The Bahamas

Company formation on the Bahamas

The Bahamas are located in the Atlantic Ocean, south of Florida. The Bahamas is a traditional tax haven and there is no corporate tax for offshore companies. Many businesses in the United States have established their central office at this jurisdiction. The Bahamas, officially the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is an island country consisting of more than 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean. Its capital is Nassau on the island of New Providence. Official language is English, the legal system is based on the English common law. Its currency is the Bahamian Dollar (BSD), which is pegged to the U.S. dollar on a one-to-one basis. Leading sectors of the financial center are are banking (268 banks at the end of 2012) and mutual funds (713 at the end of 2011). Trust management is also prominent.

One of the special benefits for offshore company registration is that the companies registered in the archipelago do not need to pay corporate tax. This is why the Bahamas are widely known as a fixed taxation location as companies only need to pay a small amount of tax every year specified in advance, which does not depend upon the profit they make. Apart from this fixed tax, companies have no other tax liabilities. Since companies registered in the Bahamas do not need to pay taxes on their profits, they do not need to submit an annual report or a tax return to the local authorities either. Companies are required to keep records of business events but the records need not be stored in the Bahamas.

The equity of the business must be at least USD 1, which must be paid up by the shareholders. The company is only required to have one manager and one shareholder, who can also be foreign persons. There are no restrictions on whether they should be legal entities or natural persons. The local court of registration only keeps a record of the managing director, shareholder’s data are not registered. The company must have an address in the Bahamas, which is its official address. The offshore company is entitled to transfer its official address to another country at any time.

Since the Bahamas do not levy direct taxes, there are no double tax treaties between the Bahamas and other jurisdictions. The Bahamas had signed Tax Information Exchange Agreements with 30 countries, all satisfy the OECD’s standards of transparency and exchange of information.

The Bahamas has launched a residency by investment program. In case an investment of USD 250,000 the applicant can obtain the residency without work permit, in case of USD 500,000 the residency permit comes with work permit. The investment can be purchase of land or property.

Advantages of the Bahamian company formation:
– Complete anonymity available,
– There is no corporate tax, personal income tax, wealth tax, capital gains tax, property tax, withholding tax, inheritance and gift tax.
– The names of the shareholders is not available in public registers.
– The company’s name can end with practically anything and also foreign endings can be used: Limited, Ltd, Corporation, Corp, Incorporated, Inc, Societe Anonyme, SA, Sociedad Anonima, Gesellschaft mit Beschrantker Haftung, GmBH, etc.

Regional features

  • Continent: America
  • Minimum paid-up capital: None
  • Local manager required: No
  • Disclosure of beneficial owners: No
  • Audit obligation: No
  • Obligation to submit an annual report: No
  • EU VAT ID available: No
  • Tax system: Fixed taxation