Offshore Company Setup

Offshore company setup refers to the incorporation process of offshore companies, and involves a series of legal procedures that are required to ensure that an offshore company is rightfully constituted and registered.

Due to the legal procedures involved in offshore company setup, offshore corporate service providers are usually required to be legal practitioners.  For proper tax and financial planning and advice that customers may need, business consultants, accounts and corporate secretaries are actively engaged in the offshore company setup process.  Any firm that offers offshore company setup services is required to be first licensed by the government or relevant authority and must meet the prerequisites established for providing offshore corporate services.

The main authority responsible for offshore company registration in any jurisdiction would be the Registry of Companies, where offshore companies names are registered into the register designated for offshore companies.  On being satisfied that all the requirements for offshore company registration are met, the registrar issues a certificate of incorporation on which he or she embosses a seal and signature.  In some jurisdictions, certificates of incorporations may be identified by different names, while the certificate issued for the offshore limited liability company is known as the certificate of formation.  The issuance of a certificate of incorporation formalizes the registration processes of an offshore company and indicates that the customer’s local agent can resume offshore company setup by preparing remaining documents. The certificate of incorporation gives evidence of an offshore company coming into legal existence under the jurisdiction of a specific territory.  This certificate, which is critical in offshore company setup, is also evidence of the date of registration and trade name of the company.  

One document that is always requested for submission to the registrar is the memorandum and articles of association.  This document contains all fundamental and legal details pertaining to a company and therefore has to be worded and prepared in accordance to legal requirements.  Some offshore locations provide templates with essential, primary wording that can be used for putting the articles of an offshore company together.  Offshore company setup is therefore strict process which must be conducted according to established standards.  Most jurisdictions provide a template that can be used for formatting the articles during offshore company setup and necessary amendments can be made with regard to the special interests and necessities of the company.

Some form of due diligence procedure is expected to be conducted for every customer that sets up an offshore company.  This serves to ensure that customers are not individuals or corporations on wanted lists, may be involved in criminal activity, under investigation for money laundering or other criminal activity.  Such procedures must be implemented in keeping with international standards for transparent and legitimate activity with the use of offshore companies and in turn avoid the abuse of offshore companies set up and spoiling of a jurisdiction’s reputation.

Offshore company setup has evolved into a very rapid and efficient process thanks to developments in technology which make it possible to do online name checks, place orders, payments and communicate with agents regardless of location affordably.

 

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