Offshore company formation is easier than onshore incorporation.
You can have set up your company in 2-3 weeks.
Few things to consider before starting your offshore company:
What company form do you need?
How many persons will be involved in the company?
Which offshore jurisdiction is the best?
What extra services do you need? Offshore bank account, nominees?
Offshore Company Legal Form
Most popular offshore jurisdictions: Belize, Seychelles, BVI, and Anguilla, are IBCs, which is short for International Business Company. They are called BCs in BVI, but there is virtually no difference between an IBC and an BC.
IBC – International Business Company
An IBC is similar to a private limited company. It has a board of directors, shares, and a share capital, but the shares cannot be publicly traded.
There are several hundred thousand IBCs registered throughout the world. It is the most common legal form for offshore companies.
IBC can often use a wide range of suffixes: Ltd, Limited, Inc, Incorporated, Corp., Corporation, S.A., et cetera. Not all jurisdictions allow this. The Seychelles is among the most lenient.
Private Limited Company
Other common legal form is private limited or variants thereof. This includes local variants, such as:
Sociedad Anónima (S.A.): Panama, Costa Rica, Uruguay.
Aktiengesellschaft (AG): Switzerland, Liechtenstein.
Société Anonyme (S.A.): Luxembourg, Monaco, Switzerland, and Lebanon.
Private limited companies rely on non-residence or territorial taxation. Offshore Funds are tax exempt for non resident. Confidentiality is not as strict, with names of directors and in some cases shareholders often appearing on public record. This can usually be mitigated by using nominees or corporate directors and shareholders, where the corporate entity is an IBC. These are required to perform bookkeeping and lodge tax returns.
Limited Liability Company
These are not particularly common in offshore jurisdictions but there are a couple of offshore jurisdictions where you can form an LLC:
Anguilla, Belize (Limited Duration Company, maximum 50 years), Costa Rica (Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada), Marshall Islands, Panama (Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada), Saint Kitts and Nevis, USA (most famously Delaware)
The Best Offshore Incorporation Jurisdictions
The most popular offshore jurisdictions are:
Belize (IBC), Seychelles (IBC), British Virgin Islands (BVI) – BC, Panama – Private Limited (Sociedad Anónima), Hong Kong – Private Limited, Mauritius – GBC II
The costs to incorporate in the Cayman Islands are significantly higher than other jurisdictions and Bermuda has moved away from tax exempt trading companies.
List of popular additional offshore jurisdictions for incorporations:
Anguilla (IBC), Bahamas (IBC), Costa Rica – Private Limited (Sociedad Anónima), Cyprus – Private Limited (non-resident), Dominican Republic (IBC), Gibraltar – Private Limited, Malta – Private Limited, Samoa (IBC), Saint Kitts and Nevis – LLC, United Arab Emirates (UAE): Dubai & Ras al-Khaimah (RAK)
Picking the right jurisdiction is not easy. It should be done together with a qualified adviser and after doing your own research.