Isle of Man Offshore Company
- Last updated on . Written by Offshore Protection.
The Isle of Man is an internally self-governing territory of the British Crown, separate from the United Kingdom has a diverse and well-established finance sector with a secure regulatory market and a long-standing offshore company formation tradition. An Island of Man company formation is created under the English Companies Act 1929 and is the foundation for the Isle of Man Companies Act 1931-2004 in which the Private Limited Company is formed under.
There are a dozen other pieces of corporate legislation and offshore vehicles that offer a variety of benefits, though the Private Limited Company is the most commonly used by foreign-owned non-resident clients. A Company may be incorporated as a limited (with shares, by guarantee, or a hybrid) or as an unlimited (without shares) company.
The Isle of Man has signed all of the relevant international financial regulatory statutes and has complied with the anti-money laundering policies put forth by FAFTA and remains dedicated to ensuring the sovereignty and continuity of its offshore financial sector. The country offers relatively quick incorporation processing and low registration costs together with access to EU markets and a formidable reputation all make the Isle of Man an attractive jurisdiction to go offshore.
For more information on the Advantages of the Isle of Man as an Offshore Financial Center
Table of Contents:
- Top Uses
- Key Corporate Features
- Company Registration Package
- Incorporation Requirements
- Corporate Taxation
- Company Registration Process
- Corporate Bank Account
- Corporate Details
- International reputation
- Renowned financial jurisdiction
- English as the official and common language
- Has a robust offshore financial market
- Geographical proximity to the UK and the European Union
- Beneficial ownership is lots open to the public
- Small business audit exemption
- No requirements to file accounts
- Financial accounts are not open to the public
- Once incorporated the company has a separate legal personality and has an indefinite existence
- Limited Liability for shareholders
- Availability of an unlimited amount of shareholders
- Is on the OECD ‘white list’
- Has met all of the international regulatory requirements put forward by the IMF, FATF, and EU
- Potential of a 0% corporate tax rate
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- International Trading
- International Business
- International Holding Company (physical and intellectual property)
- Registration of Holding of sea vessels
Key Corporate Features
|Isle of Man PLC||Corporate Details|
|Type of Entity||Private Limited|
|Type of Law||Common-Law|
|Governed by||Companies Act 1931 - 2004|
|Registered Office in Isle of Man||Yes|
|Shelf company availability||Yes|
|Our time to establish a new company||1-5 Business days|
|Minimum government fees (excluding taxation)||GBP 195|
|Corporate Taxation||0 - 10%|
|Access to Double Taxation Treaties||Only the UK|
|Share capital or equivalent|
|Minimum paid up||GBP 1|
|Usual authorized||GBP 2000|
|Bearer shares allowed||No|
|No par value shares allowed||No|
|Publicly accessible records||Yes|
|Location of meetings||Anywhere|
|Corporate directorship allowed||Yes|
|Publicly accessible records||Yes|
|Corporate shareholder allowed||Yes|
|Location of meetings||Anywhere|
|Local or qualified||No local requirements but must be qualified|
|Requirements to prepare||Yes|
|Audit requirements||Yes (small enterprises are exempt)|
|Requirements to file accounts||No|
|Publicly accessible accounts||No|
|Recurring Government Costs|
|Minimum Annual Tax||GBP 360|
|Annual Return Filing Fee||GBP 360|
|Requirement to file annual return||Yes|
|Migration of domicile permitted||Yes|
Company Registration Package
- 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
- To register a Private Limited Company under the Companies Act 1931 in the Isle of Man, the following documents need to be sent to the Companies Registry:
- Form 1 – containing the details of the name of the company, its registered office address and the names of the company’s directors and secretary. The form is to be signed by the subscribers of the company’s memorandum of association and be each director and secretary
- Company’s Memorandum
- Articles of Association
Private Limited Companies are not subjected to any local taxation by authorities of the Isle of Man. There are no taxes including:
- No withholding tax
- No dividends tax
- No Corporation tax for most companies (up to 10% for some)
- No Capital gains tax
- No stamp duties
There are capital duties on the issuance of shares, which is GBP 130 if the share capital is less than GBP 2, 000. Companies that have a higher share capital are liable to pay GBP 17 per GBP 1,000 of authorized share capital above GBP 2,000. There is a maximum capital duty of GBP 5,000.
Registration for a VAT number is required.
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 an Isle of Man 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.
Anonymity, Confidentiality and Disclosure
Director and Shareholders information are publicly available. Form 1, the Articles of Association and the Company’s Memorandum are in the public record, although the details of the beneficial owner are not available on public record neither are the company’s’ financial accounts. Nominee services are allowed.
A Company may be incorporated as a limited (with shares, by guarantee, or a hybrid) or as a unlimited (which is with or without shares).
Shares may be ordinary, convertible, redeemable, preference and non-voting shares. Bearer shares and shares with no par vale are not allowed.
A Private Resident Company has an authorized share capital of GBP 2,000 and a minimum of GBP 1.
There is a minimum requirement of two (2) Directors for a Private Limited Company. The Directors must be individuals, as such corporate entities are not allowed. The individuals may be a resident of any country and of any nationality. Details of the Directors are open and are publicly available.
There must be a minimum of one shareholder, who may be an individual or a legal person, and may reside anywhere in the world and be of any nationality. Shareholder information is publicly available.
A Private Limited Company is not permitted to conduct any business that is related to banking, insurance, investment management and the solicitation of public funds activities without the appropriate licence.
Principal Corporate Legislation
The Companies Act 1931-2004 governs Private Limited Companies formed in the Isle of Man.
There is also a 2006 Act Company that regulates another form of companies under a separate piece of legislation that runs in parallel to the 1931 Companies Act. A company formed under the 1931 Act may freely convert itself to a company under the 2006 Act Company, but not vice versa.
Type of Law
The Isle of Man is based off of English Common Law.
Powers of the Company
A Private Limited Company has all the powers of a natural person.
Company meetings are required and must take place every calendar year and may take place anywhere in the world.
It is required that a Private Limited Company have a local registered office. Financial details and records of the company must be kept in the local office. Although they may be kept elsewhere in the world, every six months they should be sent to the local registered office. A registry of Members, Directors and Secretaries also must be kept at the local registered office.
A company secretary is required for a Private Limited Company. A secretary must be a natural person, may be of any nationality and may reside anywhere in the world and must be qualified.
Registered Office required
Yes a local registered office is required for a Private Limited Company.
All companies re required to be audited. However, small companies are exempted if it meets two of the following three criteria:
Has a turnover of less than GBP 5.6m
Has a balance sheet of less than GBP 2.8m
It employs 50 persons or less
Or, if the company has all its members as directors throughout the year and it exists for the purpose of holding shares, securities, investments or land.
Every year a company must prepare its reports that include its balance sheet, directors report, auditors report as well as an account of its profits and losses and send it in to the Financial Services Commission.
There are no exchange controls on the Isle of Man.
Financial Statements required
There are no requirements to file a company’s audited financial statements with the Financial Services Commission, although a company must prepare and keep its accounts at its registered office.
Shelf Companies available
Yes shelf companies are readily available.
Time required to form offshore company
1-5 business days
Language of Name
Names can be expressed in any language that uses the Latin alphabet, though the Register must be in receipt of a certified English translation.
Names of Company requiring a special licence or permission
Any company that has a name that includes the word: bank, building society, savings, loans, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, cooperative, council, Chamber of Commerce, trust, municipal, finance, must first receive the appropriate approval and/or licence.
Permitted limited liability suffixes
A Private Limited Company must have ‘Limited’ or its abbreviation ‘Ltd’ after the company name.
Access to Double Tax Treaties
The Isle of Man has a limited treaty with the U.K. and is not a member to any double tax treaties.
Minimum Annual Tax
Why do businesses register a company in the Isle of Man?
Businesses register a company in the Isle of Man because international corporate structures provide asset protection and tax reduction possibilities that are found only in non-resident legal structures. The Isle of Man offers both a safe and stable offshore jurisdiction with strong confidentiality laws, a favorable tax regime and the ability to benefit from a corporate business environment that is decidedly business-centric.
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?
Isle of Man 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.
How to set up a company
In order to set up an offshore company in the Isle of Man, you need to fulfill the necessary requirements which mean: (1) pay registration costs (2) get your company name approved (3) submit company documents (Articles of Incorporation, Memorandum of Association etc...) (4) appoint a director(s)/member(s) and (5) get a registered office and secretary if applicable.
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.
Can I open a business bank account for my company?
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.
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