After the financial crisis of 2008, a global concerted crackdown began on all offshore finance centers and Nevis was no exception but somehow, Nevis managed to emerge unscathed from these upheavals. It has managed to reassure all the law enforcement agencies that all the transactions and activities that are taking place in Nevis are in accordance with the rules and regulations laid out by the global economic agencies.
However, other offshore places have doubled down on their efforts to allow unscrupulous people or super rich people to avoid hefty taxes in their home country. However, Nevis is a glorious exception. It is trying its best to conduct all business activities under the purview of laws. So, if you are planning to expand your business operation in a country that offers amazing level of flexibility and at the same time offers some tax benefits, you should not look any further than Nevis.
An Overview of Nevis
In the country of St Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean, Nevis is one of 2 islands that constitute the nation. In fact, Nevis and the adjoining Saint Kitts Island comprise the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. The Nevis jurisdiction is an offshore destination for investors who are looking to set up offshore businesses.
The beneficiaries holding offshore corporations in Nevis are not liable to pay taxes. However, the Government of St Kitts and Nevis does not permit them to conduct business at Nevis. Such restrictions are, normally, imposed on International Business Companies (IBCs) that are a type of offshore company; such entities do have the permission to carry out business transactions in the jurisdiction where they have been incorporated, irrespective of the country of their registration.
In fact, the term ‘offshore’ refers to locations in foreign lands or those that are beyond one’s home boundaries. From the principals’ standpoint, the offshore entities are based out of their home country; while, going by the offshore company’s stance, no business can be conducted within the jurisdiction where the registration has been done.
In Nevis, companies are incorporated as per the Nevis Business Corporation Ordinance, under which offshore companies are governed by the same laws as the IBCs.
The first step to establishing your offshore business in Nevis entails hiring a registered agent. After you select a company name for your IBC, the agent reserves the name via online sources.
- You Have to Hire A Registered Agent (no way around it)
Make sure that you hire a registered agent to set up your Nevis offshore entity. Also, keep in mind that as per the 1984 Ordinance, the registered agent has to be a barrister or solicitor; also, they must be allowed to practice in Nevis and St, Christopher.
Nonetheless, an entity having paid-up capital amounting to EC$500,000 can be appointed as a registered agent for another company too. The second option was introduced to avoid businesses being held up.
- 7 Types of Shares
In Nevis, the offshore companies can obtain 7 types of shares: redeemable shares, bearer shares, shares having no par value, preference shares, registered shares, shares having voting rights; shares sans voting rights.
- Gain Big on Taxes (Now We are talking Right?)
Where the Nevis-based IBCs are concerned, no taxes are levied in the local region. The principals are given exemptions from stamp duties, capital gains, and other taxes that come under the assets which are obtained from outside the Nevis jurisdiction.
- Authorized Share Capital
The Nevis offshore entities are entitled to have share capital that amounts to US$100,000 that is split into 100 shares each. The currency in which the shares are to be denominated is not mentioned in the Ordinance, but any recognized currency is accepted by the Registrar of Companies.
- Deal with Restrictions (yeah don’t get your hopes up)
For a Nevis corporation, they are restricted from conducting business within the jurisdiction. Also, they are disallowed from investing in services such as real estate, insurance, and banking.
The Nevis Corporations have to conform to naming conventions as well. The name of the company should include the words “limited liability company” or the term’s short form such as LLC.
Besides, the company’s name has to be distinctive, and not be among the registry of names that are already filed by the Registrar of Companies. Moreover, the entities have to seek the approval of the Nevis Government for having certain words registered; these include like Assurance, Imperial, Co-operative, Investment Fund, and Loans – among others.
- Annual Tax Returns Is a Breeze
The Nevis IBCs are not required to file their tax returns. Only they may have to furnish some details while making the payment of the company’s annual fees.
- Company Secretary
Hiring a company secretary is mandatory for a Nevis offshore company. Both corporations and individuals are eligible to apply for the given position and if elected, discharge the stipulated duties.
In fact, the company secretary post is the only position that can be filled by corporations; as opposed to other positions such as Treasurer, President, and Managing Director where natural persons are appointed.
- Zero Restriction on Nominee Shareholders
The Nevis offshore firms do not have any restrictions on the number of nominee shareholders, as per the Ordinance.
- Does not Take Long Time to Get A Company Registered
Within a few working days, the Nevis Limited Liability Company can be constituted. Though, you must consider hiring professionals to incorporate your company to ensure that all the requirements are met; in short, to be on the safer side.
Bear in mind that the offshore jurisdictions keep changing their laws; and in such a scenario, there is a possibility that you may miss out on a few important details, in some cases. Thus, you must consider taking assistance to make sure that the process of setting up your Nevis offshore company is a smooth ride.
As an investor of a Nevis offshore corporation, you can appoint a board that has a minimum of 3 members. Only if your company’s shareholders are less than 3, then an exception is made where the Board can have less than 3 members. Normally, the number of shareholders should outnumber the number of Board members.
The Board has to act according to the company’s bylaws on deciding the number of shareholders.
- No Restriction on The Number of Meetings
There are no restrictions that are imposed on the number of meetings of the Nevis companies; also, they can be held within or out of Nevis. Only if the corporation’s bylaws state otherwise, then the stakeholders have to abide by the mentioned terms.
While the minimum number of shareholders of a Nevis company is one, there is no cap on the maximum limit. Usually, the Board members elect the shareholders as per the company’s bylaws.
- Meetings Via Written Resolution
The meetings of the Nevis Corporations’ members and managers can be held via written resolution.
The shareholders of the company have to hold annual general meetings; they can be conducted within or outside Nevis, as per the corporation’s bylaws. The members can discuss issues relating to the election of directors, among other issues, during the meetings. Besides, they can avail the option of having a written resolution, instead of having a meeting, if the situation demands so.
Additionally, as per the Articles of Incorporation or the bylaws of the Nevis corporations, the directors can convene meetings.