Gibraltar is a small island off the coast of Spain, governed by the UK and due to it’s geographical location is on important port in addition to it’s role as an offshore financial centre. A company formation in Gibraltar has been a popular choice for European businesses for many years, providing an essentially British experience but with the benefits of an offshore financial centre.
However, whilst it offers the corporate structure flexibility with a minimum of just one director (which can be a corporation) they do not offer quite the same extent of privacy with a public register containing the names of directors and shareholder.
There are no requirements to disclose to anyone the identity of the owners or shareholders of a non-resident company in Gibraltar and the Gibraltar government would only ever do so if an order is received by the Supreme Court. This would only be granted on suspicion or serious criminal activity. This privacy is further protected by the minimal reporting requirements for example, companies are not required to keep accounts and lodge them with the Gibraltar government. Whilst still providing this high-level of privacy, Gibraltar is one of the High Disclosure Offshore Centers which puts it into the same category as the likes of Jersey and Guernsey. In most cases, this is seen as a good thing as it makes Gibraltar one of the safest destinations for companies looking to move offshore.
Gibraltar offers a slightly different corporate tax structure to a lot of offshore jurisdictions in that taxation on residents is actually comparatively high however non-resident companies have much lower tax, one of the cheapest offshore jurisdictions. The tax advantages of having a Gibraltar offshore company include the fact that there are no capital gains taxes, gift taxes or wealth taxes. Due to the close relationship between Gibraltar and the UK, Gibraltar does have income tax for companies and they are also required to pay stamp duty on on any property purchased, debt obligations, shares and any other securities.
One reason for the rapid growth of smaller businesses and individuals forming offshore companies particularly in Gibraltar but also in similar jurisdictions, is the development of the banking systems abroad. Not only have the regulations and security around international banks increased in Gibraltar whilst still maintaining all the privacy, but they also provide more secure banking solutions but even leading local banks such as HSBC having an offshore arm dedicated to providing a quality banking solution to the leading financial jurisdictions such as the ones mentioned above.
Due to it’s close links with the UK, Gibraltar is a popular choice for companies looking re-locate or start-up in a place where they can benefit from the tax advantages whilst being in a high disclosure financial center, essentially meaning they have all the protection and reliability associated with the UK, even having it’s local currency as the GBP.
FletcherKennedy are UK based offshore company formation and incorporation specialists providing a comprehensive range of UK and offshore incorporation related services.
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