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SEYCHELLES OFFSHORE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS COMPANIES (IBC)

Overview Key Corporate Features General Information Company Information Compliance Related Resources How to Proceed

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OVERVIEW

Seychelles International Business Companies are useful alternatives to offshore companies established in jurisdictions such as the British Virgin Islands.

In December 1994 the Seychelles enacted legislation enabling the registration of International Business Companies, International Trusts and the licensing of International (free) Trade Zone Companies. More recent legislation covers the licensing of offshore banks, offshore Insurance, mutual funds activities and the regulating of a securities industry. The new laws were a result of intensive studies of long established offshore jurisdictions and world-wide trust legislation.

Although not dissimilar to those of the well-established offshore jurisdictions such as the Cayman, the laws take a most comprehensive, modern and attractive approach to the establishment and operation of offshore companies, mutual funds, offshore banking, offshore insurance and freeport activities.

Seychelles is one of the fastest IBC registrar in the world. The International Business Companies Act, 1994, governs the operations of offshore companies. The registration process in Seychelles is straightforward.

KEY CORPORATE FEATURES
General
Type of Company IBC
Type of Law Hybrid
Shelf company availability Yes
Our time to establish a new company 2 days
Corporate Taxation Nil
Double Taxation Treaty Access No
Share capital or equivalent
Standard currency US$
Permitted currencies Any
Minimum paid up US$1
Usual authorised US$100,000
Directors
Minimum number One
Local required No
Publicly accessible records No
Location of meetings Anywhere
Shareholders
Minimum number One
Publicly accessible records No
Location of meetings Anywhere
Company Secretary
Required No
Local or qualified No
Accounts
Requirements to prepare Yes
Audit requirements No
Requirements to file accounts No
Publicly accessible accounts No
Recurring Government Costs
Minimum Annual Tax / Licence Fee US$100
Other
Requirement to file annual return No
Change in domicile permitted Yes

GENERAL INFORMATION

The Seychelles group of islands in the Indian Ocean comprises over one hundred named islands, most being situated between four and five degrees South of the equator. The largest island is Mahé.

Population

The Seychelles has a population of around 80,000, descended primarily from French settlers, Africans, British sailors and traders from India, China and the Middle East.

Political Structure

Discovery of the Islands is credited to the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama. The first French settlement was established on St. Anne Island on the 27th August 1770.

In 1814 the Seychelles, along with Mauritius, were ceded to Great Britain under the terms of the Treaty of Paris. It was only in 1960 that the first gradual constitutional reforms were introduced.

The Head of State is the President and a National Assembly of directly elected Members heads the legislative side of Government. Seychelles is an independent republic within the British Commonwealth.

Infrastructure and Economy

The Seychelles economy is primarily tourism and fishing based. Industrial fishing is on the increase.

The rapidly expanding financial sector, linked to the establishment of the Seychelles International Business Authority and a suite of progressive laws facilitating the establishment of offshore structures and encouraging inward investment, is now a significant element of the economy.

An ever-increasing number of international banks and insurance companies have established either branches or subsidiaries whom, together with local management, accounting and legal firms provide clients with support.

The Port of Victoria is well equipped with modern cargo handling equipment and has more than 6,000 square metres of covered storage space.

The Seychelles International Airport is one of the finest in the Indian Ocean region. In addition to the national flag carrier, Air Seychelles, the airport is served by a number of other airlines.

Language

The official languages are English, French and Creole. Creole is spoken widely. English is the main language of business.

Currency

Seychelles Rupee.

Type of Law

Based on English Common Law and French Civil Law.

Principal Corporate Legislation

The International Business Companies Act 1994.

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SEYCHELLES COMPANY INFORMATION

Type of company for international Trade and Investment

The Seychelles International Business Company.

Procedure to Incorporate

Filing of Memorandum of Incorporation at the Registry. The Articles of Association can be filed either at the same time or within 30 days of incorporation.

Restrictions on Trading

Cannot trade within the Seychelles or own real estate there. Cannot undertake the business of banking, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, asset management (other than the company's own assets) or any other activity that would suggest an association with the banking and insurance industries. A Seychelles IBC cannot provide registered office facilities in the Seychelles, or sell its shares to the public.

Powers of Company

A Seychelles incorporated Company has the same powers as a natural person.

Registered Office Required

Yes, must be maintained in the Seychelles at the office of a licensed Registered Agent.

Time to Incorporate

Online incorporation will allow approved sub-agents in Anguilla to incorporate within minutes. Otherwise, 24 hours is required.

Shelf Companies Available

Yes.

Time to Incorporate

Two days.

Name Restrictions

Anything identical or similar to a company already incorporated. Anything that implies patronage of the Seychelles, or any other government, insurance, royal, imperial or any other name that may imply that a company intends to undertake a licensable or undesirable activity.

Language of Name and Corporate Documents

The name can be in any language, but must be accompanied by a translation in English or French. The documentation will either be in English, or it is possible to have bilingual documentation in English and Chinese or any other language accompanied by a translation in English or French.

Suffixes to Denote Limited Liability

The name of an IBC must end in one of the following: Limited, Corporation, Incorporated, Société Anonyme or their abbreviations. A wide variety of other suffixes such as BV, GmbH, and SARL may also be used.

Disclosure of Beneficial Ownership to Authorities

No.

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SEYCHELLES COMPLIANCE

Authorised and Issued Share Capital

Seychelles IBCs are normally incorporated with an authorised share capital of US$100,000 with par value. The authorised share capital may be expressed in any currency. The minimum issued capital is either one share of no par value or one share of par value.

Classes of Shares Permitted

Registered shares, shares of no par value, preference shares, redeemable shares and shares with or without voting rights.

Taxation

An International Company is exempted from local taxation.

Licence Fee

Annual Licence Fee is US$100 irrespective of Authorised Capital.

Financial Statements Required

There is no requirement to file financial statements, but a company must keep records to reflect its financial position.

Directors

The minimum number of directors is one, who may be a natural person or a body corporate. They may be of any nationality and need not be resident in the Seychelles.

Company Secretary

A Seychelles IBC need not appoint a company secretary, although it is customary to do so. The secretary may be a natural person or body corporate, be of any nationality and need not be resident in the Seychelles.

Shareholders

The minimum number of shareholders is one.

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RELATED RESOURCES


Information Downloads

Seychelles IBC Fact Sheet Seychelles IBC Enquiry Form Seychelles IBC Order Form Shelf List Comparison Chart


Statutory Information Downloads
Access to this statutory material is provided by the International Tax Planning Association. Access to other laws relating to international tax planning is available to members on the Association's website www.itpa.org.

International Business Companies Act, 1994 (as amended, 2011) Back to top
HOW TO PROCEED

A bespoke 'offshore' solution can be complex and requires careful planning and execution. We therefore encourage our clients to contact us directly, without obligation, for a Free Initial Consultation.

Our experienced consultants will gladly assist with advice on how to approach your particular challenge.

To make contact with a consultant at one of our offices who speaks your language, click here for a full list of our office contact details.


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