Seychelles: Leading Choice for Offshore Company Formation in 2024

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In 2024, the Seychelles Islands maintain its reputation as a premier jurisdiction for offshore company registration. It is a small wonder, considering that the jurisdiction offers a low-risk and highly attractive environment for international business entities. The conditions there are particularly favorable for you to form International Business Companies, partnerships, and complex trust structures.

Seychelles: Leading Choice for Offshore Company Formation in 2024

Why Seychelles leads in offshore company benefits

Compared to similar regions in Europe, Seychelles offers substantial advantages for offshore company registration:

  • Tax exemption on global profits for non-licensable activities conducted outside of Seychelles.
  • High confidentiality levels.
  • Minimum requirements for founder and charter capital for offshore companies in Seychelles.
  • Compliance with international standards and removal from the offshore blacklist in February 2024, alongside the Bahamas, Belize, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
  • No currency control and no requirement for physical presence, plus a fast-track registration option via a registered agent.

Company registration in Seychelles: the procedure

To seamlessly establish an offshore company in Seychelles, you should understand the local regulations for setting up a non-resident company. Here’s the procedure you will follow:

Select a Registered Agent: Mandatory for non-residents, including both individuals and legal entities, aiming to establish a company in Seychelles.

Rent Office Space: An essential step to ensure a physical address for the company.

Incorporate a Company: For international operations, it’s advisable to register your offshore business as an International Business Company (IBC) or Limited Partnership (LP).

Set Up a Bank Account: This is crucial for managing offshore companies’ financial transactions.

Comply with Regulations: Adhere to the reporting obligations as stipulated by the new International Companies Act of Seychelles.

New regulations in Seychelles: transparency and compliance for International Business Companies

In 2021, Seychelles updated the International Business Companies Act to comply with FATF and OECD standards. The goal was to improve business transparency and define beneficial ownership more clearly.

The 2016 updates to the Seychelles IBC Act have brought significant changes for offshore firms. Deregistered companies not reinstated within a year are now deemed permanently dissolved. A private directors’ registry, closed to outsiders, records personal and corporate IBC directors’ details, including birth dates, nationalities, and addresses. Besides, Seychelles-registered businesses must biannually maintain and submit accounting records starting February 6, 2022. Offshore companies are also required to update financial statements every year and store them at their registered office.

Holding companies in Seychelles with turnover under SCR 50 million (USD 3.7 million) are exempt from detailed financial reporting and only need to submit a corresponding declaration to their agent. The 2020 Seychelles Beneficiaries Act revision, detailed in the 2023 regulations and December 2022 bill, covers all business owners with significant control, affecting offshore companies and trusts.

Under the updated regulations, businesses are required to disclose to their registered agent any ultimate beneficiary who owns or controls a minimum of 10% of the company’s shares. NB: The term beneficiary specifically refers to natural persons.

The documentation required for the Seychelles beneficiaries registry includes the National Identification Number (NIN) and Tax Identification Number (TIN), with all pertinent documents retained at the registered agent’s office.

Seychelles offshore businesses: minimum capital, zero foreign income tax, and quick setup

In Seychelles, the procedure for establishing partnerships and offshore entities is both simple and accommodating. Assisted by a registered agent, you will complete company registration within just 3 to 7 days. Importantly, founders are not obligated to be physically present in Seychelles during the above process. This flexibility extends to those holding prominent positions within the company. Actually, if you are a director or shareholder of an International Business Company (IBC) or partnership, you don’t need to reside in Seychelles to be eligible.

When it comes to naming an offshore business, there are specific criteria to be met. If the company name is not originally in English or French, a translation into one of these languages is required. Seychelles IBCs are also granted the right to own real estate in the jurisdiction.

The scope for profit generation by IBCs is broad, with no restrictions on where the profits can be made. However, any profits accrued in Seychelles are subject to the local tax regulations. For companies in the banking, investment, credit, and trust management sectors, obtaining a license is a prerequisite, and these entities are treated as resident entities for regulatory purposes.

The capital requirements for an IBC are modest, with the minimum required capital being the nominal value of its issued shares. This amount can be as low as one unit, although it is commonly set at a minimum of 1,000 units, which is an accessible option for many investors. This combination of regulatory ease and financial flexibility certainly makes Seychelles an attractive destination for those looking to establish offshore business ventures.

For offshore companies in Seychelles, either structured as business corporations or partnerships, the income tax rate is zero if profits are generated outside of the country, provided they have no commercial interactions with the island’s residents. This exemption covers all tax liabilities, including VAT and capital gains tax.

Conversely, business activities in Seychelles are taxable under the nation’s standard tax rates.

The most popular business structures you may form in Seychelles include IBCs (International Business Companies), LPs (Limited Partnerships), LLPs (Limited Liability Partnerships), and CSLs (Special License Companies), each with its own benefits for running international business.

Forming a company in Seychelles: what’s more in it for you?

Recent legislative developments in Seychelles have underscored the benefits of establishing IBCs, partnerships, and commercial entities there, particularly for those who aim at global business expansion and tax planning. It is for a reason as an IBC or a partnership in Seychelles boasts notable advantages.

Firstly, there is the aspect of tax efficiency. IBCs benefit from a tax-free environment in Seychelles, which is appealing for international offshore operations. Plus, the use of a nominee service for the registration of an offshore entity offers both financial protection and stability.

If you are tempted by the idea of launching your business in this one-of-a-kind offshore jurisdiction, don’t waste a second. Contact International Wealth for assistance right away! Our experts will provide you with valuable recommendations and help set up and run a successful Seychelles business entity.

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