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Seychelles is a top jurisdiction for offshore companies due to its tax exemptions. Despite the uncertain geopolitical landscape, Seychelles remains neutral and welcoming, assisting citizens from all nations. However, as a UN member state, Seychelles follows international regulations, meaning sanctioned individuals cannot register offshore companies here. Nonetheless, simplified pathways are available if you seek help from qualified professionals.

Seychelles: An Ideal Jurisdiction for Registering an Offshore Company in 2024

Located east of Africa, Seychelles is a luxurious holiday destination and an excellent location for registering an offshore company. While offering attractive offshore opportunities, Seychelles adheres to the FATF Recommendations, ensuring compliance with international standards. Importantly, this organization does not list Seychelles among the high-risk jurisdictions.

The country has a progressive income tax system, exempting those earning less than 8,556 Seychelles rupees (SCR). Employers also provide numerous non-monetary benefits to tax-exempt employees.

Corporate taxes in Seychelles:

  • Annual income under 1 million SCR is taxed at 15%.
  • Annual income exceeding 1 million SCR is taxed at 25%.
  • Licensed business activities such as insurance, brokerage, and banking face a 33% tax rate if the income surpasses 1 million SCR annually.
  • Offshore companies involved in corporate and medical services and those in fishery and agriculture enjoy total tax exemptions under specific conditions.

While local companies are subject to taxes in Seychelles, offshore businesses can benefit from complete tax exemptions, making it a preferred choice for many international entrepreneurs to register their companies.

What Type of Offshore Company Can a Foreigner Open in Seychelles?

Depending on your business objectives and area of operation, you can register either a taxable local company or an offshore company in Seychelles.

Types of offshore companies that can be registered in Seychelles:

  • International Business Company IBC). An International Business Company (IBC) is not taxed on its global income, and shareholder liability is limited to their contributions to the charter capital. It is permitted to engage in business activities except those requiring a license. Non-residents must register an IBC through a local agent. The company requires a minimum of one director, who can be a natural or legal person. Key advantages include no minimum charter capital requirements, no currency controls, and the allowance of nominee services.
  • Limited Partnership (LP) or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). This form of company ownership is less common in Seychelles. One partner must be a Seychelles resident with unlimited liability, although a company can act as the General Partner.
  • This is useful for hiding the owner's identity and safeguarding assets from seizure, even through a court order. Registering an offshore trust in Seychelles is fast and cost-efficient, but the trust's assets must be kept outside Seychelles. Only non-residents are eligible to register such trusts in the country.

These options make Seychelles an appealing jurisdiction for foreigners looking to establish offshore entities.

Regulatory guidelines for setting up an offshore company in Seychelles in 2024

Before establishing an offshore company in Seychelles, it is crucial to thoroughly understand all local regulations regarding the setup of a non-resident company. Here is a step-by-step guide to successfully incorporating your company in Seychelles:

  • Selecting a registered agent. Non-residents, whether individuals or legal entities, must appoint a registered agent in Seychelles as part of the incorporation process, which is mandatory.
  • Renting an office. Securing a physical office space is essential during the setup process to establish a formal location for your company.
  • Company setup. Register your offshore entity as an International Business Company (IBC) or Limited Partnership (LP), recommended for global operations.
  • Opening a bank account. Establishing a bank account is essential for managing your offshore company's financial transactions.
  • Regulatory compliance. Adhere to the reporting requirements specified by the new International Companies Act of Seychelles to ensure full regulatory compliance.

Following these steps, you can efficiently establish an offshore company in Seychelles and benefit from its favorable business environment.

Revised IBC Act

The 2016 amendments to the Seychelles International Business Companies (IBC) Act have significant implications for the operation of offshore commercial firms.

  • Company dissolution. If companies are deregistered in Seychelles and are not reinstated within a year, they are permanently dissolved.
  • Director information. The confidential directory for directors, which is inaccessible to third parties, contains detailed information about:
    • Individual IBC directors: Includes birth date, nationality, service address, and regular residence.
    • Corporate IBC directors: The company registration date, place, and registered office address are included.
  • Accounting obligations. As of February 6, 2022, businesses registered in Seychelles must biannually maintain and submit accounting records.
  • Financial documentation. Offshore companies must prepare annual financial and accounting statements and keep them at their Seychelles registered office.
  • Holding company exemption. Holding companies with a turnover of less than SCR 50 million (approximately USD 3.7 million) are exempt from financial reporting. They only need to submit a corresponding declaration to their registered agent.

Establishing an Offshore Company in Seychelles: Important Regulatory Considerations

The essential management and corporate requirements for partnerships and offshore entities based in Seychelles are outlined below:

  • Registration period. Companies can be registered through an agent within 3 to 7 days.
  • Founder’s physical presence. Founders do not need to be physically present in Seychelles for company registration.
  • Roles and residency. Directors and shareholders of an International Business Company (IBC) or partnership can hold their positions without any residency requirements.
  • Company naming. Offshore companies must adhere to specific criteria for naming and include translations in English or French if the original name is in another language.
  • Real estate ownership. IBCs in Seychelles are allowed to own property. There are no restrictions on profit generation, although local tax laws apply if profits are made within Seychelles.
  • Licensing for certain activities. Banking, investment, credit, and trust management companies must obtain a license and are considered resident entities.
  • Capital requirements. The minimum required capital for an IBC is the nominal value of its issued shares, which can be as low as one unit but is commonly set at a minimum of 1,000 units.

Adhering to these crucial regulatory insights can help you efficiently establish and manage an offshore company in Seychelles, capitalizing on its favorable regulatory framework and business-friendly environment.

Seychelles is a welcoming nation that embraces people from all over the world. If you are considering registering a company in Seychelles or any other offshore jurisdiction, please get in touch with us. We have in-depth knowledge of the offshore industry and can assist you at every stage of the process. Click the link above to schedule a free session.

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