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Registering an Offshore Company in Seychelles

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In today’s globalized economy, the strategic advantages of offshore company formation have become increasingly apparent. Among the many jurisdictions offering such opportunities, Seychelles stands out with its compelling benefits for offshore company registration. From tax exemptions to regulatory flexibility, Seychelles presents an attractive option for businesses seeking to optimize their global operations while maintaining financial privacy and security. This article delves into the strategic advantages of offshore company formation in Seychelles, offering insights into regulatory frameworks, tax implications, and recent legislative updates shaping the offshore landscape in this jurisdiction.

The Strategic Advantages of Forming an Offshore Company in Seychelles

Compared to similar European jurisdictions, Seychelles offers several compelling benefits for registering offshore companies.

  • Tax exemptions. Global profits are tax-free if your activities do not require a license and the profits are earned outside of Seychelles.
  • Confidentiality. Seychelles provides a high level of privacy for business owners.
  • Minimal requirements. The requirements for founding an offshore company in Seychelles regarding the founder and the capital needed are minimal.
  • Compliance. Seychelles complied with international standards and was removed from the offshore blacklist in February 2024, along with the Bahamas, Belize, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
  • Flexible operations. There are no currency or physical presence restrictions, and you can easily register through a licensed agent.

Regulatory Roadmap for Offshore Incorporation in Seychelles in 2024

Before setting up an offshore company in Seychelles, it’s crucial to understand the local regulations for a non-resident company thoroughly. Study all the details before you proceed to entity incorporation in Seychelles. Here are the steps you need to follow to form your company in Seychelles successfully:

  • Registered agent selection. This is essential for non-residents, whether individuals or legal entities, who want to establish a company in Seychelles.
  • Office space rental. Remember to secure a physical location as part of the setup process.
  • Company setup. Register your offshore entity as an International Business Company (IBC) or Limited Partnership (LP) for efficient global operations.
  • Opening a bank account. This is a crucial step in managing your offshore company’s financial transactions.
  • Regulatory compliance. Please follow the reporting requirements of the new International Companies Act of Seychelles.

Note: Companies engaged in licensed activities such as insurance, banking, or local trading are resident entities subject to local taxation. Additionally, as of 2024, Seychelles allows cryptocurrency-related operations.

Seychelles: New Offshore Company and Beneficiary Laws

In 2021, the authorities in Seychelles introduced amendments to the International Business Companies Act (Act No. 63, dated December 10, 2021) to align with the standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). These amendments aim to improve business transparency and identify beneficial ownership.

Revised IBC Act

The amendments to the 2016 Seychelles International Business Companies (IBC) Act have significant implications for the operation of offshore commercial firms:

  • Company dissolution. Companies not reinstated within a year of deregistration in Seychelles are now permanently dissolved.
  • Director information. The registry of directors, which is kept confidential and inaccessible to outsiders, must now contain comprehensive information for individual and corporate IBC directors:
    • Individual IBC Directors. Birth date, nationality, service address, and usual residence.
    • Corporate IBC Directors. Company registration date, place, and registered office address.
  • Accounting obligations. Starting February 6, 2022, businesses registered in Seychelles must keep and submit their accounting records twice a year.
  • Financial documentation. Offshore companies must prepare financial and accounting statements annually and keep them at their registered office in Seychelles.
  • Holding company exemption. Holding companies with a turnover of less than SCR 50 million (approximately USD 3.7 million) are exempt from financial reporting if they submit a corresponding declaration to their registered agent.
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Beneficiaries Act in Seychelles

The 2020 Seychelles’ Beneficiaries Act update requires comprehensive reporting for direct and indirect business owners (nominees) with significant influence or control.

Key updates and requirements

  • Beneficiary reporting. Businesses must report any individual holding or controlling at least 10% of the company’s shares to their registered agent. The term “beneficiary” only refers to natural persons.
  • Registry submissions. The Seychelles beneficiaries registry requires the following information:
    • NIN: National Identification Number
    • TIN: Tax Identification Number

All documents must be kept at the office of the registered agent.

Setting Up an Offshore Company in Seychelles: Important Regulatory Considerations

Here are the essential management and corporate requirements for establishing partnerships and offshore entities in Seychelles:

  • Registration period: Businesses can be registered through an agent in 3 to 7 days.
  • Founder’s physical presence: Founders do not need to be physically present in Seychelles for company registration.
  • Roles and residency: Directors and shareholders are not required to be residents to hold their positions.
  • Company naming: Offshore company names must meet specific criteria and include English or French translations if not already in these languages.
  • Real estate ownership: Seychelles International Business Companies (IBCs) can now own property.
  • Profit generation: IBCs can generate profits globally without restrictions; however, local tax laws apply if profits are earned within Seychelles.
  • Licensing for certain activities: Companies involved in banking, investment, credit, and trust management must obtain a license and are considered resident entities.
  • Capital requirements: The minimum required capital for an International Business Company (IBC) is the nominal value of its issued shares, which can be as low as one unit but is commonly set at a minimum of 1,000 units.

Taxes for Offshore Companies and Partnerships in Seychelles in 2024

Offshore companies and partnerships in Seychelles enjoy a favorable tax regime. You are exempt from income tax if your business generates profits outside the country and has no commercial ties with Seychelles residents. This exemption covers all tax liabilities, including VAT and capital gains tax.

However, any business activities conducted within Seychelles are subject to local taxes, which are determined based on the established rates.

Conclusion

In today’s ever-changing global business landscape, establishing an offshore company in Seychelles offers significant strategic benefits for international entrepreneurs and corporations. Thanks to its favorable tax system, flexible regulations, and adherence to international standards, Seychelles provides an ideal environment for optimizing global operations and protecting financial interests. By staying informed about regulatory changes and seeking professional guidance, businesses can confidently navigate the complexities of setting up an offshore company in Seychelles, unlocking new opportunities for growth and success internationally. If you want to discover more or talk to an expert free of charge, please follow the first link.

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