We receive many inquiries about a cost-effective way to license forex brokerage services. If looking for the lowest possible entry point for an offshore brokerage licence with full custodial capabilities, no local director or local physical office requirements Belize and Vanuatu are really the only two options that fit these criteria that we are aware of.
Other former popular entry point options like BVI and Mauritius have increased their requirements and costs. Belize offers one of the most inexpensive regulated brokerage options available anywhere in the world for setting up a forex brokerage firm. Other relatively low cost options include BVI and Mauritius with lower paid-in capital requirements but higher regulatory hurdles to overcome.
Only Vanuatu has a lower cost and the added advantage of no paid-in capital requirement plus the licence also includes anything to do with securities and investments. Belize, unlike Vanuatu requires a separate licence for securities and derivatives trading.
The New Zealand FSP also was a popular option but since January 2015 the New Zealand FMA has been scrutinising all FSP applications for forex trading and delaying decisions without providing any real reasons. The way around that problem is to first get licenced in Vanuatu or Belize and then the NZ FMA review process will be much easier and faster.
New Zealand still has no special licencing requirements for forex trading nor any paid-in capital requirement.
Belize foreign exchange trading licence service allows one to:
A Belize License can also be used for things such as:
Please note that prior to incorporating a company seeking to provide services in Foreign Exchange, the following procedures are required:
For more: How to Get A Forex License
No local directors are required and no physical operation or employees are required in Belize or Vanuatu to operate such a licensed company. Licence application process currently is taking 6 to 8 months in total including the initial time of setting up the company and bank account.
Vanuatu's process is much faster at less than 2 months in part because there is no requirement for the set up of a local bank account, since there is no paid-in capital to deposit. Also the application review process is more accelerated. The only difference is that Vanuatu is now requiring the appointment of a 3rd party as an AML Compliance Officer. This is somebody that you can appoint or we can furnish this person locally if needed.
If you would like more information please see our Vanuatu Security Dealers License
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*Note for U.S. citizens: US citizens are limited in their tax reduction possibilities due to FATCA and CFC laws. Opening an offshore company can increase privacy and asset protection, but you can not eliminate your taxes without giving up your citizenship. If you are a US citizen you are obligated to pay taxes on all worldwide income. Read more here about FATCA and CFC laws.
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