Bahamas Offshore Company IBC Formation
- Last updated on . Written by Offshore Protection.
The Bahamas has a long-standing reputation as a premier destination and a world-leading centre for offshore company formation services. An archipelago consisting of over 700 islands spread across the Caribbean just south of Florida, the Bahamas offshore service sector has helped form over 100,000 companies over the past twenty five years.
A Bahamas International Business Company (IBC) is known for its financial privacy laws giving clients a secure jurisdiction with nominal fees and minimal regulations. The International Business Companies Act 2000 remains the main piece of legislation controlling the regulation of the offshore company formation market.
With nearly 30% of the Bahamian economy coming from its offshore market, the government has continually taken measures to ensure the stability and longevity of its offshore financial markets.
For more information on the Advantages of the Bahamas as an Offshore Financial Center, click here.
Table of Contents:
- Top Uses
- Key Corporate Features
- Company Incorporation Packages
- How To Set Up A Bahamas Company
- Company Registration Process
- Corporate Bank Account
- Ongoing Requirements
- Corporate Taxation
- Corporate Details
Advantages of a Bahamas Company
- No financial reporting requirements
- Amendments to the Memorandum and Articles of Association can be easily made
- IBCs can conduct business with Bahamians directly and may also own Bahamian real estate, but will be subjected to local tax laws, exchange controls and stamp duty
- Zero corporate tax
- Political and economic stability
- Lies in close proximity to North and South America
- Absence of exchange, currency and capital controls
- Absence of double tax treaties
- Modern and simple incorporation laws and procedures
- An English Common Law System
- Non-disclosure of shareholder information
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- Own company shares or other legal entities
- Hold bank accounts, financial or commercial titles
- Own real estate and other movable or immovable goods
- Management of international business transactions
- Marketing of products and services
- Estate and inheritance security
- Asset Protection
- Other commercial and financial activities
Key Corporate Features
|Bahamas IBC||Corporate Details|
|Type of Entity||IBC|
|Type of Law||Common Law|
|Governed by||International Business Companies Act 2000; Amendment to IBC Act 2004|
|Registered Office in Bahamas||Yes|
|Shelf company availability||Yes|
|Our time to establish a new company||2-3 Business days|
|Minimum government fees (excluding taxation)||US $350|
|Access to Double Taxation Treaties||No|
|Share capital or equivalent|
|Standard currency||Bahamian Dollar
(Pegged 1 BSD = 1 USD)
|Minimum paid up||US $1|
|Usual authorized||US $50,000|
|Bearer shares allowed||No|
|No par value shares allowed||Yes|
|Publicly accessible records||Yes|
|Location of meetings||Anywhere|
|Corporate directorship allowed||Yes|
|Publicly accessible records||No|
|Corporate shareholder allowed||Yes|
|Location of meetings||Anywhere|
|Local or qualified||N/A|
|Requirements to prepare||Yes|
|Requirements to file accounts||No|
|Publicly accessible accounts||No|
|Recurring Government Costs|
|Minimum Annual Tax||US $350|
|Annual Return Filing Fee||N/A|
|Requirement to file annual return||No|
|Migration of domicile permitted||Yes|
Company Incorporation Packages
- Government Registration Fee (First year)
- Registered Office Address (First year)
- Registered Agent Services (First year)
- Company Secretarial Maintenance
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Memo & Articles of Association
- Appointment of 1st Directors
- Consent Actions of the BOD
- Share Certificates
- Register of Directors
- Register of Officers
- Register of Shareholders
- FREE Phone and/or email consultations
How to set up a Bahamas Company
In order to see up a Bahamas company a few documents will be needed:
- Register and secure the name of the proposed company
- Memorandum and Articles of Association
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Appointment of a company director(s)
- Registry of members and directors
- Share Certificate(s)
Once your company is formed you can open a corporate bank account which will require KYC and AML verification. All of the steps above can be done virtually, except some countries do require physical in-person visits in order to open a bank account. Get in touch to know the details, as this changes regularly. Once all these steps are completed you will have the incorporation documents sent to your physical address.
Other documents that are required are:
- Notarized passport copy
- Bank reference
- Notarized proof of residence
- Professional character reference
- Due diligence form
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Company Registration Process
In order to register a company, this is what the process will look like:
- Step 1 Offshore Protection works with you to secure a company name with the Company Registry
- Step 2 Offshore Protection works with you to get a Memorandum of Association (MOA)
- Step 3 Offshore Protection helps you to prepare and file incorporation documents
- Step 4 Offshore Protection helps to prepare KYC and AML documents needed to open a corporate bank account
- Step 5 Offshore Protection delivers the certificate of incorporation
Corporate Bank Account
You can open a corporate bank account in most countries around the world with a Bahamas company. We have banking connections in dozens of countries, though the ones we recommend will be dependent on your situation as some banks require in-person visits, higher capital, more due diligence, and references, while others have minimal requirements.
We suggest getting in touch for a consultation as there are many variables that go into finding the best place to open a bank account for your company.
A Register of Members, Register of Directors and Officers, copy of imprint of the company seal, copies of all company minutes, copies of all company documents, including the Memorandum & Articles of Association must be kept at the Registered address.
This information is not available to the public; however, the Register of Directors is filed with The Registrar of Companies and is therefore publicly available.
A Bahamas IBCs is exempt from all taxes and stamp duties, including:
- corporate income tax
- capital gains tax
- value-added tax
- wealth tax
- sales tax
- estate tax
- gift tax
- inheritance tax
Company Corporate Details
Anonymity, Confidentiality and Disclosure
The names and addresses of the directors or officers are filed with the Registry and therefore are open to the public. However, shareholders need not be submitted to the Registry. The use of Nominee Directors are available should anonymity be required.
Registered shares, shares of no par value, voting and non-voting shares, preference shares, redeemable shares and shares with or without voting rights are permitted. Bearer shares are not permitted.
There must be two subscribers. Shares may then be transferred to a single person or entity.
Normal authorised share capital is US $50,000, which is the maximum capital for the minimum duty and licence fee payable (US $350) at the time of incorporation and annually.
The minimum issued capital is either two shares of no par value or two shares of par value.
Financial Statement Required
There are no requirements to file a statement of accounts, however a company is required to keep accounting records detailing all transactions to be kept in the registered office, or may be maintained at another address outside of the Bahamas, but must inform the registered agent of the physical address.
Only one Director is required any may be an individual or corporate entity from any nationality and need not be a resident in the Bahamas. Details of the company Director are open to the public, though nominee services are available.
No company secretary requirements; though one is normally appointed to help facilitate the signing of the necessary documents.
Only one shareholder is required though there must be two subscribers. Shares may then be transferred to a single person or entity. A register of members must be kept at the Registered office, though it is not open to the public.
An IBC may not conduct business in banking, insurance, 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 unless permission is granted by the government and the appropriate licence is obtained.
Bahamian IBCs are allowed to conduct business within the Bahamas including conducting business in real estate, but local exchange controls and stamp duty will apply in these cases.
There are no exchange controls; including currency controls for Bahamian IBCs.
Powers of the Company
An IBC has all the powers of a natural person.
Language of legislation and Corporate Documents
Registered Office required
Yes; required to keep a register and meeting minutes (if any) and a company seal.
Shelf Companies available
Time required to form offshore company
2-3 Business days
Language of Name
The name can be in any name using the Latin alphabet; though the register requires an English translation.
Any name that is already in use or that is deemed undesirable, obscene or offensive or any name that suggests patronage with the Bahamian Government may not be used.
Names of Company requiring a special licence or permission
An IBC must obtain a special licence if the name of the IBC has any word that includes bank, building society, savings, loans, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, investment fund, trust, trustees, Chamber of Commerce, university, municipal or their foreign language equivalents.
Permitted limited liability suffixes
“Limited”, “Corporation”, “Incorporated”, “Societe Anonyme”, “Sociedad Anónima”, or its respective abbreviation “Ltd.”, “Inc.”, or “S.A.”, must be used at the end of the company name.
Minimum Annual Government Tax
IBCs with an authorised share capital of up to US $50,000 are required to pay the sum of US $350 annually, whereas an IBC with an authorised share capital greater than US $50,001 is required to pay the sum of US $1,000 per year.
Why do businesses register a company in the Bahamas?
Businesses register a company in the Bahamas because international corporate structures provide asset protection and tax reduction possibilities that are found only in non-resident legal structures. The Bahamas offers both a safe and stable jurisdiction with a favorable tax regime for non-resident companies giving companies a business-friendly corporate environment.
The government and regulatory bodies seek to attract regional and international businesses by providing business-friendly policies to attract investors and entrepreneurs into the country.
How much does it cost to start a company in the Bahamas?
Bahamas company registration costs vary, which is why we do not include them on our website. Prices depend on the legal and corporate services required, as well as secretary, auditing and signatory services which are often needed (though not always) if you are incorporating a non-resident company.
Registration and incorporation fees for 1st-year companies vary anywhere from 1000-5000USD with 2nd-year fees ranging anywhere from 500-2000USD. However, even these figures are not always the case, as all of this depends on the services required, so beware of any service provider that states their fees exactly, as you will be disappointed in seeing that number change. Get in touch for a price quote.
Can I open a business bank account for my company in the Bahamas?
Opening a business bank account is definitely possible and is one of the main reasons why businesses open a foreign corporation in the first place. However, it often can be the most challenging part of any offshore incorporation process because of the requirements and documents needed in order to satisfy Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) laws.
That being said, some jurisdictions are harder than others and we will assist you through the entire process.
Can Offshore Protection create a company for me?
Yes, we can! Offshore Protection has been establishing companies around the world for nearly three decades. We have engaged in client legal and corporate services, including opening companies, offshore trusts, getting financial licenses, and accounts in dozens of countries around the world. Get in touch to find out more.
Bahamas Business Company Incorporation with Offshore Protection
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