July 27th, 2018

Advantages of Offshore Companies

The potential benefits of a properly structured offshore company are numerous.

Offshore companies offer benefits to an existing business or to an individual on a multitude of levels: offshore asset protection, confidentiality, enhanced privacy, tax savings or simply growing your business outside of the UK.

Conducting business and undertaking banking transactions in the name of a legal entity, such as an offshore corporation, provides significant privacy and confidentiality benefits. The names of the officers, directors and shareholders can be excluded from the company's documentation in many jurisdictions. Most offshore financial centres will not divulge the beneficial owners or officers within the offshore corporations, to a third party

However, exceptions will be made in the event that an act of terrorism or criminal activity has taken place and is being investigated.

Asset protection

The placing of assets into offshore corporations and overseas legal structures can provide a strong layer of protection from future liabilities. By having trusts, investments or bank accounts and other assets owned by your offshore corporation, it makes tracking them down via an asset search difficult. Offshore companies provide highly effective asset protection and effectively screen your finances from public view.

Legal protection through incorporation offshore

Forming an offshore company and having assets held by the overseas company means they are no longer associated with your name. If a legal opponent is pursuing a legal action against you, it typically involves an asset search to make sure there will be money to pay out, in the event a judgment is awarded against you. Therefore, your assets can be effectively shielded from legal opponents, judge and court rulings simply by incorporating offshore.

Tax Optimisation

One of the main offshore company benefits is that they are generally “tax neutral” meaning they are often tax exempt in the country of incorporation or they pay a low or nil effective rate of taxation when used as a holding company receiving dividend income for instance. Properly structured and administered, this may result in a reduction, delay or even complete elimination of the tax burden.

Simplicity

One often overlooked offshore company benefit is the relative simplicity of the setting up an offshore company and thereafter maintaining it. Offshore company formation in many jurisdictions is a quick and seamless process and at Stanley Davis Group we aim to make this process as simple as possible.

After incorporation an offshore company benefits from more flexible regulations in terms of accounting requirements and public fillings compared to “onshore” companies.

Low Capital Requirements

Offshore companies typically provide flexibility in terms of structuring of the capital of the entity. This often includes very low minimum paid up capital requirements.

Renowned offshore locations

The following locations are well-known offshore locations:

  • Belize
  • Nevis
  • Bahamas
  • The British Virgin Islands
  • Seychelles
  • Cayman Islands
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Cyprus
  • Ireland

There are many other jurisdictions worldwide providing offshore company legislation, and choosing the most suitable jurisdiction requires careful consideration as there are many factors to consider, for example the political and economic stability of the particular jurisdiction. Consideration should also be given to the statutory compliance requirements, exchange controls, banking facilities, double taxation treaties as well as the cost of incorporation and professional services in the desired offshore jurisdiction. Always take professional advice.

Our Offshore & Technical team are on hand to assist you with any questions you may have. They can assist in the formation of companies all over the world. We have local agents in all the major jurisdictions to ensure that matters are dealt with quickly and efficiently. We deal with the registration and ongoing management of offshore companies in many jurisdictions. We can also offer the services of professional Directors and Shareholders.

For additional advice please contact our Offshore & Technical department on 020 7554 2261.

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