If you are thinking of establishing an offshore company, you may want to consider the Marshall Islands for this purpose. An offshore company registered in the country is not going to be a universal solution but it can certainly help you achieve some of your business goals.
The Marshall Islands is an independent insular country in Micronesia in the Pacific Ocean. It occupies over a thousand islands but the figure should not sound overly impressive for two reasons. First, only two dozen islands are inhabited. No other islands are fit for living but on the other hand, if you find yourself in the country, you can easily go to an uninhabited island and have a private picnic there. Second, the islands make up only about 3% of the overall territory of the country: the rest is water. This characteristic makes the Marshall Islands unique because no other country on the planet has such a large portion of its territory occupied by water. The famous Bikini Atoll is also part of the Marshall Islands.
What are the reasons why you should register an offshore company in the Marshall Islands? First of all, even though the country is independent, it is in a free association with the United States of America. The political advantages that the status brings are important for the islanders: the U.S.A. undertakes to defend the Marshall Islands from possible military attacks. The economic advantages are important for an international businessperson who chooses to set up a company in the country: the economy of the Marshall Islands is not very strong but it is unsinkable. The ‘big brother’ will always make sure that the country’s administration has enough money to cater to the needs of the islanders. Donations from the U.S.A. comprise a large portion of the national budget in the Marshall Islands. Besides, the US dollar is the official currency in the country.
There are a number of other advantages of registering an offshore company in the Marshall Islands. Some of them are typical for many offshore jurisdictions while some others are unique for this specific country. As is the case with many other insular states, the company registered in the Marshall Islands can have any amount of charter capital. There is no lower limit and neither is there any upper limit. You can register one dollar as the charter capital or you can register a million dollars. It’s up to you to decide.
The company registration process is fast and easy. You can establish a company in the Marshall Islands within a couple of days. The requirements to the company officers are also very relaxed. Even though any company registered in the jurisdiction shall have a Company Director and a Company Secretary, one person can fill both positions. And the company founder can be that person. While you can register a company in your personal name in the Marshall Islands, it is possible to register it in the names of a group of people or in the name of a corporate entity. Please bear in mind, however, that if the corporate entity is registered in a sanctioned country, it cannot act as the owner of the Marshallese-based company.
It is also inexpensive to register a company in the Marshall Islands: you would have to pay less than a thousand US dollars as the registration fee plus you’d have to cover the costs of the Registration Agent’s services. (Hiring a Registration Agent is obligatory). As far as the company maintenance costs are concerned, they are also going to be very low if you decide to open a company in the Marshall Islands. The company registration has to be extended annually but the registration renewal costs only a few hundred dollars. The economic substance requirements are minimal as well.
As for the business records, you can keep them in any form that you like because they don’t have to be submitted to the local corporate authorities. Nobody is going to audit your company either. Why is that so? Because if your Marshallese-registered company conducts no business operations on the territory of the country, it has to pay no taxes there. Profits, capital gains, interests, royalties, gifts, inheritance, value added, and all other types of income are taxed at a single rate in the Marshall Islands: 0%. We would like to emphasize, however, that the rate is applicable only to the income made abroad. Locally made profits are taxed and the rates are not exactly low.
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The Marshall Islands may be one of the best countries to register an offshore company for you if you would like to issue bearer shares and/ or shares with no par value. The jurisdiction is one of the few countries that allow it.
If you want to hold a Shareholders’ Meeting or a Board of Directors’ Meeting, you can hold it in any country of your choice, not necessarily in the Marshall Islands. Then again, you are not obliged to hold Board of Directors or Shareholders’ meetings if your company is registered in the Marshall Islands.
Your privacy is going to be securely protected too if you set up a company in the Marshall Islands. The Company Registrar is not going to ask for any personal information about the company founders, beneficial owners, directors, nor any other company officers. What is more, nominee services (nominee directors and nominee shareholders) are allowed in the Marshall Islands.
Thus, you are going to incur very small costs if you choose to register an offshore company in the Marshall Islands. You will be able to manage the company from anywhere in the world and engage in all sorts of international business operations using the company seal. And nobody is going to know that you are the actual beneficial owner of the company. Doesn’t this sound like a fantastic chance?
Finally, there is one more opportunity available in the Marshall Islands that is popular with a large number of international entrepreneurs: you can re-domicile your company from any other jurisdiction to the Marshall Islands without too much trouble. Make sure that you seek some professional advice in the process though.