Shipping Company Registration

Eltoma Corporate Services can assist when incorporating a shipping company. We can offer advice regarding the most appropriate jurisdiction in which to base your operation and utilize our professional network in order to ensure that the company is incorporated quickly and efficiently.

Below is a brief summary of jurisdictions advantageous for shipping activities. Please contact Eltoma to discuss your requirements and provide additional information.

Entity Private Limited Liability Company
EU Member No
Procedure to Incorporate Click to read incorporation procedure.
Fee for Incorporation Click to view fee schedule
Additional Fees (if required)

Additional Fees:

  • Application & renewal for Licences and Permits.
  • Registration of the ship with the Registrar of Ships.
  • Office rent.
  • Hire staff & Payrol.
  • Accounting & filing.
  • Tax & filing.
Timescale for Incorporation Click to view details.
Min. Issued Capital SGD $50,000
Paid Up Yes
Local Bank Account Opening Click to view local bank account opening procedure.
Fee from Year 2

Click to view company maintenace costs.

*Additional fees are calculated on a case by case basis 
Compliance Compliance is discussed on a case-by-case basis depending on the business activities.
Corporate Tax

Profits derived from the operation of a Singapore vessel are exempt from Singapore income tax.
The exemption applies to the income derived from the carriage in international waters of passengers, mail, livestock or goods by seagoing Singapore vessels and includes the income derived from the charter of such vessels.

Click to view additional incentives for Singapore shipping companies.

Tonnage Tax The annual tonnage tax is SGD $0.20 per NT subject to a minimum of SGD $100 (500 NT) and a maximum of SGD $10,000 (50,000 NT).
The annual tonnage tax must be paid at the time of initial registration or registration anew and thereafter every year on or before the anniversary date on which the vessel was registered or newly registered, as the case may be.
No refund of the tax will be made if during the year for which the tax has been paid, the registry of the vessel is closed for any reason.


Entity Private Limited Liability Company (BV)
EU Member Yes
Procedure to Incorporate A bank account must be opened and share capital deposited (€18,000 EUR)The company can then be incorporated
Fee for Incorporation Incorporation – 2,750.00 EUR
Company Administration & Registered Office Fee – 2,750.00 EUR
Shelf Company (Including Bank Account & VAT No.) – 7,750.00 EUR
Additional Fees (if required) Director & Registered Address – 4,500.00 EUR
VAT Registration Fee – 500.00 EUR
VAT Declarations Fee – Depending on scope
Timescale for Incorporation Approximately 2 weeks
Min. Issued Capital 18,000.00 EUR
Paid Up Yes
Local Bank Account Opening A Local Bank Account must be opened and initial share capital (18,000 EUR) must be paid in.Once the bank has confirmed the payment of the share capital the company can be incorporated.
Bank Account Opening Fee – 750.00 EUR
An account can be opened in a number of International banks in the Netherlands (including ING Bank & AbnAmro)
Fee from Year 2 Year 2 Renewal Fee – 3,250.00 EUR (includes provision of Registered Office)
Compliance First Year Compliance Fee – From 1,000.00 EUR
Corporate Tax Corporate tax exemption for foreign based shipping companies – foreign shipping companies are not taxed in the Netherlands on income, profits or gains from the operation of ships travelling to and from Netherlands harbours 
Dutch VAT exemption for shipping within the EU
Tonnage Tax Levy of corporate taxation based on the net tonnage of vessels rather than the profits actually made.
Basic requirement to qualify for tonnage tax regime is that the shipping company’s profits must be derived from the operation of sea going vessels.
If the shipping company charters a ship owned by another company it may still qualify for tonnage tax provided the company owns a certain volume of net tonnage through the co-ownership of the vessels under charter.
A request must be filed with the Dutch tax authorities and if granted the tonnage tax regime will apply for a period of 10 years. It is possible to obtain an agreement in principle prior to commencing shipping activities in the Netherlands.
Entity Offshore Shipping Branch of a Foreign Company
EU Member Yes
Procedure to Incorporate The following must be submitted to the Ministry of National Economy:
  • Foreign Companies documents and most recent financial statements.
  • Bank reference for foreign company

Bank guarantee for USD 10,000 (this will be forfeited only if the company or its personnel fail to meet their obligations to the state.

Fee for Incorporation Incorporation – 5,250.00 EUR
Company Administration & Registered Office Fee – 2,800.00 EUR
Timescale for Incorporation Approximately 30 working days
Min. Issued Capital As required in the jurisdiction of the parent company
Paid Up N/A
Local Bank Account Opening Has to be set up for the bank guarantee to be paid in.
Bank Account Opening Fee – 650.00 EUR
Fee from Year 2 Year 2 Fee – 2,250.00 EUR
Compliance Annual Returns – FiledAudited Accounts – Filed
Corporate Tax Offshore shipping branches exempt from Income / Corporate tax in Greece.
Also exempt from customs duties, import taxes and stamp duty however this is in exchange for an obligation to import foreign currency to finance their local operation (min. 50,000 USD per year)
Tonnage Tax N/A for Offshore Shipping Branch due to advantageous taxation structure.


Entity Private Limited Liability Company
EU Member Yes
Procedure to Incorporate Licensed shipping companies can benefit from a tonnage tax rather than a corporate tax regime. A licensed shipping company will therefore not pay tax other than relevant tonnage tax if its income is derived from shipping activities.The is issue of whether the SPV can be considered as owning a vessel for the purposes of tonnage tax or whether it can be considered as operating when it’s activity is limited into entering into a leasing contract with a leasing company requires more detailed consideration however the law seeks to be as all-encompassing as possible.
Fee for Incorporation Incorporation Fee – 2,250.00 EUR
Registered Office – 1,500.00 EUR
Additional Fees (if required) Company Secretary – 1,500.00 EUR
Nominee Shareholder – 850.00 EUR
Nominee Director (Maltese National) – 2,500.00 EUR
Company Maintenance & Administration – 850.00 EUR
Accountancy – 1,850.00 EUR (may be higher dependent on volume)
Tax Compliance – 1,250.00 EUR
VAT Compliance - 850.00 EUR
Timescale for Incorporation Approx. 2 weeks
Min. Issued Capital 1,165.00 EUR
Paid Up Yes
Local Bank Account Opening Can be arranged easily. Details on banks used will be provided
Fee from Year 2 1,750.00 EUR
Compliance Annual Return – filed (Min. Annual Return Filing Fee – 250.00 EUR)
Audited Accounts – submitted (average fees being obtained FYI)
Corporate Tax Corporate Tax Rate – 35%. Upon distribution of taxed profits by dividends s/holders can receive a refund of tax paid up to 6/7ths of the aggregate tax liability. Theoretically this means a tax rate of only 5% is applicable.
If the company obtains confirmation that it is eligible for tonnage tax then no tax is payable on the income derived from shipping activities.
Tonnage Tax As stated previously a company has to receive a license from the Maltese government to be eligible to pay tonnage tax. This is valid for 5 years


Entity Limitada – Private Limited Liability Company
EU Member No – But has associate status
Fee for Incorporation Incorporation – 4,200.00 EUR
Application Fee for Tax Exemption Licence – 1,000.00 EUR.
Additional Fees (if required) Local Directors – 3,000.00 EUR.
Provision of nominee Quota Holders (Shareholders) – 1,050.00 EUR.
Annual Legal Representation Fee (if local directors are not used) – 1,500.00 EUR.
Minimum Fee for Annual Accounting Service – 2,500.00 EUR
Timescale for Incorporation Approx. 3 weeks
Min. Issued Capital 2.00 EUR.
Paid Up Yes
Local Bank Account Opening An account at BANIF Bank can be opened without presence
Other Information Must maintain a minimum balance of 5,000.00 EUR in a local bank account to cover any fees / penalties etc that are due
Fee from Year 2 Annual License & Operating Fee – 3,000.00 EUR
Director fees etc if required as above
Compliance Annual Accounts – filed.Quarterly VAT Returns – filed (VAT Rate – 16%).
Minimum fee for Annual Accounting Service – 2,500.00 EUR
Corporate Tax Companies licensed between 01/01/2007 – 31/12/2012 – 4% tax on income in 2012 and 5% tax in income in 2013-2020. 
Must have 6 employees OR between 1-5 employees and make a minimum investment of 75,000 EUR.
As long as the above is adhered to and all profits generated outside Portugal then the above taxation regime will apply
Tonnage Tax Ship has to be registered under a Madeira Flag – costs around 2,000.00 EUR. No Corporate Tax is paid and only tonnage tax.


Entity Limited Liability Company – GmbH
EU Member Yes
Fee for Incorporation Ready-made company – 5,500.00 EUR.
Incorporation & Bank Account – 5,500.00 EUR
*Director must travel for either option
Registered Office Annual Fee – 1,500.00 EUR
Additional Fees (if required) Local Nominee Director – Approx. 5,000.00 EUR
VAT Registration – Approx. 500.00 EUR
Timescale for Incorporation Approx. 7-10 working days for ready-made company11-12 weeks for incorporation
Min. Issued Capital 25,000.00 EUR
Paid Up Minimum of 25% Paid Up (approx. 6,000 EUR)
Local Bank Account Opening Fee for opening included in incorporation feeFor ready-made companies a fee of 850.00 EUR charged for transfer of the existing bank account
Fee from Year 2 Annual Renewal Fee – 1,450.00 EUR
Compliance Annual Return to be filedAccounts to be submitted
Audit for ‘small’ companies not required
Filing Fees to be confirmed
Corporate Tax Corporate Tax – 15%
Municipal Tax – approx. 14%
Withholding Tax – 15% on dividends, up to 25% on interest
VAT – 19%
Tonnage Tax Can be very complicated to obtain permission for payment of Tonnage Tax instead of Corporate Tax however Eltoma Corporate Services can assist you in obtaining this.


Entity Private Limited Company – Ltd
EU Member Yes
Procedure to Incorporate Straightforward – Passport and proof of residence required
Fee for Incorporation Incorporation – 1,150.00 EUR
Apostilled Document Set – 450.00 EUR
Registered Office Fee – 850.00 EUR
Secretarial Services – 500.00 EUR
Additional Fees (if required) Nominee Shareholder– 400.00 EUR 
Timescale for Incorporation Approx. 5-7 working days
Min. Issued Capital Min Paid Up 1.00 GBP, Standard Share capital – 2,000 GBP
Paid Up Min Paid Up 1.00 GBP
Local Bank Account Opening Bank Account Opening Fee – 650.00 EUR
Fee from Year 2 Annual Renewal Fee – 850.00 EUR
Registered Office Fee – 850.00 EUR
Secretarial Services – 500.00 EUR
Compliance Small companies required to file a summary balance sheet at the Companies RegistryNo requirement to appoint an auditor
Corporate Tax 10% Corporate Tax Rate as from 1stJan 2011No distinction between resident and non-resident company
Tonnage Tax Licensed shipping organisations are eligible to benefit from the fiscal exemptions laid down in the Taxation Regulations – further details will be sent as the stipulations are quite exhaustive.
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