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St. Lucia IBC Company Formation

Overview of a St. Lucia International Business Company (IBC)

St. Lucia is one has one of the most prominent financial services 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.

St. Lucia’s financial system has never been blacklisted nor has it received much international attention from foreign financial regulatory agencies, escaping unnecessary scrutiny. However, it retains strong anti-laundering and anti-fraudulent policies that has kept the St. Lucian offshore banking and company formation industries both secure and reliable.

A St. Lucian IBC is popular because it offers client confidentiality and anonymity, no audit or reporting requirements, with 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.

Advantages & Top Uses of a St. Lucia IBC

Advantages

  • Minimization and exposure to capital gains taxes
  • Elimination of stamp duties
  • Financial security through international diversification
  • No- or low-tax (IBCs may elect to be exempt from income tax or pay an income tax of 1%)
  • Absence of exchange controls, currency controls or capital controls
  • Strict policy of confidentiality regarding names of the directors and shareholders
  • Tight procedures to deter money laundering and other illicit activities
  • No audit or annual filing required unless IBC elects to pay 1% tax
  • Modern incorporation laws
  • Maximum flexibility and control
  • Simple incorporation procedures
  • English Common Law system
  • Minimum corporate disclosure requirements
  • Minimal governmental annual fee
  • Can hold meetings anywhere in the world
  • Financial records are not mandatory and are not open to the public
  • No reporting requirements
  • Nominees directors and shareholders available

Top Uses

  • Privacy and asset protection
  • Offshore savings and investments
  • Professional service company
  • International trading
  • Tax planning
  • Captive insurance, reinsurance, life and general insurance
  • Holding services
  • Offshore savings and investments
  • International trading
  • Financial management

Chart: Key Corporate Features of a St. Lucia IBC

St. Lucia IBC Corporate Details
General  
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)
Permitted currencies Any
Minimum paid up No minimum
Usual authorized US $50,000
Bearer shares allowed No
No par value shares allowed Yes
Directors  
Minimum number One
Local required No
Publicly accessible records No
Location of meetings Anywhere
Corporate directorship allowed Yes
Shareholders  
Minimum number One
Publicly accessible records No
Corporate shareholder allowed Yes
Location of meetings Anywhere
Company Secretary  
Required Optional
Local or qualified No
Accounts  
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 / License Fee  US $300
Annual Return Filing Fee No
Other  
Requirement to file annual return No
Migration of domicile permitted Yes

Requirements for St. Lucia Company Formation

Requirements to form a St. Lucia IBC:

  • A notarized copy of a valid passport (of each Director and Shareholder of the company)
  • Notarized copy of proof of address (ex. utility bill of each Director and Shareholder)
  • Bank reference (of each Director and Shareholder)
  • Legal reference (of each Director and Shareholder)

Once the initial paperwork has been filed, we will need documents stating:

  • The proposed name of the incorporating company; and
  • The share capital and the par-value (or non par-value) of shares

Taxation of a St. Lucia Corporation

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.

Corporate Details of a St. Lucia IBC

Anonymity, Confidentiality and Disclosure

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.

Company Shares

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.

Required Share Capital

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

Financial Statement Required

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.

Directors

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.

Company Secretary

A Company Secretary is optional though recommended to facilitate document signing.

Company Meetings

Company meetings may take place anywhere in the world.

Principal Corporate Legislation

The International Business Companies Act 1999 and three amendments passed in 2000 and 2001.

Type of Law

Mixed legal system, English Common Law and Civil Law

Shareholders

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.

Trading Restrictions

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.

Exchange Controls

There are no exchange controls or currency controls for a St. Lucian IBC.

Language of Legislation and Corporate Documents

English

Registered Office Required

A registered office is required for a St. Lucian IBC.

Local Presence

A local presence, that of a Director, or shareholder is not required.

Annual Reporting

There are no annual reporting requirements for a St. Lucian IBC.

Shelf Companies Available

Yes

Time Required to Form Offshore Company

2-3 Business Days

Language of Name

English

Names Restrictions

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.

Names of Company Requiring a Special Licence or Permission

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.

Permitted limited liability suffixes

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.

Access to Double Tax Avoidances Treaties

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.

Licence Fee

US $300

St. Lucia Offshore Company (IBC) Formation with Sovereign

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Start the St. Lucia incorporation process with Sovereign today. Order a St. Lucia IBC, with or without a bank account by clicking on the Let’s Get Started button below.

 

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