How can I use an Offshore Company for international trade eg import and export?


With its 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, Seychelles etc) has risen to become the preferred International Business entity for discerning investors and entrepreneurs the world over.


Advantages include:

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

Practical Uses for IBCs: Case Study 1: International (i.e. cross-border) trading


IBCs are commonly used by Exporters and Importers alike.

Trading profits resulting from the sale of goods in such situations are not taxed in the country of incorporation.

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


  • The purchase of the goods in the above example should not give rise to taxation in Country A, and
  • 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


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