The small island archipelagos of Seychelles were established in 1976, and over the years, it has become a hotspot for entrepreneurs from across the world to start their own businesses. A collection of 115 individual small islands, Seychelles is known for its vibrant beaches, tropical climate, and most importantly, flexible business practices and ethics which make it easier for international organizations to set up their subsidiaries here.
If you are an entrepreneur looking to set up a company in Seychelles, this article is for you as we will be covering everything you need to know and more.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Why Choose Seychelles ?
One of the first and most crucial points we need to address is why you should consider Seychelles as the perfect place for starting your venture. As mentioned in the introduction, since their inception Seychelles has been known all around for their flexible government regime and business ethics, both of which have been specifically curated to attract foreign investors.
It is, without doubt, one of the most attractive destinations for entrepreneurs to set up their offshore ventures mainly due to the fact they get to enjoy several tax exemptions only available to foreign investors.
How to Open a Company in Seychelles ?
Now that we know of the reason behind Seychelles popularity among foreign investors, if you too wish to be part of the list, you have two significant options available to you:
- International Business Company or IBC, also known as an offshore company
- Or, an onshore company
Along with this, there are several other types of company registrations available in Seychelles, such as:
- Limited liability partnerships designed to operate joint ventures
- Protected cell companies designed specifically for protecting foreign investments in Seychelles
- Trusts for enhanced confidentiality and asset protection, which can only be set up by non-residential Seychelles settlers.
- And, foundations are legal entities designed for those who want to provide financial services in Seychelles.
Additionally, oftentimes new entrepreneurs get confused at the aspect that only offshore companies can be set up at Seychelles, but in reality, there are other options available for both local as well as foreign investors:
- Special License Companies or CSL for conducting onshore financial activities at Seychelles
- Anonymous companies designed for trading at Seychelles
- Proprietary companies which have the same power and jurisdiction as a foreign limited liability partnership
- Trusts can be designed to take two forms, and further protect assets and key investments
- Investment funds which can only be registered by foreigners visiting Seychelles
When setting up a company in Seychelles, as a foreign investor, you have two options available to you, one to set up a satellite branch of your existing organization at Seychelles or set up a subsidiary of your organization at Seychelles. However, you need to note that in the case of a satellite branch, the main organization needs to assume all debts and obligations of the satellite branch, and in case of a subsidiary, it can be registered as an independent business entity.
Important Aspects to Keep in Mind
When you are planning to set up a company in Seychelles, there are a number of aspects you need to keep in mind. Some of the most significant ones are as mentioned below:
- Having a registered agent who can act as the Incorporator of the organization and can accept and issue a Certificate of Registration.
- Choosing a local legal address and appointing a secretary for the company, who is a local resident of Seychelles.
Along with this, it needs to be noted that although there are no share capital requirements to set up a company at Seychelles, once the documentation process is complete, it will take between 5 to 6 business weeks to complete the registration process.
Taxation of Companies
One of the most important advantages of opening and operating an offshore company in Seychelles is the fact that you can only be charged tax by your home country as per the double tax treaty signed by the insular state because offshore companies at Seychelles are subject to 0% corporate tax.
Requirements for Incorporating a Company at Seychelles
In order to establish and register a company at Seychelles, there are a couple of statutory requirements you need to fulfill. Mentioned below are the most significant of them:
- In case you are registering a limited liability company, the minimum number of shareholders should be two.
- If you are registering an IBC or International Business Company, you need to have a minimum of 1 shareholder in order to register the company.
- For both IBC as well as LLC, the minimum number of directors should be two, and both of them must be natural persons.
- If you are registering an IBC, you will need to file your documents with the Seychelles International Business Authority.
- If you are registering a CSL or special license company, you will need to file your documents with the Financial Services Authority.
- If you are registering an LLC, you will need to file your documents with the Companies Register.
Along with this, no matter the type of company you choose to register, it is mandated by law that you have a local registered address and appoint a registered local agent who can act as the Incorporator for your organization.
Restrictions on Opening a Company at Seychelles
Although Seychelles is regarded as the global tax haven and it has a flexible regime, there are some limitations that must be respected and followed by foreign investors. Some of the most significant ones are as mentioned below:
- Irrespective of the type of company you choose to register, you cannot appoint bearer shares at any given point of time.
- The trade name of your company cannot bear the words government, republic, and Seychelles.
- No offshore company can engage in financial transactions in Seychelles.
- And, last but not least, you cannot trade in the local market or own property on the island.
By now, we are sure you have realized that opening and registering a company at Seychelles is a long drawn and time-consuming process, and thus at Starting Offshore, we provide you with a list of curated services from our expert team of professionals who will support you in every step of the way. All you need to do is contact Starting Offshore today, and we will make the rest happen.