How To Set Up An Offshore Company In The UK?
If a businessman is planning to establish a new business in other country or is looking forward to relocating or expanding the existing business in a foreign country, it is a huge decision to make. One of the main reasons to set up an offshore company is to build strong relationships with the suppliers and customers. However, there is a misconception that says most of the businessmen set up offshore companies to hide funds or evade taxes. It cannot be so because every country has a tax system that monitors the funds.
Basically, there are two meanings of offshore company in the United Kingdom:
- To register a new business in a foreign financial centre which becomes a tax haven country. For instance the British Virgin Islands and Cayman Island
- To open an extended branch of the already existing business in another country
Some of the major benefits of an offshore company are confidentiality, asset protection, and tax exemption from foreign laws. In addition to this, you can open a new bank account and gain benefits such as stable jurisdiction, high-interest rates, and a high number of investment opportunities. If you are planning to set up offshore company in the UK, you are supposed to fulfill three conditions, they are:
- Regulations: If any of the business needs an exchange of foreign currency, estate planning, and asset protection, then having an offshore business helps to a great extent
- Overseas trading: Most of the trading companies in overseas need to set up offshore presence in the UK to perform or extend their business operations in nearby countries
- Multinationals: Besides having headquarter for the business, it is important to have the branches for authority and stability of the business.
Advantages of setting up an offshore company in the UK
Performing a business and then making some business banking transactions as a legal body, like an offshore enterprise, offers confidentiality and privacy benefits. While creating the documentation of a company, the names of shareholders, directors, and officers are omitted under various jurisdictions. Some other major benefits that an offshore company in the UK can reap are:
- Ease of operation: It is simple and easy to operate an offshore company. Generally, the jurisdictions overseas are simple for offshore corporations; they value the time and effort being put in the investment. In addition, even statutory obligations have been simplified for the companies.
- Legal protection: In case any legal opponent company is behind your back, your assets will be at risk. Nevertheless, when you have an offshore company, it means your name will no longer be associated with it. That means, your assets are protected from all the legal opponents, court rulings, and judges.
- Asset protection: Placing your assets to the offshore companies will offer you a protection layer for your upcoming liabilities. When you have bank accounts, investments, and trusts as assets, then tracking becomes difficult and your assets will be safe.
- Anti-avoidance rule: If the settlor is the beneficiary, then the offshore corporation can get some advantages. For instance, the income from the company will go to settlor if there is a provision of avoidance rule. In addition to this, there will be no tax on income too.
- There is no corporate tax levied on the corporate offshore business.
- Annual meeting: There is one general meeting required once a year by the company, however, there is no compulsion that it should be held in the UK. It can be performed anywhere in the world.
- Minimum capital: There is no authorized minimum capital required to open an offshore corporation in the UK.
- Incorporation at ease: Registering the name of the company is easy, it can be done electronically or via mail. There is one shareholder required to commence an offshore company in the UK. When it comes to directors, at least one is required.
These were just a few major benefits of setting up an offshore corporation in the UK explained, there are still more to fetch on the go. Let us offer a glimpse over the tax benefits that can be experienced with offshore companies in the UK.
The resident company in the UK will be subject to the corporation tax on the global gains and incomes. However, the nonresident company in UK will be subject to tax on the income earned in the UK only. Therefore, initially, it seems to be a great way to earn income through an offshore company as all the income earned in foreign will be free from taxes while it is incorporated in the UK. In case the taxman proves that the corporation is managed by directors and shareholder as per the act, then he will be declared as a shadow director. In such scenario, the income tax has to be paid in benefit in kind.
In terms of nonresident beneficiaries, they will not have to bear any UK taxation on trust distributions. Also, even the trust can escape from the tax charges when the assets are considered to be overseas assets. Overall, the benefits gained by offshore companies in the UK are many, and it is a winning situation for business expansion.
Steps to set up an offshore company
The process of setting up an offshore company is much easier and quicker than anyone can think of. Check the steps as follows.
- Select the company: Start with deciding on a company plan whose jurisdiction suits all your needs. It basically depends on the business type you have proficiency in.
- Name of the company: The next step is to decide the name of the corporation. You need to check the country’s law if there is any prohibition of certain names. There is a list of names given by the country, you can check them out and decide on the final name.
- Submit the documents: You are supposed to submit the main documents such as copies of the passport, details of business activities of the offshore company, and rest as mentioned in the law.
- Fill the form, submit, and pay the fees: Finally, you will have to fill a form by mentioning details about the shareholders, directors, addresses, and others. And then pay the fees, and in a few days you will get the approval from the legal body.
Tips to select incorporation agent
It is better to have a local agent for you to help to set up your offshore company in the UK. Let us check some tips to choose the right agent.
- Plan of action: Come up with a plan of action in advance. For instance, what is your business going to function as, who will hold the rights, and so on. Once you are fixed with these details, you can then find an agent to assist in other matters of the corporation.
- Select the advisor: Choose a person who has knowledge in running an offshore company in the UK. Then, select a stable jurisdiction for the business in which the taxes are exempted.
- Talk about the fees: Before seeking any assistance from the agent, discuss the costs for his job.
- Legality: Make sure you are performing all the operations under the principles of governing laws.
Whether you are planning to set up a small scale business or a large scale, see that everything is legal.