The Bahamas is a chain of islands comprising 5,358 square miles, located 40-50 miles east of Florida, it has a population of 300,000. Most Bahamians live in two major urban centers: Nassau (its capital) and Freeport.
The Bahamas is a member of the British Commonwealth, but maintains absolute independence in government matters (Government of the Bahamas). It is well served by International Accountants, International Banks, and long established Law Firms, and an advanced telecommunications service.
Apart from tourism, the Banking and Finance sector is the second most important aspect of the Bahamian economy. The Bahamas is one of the largest offshore financial centers in the hemisphere with over 400 banks, trust companies and other licensed financial institutions. It is renowned for its tax haven status and banking secrecy. Since the International Business Companies Act 1989 came into effect in 1990, The Bahamas has become one of the most popular areas for registering an I. B. C. (Banks and Trust companies in the Bahamas).
Advantages of Bahamas Offshore Companies (IBC’s)
The IBC: The International Business Companies Act established a corporate entity, which requires the minimum of administration. Total secrecy and anonymity is maintained, and there is no need to disclose the beneficial owners of the Company. There is no requirement to file annual returns or financial statements, or to hold annual general meetings of the shareholders or directors. Meetings of shareholders and/or directors may be held in any country and same may attend meetings by proxy or by electronic means (telephone, facsimile etc. ).
The word “Limited" may be used in a Company's name. However, use of the following words is restricted: “Assurance", “Bank", “Building Society", “Chamber of Commerce", “Chartered", “Cooperative", “Imperial", “Insurance", “Municipal", “Royal", “Trust", or any word conveying a similar meaning. Endings such as “Limited", “Incorporated", “Société Anonyme", or “Sociedad Anónima" or its abbreviations may be used.
There is a number of existing offshore companies for sale. These offshore companies have never traded or engaged in any transaction whatsoever.
The standard capital is $50,000.00 USD, divided into 50,000 shares of $1.00 USD each which may be issued as Bearer or as Registered shares, at the discretion of the Directors. Capital up to the equivalent of $50,000.00 USD attracts the smallest license fee - $250.00 USD. Directors Meetings may be held in any part of the world. There are no limitations as to their number or nationality of shareholders.
Bearer, Nominative, par or no par value shares, as desired.
Shareholders’ meetings may be held in any part of the world. The format will depend on what is set forth in the Articles of Association.
Registered Agent/Registered Office
The IBC Act requires that every offshore company (IBC) have a Registered Office and a Registered Agent, qualified to act as such, in The Bahamas. In our standard Memorandum of Association, our own office is the Registered Office and we act as the Registered Agent of the IBC in The Bahamas.
Income of IBCs is exempt from income tax in The Bahamas. This includes all dividends, interest, rents, royalties, compensations, capital gains realized with respect to any shares, debt obligations or other securities, and any other amounts paid to the company. In addition to this, no estate, inheritance, succession or gift tax, rate, duty, levy or other charge is payable with respect to shares, debt obligations or other securities of a company incorporated under the IBC Act.
An IBC, being an offshore company, is a company that cannot:
- Carry on business with residents of The Bahamas;
- Own an interest in real property situated in The Bahamas or a lease of real property other than a lease of property for use as an office from which to communicate with members or where books and records of the company are prepared or maintained;
- Carry on banking and/or trust business;
- Carry on business as an insurance or reinsurance company; or
- Carry on the business of providing the registered office for companies
Bruce Stander is the Director of UK based Worldwide Corporate Services, specialists in offshore company formation .