KNOWLEDGE BASE

A QUICK INTRODUCTION TO OFFSHORE COMPANIES & SPV ENTITIES

“Offshore companies are not dissimilar to onshore companies"

What is an offshore company? What are shelf companies? How long does it take to set up an Offshore Company? What are the costs? Where should I incorporate? Is my privacy protected? Who maintains the offshore structure? How do I proceed?

What is an offshore company?

An offshore company or corporation is the same as any other company in that it is an entity recognised by law as a separate "entity" with limited liability. As such the company has the option to sell shares, the right to sue and be sued, and has perpetual existence.

An IBC (International Business Company) is the most popular type of offshore corporation for asset protection and privacy purposes. An IBC is usually a tax-exempt corporation that can do business all over the world except in the country where it has been incorporated. Popular IBC jurisdictions include the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Mauritius and the Seychelles.

Apart from the traditional offshore centres, many 'onshore' jurisdictions have corporate structures that are attractive to international users. UK LLP , US LLC, UK Limited Companies, Hong Kong Limited Companies and EU companies are all examples of domestic structures of particular value for international tax planning purposes.

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What are shelf companies?

Shelf companies are ready-made, never-used corporations that have been established to meet a client's immediate needs. We maintain a list of over 200 well-named companies available to trade immediately. Click here to view our list of ready made companies and to reserve a name.

How long does it take to set up an offshore company and bank account?

International Business Companies can usually be set up within two working days on condition of receipt of all the required information from clients.

Providing we have all the required documentation, we can open a bank account in certain jurisdictions within 48 hours. Bank accounts in Europe may take as long as three weeks. However, if an account in Europe is required urgently, this can be achieved at an additional cost. Click here for more offshore banking information or contact us about introducing you to a reputable banking institution.

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What are the costs?

Company formation fees, recurring annual fees, and administration costs vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Click here to view our Fee Schedule.

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Where should I incorporate?

Most offshore jurisdictions are free from foreign exchange controls and have introduced company legislation to cater for a diverse range of international business requirements. It is important to select a jurisdiction that is well-suited to your specific corporate and personal needs. Contact an office for a Free Consultation on which jurisdiction is best for your requirements or click here to review more than 90 featured offshore and onshore jurisdictions.

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Is my privacy protected?

Whilst we respect and honour the confidentiality of our corporate clients, we are committed to carry out a thorough due diligence of both our clients' identities and the nature of their business. Our clients must disclose to us both the reason for setting up an offshore entity and the type of business the offshore entity is likely to conduct. We are obliged to monitor and ensure that the activities of the offshore entity do not breach any international regulations, and our clients are required to execute management agreements with OCRA Worldwide. This formal approach to due diligence benefits all parties.

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Who will maintain the offshore structure?

We have offices in most major financial centres and can undertake a client's company administration in accordance with corporate requirements. In addition, we can arrange accounting, audit and legal services, provide local management and assist clients in obtaining a licence from the regulatory authorities. Click here to review our global offices.

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How do I proceed?

Use our ordering facilities to instruct us to set up the solution and put administration and support services in place. Choose the option that suits you best:

1. Speak to a consultant

Tell us a little about your requirements or the information you require and a consultant who speaks your language will contact you directly to discuss and establish the best solution to meet the challenge of your particular situation. Ask us to contact you or contact an office to set up an appointment.

2. Order by fax or mail

If you are an existing client, an intermediary, or a new client who has received the appropriate advice, you can place your order by fax or mail by downloading the Application Form and faxing or mailing it to the appropriate office.

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Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the details contained herein are correct and up-to-date, it does not constitute legal or other
professional advice. OCRA Worldwide does not accept any responsibility, legal or otherwise, for any errors or omission.