Everything you need to know about Nevis offshore company
Have you ever heard about Nevis offshore company? An offshore company is an entity that is incorporated in a different jurisdiction than where its principals reside. These principals include the shareholders, directors, members, officers, and even partners. It is one of the ways used by investors across the world use to protect their wealth and assets. However, an offshore company is not allowed to carry out business within the country of formation.
The main reason why people opt for offshore companies is to take advantage of laws available in the country but not in their nations of residence. You will find more info in a previously written blog entry about What is an offshore company and where to start your offshore business
Such advantages include tax benefits, political and economic stability, asset protection laws, and confidentially, among others.
Why would a country offer foreign entities such benefits in the country?
The main answer is that these companies bring revenue to these jurisdictions through filing and agent fees.
This is why jurisdictions such as Nevis, Belize, Cook Island, and BVI provide special laws to attract offshore companies across the globe.
Now, in this context, you are going to learn more about Nevis offshore company and why you should make it a consideration.
An overview of Nevis
Where is Nevis located?
Nevis forms part of the southern region of the Caribbean Sea in the Leeward Islands. Its close companion nation or island is St. Kitts, and together they form one of the tinniest self-governing states in the New World.
They are only separated by a short and shallow channel. Nevis and St. Kitts are tropical islands with a volcanic origin are about 1200 miles away from Florida and Miami.
Other islands near these two include Antigua, Guadeloupe, Anguilla, and Montserrat.
What is the political weather like in the country?
Nevis and St. Kitty ware colonized and governed by different territories such as the Leeward Islands and England before achieving full independence in the early 1980s.
The two islands today are governed by the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, which is a form of constitutional monarchy.
This federation is headed by the prime minister, and it comes with a national assembly — the legislative branch of the government. The federation government has always been known to be politically stable for the two islands.
However, while the federation national assembly represents the two islands, Nevis has a separate assembly. Which is only a subordinate to the main assembly in the case of external affairs.
Nevis is served by a high court in St. Kitts when it comes to judicial matters.
How can you define the economic status of Nevis?
The main activities that have greatly contributed to the economic stability of the country are the tourist industry and offshore business sector.
The country is putting more effort into improving infrastructure and increase the number of tourist-attraction developments.
Also, Nevis and St. Kitts combined form the strongest and largest electronics sector across the Eastern Caribbean. Other sectors that have led to the growth and stability of the economy. Include agriculture and import and export trading with nations such as the United States.
The two islands are developed in almost all sectors, including the internet, whereby more than 75% of the population make use of it. This is one of the reasons why it is possible to form a Nevis offshore company. Or even open an offshore bank account in the country without having to visit in person.
What are the exchange controls in Nevis?
The good news, there is no exchange control in the country, which means that a Nevis offshore company can move any currency as they wish. However, companies established under the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (opens in a new tab) must follow exchange controls as per the Currency Board of Arrangement.
The main reason why offshore companies are exempted from such controls is to encourage more foreign entities to invest in the country.
Also, Nevis is not a signatory of any tax treaty with other countries and will never share any tax information out there.
How is corporation legislation in the country?
Business Corporation in the country is governed by the Nevis Business Corporation (Amendment) Ordinance enacted in the year 2011.
The principal ordinance was enacted in the year 1984 before the amendment in the year 2011. The ordinance requires all offshore entities to maintain records of their transactions and also allow determination of financial position if it arises.
The directors will decide the right place to keep these records. Such as the office of a registered agent or any other place.
What type of law governs Nevis?
Nevis, as a country, is governed by the English common law, but when it comes to offshore companies, Nevis LLC legislation applies; Delaware LLC Act.
For asset protection in Nevis, the country has the most superior laws than most offshore jurisdictions. Also, Nevis has placed strong restrictions when it comes to creditor rights.
The country’s courts do not recognize judgments or judicial orders from the United States and will not enforce them in any way.
Registration and formation of a Nevis offshore company
A. Nevis International Business Company (IBC) incorporation
International Business Company or a Nevis offshore company is one of the best jurisdictions for investors who want to establish an offshore business.
For offshore companies in Nevis, an investor can choose two different corporation vehicles, namely IBC or Nevis LLC. It is an opportunity enabled through the enactment of the Nevis Business Corporation Ordinance Act, 1984.
An IBC in Nevis can be incorporated to conduct any legal activity.
That said, the leading legitimate purposes leading to company formation in Nevis include:
- Financial management
- Asset protection
- Need for confidentiality
- Holding company
- Tax reduction planning
B. Nevis Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Nevis LLC is a business structure that combines features of a limited company and that of a limited partnership. It is a sleek cross between a partnership and a company, and investors enjoy the benefits of both types of business incorporation.
This means that an investor planning to form an offshore company in Nevis for collaborative professional or collective projects is allowed to do so.
A Nevis offshore company that operates as an LLC is protected under the legal framework of Limited Liability Company Ordinance, 1995.
The ordinance provides limited liability to non-executive members so as to protect personal assets from being taken in case the LLC falls into debts. This is one of the reasons why it is a perfect consideration for offshore company formation in Nevis.
It also comes with stringent privacy measures to protect company members from public scrutiny. For asset protection, Nevis LLC has robust asset protection laws, operating as a Trust, whereby a member can be used as a beneficiary. Also, a manager can be used as a trustee.
An LLC can also be used as a way to form a joint venture through international jurisdictions, and ventures involved will enjoy the benefits therein.
However, each member of the joint venture will be liable to honor tax requirements as per the home country’s regulations.
A Nevis offshore company that operates as an LLC has a more significant advantage as compared to IBC.
As well as, Nevis is the first offshore financial sector to allow the incorporation of LLCs under the Limited Liability Ordinance.
Furthermore, It shows how much the government is willing to provide a safe and favourable environment for foreign investors who want to invest in the country.
Also, Nevis provides citizenship to investors who participate in development investment via monetary contribution or real-estate. This is done through Citizenship by Investment Program, and the contributors receive a passport for their commitment.
While an IBC and LLC are almost the same, especially when it comes to offshore company formation in Nevis, some differences exist between the two.
- IBC is governed by a Business Corporation Ordinance 1984 under the British common law, while LLC is regulated by Nevis Limited Liability Ordinance under the common law.
- The minimum government fee for incorporating an IBC and LLC is US$200 and US$220, respectively.
- With an LLC double taxation treaties are not applicable, but with IBC, these treaties are accessible.
- The minimum number of directors required for IBC is three, but with LLC, this not a requirement.
Nevis offshore registration requirements
Like stated earlier, incorporating any business in Nevis is done under the Nevis Business Corporation ordinance, and this applies to the international business corporation (IBC) as well.
Therefore, any investor looking forward to registering an offshore business in Nevis can do so by following a very simple and fast process.
Here are the steps and requirements to fulfill.
Identifying an agent
You are not allowed to register your Nevis offshore company by yourself, and therefore will need to identify a reliable registered agent to help you with the process.
This agent must possess an administration license to operate as such in Nevis and have a registered office in the country. An agent can be a solicitor or barrister registered as per the 1984 ordinance.
However, to reduce the queue of incorporation demands, a new approach has since been introduced. Therefore, any company with a paid-up capital of EC$500,000 can also practice as a registered agent.
Once you submit your IBC name to the agent, they will begin registration by reserving it using the official online module for company registration in Nevis.
In fact, the law requires any new business to identify a unique name for its company — it must not be similar to any other business existing in the country under the registrar of companies.
No minimum authorized capital is required to incorporate a Nevis offshore company.
Every corporation in Nevis is totally private and confidential — never to be exposed to the public.
It means that the names of the company’s shareholders, directors, or managers are not a requirement when filing documents with the registrar of companies in Nevis.
Every corporation in Nevis must have at least one shareholder at any given time.
This shareholder can either be an individual or an entity and is allowed to live anywhere in the world.
While it is not a requirement to elect a nominee shareholder for a Nevis offshore company, it is allowed for any investor who wants to acquire additional privacy.
Directors and management
Directors of a Nevis corporation can either be shareholders or appointed managers.
The number required for the management will depend on the specification of the articles of association. However, the company must have at least one director at any given time.
These directors can either be individuals or entities, and nominee directors are also allowed for those who prefer to heighten their privacy.
A company secretary is required, and this can either be an individual or an entity. There are no restrictions on the residency or qualifications of this secretary.
The time required for incorporation
The formation of a Nevis offshore company can take as little as one or two business days to complete.
However, this will greatly depend on the name approval process and accuracy in the submission of required documents to the registrar of the companies.
It may also take two or more additional days to ensure all documents carry a legal Apostille stamp.
Licensing and permits
An LLC in Nevis is not allowed to do any business within the country or conduct real estate business.
Also, the corporations need to acquire a specific approval or license to conduct some business activities.
These include banking, savings, loans, building societies, fund management, insurance, investment fund, chamber of commerce, municipal, or a university.
As long as you have identified a local agent for incorporation purposes, you can use the office of that agent for your company’s official notices.
Others you can maintain an office for your Nevis offshore company anywhere in the world.
All offshore corporations in Nevis are exempted from paying both income and capital gains tax.
Nevis is a territorial tax state, and a company income tax only applies for incomes generated in the country but not outside its territory.
Every Nevis Corporation is required to pay registration fee during registration and a renewal fee, which ranges between US$800 and US$1600.
For the establishment of an LLC in Nevis, you will need to submit the company’s articles of association to the registrar of companies.
Other details include the company name, address, and registration fee.
Remember, you are not required to submit any personal details about the owners or the managers of a Nevis offshore company.
The language of legislation and that used in registration documents in English.
Corporations in Nevis are not required to maintain or submit their accounting records.
Furthermore, Auditing is not a requirement either. The directors have the freedom to decide the best way to keep and safeguards their company’s records.
The only requirement regarding this is the maintenance of a financial record of transactions in the company.
Holding an annual general meeting is not a requirement for corporations in Nevis.
Shareholders can decide when, how, and where to hold their meetings or maybe follow the provisions in the Articles of Association.
For those who need faster incorporation, a shelf corporation is an available option for them.
Benefits of incorporating a Nevis offshore company
You are not required to go to Nevis to manage or control the affairs of your offshore company in Nevis.
You can sign a contract, access your bank account, and invest from wherever you are without violating any law in the country. Read here on How to open an offshore bank account.
When registering your offshore company in Nevis, you are not required to submit or file any personal details with the registrar of companies.
This is perfect for maintaining privacy and prevention of public scrutiny.
The law does not allow disclosure of any of these details, and no public records need to be filed by any of the members of the company.
However, these details might be disclosed in case of legal investigations against the company or its members.
This is one of the greatest advantages of incorporating a Nevis offshore company.
The law has strict laws on protecting your assets from creditors, government agencies, and lawsuits. Being an LLC, you do not have personal liability in the company as an owner of the Nevis offshore company.
Your shares are not subject to unnecessary attacks by a court of law despite your participation in the management of the company.
Finally, all members of the company are not liable when it comes to the company’s obligations.
Every offshore company incorporated in a country, whether an IBC or LLC, is free from paying all forms of taxation in the country.
Therefore no taxation on income, dividends, wages, capital gains, or capital distribution, among other incomes.
These companies are only liable to pay government fees, which is renewable on an annual basis.
LLC laws in Nevis comes with great confidentiality requirements. Confidentiality and privacy are maintained at all levels, including financial secrecy.
As per the fiduciary duties of company managers in Nevis, they are not required to share business details with an unauthorized person or entity.
In fact, even if a court order is tabled from a different jurisdiction such as the US, UK, Canada, or anywhere else, to Nevis, it will still be useless.
According to Nevisian laws, court orders or judgments from another country are not recognizable in Nevisian courts.
The law in the country always upholds their independence in application of its own laws rather than enforcing foreign laws.
They can only bend this requirement under strictly exceptional situations.
Nevis asset protection
Nevis has the best asset protection trust in the entire Caribbean Island and the world at large — most asset protection experts can attest to this statement.
For one, the country is not a signatory to any international tax treaty and therefore are not liable to disclose any company information to anyone. And as stated earlier, the company does not recognize foreign judgments as well.
The protection of assets for investors happens under the Nevis Asset Protection Trust. The Nevis International Exempt Trust Ordinance (NIETO) is responsible for the establishment of this amazing trust.
The legal provisions under Nevis trust help in securing your holdings to ensure they remain confidential, sheltered, and safe from reach by creditors and other predators.
Requirements of Nevis international trust ordinance
- At least one trustee and this can be an individual or an entity
- A beneficiary or settlor who are mostly non-residents of Nevis
- A need to apply due diligence, and this is maintained by the trustee through a know-your-client (KYC) documents. The details therein include an original utility bill, a notarized copy of passport, and a bank reference.
- Provide funding for the trust with preferred assets. You also need to pay a fee to your Nevis trust for acting as such.
Benefits of Nevis trust
- Unlike in most countries, an investor who created or funds the trust can also be the beneficiary and therefore relish the benefits of asset protection. You are also allowed to name your loved ones as the beneficiary.
- Nevis trust comes with a short statute of limitations — approximately one to two years, once the action is initiated.
- Nevis does not recognize foreign court orders and judgments, and your opponent needs to start the case from the beginning again in Nevis.
- While some countries limit the duration a trust can stay active, Nevis trust does not have such restrictions, and trust can last indefinitely.
- A Nevis trust allows you to combine trusts or divide one into separate trusts as long the action is not against the beneficiary’s rights or the trust’s purpose.
- Nevis trust protects your assets from a freezing order in case an opponent requests for the same. This means you still have access to your assets and can comfortably pay your legal fees, among other expenses.
- Nevis trust can be used to hold diverse investments.
- According to Nevisian laws on asset protection, the burden of proof is born by the creditor or opponent in question.
- Your opponent can only hire a local attorney from Nevis, and this should not be a contingency fee attorney — he must pay everything from the pocket before litigation.
- Great experience having been in action since the year 1984 — chances of you winning are quite high.
Nevis offshore company bottom line
Most people believe that offshore companies are for the rich. Others believe that they are not legal, and criminals use them to conduct illegal acts such as money laundering.
The fact is, anyone can establish an offshore company, and it is totally legal.
A Nevis offshore company is a great option in this case — the jurisdiction comes with great and unique benefits.
For instance, company formation is easy and fast, with no tax payments, and you enjoy unparalleled asset protection laws.
Nevis government provides the best laws for both onshore and offshore company formation in the world, which is a way to encourage investors to establish businesses in the country.