How to Transfer of Ownership of An Onshore Company to an Offshore Company

I’m often asked “Can I transfer ownership of my (onshore) Company to an Offshore Company and if so how do I go about it?”


To transfer ownership of an Onshore Company to an Offshore Company is a fairly simple process.


First up you need to effect  a Share Transfer.


To achieve this all you should require is a stock transfer form to be signed by the current holder/s of the shares and deposited at the Company’s Corporate Registry.


To minimise the chances of the legality of the transfer ever being questioned you should:


(a)   Ensure that the Onshore Company and IBC both sign a share sale agreement (ie a sale and purchase agreement)

(b)   The sale should be seen to be on normal commercial terms (such as would otherwise exist between buyer and seller “at arm’s length”)

(c)    The price paid for the shares should be seen to be fair market value


How do you determine, or buy at, fair market value?


By either:


(a)   Advertising the shares for sale publicly and matching the price of the highest bidder; or

(b)   Have a Licensed Valuer or a Certifier Practising Accountant review the Company’s books of account and place a value on the shares


Before committing to effect such a transfer you should seek local legal and tax advice as local transfer duties etc may apply.



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