Frequently Asked Questions

Click onto the question for the answer.

What is an IBC?

IBC means International Business Company or International Business Corporation. An IBC is a legal entity incorporated in a tax haven that is free from all local taxes, (except small fixed annual fees). The IBC cannot conduct business in the country of incorporation. Dominica, BVI, Seychelles and Belize have special IBC legislation in place, which is similar to the legislation for Panama Corporation and Gibraltar Non-resident Company.

What are the differences between an offshore company, offshore corporation and IBC?

There is no huge difference between them. They are all offshore legal entities, named differently depending on the jurisdiction. Other terms used include non-resident company or corporation. The most common description is that an offshore company will only conduct business outside the country where it is registered.

What are offshore companies most commonly used for?

Offshore companies are most commonly used for offshore banking to conduct international trade, investment activities, by professionals and for asset protection. Offshore companies can be involved in buying and selling goods and services, hold bank accounts and operate businesses. Offshore companies are also commonly used for the ownership of real property and land; for ownership of intellectual property, licensing and franchising; personal service by individuals working overseas and offshore e-business. These are just some examples. The offshore IBC may be used in many other ways to save on taxes and depends only on your imagination.

Am I eligible for offshore banking?

Anyone can be eligible to apply for offshore banking. For more information contact our office.

Is it expensive to form an offshore company?
Not any more. The cost of forming an offshore company varies depending on the jurisdiction you choose to incorporate. Seychelles, Belize and Dominica have among the best prices such as US $1,100 or US $1,350 to incorporate depending on whether or not you wish to use our nominee director services. After the first year and every year thereafter, there is a small annual maintenance fee which includes annual government fees and registered office and agent fees. In Seychelles, Belize and Dominica annual fees (all inclusive) are US $400 or US $650 depending on if you are using our nominee director services. US Limited Liability Companies (LLC's) from Delaware and Oregon are even less expensive, while BVI and Gibraltar are a little more expensive. The whole package may vary in different jurisdictions. Tax Wizards will give you one package price that will include everything you need to secure your ZERO TAX set up. You can check all prices by registering for free here .
Can you provide information about a company which WAS NOT incorporated through your company or a company that you have incorpora

No. TaxWizards is not a governmental or inter-governmental agency that holds information on companies incorporated worldwide. Please do not send us any such requests, they will be ignored. We are licensed incorporators in many offshore jurisdictions or we work through licensed agents in several other jurisdictions. Even if we have incorporated a company which you may be looking for, we will not be able to provide ANY information to you without our clients' consent or a court order.

What's the difference between members and shareholders?

A shareholder is an owner (partly or fully) of a legal business entity which is capitalized through the issuance of shares and whose liability to the debts of the entity is limited by the shareholders shares which have been declared. A member is an owner of an LLC who is not issued with shares and whose liability, is limited to the extent of his investment in the LLC.

What's the difference between an IBC and an LLC?

First of all, a US Limited Liability Company (LLC) is not a regular tax-free company. An LLC is a US registered company which does not issue shares, therefore does not have shareholders. Its owners are known as members. While an IBC cannot conduct business in the country of incorporation, there is no such restriction on an LLC. The similarity is where an LLC is owned and operated outside of the United States by US non-resident aliens and have more than one member; there is no tax liability on its members. LLC's must file annual accounts. Its members are individually liable to tax on their share of the profits if earned within the US or if a member is a US citizen or resident.

What is a nominee director?

A nominee director is a third party provided by us to be registered as the director of the company. On his/her appointment at the first meeting of the subscribers to appoint the board, an undated letter of resignation is signed by a nominee director and can be executed by the beneficial owner at any time he wishes. A nominee director also provides the beneficial owner or other person (who the beneficial owner may appoint) with a general Power of Attorney which vests total authority and control in this person over the affairs of the company.

What is the purpose of a nominee director?

A nominee director is intended to simply facilitate the beneficial owner in matters of privacy. It is not intended that he/she assists in the management of the company or sign documents and contracts on the company's behalf. There are exceptions where a nominee may sign certain standard documents such as contracts, invoices etc. which will have to be approved first. In jurisdictions where there is an open registry, a nominee director will appear on the documents in place of the beneficial owner.

How can I control my company with a nominee director?

Control over the company is gained through the General Power of Attorney signed by a nominee director to the beneficial owner or other person (who the beneficial owner may appoint). In addition to this the undated letter of resignation of a nominee director can also be executed at any time the owner wishes to appoint himself or other person as a director. You will at all times have full control of your company and money. Neither the secretary or nominee director will have even a signatory right on your bank account or can sign for anything without your approval.

Can a nominee director manage my company or sign documents?

No, a nominee director cannot manage your company. As an exception, a nominee director can sign a contract or invoice for an additional fee if the document is acceptable to us. We would need to review the contract first and if in our opinion it is a normal commercial contract, we will issue an invoice to you which when paid, we will sign the necessary documents. You will be required to send the documents to us by email, if we agree, we will invoice you. When you have paid, we will print the emailed documents, sign them and courier them to the address provided by you. In the case where these documents are signed by a third party, you will be required to courier the documents to us for our signature and then they will be returned to you.

What is the purpose of the Declaration of Trust from nominee shareholder?

A Declaration of Trust from nominee shareholder to the beneficial owner is to ensure that nominee cannot use the shares in anyway without the express authority of the beneficial owner.

Why do you advise against bearer shares?

Bearer shares are required to be held in the country of incorporation by a Fiduciary Institution for all the jurisdictions with the sole exception of Panama. Panama requires knowing the beneficial owner behind the bearer shares. The Panama company also requires a minimum of three (3) directors. This restriction removes any advantage of the shares to the owner. Furthermore, banks are reluctant to open bank accounts for companies which have issued bearer shares and some businesses will not enter into agreements and contracts with them. A better alternative is the use of our nominee shareholder service with a Declaration of Trust issued by the nominee shareholder to the beneficial owner. Our company offers this nominee shareholder service free of charge. f you really desire to have bearer shares only, we can offer two (2) options; (1) Bearer shares and a bank account in Dominica. The bank will hold the bearer shares as the fiduciary. (2) Bearer shares in a Panama company and a bank account in any bank we offer.

Do I need other shareholders or can I be the sole shareholder?

In all the jurisdictions we offer one shareholder is the minimum requirement except in Panama where a minimum of three persons are needed for incorporation (we provide you with nominees). We mainly set up your offshore company in the Seychelles and provide you with this service for free.

If I am the only shareholder, how can I guarantee my privacy from public scrutiny?

We will not disclose information regarding our clients without written consent, except by court order when the company is not in compliance with the law. You may also use our service of nominee shareholder which we can provide at no extra charge. Even in the event that the jurisdiction has an open register of shareholders, your name does not appear. To secure your right as a beneficial (real) owner of the company, the nominee shareholder or member (in the case of an LLC) will issue a Declaration of Trust and an open dated resignation letter.

Do I need to have a board of directors and a company secretary?

No. Again, except in Panama where a President, a Secretary and a Treasurer is required, we provide nominees. All the other jurisdictions we offer only require one director who may also be the secretary (where required).

What is the difference between a registered shareholder and a nominee shareholder?

A registered shareholder is when the beneficial (real) owner records his/her name on the share certificate and in the Register of Shares as the owner of the allotted shares. A nominee shareholder is when the beneficial owner chooses not to have his/her name on the share certificate or in the share register; we supply a third party to be the nominee for the real owner. The nominee appears on the certificate and in the register, in return the nominee signs a Declaration of Trust to the beneficial owner giving up any right to exercise any powers over the shares including voting rights or the right to sell or transfer these shares. The nominee shareholder is used where the Companies Registry may be open to public scrutiny or if the owner requires a deeper sense of privacy. Our company offers this service free of charge.

What do you mean by Share capital?

The share capital of a company is properly known as the authorized share capital. This share capital is a statutory requirement which sets out the total value of the shares that may be sold and distributed for cash or kind.

Do I have to pay up the authorized capital? If yes, when?

You do not have to pay up the authorized capital at the time of incorporation or when you open an account. If the company cannot pay its debts, the shareholders have personal liability to the limit of their share which has been declared. We will set it up automatically for you and include it in your set up.

When, how, and to whom do I have to pay the authorized share capital?

In all the jurisdictions we offer, you are not required to pay your share capital at the time of incorporation, bank account opening or any other specific date. If the company requires start up capital, the directors may call on the share holders to pay up the required amount via their share holding. If this capital is not required, the share capital or the cost of the shares need not be paid up until and unless it is required by the company. Share capital is the company's money and you do not pay this to us. Unpaid shares distributed to share holders is a debt by the shareholder to the company and therefore when paid, this cash goes to the company account for use by the company.

Do I have to use the standard share capital?

It is recommended to use the standard share capital but it is also possible to have a tailored one which may lead to increased incorporation and maintenance fees. Most jurisdictions have set a standard share capital at the maximum amount allowed without a government imposed tax for amounts in excess of this standard. Companies usually incorporate using this optimal share capital or standard share capital and pay the base government fee.

What is the minimum or standard share capital requirement?

In most of the jurisdictions which we offer, there is no minimum authorized capital requirement and the chosen capital is not affected by fees (there are exceptions), but they traditionally use standard capital. In the Seychelles, share capital in excess of US $1,000.00 increases the incorporation and maintenance fees. The standard therefore recommended is US $1,000.00. In Panama, there is no minimum share capital and the standard is usually US $10,000. In both BVI and Belize, there is no minimum share capital and the standard is US $50,000. The incorporation and maintenance fee increases when the capital exceeds $50,000. In Gibraltar, there is a fee of 0.5% on the declared share capital and the standard is £2,000. Cyprus the share capital is €1,000. We include your share capital requirement in your set up without any additional charges and will recommend Cyprus or Seychelles depending on the case. For information about Cyprus and Seychelles, click here

What is a Declaration of Trust?

A Declaration of Trust in the context of an offshore company is a written undertaking by a nominee shareholder to the beneficial (real) owner to hold shares on his (beneficial owner) behalf in the capacity of a trustee. The nominee cannot transfer, deal with or dispose of the shares except on the specific written instructions of the beneficial owner. The nominee shareholder further assigns all rights dividends, profits etc. to the beneficial owner as well as agree to exercise his voting power as the owner may direct.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal agreement which empowers a person with the authority to pass on this authority to another person or persons and making him the Attorney-in-Fact. This POA can be general (unlimited) or it can be of a limited nature, that is, the authority can be in all matters pertaining to the company or it can be limited to a specific function. The POA can also be time specific, that is for a fixed period in time with an expiry date or it can be in perpetuity.

What is included in a General Power of Attorney?

The Power of Attorney is from the authorized person (in our case, the director) to the beneficial owner or his appointee. The POA is a letter of appointment of an Attorney-in-Fact for the company and lays out the powers of this newly appointed Attorney-in-Fact. These powers may be total or limited. It provides for the date and time from which the authority is effective and if it is to be limited in time, the date and time when the POA may expire will be included.

Why and when do I need an apostille set of documents?

Most banks require the company charter documents (public documents) to have an apostille guaranteeing them to be authentic documents and bearing the official stamp of the office of the authorized person to sign the apostille. Our company provides one set to be included in the package free of charge.

What is the difference between a notarized document and apostille document?

A notarized document is a copy of the document which is certified to be a true copy of the original and signed (notarized) by one who is a registered Notary Public. This notary public is usually an attorney a lawyer or a justice of the peace. Apostille is the authentication, by a specially appointed government official, of a copy of a public document which has been notarized as a true copy by a notary public. The apostille is internationally accepted under a convention of The Hague. Not all countries of the world are members of The Hague but the majority of English speaking and European countries are members.

What is a BOD?

A BOD (Beneficial Owners Declaration) is a declaration by the beneficial owner of a company which provides the registered agent with information relevant to the owner's residence, career, present business activity, intended business activity through the company etc. It also requires an undertaking by the beneficial owner that the company will not participate in any activity which is illegal in his country of citizenship, residence or domicile, the Commonwealth of Dominica and the jurisdiction of incorporation and also includes specifically, activities relating in any manner to illegal armaments, money laundering, illegal drugs or other illegal controlled substance.

Why should I fill a BOD if I opt for a nominee shareholder and director?

The responsibility for the activities of the company ultimately lies with the beneficial owner and he/she is therefore required to accept this responsibility by signing this declaration which is held confidentially by the registered office. This confidentiality is protected by the law and comes with a fine of up to $25,000 USD and/or a prison sentence of two years if confidential information is given out without a court order from the local courts.

I have a business plan, business scheme or investment intention; can you look at it and advise?

We are not interested in your business plan or investment. Do not expect us to analyze it and provide you with any advice. You should seek professional advisors specializing in the areas of your interest as we can only provide you with a tax free vehicle for offshore business and investment at a low cost and efficient manner.

What information do you require to set-up offshore corporations?

We provide an online service where you need to fill in the incorporation form by answering some very simple questions. Also you should provide a clear photocopy of your ID, such as passport , drivers licence or national ID card. Please register for free here to get instant access to our order page.

How much information about our intended business is required?

When you are making an enquiry about setting up an offshore company, we do not require details about your intended business, a brief outline is usually enough (one or two sentences). When the Beneficial Owners Declaration form is being completed, a brief but precise description of your company's intended activities will also be required. We certainly do not expect a detailed description of the project.

Why do you require a scanned copy of my passport?

As your registered agent, and as any other licensed offshore service provider, we are required by law to hold valid ID of the beneficial owners, shareholders and directors of companies incorporated by us. In order to obtain a bank account, this is also a requirement, by law, of the banks. When the passport is scanned and the copy emailed, the reproduction must be of an acceptable quality to both us and the bank. The picture can be either in black and white or in color, providing the quality is of a high standard. The passport ID must contain the Photo, the information relating to the expiry, any renewals, the signature etc. The passport must be centered with all four edges clearly defined and no corners cut. It is not required to copy the cover of the passport. It is also good for the registered agent to know the beneficial owner to prevent someone from attempting to steal your company.

Do I have to visit the jurisdiction for incorporation or to open bank accounts?

No, but you are welcome to visit if you wish to do so. You provide us with the information online, by phone or fax and we incorporate your IBC for you. For opening a bank account, if you choose one of the banks which we are the agents of or work with, we will send you the necessary forms, which when filled you can send directly to the bank for your account. For more information, refer to our offshore banking page.

How long does it take to incorporate an IBC?

This varies between each jurisdiction. For example, once we have received the payment and all the required information, the time it takes to dispatch the documentation kit by express courier service (FedEx, DHL) is as follows: From the BVI, Belize and Seychelles, in three working days; From Dominica, the following working day; from Gibraltar between five and seven working days and from Panama and the US seven working days. Sometimes due to unforeseen circumstances it can take much longer than the normal time to complete the incorporation process. Depending on your location, give a few extra days for the package to reach you.

Is my bank account guaranteed when I pay your fee?

The bank will have a separate check-list for their clients. We provide an introduction service and because of our knowledge of the bank requirements we guide you through the application process.

This means we supply you all necessary information and application forms about the bank. In case you are rejected by the bank we may offer you introduction with another bank; a separate fee will apply.

The offshore company I register will require a merchant account. Can you help?

Yes, we are in contact with several merchant account suppliers and can assist you with opening your merchant account. We also have our own team of 15 IT professionals that can assist you with setting up your web pages and online shopping solutions.

When should I pay my opening (initial) balance and to whom?

The opening balance has to be paid directly to your bank account after the account has been opened and fully activated. You will transfer an amount equal to the minimum required balance or any amount in excess of this required minimum balance. Please, do not transfer money before the account is opened. Please, don't include any cheques or add any monetary instrument with the application package.

Are there any types of businesses or activities for which the banks you represent will NOT open accounts for?

Banks for which we are an agent or represent will not open accounts for offshore companies involved in the following types of business:
Businesses which should be licensed according to international standards, but are not, such as:
Broker Dealers
Mutual and Hedge Funds
Security Exchanges
Insurance companies and brokers
Online casinos
Businesses that offer alternative payment systems, e.g. E-Gold, e-cash etc.
Businesses which intend to raise funds or capital from the public, sell unregistered securities or MLM Programs
Companies whose business is:
Adult content Websites
Selling fake diplomas
Churches and charities

Do you charge a fee for the bank introduction?

It's included in your set up package. Besides introducing the client company to the bank which we believe to be most suited to its needs, we prepare the necessary board minutes with a resolution which appoints signatories to the account, we provide the signature cards and application forms (in some cases, partially filled) and we advise on how to complete the application forms to the satisfaction of the bank. Most importantly, we know the bank requirements and know how to open the account fast and without serious delays. We do not require you to use our bank introduction service, you can feel free to approach any banks in the world yourself.

Do the banks you represent have any extra charges at the opening that we should know about?

Yes. The bank will charge you for the shipping of any cards or internet banking codes. Normally around $20 per shipment.

Do the banks you represent provide debit cards?

Yes, you can apply for a debit card in any bank we recommend.

Can I open a personal bank account at the banks you represent?

We do not normally offer personal bank accounts, however if you incorporate your company with a bank account through us, we can assist you to arrange a second account i.e. a personal account.

How difficult is it to open a bank account for an IBC?

The documents we provide to you are enough to open the account yourself. But if you wish to avoid the hassle and guarantee to be accepted by the bank (we are the agent for most of them), you can choose as a supplementary option, our services to open an offshore bank account. If you choose this option, we will send the bank forms with your package of company documents. You should complete the bank forms and return to the bank with a photocopy of your picture ID (passport or drivers license) and verification of residential address (utility bill, credit card statement), by courier. As soon as the bank receives the package, your account will be activated. We are the official representative for the majority of the banks we offer and can provide you with an account number on receipt of the documents. Some banks however require further documentation such as bank reference and proof of residence.

Which banks do you work with?

We work with, and represent offshore banks in the Caribbean (St.Vincent and Dominica). We are also the agent of banks in Europe; (Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus and Austria). All these banks provide multi-currency accounts and distance banking via the internet, phone or fax. Debit cards are available to you from all the banks we represent. Our standard procedure is to establish your company's bank account in Cyprus.

Can we have the exact names of the banks you represent?

Due to agreements that we have with the banks and in accordance with those, we cannot divulge the names of the banks we represent before the client has incorporated a company through us. We will make all the information available to you before you make the final decision as to which bank you will choose, after we receive your payment.

What is the minimum initial deposit required by the banks you represent?

The minimum initial deposit required by the banks we represent is $1,000 USD or its equivalent in any major currency (GBP, Euro) for Seychelles, Dominica, St.Vincent and Cyprus, to BVI bank $2,500 USD and no initial deposit required for Latvia. The bank in Austria requires a minimum initial deposit of at least $100,000 USD and they will expect you to increase the balance over time. Your bank account will be activated without the initial deposit but the initial deposit must not be less than what is required and stated above. Please note that you will not receive your debit cards or internet banking codes without depositing funds into the IBC's bank account as the bank will charge a posting charge to your bank account and we do not accept deposits on behalf of the banks.

Is there a minimum balance required by the banks, if so what is it?

The minimum initial deposit required by the banks we represent are $1,000 USD or its equivalent in any major currency (GBP, Euro) for Seychelles, Dominica, St.Vincent and Cyprus, no initial deposit required for Lithuania and Latvia. The bank in Austria requires a minimum initial deposit of at least $100,000 USD and they will expect you to increase the balance over time. If your bank account is not used over a period of 6 months the bank will close your account and you have to apply again to re-open. Fees will apply.

When my bank refuses to provide me with a bank reference, what can I do?

When you submit your bank account application documents to the bank we have introduced you to, you must ask that they make a direct request to your bank for your bank reference. In order for them to do this, they will require the relevant contact information for your bank including; Bank name, Branch address and information on the contact person at the bank including name telephone number and email address where possible. Secondly, you must provide your bank with an authorization letter, granting your permission for them to respond to the bank we have introduced you to, with the relevant bank reference.

Can I open a bank account through you without registering an offshore company?

No. We offer assistance for bank account opening only for those who incorporated a company through us or wish to incorporate one with a bank account.

How can I pay my annual renewal (maintenance) fees?

Some jurisdictions have their renewal date on the 1st January the year following the incorporation and every year thereafter. Other jurisdictions have their renewal due on the anniversary date of the incorporation. Normally, we will provide you with a reminder however, if you wanted to pay prior to receiving the reminder, you can go to this LINK where you can fill in the annual renewal form and submit using various payment options. When you submit the form, you will get an electronic invoice which you may save or down load for your files.

Do you guarantee that your prices will never change?

We try our best to keep our prices as low as possible, but we reserve the right to change them at any time without prior notice. However, if you have already paid your fees, services that you have paid for shall be provided without any additional cost to you. Some clients that have attended one of our global seminars may have secured their price offer for 12 months by paying a small deposit at the seminar.

Do you accept any clients who are ready to pay for your services?

While we accept most clients without any prejudice we may refuse or discontinue serving any client at any particular time without giving any explanation based on the due diligence we undertake or information we have received.

What methods of payment do you accept?

We accept payment by all major credit cards including Visa, Master Card, and fax or secure online. However, if you prefer, we also accept payment by wire transfer. We do not accept credit card payment from Nigerian nationals or residents.

What is your refund policy, can I get a refund or at least a partial refund?

No. Once the incorporation form has been completed and the company paid for no refund is possible. These funds would have already been used for the incorporation fees and other services provided.