If you are new to the offshore world with its advantages and opportunities, you probably experience difficulties with where to start and what exactly to do in the first turn and next. Setting up of an offshore structure is a “do-it-yourself” thing for many small businesses. Even larger companies, in terms of the crisis, look beyond cushy relationships and actually start questioning how much they spend on outsourced advisors.
The following tiny guide to using offshore instruments should be of assistance to you to setup your offshore solution.
Step 1. Define Your Reasons for Going Offshore
- Protect your assets from claims, lawsuits, or excessive taxation.
- Optimize taxation on your business proceeds.
- Increase your financial privacy and confidentiality with offshore banking.
- Expand your business freedom worldwide and enjoy less bureaucratic laws of another jurisdictions.
- Secure yourself for times of personal or governmental strife with second passport and citizenship.
- State your own reason if not listed.
Step 2. Contact an Independent Advisor
to build a proper offshore scheme including the most appropriate:
a. Offshore instrument
- Personal bank account for savings and investments
- Business account for your company
- Tax-free offshore company (International Business Company, IBC, non-resident company)
- Offshore insurance company (“captive” insurance company)
- Holding company
- Offshore trust or investment fund
- Shelf or vintage company
- Low-tax solution through incorporation in a high-tax jurisdiction
- Second citizenship and second passport
- Nominee service
- Virtual office (telephone answering, message and fax forwarding) and mail-forwarding services
b. Offshore jurisdiction
Anguilla, Belize, BVI, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominica, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, Labuan (Malaysia), Mauritius, New Zealand, Panama, Seychelles, UAE, UK or else.
Step 3. Choose a Bank for You or Your Company
Define your requirements to the banker’s profile: minimum deposit requirement, monthly fees, transaction charges, internet banking, credit cards, cheque facilities, necessity to visit the bank personally, required KYC documents.
Choose a decent bank from available options in one of the popular international financial centers:
Cyprus, Dominica, Isle of Man, Latvia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Panama, Seychelles, Singapore, Switzerland and others.
It is always recommended to define yourself with the bank before you go for incorporation. Knowing opening procedure and requirements of your bank of choice will save you time and money for making necessary company documents. Naturally, it would be prudent to establish a contact with the banker in advance to get reliable information.
Note that many registered agents in different jurisdictions often offer bank introduction services for some extra charge. Consider these options in the first turn, but bear in mind that this service is quite nominee. In most cases, you will get applications and minimum instructions how to proceed with the account opening, other than that it is still between you and the bank. If you have to go on your own, why to pay for what you can get free.
Step. 4. Go for Incorporation
- Place an order for incorporation with the registered agent in the jurisdiction of choice.
- Get and pay your invoice.
- Prepare and provide the agent with the necessary ID documents.
- Receive the company’s documents by courier mail.
- Check if the received papers correspond with what you originally requested from the agent in your order for incorporation.
Step 5. Proceed with Bank Account Opening
- Complete the necessary application forms.
- Prepare the required client’s ID documents.
- Enclose the required company’s documents.
- Visit the bank if a personal interview is required, or ship the prepared documents by courier mail (like Fedex, UPS or else), if the bank of choice accepts applications by mail.
The bank officer will contact you back and hold your hands through the further process up to the moment the account is activated.
Step 6. Keep the Company in Good Standing
After you successfully setup your offshore solution and it’s working as you planned, don’t forget about ongoing maintenance of your structure:
- Pay annual fees and follow annual reporting requirements to your offshore company.
- Keep it in good standing with your banker to maintain your bank account active. Some bankers may want to see a certificate of good standing for your company on annual basis or request other documents.
We only name here our preferred jurisdictions and instruments, but the choice is much wider. Should you have not found the desired instrument or jurisdiction among the above listed, please feel free to ask.
We can assist you with every step. If you need help, please contact us.