Offshore limited companies play a vital role in international business and financial systems, and continue to offer businesses and individuals the possibility of conducting their affairs discreetly and safely overseas with satisfactory results.
Offshore Limited Companies - Main Features:
- Do not generate any income in the jurisdiction where they are incorporated, so their services cannot be offered to local residents and companies of that jurisdiction
- Cannot be locally incorporated or registered by local residents
- Are tax exempt entities
Offshore Limited Company Benefits:
- Preferential tax havens treatment – Because all income is sourced outside the jurisdiction, offshore limited companies are not subject to local taxation. They are able to lease or administer offices from which their overseas business is managed or carried out. An offshore limited can have professional relationships with local lawyers and accountants, and hold offshore bank accounts in the jurisdiction since these activities are not considered to be trade or commerce.
- Flexibility – Most jurisdiction legally allow an offshore limited to be formed with only one member. The company must have at least one director and one shareholder – both roles can be assumed by a single individual. Also, offshore limited companies can be owned and controlled by legal entities as well as natural persons. A corporation can therefore incorporate an offshore limited and be its director and shareholder. An offshore limited is legally able to amend its constitution by changing members, share capital and amending other aspects of the company as long as these amendments comply with the relevant law.
- No filing necessary – An offshore limited is required to keep its books and records, and in the event that these are requested by the jurisdiction should be able to be retrieved. However, it is not normally required that an offshore limited files or submits its books and records to the authorities or its formation agent in the jurisdiction where it was incorporated.
- Privacy – Offshore limited companies are protected by austere confidentiality laws which forbid agents or anyone who comes in contact with the details of an offshore limited to disclose that information to any person or offshore corporation without first obtaining the consent of the owners of the offshore limited. Also, should a legal matter arise, information about an offshore limited can only be given upon order of the court, and even in this case, justifiable reason must be given to the registered agent of the offshore limited, since such information cannot be simply given ‘only because’ the court or other legal professionals demands it.
- International trade – Offshore limited companies are established to carry on any type of business in compliance with its governing legislation. An offshore limited is an international business company and is able to trade in any part of the world. But, the activities of an offshore limited must be legal and not in contravention of the laws of any of the countries or territories that is operates in.
Offshore limited companies or UK limited companies are popularly used because of an increased understanding of the benefits and uses of an offshore limited company. Offshore jurisdictions are well equipped technologically and are able to deliver offshore limited companies with reliable and quality services. Offshore jurisdictions are generally marked by social, political and economic stability and strong privacy laws.
Shipping, marketing, telecommunications, advertising, legal and financial consultancy and services are just a few of the services that offshore limited companies can undertake. Offshore limited companies can open branches, access new markets, invest, and own offshore corporations. The members of an offshore limited are required by law to operate in accordance with the legislation that regulates the affairs and management of the offshore limited company.