Offshore Company Formation – Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands is a country in the Pacific Ocean consisting of volcanic islands and atolls. The legislation of the MI is based on both English Law (Common Law) and corporate acts of the US. Corporate matters are regulated by the Business Corporations Act, the MI Association Law and the LLC Act. MI offshore company is suitable for asset and property management, holdings, yacht ownership or investment. Online gaming, insurance and banking activity are not allowed.

Background Information and Expenses

The main requirement for an international offshore company is absence of business activity in the territory of the Marshall Islands.

There is no need to visit Marshall Islands for the purposes of registration personally: all the procedures are carried out by legal companies. Upon the registration the company’s secretary provides all documents with Apostille.

First of all, it is necessary to calculate expenses for registration and annual maintenance. Prices may differ depending on a particular legal company rendering registration services. The opening fee is 1300-1500 USD. The standard annual fee is 750 USD, and about 800 USD per year for nominee services.

If a client needs an updated certificate (for banks, counterparties, etc.) the fee is 300-400 USD. The amendment to the Articles of Incorporation is usually 500-600 USD.

An Apostille and translation of documents cost additional 100-200 USD.

Setup Procedure

The incorporate time takes just 3 working days for companies to set up (one day for preparation of documents and two days for their delivery from the registry).

The procedure is quite simple and includes the following:

  • Choosing a corporate name. It should be noted that there are some restrictions for the words in companies’ name, i.e. such words as “insurance”, “bank” or “charity”.
  • Choosing a company structure, directors and shareholders (the minimum number is one, nominee services are optional), secretary, the registered office, number of shares and their type (bearer or registered). Note that director and shareholders may be of any nationality and need not be residents of the MI.
  • Provision of passport copies by the clients.
  • Preparation of necessary documents and their submission to the Registrar. Payment of registration fee.
  • As soon as the documents are received by a company’s secretary they are sent to the client.

Taxation

MI corporations and LLCs need not pay taxes (including corporate and income ones) due to their non-residential status. Local tax directives are not applicable either. Moreover, the country does not exchange tax information on the companies with other countries and has no double tax treaties.

Accounting

There is no requirement to submit audited accounts or annual return to the tax authorities. A company is entitled to open a bank account in any country. However, it should keep accounts and company books which represent its financial status. For example, a reputable bank may require financial statements if a company takes a credit facility.

Advantages of Marshall Islands Offshores

  • Exempt from taxes for non-resident companies.
  • Information on beneficial owners and directors is confidential.
  • Nominee services.
  • No annual return or audited accounts are submitted to the tax authorities or the government.
  • Absence of international agreements or treaties concerning the exchange of tax information.
  • Register and bearer shares are available. /li>
  • Dual language documents.
  • Simple procedure for setting up and maintenance.
  • Very few limitations on business activity.