expenses against this income (eg home office, equipment, travel, phone/internet/utilities etc) to significantly reduce the amount of tax payable on this income
  • Ideally once you start to grow you and to add substance you would be wise to set up your MD/Board and or a sales team to take orders and receive income in a low tax onshore environment (eg Hong Kong, Ireland, Singapore, Cyprus etc as per the Amazon/Google model).

 

As alluded to, in order to minimise the chances of the IBC being taxed onshore, ideally, the IBC should/would be (and be seen to be) managed and controlled from Offshore. How this can be achieved is by including a (nil tax jurisdiction based) “Nominee” Director as part of the Corporate structure.

 

Ideally – so you can swear on oath in the event of a law suit, tax investigation, or regulatory inquiry – I am not the beneficial owner of this Company, (which should enable your lawyers to be able to argue, in the event of an investigation, sorry this is tax deferral not tax evasion) you might want to set up a Private Foundation to act as the shareholder of your IBC. (This should also assist you to get around CFC rules ie if you live in a country which has such regs).

 

With a bespoke legal/admin structure in place you should only be liable to declare and pay tax on income paid to you by the company (and/or on any distributions paid to you by the Foundation); as regards the remainder of your Offshore Company’s earnings you should be able to accumulate, and or reinvest, those Offshore in a nil tax environment. Tax should only be payable when you sell the business (unless at that time you’re living in a nil tax country) enabling you to grow your capital far quicker during the lifetime of your business thanks to the power of compounding.

 

Similarly, if a product that you sell doesn’t perform and a customer tries to sue you the good news is your personal assets should not be at risk as the customer has contracted with a limited liability Company (ie the Company carries the legal risk, not you personally). Moreover, having your business incorporated Offshore in a foreign/strange land is of itself a deterrent. (Have you ever tried to sue/get money out of an “Offshore” Company? It’s the Litigation Lawyers equivalent of climbing Mount Everest!)

 

Local laws can have an impact. Hence you should seek local legal/tax/financial advice before committing to set up an IBC for such purposes.

 

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

 

www.offshoreincorporate.com

 

info@offshorecompaniesinternational.com

 

ocil@protonmail.com

 

oci@tutanota.com

 

oci@safe-mail.net

 

ociceo@hushmail.com

 

Why Set Up a Private Trust Company (PTC)?

A Private Trust Company (PTC) is, essentially, a company which possesses Trustee powers and which does not conduct Trust business with the general public, its sole purpose being to act as a Trustee of a Family Trust or a group/series of related Trusts.

 

As long as certain criteria are fulfilled the PTC will not have to obtain a licence to carry out Trust Company business.

 

A PTC can be particularly useful for wealthy families who either do not wish to relinquish control to professional Trustees or where the Trust fund is to be invested in assets, which a professional trustee may be reluctant to deal with, such as works of art or family businesses.

 

Key features:

  • The board of the PTC may consist of family members or trusted advisors. The residence of the PTC’s directors may have an impact on the underlying Trust’s tax status so professional advice is recommended. Generally, a company is classed as being resident for tax purposes in the jurisdiction where mind, management and control are exercised. Care needs to be taken to ensure that the Directors of the PTC are not deemed to be resident in a high tax jurisdiction;
  • Representatives of the Trust Company business are appointed to the board to ensure appropriate governance;
  • The PTC may be owned in a variety of ways such as by a Purpose Trust or a Foundation for confidentiality purposes;
  • The professional service provider acts as an administrator of the structure and assists the board of the PTC with corporate governance and Trustee considerations.

 

Advantages:

 

Control – By retaining the power to appoint the directors of the PTC the Settlor, whether or not a director themselves, will experience a high degree of control over how the Trust is run. The Settlor and his/her family have an opportunity to be involved in the management, investment and disposition of the trust assets.

 

In Depth Knowledge – Allows family members and their advisors to bring their varied knowledge onto the Board. Particularly useful if the underlying assets are complex, high risk or part of the family business.

 

Succession Planning – By engaging younger family members in the management of family assets, and involving them in the decision-making process, a training program is instituted preparing the younger generation to effectively and responsibly manage wealth.

 

Diversity of Asset Base – Professional Trustees may be reluctant to hold certain assets therefore a PTC allows greater choice as to what investments may be made with the Trust fund.

 

Continuity – The administrator may change but the PTC will remain as the Trustee providing continuity of asset ownership.

 

OCI can assist you to incorporate a Private Trust Company in Nevis, Seychelles, BVI and the Cook Islands.

 

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

 

www.offshoreincorporate.com

 

info@offshorecompaniesinternational.com

 

ocil@protonmail.com

 

oci@tutanota.com

 

oci@safe-mail.net

 

ociceo@hushmail.com

 

DISCLAIMER: OCI is a Company/Trust/LLC/LP/Foundation Formation Agency. We are not tax advisers or legal advisers. You are advised to seek local legal/tax/financial advice in regards to your local reporting/tax requirements before committing to set up or use an Offshore Company or other entity.

 

 

Mauritius Trust Setups

Offshore Trusts have been used for decades as high end Asset Protection vehicles.

 

Whilst Jurisdictions such as the Channel Islands, BVI and the Cook Islands have historically captured much of that business, with Compliance and cost in the traditional Trust jurisdictions increasing markedly in the past few years, new players are beginning to make a significant in the market place. This article examines one such offering ie the Mauritius Trust.

 

Mauritius Overview

 

Mauritius is a group of lush tropical islands in the south western Indian Ocean and is located northeast of Madagascar and some 1,000 miles southwest of Seychelles. A former French and British colony, Mauritius offers:

 

  • A British system of law and parliament
  • Political/economic stability
  • A well-developed Financial Services Sector; and
  • A well-educated productive bi-lingual French/English speaking workforce.

 

Since gaining independence from Britain in 1968 the Mauritian economy has grown steadily from one reliant on agriculture to a more diversified economy with Tourism, Financial Services and Agriculture (primarily sugar cane) as its 3 economic pillars. This has seen a resulting rise in standard of living from low to middle income delivering levels of economic and political stability which are the envy of the region.

 

Whilst better known as a Banking Centre (Mauritius boasts at least 3 world standard “Offshore” Banks) Mauritius offers two forms of nil tax Offshore Company ie the GBC1 ( a domestic designed to do business or hold shares in companies based in DTA Treaty partner countries) along with a cutting edge Private Foundation and Offshore Trust Product.

 

Why a Mauritius Trust?

A Mauritius Trust gives the Settlor the requisite protection and comfort for a long term wealth management under the Trust. Family assets are preserved over generations with most tax efficiency, succession laws, forced heirship rules, probate and other hurdles are avoided. Once a Trust is set up it can own companies to own and manage any family business or wealth.

 

Trust Migration

Trusts can migrate to and from Mauritius. For example Trusts in Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man and other jurisdictions can migrate to Mauritius and vice versa. The tendency over the last 5 years has been for trust to migrate to Mauritius because of various benefits.

 

Trust Registration & Confidentiality

A Mauritius Trust is not required to be registered anywhere thus providing confidentiality. A Trustee may register the Trust with the Registrar General to receive a “date certaine” which is registering the date of creation of the Trust.

 

Trust Assets: What can be held in a Mauritius Trust?

Mauritius Trust assets can consist of:

  • Real estate (commercial or residential)
  • Shares in companies, funds, unit trusts
  • Investments
  • Insurance policies
  • Other assets

 

A Protector: do you need one?

Under the Mauritius Trust Act, a Protector can also be appointed to oversee certain decisions of the Trustee. The powers of a Protector are not prescriptive but will vary on the particular circumstances.

 

Key features of a Mauritius Trust:

  • Choice of proper law by the Settlor.
  • Possibility for the Settlor to leave on or before his death letters of wishes setting out how he/she would wish the trust to be administered
  • Anti-forced heirship rules
  • Recognition of Purpose Trusts
  • Duration of other Trusts limited to 99 years or less
  • Possibility to accumulate income for any period during the duration of the trust
  • No perpetuity rules for Charitable Trusts
  • Trust instrument may contain power to vary terms of trust
  • No disclosure of the trustees’ deliberations, the name of the Settlors and the Beneficiaries unless the latter is a Mauritian resident or a body corporate resident in Mauritius
  • Trusts not being void or voidable due to the insolvency of Settlor or proceedings against him or latter being declared bankrupt. However, such trust may be void if the creditors prove beyond reasonable doubt that the intention of the Settlor at the time of the creating the trust was to defraud him. The onus of proof rests on the creditor and no request for setting aside the trust will be entertained after more than 2 years from the transfer or disposal to the trust
  • Trust can apply for a Global Business Licence – Category 1 and benefit from double taxation treaties.

 

A Trust created in Mauritius can provide for, amongst other things:

  • Restrictions / controls over the enjoyment of property
  • Multiple enjoyment or consolidation of ownership
  • The holding ,protecting and controlling of family wealth
  • Asset protection against political, family or economic uncertainty
  • Commercial transactions
  • Overseas ownership of property while retaining beneficial enjoyment
  • Strict confidentiality of the identity of the settlor, the beneficiaries and information relating to trust affairs
  • Minimizing estate taxes or other inheritance taxes

 

Taxation

 

A Mauritius Trust can elect to be non-resident by the Trustee filing a declaration to that effect with the Commissioner of Income Tax and be exempted from all income tax. All distribution made to non-resident beneficiaries of the Trust are also exempt income tax.

 

We offer the following MauritiusTrust Formation & Administration Services:

 

 Advice on Trust structuring

 Drafting of Trust Deeds (including for Discretionary Trusts, Unit Trusts, Purpose Trusts, Charitable Trusts and more)

 Registration

 Structuring advice

 Resident Trustee services

 Nominee Settlor services

 Calling of (and taking minutes for) Trustees and Beneficiaries’ meetings

 Bank account signatory services

 Assistance with Trust Bank account establishment

 Advising on and signing of agreements

 Attending to changes of beneficiaries, variation of Trust Deeds etc

 Offshore Trust accounting services

 And more

 

OCI Mauritius Trust Package

 

At OCI we believe in giving you more for your money than would the average Trust formation service. Hence included in the registration package for your Mauritius Trust is the following:

 

Services:

 

  • Unlimited name availability inquiries
  • Advice from an experienced International Corporate Lawyer on how to structure your Trust
  • Preparation (overseen by a lawyer) of application to register the Trust
  • Preparation (overseen by a lawyer) of the Trust Deed
  • Attending to filing the Trust registration request with the registry
  • Attending to payment of government filing fees
  • One year’s Registered Trustee’s service in the country of registration
  • One year’s Registered Office service in the country of registration
  • Mailing address in the country of registration
  • Delivery of registration pack by international courier (ie DHL/Fedex/TNT etc)
  • Unlimited free legal consultations for 12 months

 

Documents included in your Incorp pack:

 

 Certificate of Registration

 A sealed/stamped copy of the filed registration application

 Resolution by Trustee accepting appointment

 Resolution to open a bank account

 Resolution to appoint a lawyer for the Trust

 Resolution to appoint an accountant for the Trust

 Sample/template letter of wishes

 Resolution appointing you as the Trust’s authorised representative in commercial negotiations

 Resolution appointing you as Investment adviser to the Trustee

 Agreement authorising you to represent the company in commercial negotiations

 Agreement appointing you as Investment adviser to the Trustee

 

Price (all inclusive): $US2,990

From 2nd year $US2,500

 

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

 

www.offshoreincorporate.com

 

info@offshorecompaniesinternational.com

 

ocil@protonmail.com

 

oci@tutanota.com

 

oci@safe-mail.net

 

ociceo@hushmail.com

 

DISCLAIMER: OCI is a Company/Trust/LLC/LP/Foundation Formation Agency. We are not tax advisers or legal advisers. You are advised to seek local legal/tax/financial advice in regards to your local reporting/tax requirements before committing to set up or use an Offshore Company or other entity.