How to choose offshore jurisdiction?

Certainly, tax havens borrow or simply copy each others tax codes. There are not so many essential differences between the limited liability companies in offshore states.  

Why then do business people opt for ltd company in British Virgin Islands or Belize? Why did your agent offer you a limited liability company set-up in Marshall Islands or Seychelles? If all offshores look the same, then what is the best offshore jurisdiction?  

Top popular ltd companies in offshore jurisdictions remain:

British Virgin Islands
Marshall Islands


If the specifics and the structure of your business do not mind a simple offshore limited liability company, what exactly the choice depend on?
There are 3 main demands, which explain why the offshore companies appeared at the first place:

  1. exemption of taxes
  2. confidentiality of the beneficial owner
  3. fast company registration

We want to believe that it is all ok with  point number 1. Although, how can one forget the 2014 New Year’s Eve tax oops of the Panamanian government? (the government cancelled the offshore Tax Code of Panama and turned it back overnight).

It is not that easy any more with our point on confidentiality. Of course, the big picture of confidentiality of beneficial owners remains untouched. Nevertheless, the punches of OECD and G20 become sensible. By the initiative of OECD it is now required to declare the address of the offshore company accounts in Belize and Seychelles, or for example,  to store information of the beneficial owner’s background and source of funds in BVI.

Besides confidentiality, primarily importance has fast company registration. This definition includes not just the speed of the incorporation process, but as well such notions as minimum requirements towards the client, effective documents production and fast certification/ legalization and recognition of the corporate documents by the banks and business partners.

There are objective and subjective factors that influence the principal of fast registration. The objective factors are:

  • general speed of the Company House work
  • whether the offshore jurisdiction participates in the Hague Convention on Apostille (or will you have to legalize company documents at the embassy, like for Singapore, UAE or Canadian companies)
  • whether the nominee director and shareholder are located in the same jurisdiction as the company (it is uncommon for BVI or Marshall Islands, for example)

The subjective factors depend on the style of your registered agent:

  • His overall productivity
  • The way he treats your request on signing contracts or amending the Memorandum of Articles or his usual Power of Attorney

When you make a decision on this or that offshore registration, take a look on the above factors. Do not hesitate to ask us questions regarding offshore company incorporation.

If all offshores look the same, then what is the best offshore jurisdiction?How to choose offshore jurisdiction?


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