1. Why And Where Should I Use An Offshore/Foreign Holding Or Trading Company?
In simple terms, an International Business Company ('IBC', also known as 'Offshore' company) is a legal entity used as a tool, by corporations and individuals throughout the world, to direct profits out of high tax countries and into specific jurisdictions or international financial centres, thus taking advantage of their low or zero tax regimes and their Double Tax Treaties. The beneficial ownership and business activities of an international ('Offshore') enterprise are usually outside the country of its registration.
The main reasons/benefits relating to the use of offshore legal entities are summarised below:
In International Trade: By using offshore companies as part of international trading transactions (also known as ‘triangular trading’) it is possible to accumulate profits arising out of these transactions in a tax efficient manner. Free consultation.
When Holding Portfolios of Stocks, Bonds, and Cash: Such assets held offshore may earn deposit interest tax free, be placed in money market funds, earn dividends tax free, and be sold with no capital gain taxes. We can create customised solutions. Free consultation.
To Utilise the Double Taxation Treaties between countries through Intermediary Holding Companies: Companies wishing to invest in countries where a Double Tax Treaty does not exist between their resident country and the one where the investment is going to take place in, can establish an intermediary company in a jurisdiction where there is a suitable treaty between that jurisdiction and the country of the investor’s residence thus taking advantage of reduced overall taxes on the profits generated from the investments. Ask us to create a solution for your particular circumstances.
When Holding Investments in Subsidiary or Associated Companies: Capital gains arising from the disposal of particular investments may occur without OR with significantly reduced taxation. In the case of dividend payments, reduced levels of withholding taxes can be achieved through the use of a company incorporated in a zero or low tax jurisdiction that has a Double Tax Treaty in place with the contracting state. Free consultation.
Privacy and Wealth Protection: High net worth individuals gain privacy and save on professional fees by using offshore companies as Personal Holding Companies. These entities may be suitable for inheritance planning while reducing both costs and time delays in probate. Customised solutions are offered. As always, free consultation.
Service Companies: Individuals who provide professional services, such as contractors, entertainers, consultants, film executives, etc. can realise considerable savings when fees earned are accumulated tax free in Personal Service Companies based offshore. Payments may also be structured to minimise income tax. Customised solutions available.
Property and Land Ownership: Offshore entities are regularly utilised to own property and real estate for tax purposes and privacy. We can help, free consulation.
Employment Companies: Payroll costs and travel expenses may be reduced by paying employees working overseas from your offshore base. This may also provide tax relief and a social security savings benefit for the employees. Let us help.
Financing: Offshore companies can be established to provide financing from abroad with a view of diminishing the overall tax effects. We can bring you in touch with appropriate banks.
Ship Management & Yacht Ownership: Jurisdictions specialising in ship and pleasure craft registration provide low-cost registration fees and tax exemption income derived from shipping and chartering activities. For example, Cyprus has one of the world’s largest ship company registration and administration roster. Under Cyprus regulations, no income tax is payable on the profits earned or dividends paid by a Cyprus shipping company from ships registered under the Cyprus flag and operating in international waters (including chartering), or on the salaries of officers and crew of such ships. Ask us for more information on this.
Patent, Royalty, & Copyright Holdings: Intellectual property including computer software, technical knowledge, patents, trademarks, and copyrights can be owned by, or assigned to, an offshore company upon acquisition of the rights. The rights can then be franchised to companies around the world and the resultant income can be accumulated offshore. A carefully selected jurisdiction can withhold taxes on royalty payments with the commercial application of Double Tax Treaties. Free consultation.
Stock Market Listings and Capital Raising Exercises: Many large corporations in economically and politically uncertain countries often diminish the perception of risk by moving ownership of assets and the base of their operations offshore.
You are Judgment-proof: Court orders and judgments are not recognized in many offshore jurisdictions.
Protection from the Consequences of Insolvency: Claims of creditors in insolvency cases are not recognized in many offshore jurisdictions.
Protection from the Consequences of Divorce: The consequences of marriage or divorce are not recognized or enforceable in offshore jurisdictions.
Anonymity & Confidentiality: If desired, you can be completely anonymous while maintaining complete control over your offshore Trust or International Business Company.
Tested Legal Systems/ Security of Property Rights in all jurisdictions we offer.
No Exchange Controls, Tax Free Remittance of Profits and Capital in all jurisditions offered.
Political Stability: All jurisdictions we offer are politically stable.
2. Why Should I Use PROFEL?
Significant Experience: PROFEL brings you the combined professional experience of its principals of over fifty (50) years in the areas of tax planning, law, accounting, and banking.
Knowledge of the Subject Matter: The ability to provide custom-made, optimal solutions for clients.
Cost Effectiveness: PROFEL delivers quality, professional products and services at very competitive rates. All you have to do is compare our fees for the same services (such as the cost of company formation in a given jurisdiction) to those of others.
3. What Is An Acceptable Name for An International Business Company (IBC)?
An IBC may be named nearly any name the client desires. There are very few restrictions. The name of an IBC must end, depending on the jurisdiction, with ‘Incorporated’, ‘Limited’, ‘Corporation’ or the abbreviations ‘Ltd.’, 'Inc.’ or ‘Corp.’ Names that include words such as ‘Trust’, ‘Bank’, or ‘Insurance’ require appropriate licenses. Other than these limitations, an IBC may have virtually any name. For faster service, ready-made ‘shelf’ companies are available for all jurisdictions we offer.
4. Is Offshore Banking Safe?
Absolutely. We can recommend established, reputable, ‘Moody's’ and ‘Standard & Poor’s’ rated banks that have been in existence for 100 years or more, that have proven themselves to be service oriented, extremely stable, and financially sound.
5. Can I Bank Online Offshore?
Yes. The banks that we cooperate with have full online banking services.
6. Who Controls The Offshore Accounts?
You do. The client is in complete and total control of all accounts at all times. Your signature is the only one that appears on any bank accounts and no one but the signatories may use or access funds in the accounts.
Should you require, we offer Bank Account Management Services for clients so that anonymity and confidentiality in relation to bank accounts usage is maintained. In such a case we act as your Trustees and strictly follow your instructions. For more information please Contact us or go to our Banking services section.
7. How Do I Bring Money Back From Offshore?
There are four ways to bring money back from offshore:
I. Money may be wired directly from offshore into an account in your country of residence.
II. By using Debit/Credit cards (Visa, AMEX, MasterCard, etc) issued by banks where the offshore accounts are held. These cards may be used to make purchases from merchants or to withdraw cash from ATMs anywhere in the world.
III. The foreign company (IBC) or Trust may purchase real estate, businesses, and any other movable or immovable assets.Typically, clients act as agents of their IBCs or Trusts to purchase assets on their behalf. This way, assets are held under a corporate or trust name, thus helping to protect the client's privacy.
IV. The clients may borrow funds from their IBC or Trust. The IBC or Trust is a separate legal entity from an individual and may make loans to individuals and/or other legal entities, which may also be owned by the same beneficial owner.
8. What Is The Procedure To Register a Company?
To proceed with the registration of your company we will require the following information and documentation along with completion of all relevant sections of our Application Form:
A. Company Name:
Please provide us with 3 names of your preference to check availability.
Shelf companies are also available in some jurisdictions if you need a company immediately. Shelf companies are regular companies and as such the same as companies to be incorporated, except that shelf companies have already been incorporated previously and are ready to engage in business immediately. We can provide you with a list of shelf companies upon request.
B. Company Activity:
Resume of the company activity with sufficient information on the company, including information regarding main business activity, expected turnover, expected movements on the bank account etc.
C. Personal Information:
- Some basic information about your current company and its activities;
- Full name and addresses of the beneficial owners/shareholders;
- Full name and addresses of directors if you will provide your own;
- Copies of passports of all beneficial owners/shareholders, directors, and bank account signatories validated by a notary public.
D. Utility Bill:
Original of utility bill (electricity, water, telephone, cable TV or gas) confirming client's current address (less than 3 months old).
E. Personal Bank Reference Letter:
A financial reference letter from a bank. The letter should be on the financial institution's letterhead, and should include the signature of an official, and the contact information (address, telephone, fax, email etc.).
View our sample of financial reference letter here
G. If a Bank Account is Requested:
• Name of the bank with which you wish to open an account (a list with our banking partners can be provided upon request);
• Currency and type of account;
• Names of the signatories to the account, and the way in which they will sign (jointly, solely, etc.).
These documents are solely for our internal use and will be kept secure and confidential. This request is for compliance purposes only and our client’s reputation is not being questioned. According to the international regulations on the prevention of drug trafficking and money laundering, PROFEL LTD strictly implements Due Diligence guidelines and complies with the industry standard of “Know Your Client”.
9. How Long Does It Take?
A standard ready company package, depending on the specific jurisdiction, takes around 10 DAYS to prepare and deliver. Bank accounts will take up to three weeks to become fully operational. Specific name orders take 1-6 weeks to complete depending on jurisdiction.
Already registered ('shelf') companies for all jurisdictions are immediately available.
To get additional information please Contact us via email or complete our Application Form.
10. Do I Have To Come To Cyprus For Setting Up A Company In Any Jurisdiction You Offer?
No, you do not have to be physically present in Cyprus either during the registration process or later when the company is operational. You can send us instructions on any aspect of the company’s administration by fax or email and we will carry out any necessary work efficiently and effectively. Of course you are welcome to come and visit us in Cyprus at any time, use our office facilities and, perhaps, combine your stay with a holiday here.
Alternatively, if you choose to set up a fully fledged office on the island, you can move to Cyprus with your family, as director of a Cyprus registered IBC (subject to certain conditions).
To get additional information please Contact us via email or complete our Application Form.
11. If Nominees Are Appointed, How Am I Safeguarded?
If you choose to appoint nominee Directors and/or Shareholders, then for your protection you will get the following document:
Every beneficial owner will get a Declaration of Trust signed by the Nominee Shareholder indicating that he is holding the shares in a trustee capacity and that he has no rights on those shares.
As the officers of the company (Directors and Secretary) are controlled by the shareholders of the company, the above Trustee document enables the clients to remove the Directors. Same applies to the company Secretary.