Offshore Company Incorporation

An international business corporation (IBC) is an offshore company formed under the laws of a particular jurisdiction as a tax-free company. The governing laws of a country do no permit an IBC to engage in business transactions within its jurisdiction. There are very few countries that allow formation of an IBC. These countries include Antigua, Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Belize, Gibraltar, Nevis, and Seychelles.

Features of an IBC

The following represent some features of an IBC.

A client may initiate an IBC to hold and separate dangerous assets located overseas. These are for clients who do not directly own assets in an APT or offshore trust.

Typically, it is more convenient to open a bank or brokerage account in the name of the corporation than in the name of a trust. Since corporations are recognized and permitted by law in every country, there is a standard set of rules which govern the operation and management of a corporation. All offshore banks implement procedures for setting up an account.

An IBC can be formed with shares issued to or held by the APT. Most of the tax haven jurisdictions have enacted legislation enabling the formation of IBCs.

It is not essential for a customer to conduct banking business in the country where he forms the IBC. Thus, the prime benefit of forming an IBC is its portability. An IBC formed in the Bahamas can open a bank account in Switzerland or any other country to include the United States. The bank will ask to see the articles of incorporation. The bank will also require the company to furnish the corporate resolution drafted by the directors. The corporate resolution must outline and authorize the opening of the account and the appointing of the person to act as a signatory for the corporation on the account. With that information and proper identification, an IBC account can be opened anywhere in the world.

The Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, and the British Virgin Islands are not tax jurisdictions which allow complete secrecy of ownership for corporations. To set up a company in these jurisdictions, one of the many local law firms or trust companies are contacted. They file the required corporate registrations to form the company. The local law firm can also serve as the sole member of the board of directors. If anonymity is preferred, the shares can be issued in bearer form. That means that no name is registered on the share certificate. Instead, whoever holds the certificate becomes the owner of the company.

In order to avoid the possible difficulties that typically arise from lost or stolen shares, the certificates are registered in the name of the law firm or trust company. The firm then holds the shares under an agreement to serve as nominee for the true owner. Any necessary corporate documents or even bank accounts are signed by the nominee as instructed by the beneficial owner.

If the APT is to hold the shares, it can maintain the bearer shares or the shares can be registered in the name of the trust.

Thus, for individuals with funds and business interests offshore, the IBC is the most viable option.

Harbor Financial Services (HFS)

Harbor Financial Services is a professional company that provides offshore financial advice and investment services to its clients. HFS recommends offshore products and services to suit any personal and/or business need. The company has helped clients find solutions to meet their long-term financial needs. HFS has the experience and the expertise to create the best offshore package for you. Visit for more information about the company’s products and services.


Disclaimer: Many countries have laws regarding offshore entities and accounts. For example, citizens that form offshore entities, (for example an offshore corporation, offshore trust, offshore partnership, offshore limited liability company, etc.) own stock in offshore entities or hold positions within offshore entities may need to file a tax return. Citizens that form an offshore trust, move assets into an offshore trust or are the beneficiary of an offshore trust may need to file a tax return. Citizens that sign on offshore bank accounts or offshore investment accounts may need to disclose this fact to their government and pay taxes on any interest or capital gains. We strongly recommend consulting with a local, licensed professional to obtain tax and legal advice in order to understand the law and to fully comply with all applicable laws and reporting requirements regarding offshore companies, offshore trusts, offshore bank accounts and offshore investments.