Offshore Company Registration
The process of forming and incorporating an offshore company is sometimes called offshore company registration since the incorporation processes almost always involves “registration” of the company with the local authority. In all known jurisdictions, the process for offshore company formation is made through the “Registrar of Companies” (the Registrar) or similar related authority.
The relationship with the registry and the offshore corporation does not end with the offshore company registration, but exists for the life of the company. After company registration, the offshore company must maintain its legitimacy by paying the required maintenance annual fees, and keep updated details on the company as it pertains to officers and administrative details. The company pays all such fees and makes notification of changes in the company through the registry or assigned local authorities.
In order to complete offshore company registration, the applicant, through a representative, pays a specified incorporation fee. After fees are paid up, the Certificate of Incorporation or Certificate of Formation, (known as different names in different jurisdictions) is given to the agent for the company’s owners. Conveniently, the owner of an offshore company does not have to be physically present during the offshore companies’ registrations.
Under the process of offshore company registrations, many types of offshore companies are incorporated, but the most common of these offshore companies is the International Business Companies (IBC) more commonly known as offshore companies, offshore limited liability companies and offshore or exempt partnerships.
The best of offshore jurisdictions will offer a wide variety of offshore entities included all types of those companies previously mentioned, while other offshore territories may offer the very basic offshore company registrations.
The process of offshore companies’ registration differs between jurisdictions and the length and the price of offshore company registrations varies. While some jurisdictions offer same day offshore company registration, while for others the process is may take weeks. The legal requirements for offshore company formation and incorporation are deliberately minimal. Generally, offshore company registration requires only one party acting as the shareholder and one as the director in the case of IBC; a member in the case of an LLC; a partner in the case of a partnership. Since it is often acceptable for the director and the shareholder of the IBC offshore company to be same person or corporate entity; one unit can form and incorporate a company.
The basic document for offshore company incorporation is the Memorandum and Articles of Incorporation that contains specific information. The information provided will depend on the type of offshore company i.e. LLC, IBC, or partnership and included:
- The proposed name of the offshore company;
- The registered address;
- The name and address of the registered agent;
- The names, addresses and nationalities of the officers (members, directors, shareholders);
And where applicable:
- The authorized share capital, the currency,
- The number of shares and category of shares for issue
- The privileges, powers, rights and limitations of shares
- The company by-laws
- A statement agreeing to the formation of the offshore corporation
- The duration of the company (LLC)
The issuance of a certificate of Incorporation indicates the end of the offshore company registration process. At this time the newly formed and incorporated company is officially a legitimate business entity capable of pursuing and engaging in licit business, opening company bank accounts and trading anywhere in the world. There are few limitations placed on the scope and the capabilities of offshore companies; offshore companies are capable of exercising business activities from anywhere in the world and in any currency of their choosing.
Under the process of offshore company’s registration, it is implied and understood that the offshore company must conduct its business affairs within the laws governing offshore company formation in that jurisdiction, and in most instances, the offshore company cannot do business within the jurisdiction.
Offshore incorporation or offshore company registration is a systematic process, which produce a legitimate business corporation used for most kinds of business. To begin with, applicants or owners of offshore companies, first contract the services of a local agent who is the intermediary between beneficial owners and local authorities. The offshore agent prepares the documents for offshore company registration. The agent will file the application for offshore company incorporation. For the life of the company, the appointed agent will do all the necessary maintenance activities on the behalf of the company.
The offshore limited liability company registration provides a company which is a cross between a partnership and a corporation made up of members who make individual contributions to the LLC. The liability of each member is limited to or based on the paid up contribution.
The offshore partnership or exempt partnership can be formed by general and limited partners. The general partners in an offshore limited partnership company has unlimited liability whilst the limited partners has limited liability. When doing offshore companies registrations for offshore limited partnership companies the partners normally enter into an agreement known as the partnership agreement. This document is signed by all the partners of the offshore limited partnership company and is submitted with the offshore company registration documents.