Offshore Company Formation – Liberia

Liberia is situated in the western part of Africa bordered on Ivory Coast, Guinea and Sierra Leone. It has been providing ship registration and corporate services for more than sixty years and has one of the largest maritime registries. Dual legislation system is based on English Common Law, American Law and tribal practices. Offshores are incorporated in the form of Non-resident Corporation.

Basic Information and Calculation of Expenses

It should be noted, that the LISCR is the exclusive Registered Agent for all the offshore companies appointed by the Government. It offers full services for accepting and legalizing documents; a company may be incorporated within one day.

Liberian offshores are exempted from any taxes, but they cannot carry out business in Liberia and 75% must be owned by citizens of other countries. Appointment of Company Secretary is obligatory by law. A number of activities are subject to license: brokerage, safe custody, insurance, mutual funds, investment consulting to public, etc.

In comparison to other offshore jurisdictions the registration fees are rather high – 890 USD which includes registration tax and a fee to the Registered Agent. Maintenance costs are 650 USD per year. For maritime entities the fees are 1850 USD and 790 USD accordingly.

The expenses for company formation depend on a number of services needed and a company rendering legal services. The formation fee is usually 1,300 USD (the price includes registration fees, a standard set of documents, a stamp, and provision of the office, address, secretary and agent).

The approximate prices for additional services are as follows: nominee directors are 650 USD per year, powers of attorney are 290 USD, certificates are 250-30 USD, and the corporate seal is 100 USD. The mentioned prices include Apostille.

Setup Procedure

Due to online LISCR the registration procedure is very simple:

  • Selecting a corporate name for a new company. The name cannot be identical to the existing ones and cannot include such words as “government”, “Liberia”, “insurance”, “bank”.
  • Electing directors, shareholders, secretary, share capital, class and types of shares. Note that the number of directors depends on the number of shareholders, i.e. if a company has five shareholders, the number of directors is five, too.
  • Preparation of the documents and payment of fees.
  • Filing the Articles of Association with the Registry; its notary certification if needed.
  • Upon the confirmation of registration by email or fax the set of corporate documents is sent to the client by courier.

Taxation in Liberia

Corporations in Liberia have no tax liabilities if they obtain income outside the country. Although Liberia has double tax treaties with Sweden, New Zealand and Germany, they are not applicable to non-resident corporations. However, is a company has a shipping business, it may benefit from them in some cases.

Accounting

Offshores in Liberia neither submit financial statements to the tax authorities nor appoint an auditor. However, it is necessary to maintain records in a company to reflect its financial status. Accounting is not available publicly.

Advantages of Offshore Companies in Liberia

  • Liberia offshore companies are exempted from income and corporate taxes.
  • Company registration is available 24/7 with modern online corporate registry.
  • Financial statements are not filed to the authorities.
  • The local office and employees are not required.
  • Full privacy and confidentiality; nominee services.
  • Beneficial owners are not declared.
  • Paid up share capital is not obligatory.