The Cayman Islands are located in the Western Caribbean, south of Florida and Cuba and west of Jamaica. This British Overseas Territory is comprised of three islands; Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman and have a combined population of approximately 60,000.
The official language of the Cayman Islands is English with the legal system based on the British system. Due to its strong links with the UK the Cayman Islands is considered very politically stable, protected and safe. The Cayman Islands has one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean with a GNP per capita of around US$49,000. The infrastructure on the Caymans is excellent with good communication facilities and a well established transport system.
The Cayman Islands are a major financial centre and have the fifth largest banking sector in the world with a high concentration of top quality service providers. The Cayman Islands boasts 279 banks and leading global financial institutions, accountancy practices (the big 4 all have a presence in the Caymans) and leading offshore law firms. The Cayman Islands have more registered businesses than they do people!
The regulation of the financial services industry is undertaken by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) which has a stricter regime than many other offshore jurisdictions. Although perceived as a ‘tax haven’ the Cayman Islands have made a number of steps in recent years to become more legitimate and have achieved greater respect because of improved compliancy. The driving force behind this greater legitimacy was the implementation of the ‘Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty’ in 1986. The purpose of this treaty is to assist law enforcement agencies of other countries when they believe a Cayman Islands Company has been involved in any criminal activities however privacy is still held in the highest regard.
The Cayman Islands offer a tax efficient, respected jurisdiction for the incorporation of an offshore company. The following pages offer information on the benefits of incorporation in the Caymans, the procedure of incorporation and the tax and accountancy regulations imposed by this jurisdiction.
The formation of a Cayman Islands Company is a tax efficient solution for international entrepreneurs. Some of the many key benefits are listed below:
- All documents and legislation are in the official language of English
- There are no annual reporting, accounting or auditing requirements for an Offshore Cayman Islands Company
- Only one shareholder and one director is required. These can be the same person or a corporate body and do not need to include a local
- There is a complete lack of direct taxation; no corporation, property, capital gains or withholding taxes. This legislation is backed by a 20 year government guarantee (rising to 30 years on application) enabling long term business planning
- There is no minimum capital requirement for a Cayman Island Company formation
- The business does not need to be run from the Cayman Islands. It can be run from anywhere in the world
- Corporate bank accounts
New licensing regulations for Trusts & Service Providers in Hong Kong
As per new regulations, all Hong Kong businesses providing Trustee Services, including Corporate Service Providers will not be able to operate without a valid trading license after March the 1st 2018. The new scheme is designed to better regulate individuals carrying out services within the financial sphere in Hong Kong and will be overseen and administered by the Hong Kong Companies Registry.
The terms of Hong Kong's new register of significant controllers and what it means for companies
As per new legislation, from March 1st 2018, every company incorporated in Hong Kong will be required to keep and maintain a register of all persons who have significant control of the company. The record must be updated as required and kept at the registered company address, even if there are no persons of significant control.
The pros & cons of European Passport-by-Investment schemes
In a bid to rebuild the dwindling economy in Cyprus shortly after the financial crisis four years ago, the government launched a passport-by-investment program to temp wealthy foreigners with citizenship in exchange for an investment of no less than €2 million into the Cyprus economy.
Using the Cyprus Non-Dom scheme for beneficial tax planning
In an attempt to improve and simplify the Cyprus tax system as well as to remain a highly compliant and attractive jurisdiction, the introduction of the non-domicile (shortened to Non-Dom) scheme aims to give Cyprus a competitive edge over other jurisdictions.
How are Cyprus banks handling the island's high rate of NPLs? Can more be done to combat them?
It is no secret that the Cyprus banking sector is struggling with the overwhelming level of Non-Performing Loans (NPLs), no matter the efforts exerted by the main banks in Cyprus by following conventional banking models to balance their profit/loss reports, NPLs remain to be the proverbial hole in the bucket.
Income tax exemptions for expats living in Cyprus: what are your options?
Situated in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Republic of Cyprus boasts a strategic geographical location at the hub of three continents; Europe, Asia and Africa and a pleasant sunny climate year round.
The UK Persons of Significant Control Register & its impact on companies
The requirement to maintain a register of people with significant influence or control, more commonly known as the PSC register was introduced to mandate all unlisted companies in the UK, including LLPs and dormant companies to maintain a register identifying those with significant control over a company.
Cyprus implements the Hague Convention, legally recognising Trusts as a type of Equitable Law
This year, the Republic of Cyprus ratified The Hague Conventions’ definition of the legislation applicable to trusts and furthering the regulations surrounding their recognition. Cyprus common law now recognises trusts as a unique legal institution under equity.