Guide For Offshore Corporate Services In Bahamas

View of lighthouse at Bahamas IslandGuide For Offshore Corporate Services In Bahamas

The Bahamas

The Bahamas is a country in the north-western West Indies, located 80 km (50 mi) south-east of the coast of Florida (USA) and north of Cuba. The Bahamas is officially known as the “Commonwealth of the Bahamas” is located in the Lucayan Archipelago. The Caribbean islands group consists of around 700 islands and islets, and more than 2,000 cays (coral reefs). Only about 30 islands are inhabited.

The Bahamas is an independent country that is part of the Commonwealth, having gained its independence from Britain in 1973. The Bahamas are a destination for many U.S. tourists every year.

U.S. citizens are generally required to present a valid U.S. passport when traveling to The Bahamas, as well as proof of anticipated departure from The Bahamas. Those traveling to The Bahamas on a cruise may use another Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document.

English is the official language of the Bahamas and is spoken by a majority of the population. Also popular languages are Bahamian English and Haitian Creole. Haitian Creole is common among the Haitian population.

 

Infrastructure

The Bahamas has a good infrastructure for a developing nation and the government is engaged in a long-term program to improve roads and communications. The islands have 2,693 kilometre (1,673 miles) of roads, of which 1,546 kilometre (960 miles) are paved.

 

Economy

The Bahamas has the second highest per capita GDP in the English-speaking Caribbean with an economy heavily dependent on tourism and financial services. Tourism accounts for approximately 50% of GDP and directly or indirectly employs half of the archipelago’s labour force.

 

Type of Law

English common law forms the basis of the Bahamas’ judicial system. The highest court is the Court of Appeal, consisting of three judges. Lower courts include three magistrates’ courts on New Providence and one on Freeport. For other islands, commissioners decide minor criminal and civil cases.

 

Central Bank

The Central Bank of the Bahamas is the reserve bank of the Bahamas based in the capital Nassau. The bank was established in 1974 but traces its origins to the currency board established in 1919. The bank carries out the independent monetary policy and supervision of the financial sector of the Bahamas.

 

Anti-Money Laundering: ​FATF Status

The Bahamas is on the FATF List of Countries that have been identified as having strategic AML deficiencies.

The Bahamas is a member of the Carribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF).

Member of Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF)

In November 1996, 21 members of the CFATF entered into a Memorandum of Understanding which now serves as the basis for the goals and the work of the CFATF. In this document, CFATF members agree to adopt and implement the 1988 UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances; endorse and implement the FATF Forty Recommendations and the CFATF Nineteen Recommendations; fulfill the obligations expressed in the Kingston Declaration as well as, where applicable, in the Plan of Action of the Summit of the Americas; and to adopt and implement any other measures for the prevention and control of the laundering of the proceeds of all serious crimes as defined by the laws of each Member.

 

Corporate Entities

The Bahamian IBC is a company that can be used to operate a business outside of the Bahamas or to hold an offshore bank account of investment account.

The redomiciliation of companies to or from the Bahamas is permitted. upon the registration of the articles of continuation, the Registrar shall issue a certificate of continuation under his hand and seal certifying that the company is incorporated under this Act.

 

Taxation

The Bahamas has no income tax, corporate tax, capital gains tax, or wealth tax.

 

National flag of Bahamas IslandRegistration of offshore companies

The Bahamian International Business Company (“IBC”) Act provides a modern, simple and cost- effective corporate vehicle designed to suit the needs of international businesspeople. The IBC, although incorporated and domiciled in the Bahamas, is designed to facilitate the undertaking of legitimate business activities anywhere in the world, whether in its role as a holding company, trading company, a private investment vehicle, insurance company for non-domestic business, or other uses, including its ability to form part of a more sophisticated structure involving a combination of trust, foundation or other specialized corporate elements.

A Bahamian IBC is a legal entity in its own right. It is able to contract with third parties; it can also sue and be sued in its own name. Shareholders may be a natural person or another legal entity. Bearer shares are not permitted.

General Features of Offshore Entities in Bahamas

Type of Company for International Trade and Investment

  • IBC

Minimum Government Fees (Excluding Taxation)

  • USD 350

Corporate Taxation

  • None on Foreign Profits

Double Taxation Treaty Access

  • No
Share Capital

Standard Currency

  • USD

Permitted Currencies

  • Any

Usual Authorized

  • USD50,000

Minimum Paid-up Capital

  • USD1.00

Bearer Shares Allowed

  • No

No Par Value Shares Allowed

  • Yes
Directors or Managers

Minimum Requirement

  • One

Requirement of Local Resident

  • No

Corporate Directorship Allowed

  • Yes

Public Access to Company Records

  • Yes

Required Location of Meetings

  • Anywhere
Members

Minimum Number

  • One

Public Access to Company Records

  • No

Required Location of Meetings

  • Anywhere
Company Secretary

Requirement of Company Secretary

  • No

Local or Qualified            

  • Not Required
Accounts

Requirement to Prepare

  • Yes

Audit Requirements

  • No

Requirement to File accounts

  • No

Public Access to Accounts

  • No
Annual Return

Requirement to File Annual Return

  • No
Others

Permission for change of Domicile

  • Yes

 

Specific Features of Offshore Companies In Bahamas

Currency

  • Bahamas Dollar (BSD)

Language

  • English

Exchange Control

  • None.

Principal Corporate Legislation

  • International Business Companies Act 2000, as amended.

Restrictions on Trading

  • Cannot trade within the Bahamas or own real estate there. Unless government permission is granted, cannot undertake the business of banking, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, collective investment schemes, trust management, trusteeship, the rendering of investment advice or any other activity that would suggest an association with the banking or insurance industries.
  • Cannot sell its own shares or solicit funds from the Public.

Powers of Company

  • A company incorporated in the Bahamas has the same powers as a natural person.

Language of Name

  • Names can be expressed in any language using the Latin alphabet, if the Registrar receives a translation thereof.
  • The corporate documents will however be in English.

Language of Name

  • Latin or other alphabets.

Requirement of Registered Office

  • Yes, Registered Office must be maintained in the Bahamas at the address of a licensed management company or law firm.

Name Restrictions

  • Any name that has already been incorporated, or a name that is so similar as to cause confusion. Names such as royal or imperial.
  • Any name which, in the opinion of the Registrar, is considered undesirable, obscene or offensive, or any name, which suggests the patronage of the Bahamas Government.

Suffixes to Denote Limited Liability

  • Limited, Corporation, Incorporated, Societe Anonyme, Sociedad Anonima, Gesellschaft mit beschrankter Haftung or the relevant abbreviations.

Disclosure of Beneficial Ownership to Authorities

  • No

 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
  • Source of Information, Guidelines, Compliance, Laws, Rules & Regulations is from the relevant authorities of respective jurisdictions.
  • The Acts in respective jurisdictions are subject to change by the regulatory authorities.
  • We have published the guidelines with most updates from our Associate Firms.
  • The Customers would be notified with the updated Acts with oncoming changes if applicable when the Offshore services are rendered by us.

 

Please refer to our SERVICES for more information or CONTACT us if you wish to avail these or many other services.
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