offshore company formation tax havens Home

Bahamas Offshore Company Formation

The offshore tax haven of the Bahamas is located in the Caribbean near the North American continent. The group of islands which are estimated to be seven hundred provide quality offshore services to clients from around the world. The offshore tax haven of the Bahamas has successfully incorporated over 80, 000 international business companies (IBCs). Among many high quality offshore services offered in the Bahamas are offshore company formation, the formation o foundations and offshore trusts, the registration of ships and offshore banking.

The Bahamas International Business Act which regulates offshore companies was first passed in 1989.Since then this important piece of legislation has been amended many times (1941,2001,2004) to make Bahamas international Business companies more modern and competitive. The formation of offshore companies in the offshore jurisdiction of the Bahamas would include the completion of a Memorandum of Association and an Articles of Association. This is normally completed by registered agents who according to offshore companies’ legislation in the jurisdiction must be used for offshore company formation in the Bahamas. The information to be included in the documents is:

  • The proposed name of the offshore corporation
  • The name and address of the registered agent
  • The registered address of the corporation
  • The purpose for forming the offshore company
  • The amount of share capital
  • The currency in which the shares for the company will be issued
  • A company limited by shares must state if it is to issue share with or without par value and the amount of each to be issued
  • A company which is limited by guarantee must state the contribution of each member and the extent to which is member is liable
  • Unlimited liability companies must state that members have unlimited liability
  • The number and classes of issues to be issued
  • The rights privileges, powers and restrictions of each type of share must be included
  • The by-laws of the company

The Memorandum of Association must be signed by two subscribers and filed with the Registrar of Companies who will issue a certificate of incorporation if all the necessary information was filed. Offshore company registration in the Bahamas normally takes one working day. Since all the transactions for offshore company formation can be completed by agents in Bahamas there is usually no need for the beneficial owners of the company to travel to the jurisdiction.

Offshore companies in the Bahamas will not be registered if the name chosen has already been sued or requested by another company. Offshore companies incorporated in the Bahamas must show that they are limited liability companies by adding one of the following words or phrases to the company name. The relevant abbreviation can also be used; Corporation, Limited, Sociedad Anonima, Incorporated, Société Anonyme, Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung. For offshore company formation in the Bahamas the following words will not be accepted as part of offshore companies’ name: Royal, Imperial, words which show affiliation with political parties, educational institutions or nay word which the Registrar of Companies may find to be offensive. Company names which are not written in English must be accompanied by a translated version in English.

Offshore company formation in tax haven Bahamas can be completed with one director and two shareholders. The director for the company can be a corporation or natural person. Offshore companies formed in the Bahamas are not obligated by the offshore legislation of the country to present financial records to government authorities in the Bahamas. Meetings of offshore companies formed in the Bahamas can be keep at any time and location convenient to the players involved.

The benefits to offshore company formation in the Bahamas include zero taxes imposed on the capital gained from outside of the tax haven and privacy. The names of the rightful owners of bahaams offshore company are not public record and are known only by the agent. Nominee shareholders and directors can bus used for company formation.

The tax haven of the Bahamas has a very important tool which can be used for asset protection in the name of a Bahamas foundation. The formation of a Bahamas foundation is regulated by the Bahamas Foundations Act which was passed in 2004. The Bahamas Foundation is highly recommended for wealth management. Some of the advantages offshore foundation formation in the Bahamas includes preventing forced heirship as assets are well protected in the Bahamas foundations themselves cannot be subjected to heirship laws of other countries. Offshore foundations can also be used for estate planning. Offshore foundations formed in other countries can reregistered in the Bahamas.

The formation of a foundation in the Bahamas is done with the Registrar of Companies. the formation of an offshore foundation in the Bahamas involves filing a document with the following information with the Registrar of Companies:

  • The name of the foundation
  • The purpose for forming the foundation
  • The address of the foundation in the Bahamas
  • The name and address for the foundations’ council members
  • The name and address for the foundation’s secretary
  • Date and circumstances which can cause the foundation’s existence to cease
  • The value of the assets in the foundation must be stated. This cannot be below US$10,000
  • The Foundation charter may also be included Once the Registrar of companies find the documents submitted to be acceptable the foundation will be issued a Certificate of Formation which makes the entity a legal body.

Bahamas foundations like offshore corporations are not taxed on their global incomes. Offshore foundation formation in the Bahamas can be done online. An annual fee must be paid each year by the foundation to the relevant authorities in the Bahamas. The Bahamas Trust is governed by the Trust Act of 1989. Offshore trusts formed in the tax haven of the Bahamas pays no taxes including income tax, capital gains tax, estate tax or wealth tax. A trust formed in the Bahamas with no resident beneficiary’s benefits from exemptions from all taxes including a Stamp Duty on all transactions. A Bahamas trust does not have to be register with the Registrar of Companies.