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Offshore Companies

Introduction

There is no magic or mystery surrounding offshore companies. This may sound simplistic, but an offshore company is essentially the same as any other company. Thus an offshore company can carry out the same types of business as companies incorporated in onshore areas and like other companies the liability of its shareholders is generally limited to the amount of capital they have put in to the company.

The major difference between an onshore company and an offshore company is that the rate of tax applied by the government in the jurisdiction in which an offshore company is incorporated is either very low or zero. Additionally some offshore companies are easier to administer and more confidential than onshore companies.

Of course the rules and regulations surrounding the establishment and management of offshore companies are slightly different in every offshore jurisdiction.

Why do our clients use offshore companies?

  • Save tax
  • Protect assets and reduce risk
  • Reduce costs
  • Maintain privacy
  • Avoid unwarranted bureaucracy

Uses of offshore companies?

  • Investment Holding
  • Trading
  • Property Investment
  • Financing
  • Patent, Royalty and Copyright Holding
  • Entertainment, Consultancy and Professional Services
  • Ship Management and Yacht Owning
  • International e-commerce Operations

Administration and Management

In general the formation of an offshore company is simple – Holborn Management Services will do this for you!

What really requires thought is management and administration. Thus we strongly encourage our clients to consider the administration and management of an offshore company from the inception of their plans.

A common misconception is that a company must be administered in its place of incorporation. This is not the case and it is often beneficial to have a company incorporated in one jurisdiction administered elsewhere.

Confidentiality and Privacy

Pursuant to international regulations concerning the prevention of drug trafficking and money laundering HMS strictly implements Anti Money Laundering Procedures which comply with the laws, rules and guidelines issued by the various offshore Governments.

Whilst we respect and honour your privacy and respect any need you may have for confidentiality, we are committed to undertaking a full and thorough due diligence of both our clients’ identities and the nature of their businesses. To this end, we need to be fully appraised of both the rationale behind the establishment of any corporate or trust structure and its modus operandi. This formal approach to due diligence benefits both HMS and our clients.

To assist clients to keep their affairs private and to prevent unwarranted intrusion our partners provide the following core services:

  • Professional Directors
  • Nominee Shareholders
  • Bank account signatories
  • Administrative assistance
  • Communication services, such as telephone and facsimile handling

The following extra services are available:

Directors

We are able to provide professional directors to act on the instructions of clients. It is important to understand that our directors’ liabilities are exactly the same as those of any other director. Therefore when we are asked to provide directors we need to know exactly what sort of business the company is undertaking and to monitor and control its activities on a day to day basis. In many countries directors have to be real people – individuals like you. However, in many offshore centres, corporate directors are permitted. These are companies that act as directors of other companies.

Powers of Attorney

Nominee Shareholders

For those clients seeking privacy in their affairs we provide a “nominee shareholders service”. We have formed nominee companies in many jurisdictions around the world and their sole purpose is to hold shares on behalf of clients. To protect our clients’ interest the nominee companies enter in to a contract known as a “declaration of trust” with the owners of the company that prevents the nominee company from acting without instructions from the owners.

Beneficial Ownership

The beneficial owner of a company is the person who ultimately owns a company. All banks will require the identity of the beneficial owner of an offshore company to be disclosed before opening any accounts.

Company Secretary

In most common law jurisdictions a Company Secretary is required. This person is responsible for maintaining the statutory books of a company and filing annual returns. In some jurisdictions corporate company secretaries may be corporate bodies whilst in others, company secretaries must possess qualifications and be resident in the country of incorporation.

Capital

The capital of the company is the funding provided by the shareholders. In some jurisdictions the capital of the company must be held in a particular currency. The authorised capital is the maximum amount of capital that may be injected in to a company and the issued capital is the amount that has been paid up by the shareholders. Shareholders liability is generally limited to the amount of paid up capital.

In most offshore jurisdictions the minimum issued capital is low. Increase in authorised capital beyond a certain level is often subject to capital taxes. We generally form offshore companies with the maximum amount of authorised capital allowed for the minimum capital taxes.

Registered Office and Registered Agent

The registered office is the place where the company’s books must be maintained and often these books must be available for public inspection at the registered office. The registered office is the place where official and legal documents should

In some jurisdictions, a qualified resident agent must be appointed. In these cases the resident agent maintains certain information about the company. Our partners provide registered office and resident agent for all of our clients.

Examples of companies that HMS can create are:

  • Consultancy Company
  • Employment Company
  • Financing Company
  • UK Property Company
  • Free Zone Companies

For further information and assistance with setting up off-shore companies, please contact Tony Walker who can be contacted on +971 (0) 4 4573 888 or tony.walker@holbornassets.com

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