St. Lucia is one has one of the most prominent offshore financial service and company formation centres in the world. It offers companies a host of offshore financial and banking services in a variety of sectors, the most popular of which is their International Business Company (IBC). A St. Lucian IBC is one of the world’s finest offshore formation vehicles, due to its simplicity, low annual fees and flexibility. The country boasts of a modern legal and financial framework enshrined within the International Business Companies Act 1999.
Although the jurisdiction is relatively new in the world of offshore financial services, its assortment of offshore products that can be used in conjunction with a St. Lucian IBC include: an offshore trust, a mutual fund company, an insurance company, and offshore bank formation opportunities.
These give clients unprecedented prospects in diversifying their international offshore business portfolio. A St. Lucian IBC is popular because it offers client confidentiality with no audit or reporting requirements, and low annual government fees and flexible corporate arrangement possibilities. While St. Lucia has a history of strategic importance, for over 150 years the English and the French fought for control of the island, it is quickly earning a name for itself in the 21st century as a leading offshore banking and financial centre.
For more information on the Advantages of St. Lucia as an Offshore Financial Center, click here.
Table of Contents:
|St. Lucia IBC||Corporate Details|
|Type of Entity||IBC|
|Type of Law||Mixed legal system |
(Civil and British Common Law)
|Governed by||International Business Companies Act 1999; three amendments 2000-2001|
|Registered Office in St. Lucia||Yes|
|Shelf company availability||Yes|
|Our time to establish a new company||2-3 Business days|
|Minimum government fees (excluding taxation)||US $300|
|Corporate Taxation||May elect for tax exemption|
|Access to Double Taxation Treaties||No|
|Share Capital or Equivalent|
|Standard currency||East Caribbean Dollar (XCD); US Dollar is widely used (XCD 2.7 = USD 1)|
|Minimum paid up||No minimum|
|Usual authorized||US $50,000|
|Bearer shares allowed||No|
|No par value shares allowed||Yes|
|Publicly accessible records||No|
|Location of meetings||Anywhere|
|Corporate directorship allowed||Yes|
|Publicly accessible records||No|
|Corporate shareholder allowed||Yes|
|Location of meetings||Anywhere|
|Local or qualified||No|
|Requirements to prepare||No|
|Audit requirements||No (unless the IBC elects to pay tax)|
|Requirements to file accounts||No|
|Publicly accessible accounts||No|
|Recurring Government Costs|
|Minimum Annual Tax||US $300|
|Annual Return Filing Fee||No|
|Requirement to file annual return||No|
|Migration of domicile permitted||Yes|
Once the initial paperwork has been filed, we will need documents stating:
A St. Lucia IBC may elect to be exempted from paying taxes on income otherwise the company must pay income tax at the rate of 1%. A St. Lucia IBC is not subject to any other taxes including stamp duties or capital gains tax.
The 1% tax election is for those IBCs wanting to utilize the CARICOM Double Tax Agreement, as once tax is paid in St. Lucia or any other a member jurisdiction then transactions and payments to any other CARICOM member country are made tax-free.
Names address and all details of shareholders and directors remain completely confidential and are not made available to the public. Although there must be a register containing the names and address of directors and shareholders at a registered office, it is not open to the public.
A St. Lucia IBC may have voting shares, redeemable shares, fractional shares and shares with or without par value. A share register must be kept at the registered office. A St. Lucia IBC is allowed to purchase, redeem, acquire and hold its own shares.
There are no requirements for share capital; there are no minimum or maximum limits on the amount of authorized share capital, though the usual authorization is US $50,000
A St. Lucian IBCs are not required to file a statement of accounts, not is in necessary to prepare accounts. Financial audits are also not required.'
One Director is necessary and may be from any nationality and need not be a resident of St. Lucia. A Director may be an individual or a corporate entity.
A Company Secretary is optional though recommended to facilitate document signing.
Company meetings may take place anywhere in the world.
The International Business Companies Act 1999 and three amendments passed in 2000 and 2001.
Mixed legal system, English Common Law and Civil Law
Only one shareholder is needed to incorporate a St. Lucia IBC. The shareholders, through a shareholder agreement, have the ability to limit the powers of the directors in the Articles of Association, which provides a layer of flexibility in operating the company.
A St. Lucian IBC is restricted from conducting business within St. Lucia. It is also not permitted to conduct business in or own real estate other that for purposes of its own operations. Similarly, an IBC cannot carry on in business activities in relation to banking, trust, insurance or re-insurance sectors without a specific licence
There are no exchange controls or currency controls for a St. Lucian IBC.
A registered office is required for a St. Lucian IBC.
A local presence, that of a Director, or shareholder is not required.
There are no annual reporting requirements for a St. Lucian IBC.
2-3 Business Days
A IBC shall not be incorporated under the St. Lucian IBC Act with a name that is identical or resembles a company already in existence under this Act or contains the words “Assurance”, “Bank”, “Building Society”, “Chamber of Commerce”, “Chartered”, “Cooperative”, “Imperial”, “Insurance”, “Municipal”, “Royal” or a word that suggests the patronage of Her Majesty, the Royal family, the Government or any other local authority.
A St. Lucia IBC is restricted from using words that contains “Assurance”, “Bank”, “Building Society”, “Chamber of Commerce”, “Chartered”, “Cooperative”, “Imperial”, “Insurance”, “Municipal”, “Royal” in their company name, or any name that suggests patronage of the government, unless an appropriate licence has been obtained.
A St. Lucia IBC must contain the word “Limited” “Corporation”, “Incorporated”, “Societe Anonyme”, or “Sociedad Anónima” or their abbreviation, or the equivalent term in any language.
No, however IBCs can opt for the 1% tax election, utilizing the CARICOM Double Tax Agreement, of which IBCs can be a part; once tax is paid in St. Lucia or any other a member jurisdiction then transactions and payments to any other CARICOM member country are made tax-free.
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