The Commonwealth of the Bahamas is an archipelago of approximately 700 islands and cays located in the Atlantic Ocean 80 kilometers east of the peninsula of Florida. It possesses an outstanding infrastructure for commercial and financial activities and offers a highly skilled workforce. The professional community of accountants, international bankers, trustees, and investment specialists is large, diverse and English speaking.
The Bahamas is an independent country since 1973 and continues to remain an active member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. The Bahamas is a Parliamentary type democracy and can be considered politically very stable.
The International Business Companies Ordinance, effective as of January 15th 1990, authorizes the creation of International Business Companies (IBC’s) to conduct offshore business, with no taxation in the Bahamas, except for the annual license fee.
The Bahamas IBC has the following characteristics:
Shareholders: Two shareholders are required and we issue shares in registered form only. Bearer shares are not allowed. No details of the shareholders appear on the public file but a register of shareholder must be kept at the registered office address of the company in the Bahamas. Corporate shareholders are permitted.
Directors: Name and address of persons who are appointed as Directors and Officers must be noted on a Register of Directors and Officers. The Register of Directors shall be filed with the Registrar and shall be open to inspection by members of the public. A minimum of one director is required, and corporate directors are permitted.
Restrictions on Name and Activity: Names must end with one of the following words, or abbreviations thereof – Limited, Corporation, Incorporated, Societe Anonyme or Sociedad Anonima, Gesellschaft mit beschrankter Haftung.
The following words and their associated activities, cannot be used: Assurance, Bank, Building Society, Chamber of Commerce, Chartered, Co-operative, Fund, Imperial, Insurance, Municipal, Mutual Fund, Royal and Trust.
Local Requirements: As a matter of local company law the company MUST maintain a registered office address within the Bahamas and must also appoint a Bahamas resident as registered agent. We would generally provide these services as part of the domiciliary service fee.
Books, records, and minutes of an IBC may be kept at a place outside the Bahamas. A company seal is mandatory and an imprint of it must be kept at the Registered Office.
Timescale: Incorporation can be achieved within 2-3 working days.
Annual Reporting:No annual return or accounts need be filed. All companies to keep accounting records that “are sufficient to show and explain the company’s transactions; and will, at any time, enable the financial position of the company to be determined with reasonable accuracy”.
Taxation:IBCs pay no taxes in the Bahamas except for the annual license fee.
Also, IBC’s in Bahamas are non-resident companies and hence not entitled to tax residency certificate and also can not avail benefits under any Double Tax Avoidance Agreements
Secrecy: The Bahamas has no double taxation treaties, which could obligate the disclosure of information for clients of other countries. There is a Mutual Legal Assistance with the United States of America that applies exclusively to information related to criminal activity.
Company Renewals: Annual Maintenance Fee for the Bahamas IBC’s must be received before 31st December of each year.
In case of late renewal, government and service charges shall be applicable.
Latest valid passport copy and recent utility bill for address proof of shareholder/director are required to be submitted at every renewal as a part of enhanced due diligence. If shareholder is a corporate entity, then latest certificate of incumbency and above stated docs of directors would be required.
KYC Documents for individual Director/Shareholder
KYC for Corporate Director/Shareholder
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the details contained herein are correct and up-to-date, it does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice. We do not accept any responsibility, legal or otherwise, for any errors or omissions.