Seychelles is booming as an International Offshore Financial Centre. It has recorded the highest percentages of growth in respect of new company registrations of any Offshore Centre for each of the past 4 years in succession….
It’s actually quite simple:
1. Seychelles is staunchly economically independent and is beholden to no one. It has relied on developing its commercial fishing sector, its offshore financial services sector and in particular its tourism sector to maintain its economic independence through some tough times in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It is a policy which is now reaping serious dividends with no less than 30 new 4/5 star Hotel projects either under construction or approved for commencement, and an upsurge of business activity generally.
2. When Seychelles first kicked off as an IOFC back in 1994 it modeled its laws directly on those of the British Virgin Islands (“BVI”), the best known privacy haven and most successful Offshore Centre of the past 25 years (in fact we copied their International Business Companies Act word for word).
3. BVI however and most of the world’s major Offshore Centres of the past 30 years (eg The Channel Islands, Bahamas, Anguilla, Turks & Caicos, The Netherlands Antillles, Monaco etc) are either British or European dependent territories and have close economic ties (and in most cases tax information sharing treaties) with the EU, and/or the UK and/or the USA. Panama whilst, on paper an independent republic, has close economic ties with USA (eg the same currency) and has in place an information sharing treaty with the US.
4. As such with the push from the OECD to try and harmonize international tax rates BVI and most (if not all) of these centers have been forced to (or are under huge pressure to) dilute their IBC’s privacy features. Most are also faced with the massive handicap of being required, pursuant to the terms of their respective treaties, to hand over tax/company ownership information on demand to the big brother countries.
5. Seychelles is a totally independent republic and has not signed any such tax information sharing treaties. Hence the influx of both new IBC formations and of companies from the Caribbean looking to migrate to a more secure privacy haven.
Seychelles IBC Privacy Features and Benefits
The Seychelles IBC has peerless privacy/security features including:
No Public registers: There is no public register of Shareholders or Directors in Seychelles and Company Formation Agents are not required to disclose to the Registry details of the IBC’s underlying “beneficial” owner/s.
Nominee Shareholders and Directors are permitted: A Nominee may act as the Shareholder and/or Director of a Seychelles IBC.
Other Offshore Companies can act as Nominee: As a further safeguard to your privacy another Offshore Company can be engaged to act as Nominee Shareholder or Director of your Seychelles IBC thereby doubling your IBC’s privacy protection!
Total Financial Privacy: There is no requirement to file Accounts or Annual Company Returns for Seychelles IBCs. This results in less cost per year in real terms and added privacy as the Company’s asset holdings and financial records remain secret.
No Outside Interference: Seychelles is staunchly independent and has no economic ties with the US or the EU or the UK or Australia and, (unlike the BVI and many of our competitors) HAS NOT SIGNED (nor is it under any pressure to sign) any information sharing agreements with the US or the EU or the UK or the Australian Internal Revenue Services.
Bearer Shares are permitted: In Seychelles we are permitted to issue shares certificates containing no names (eg which say that “the owner of this share is the bearer hereof”) and unlike Panama, in Seychelles there is no restriction on the movement or use of Bearer shares.
If foreign government/tax officials were to come snooping for information here, they would hit a series of brick walls:
1. The registry has no record of who owns the IBCs registered here.
2. The Seychelles Company Formation agents are not required to, (nor allowed to), hand over ownership information to anyone.
3. If a foreign government wanted to find out who owns a particular company they would need to firstly make an application to the Seychelles Supreme Court
4. The Court would only hear the application if evidence were tendered to it upfront of serious criminal activity in connection with a particular company eg drug trafficking, money laundering, criminal tax evasion, terrorist activities.
Learn more about the fees and incorporation in the Seychelles
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