Whether it is to save taxes, achieve greater business freedom, protect assets, minimize reporting, or maintain privacy, having an offshore company (a company that conducts business outside the country of incorporation) can be an optimum business solution. Offshore company formation is popular amongst international entrepreneurs, independent contractors, consultants and traders.
Setting up an offshore company is simple with the help of a corporate services company. The typical set up procedures are as follows:
1) The hired consulting company collects the required due diligence from the client.
2) The consulting company provides the client with a detailed project plan, which includes steps to incorporate the potential offshore company.
3) The consulting company proceeds to register the offshore company with the suitable corporate structure. This requires minimal client involvement.
4) After registration is complete, the consulting company will provide the client a complete company kit including i) original Certificate of Incorporation ii) a bound copy of government-approved Memorandum & Articles iii) original share certificates iv) an extract from the Public Register illustrating company details available for public viewing (if applicable) and v) an original government receipt as evidence of payment of annual offshore company registration license fees.
5) For invoicing purposes, the consulting company will provide the client with a reputable international business address, telephone and fax line.
It is important to note that exact offshore company set up procedures and the duration vary according to the jurisdiction. It is important to choose a respectable jurisdiction that is free of any negative stigma of illegal activities, such as money laundering and tax evasion.
Examples of popular jurisdictions in which to set up an offshore company smoothly and relatively quickly are Singapore and Hong Kong. These two ideal offshore jurisdictions boast excellent international reputations to customers, suppliers, investors, banks and other organisations. For example, Singapore and Hong Kong have strict client confidentiality and bank secrecy laws and are not listed on OECD black or grey lists. This is important, as they are not given any tax haven stigma. Singapore and Hong Kong also have investor-friendly business environments and are economically and politically stable.
Regardless of jurisdiction, after offshore company incorporation, it is advisable to consider the additional ways your corporate services firm can assist your offshore company to prosper. Services may include financial services, such as assisting corporate bank account opening, business website design and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), marketing services and human resource services, such as staff recruitment and obtaining employment visas.
Setting up an offshore company under the guidance of a corporate services firm will help to ensure smooth company registration and also provides the strategic advice for successful business operation.