By John D.K.Lawrence, Director of Financial Services
Anguilla's Commercial Online Registration Network, the ACORN system, went live on 16TH November 1998. In line with a programme of phased implementation, licensed company managers and trust companies in Anguilla will now be able to incorporate electronically International Business Companies (IBC's). In addition users of the system will be able to transact all other registry activities and submit all other documents electronically, which the IBC legislation either requires or allows.
The ACORN system is an electronic Companies Registry system and details of the system are attached to this press release.
The phased implementation will cover:
- Extension of ACORN to eligible overseas agents, who will have direct electronic access to Anguilla's Companies Registry
- The electronic incorporation of Ordinary Companies and all Registry activities relating to the Companies Ordinance.
- The electronic incorporation of Limited Liability Companies and Limited Partnerships and all Registry activities relating to LLC's and LP's
As part of the above programme, amendments have already been introduced to the IBC Ordinance and to the Companies Ordinance both to widen the scope of the legislation and to make Anguilla more attractive as an offshore centre.
Additionally, Financial Services Department has been reviewing the Government fee schedule for the incorporation of IBC's and has made in particular two significant amendments:
The first is to introduce a standard incorporation fee of US$250 for the incorporation of an IBC, irrespective of the level of authorized capital.
The second is to reduce the Government fee to US$100 for the continuation of companies into Anguilla from other jurisdictions and in addition those companies with authorised capital of less than US$50,000 will be able to recoup this fee through a reduction of US$100 in their first annual fee.
Both the above reductions apply only to documents submitted electronically.
A further innovation introduced by Financial Services Department in order to encourage eligible agents to register with ACORN is the offer of four free IBC incorporations per agent, provided that the agent becomes registered prior to 31st January 1999. By this offer it is hoped that, once agents have begun to use ACORN, they will immediately appreciate its user-friendly aspects and the speed and administrative benefits that an electronic Companies Registry provides.
The objective for launching ACORN to Anguilla agents only in the first instance is to allow the local industry to become familiar with the system before ACORN goes live internationally. As part of the process, a CD-ROM will become available to prospective overseas agents as a user guide to ACORN.
ACORN is a market leader in the industry for offshore incorporations.
ANGUILLA COMMERCIAL ONLINE REGISTRATION NETWORK - ACORN
What is ACORN ?
ACORN is a state of the art companies registry system developed by Anguilla with financial assistance from the UK Government. It allows Ordinary Companies, International Business Companies, Limited Liability Companies and Limited Partnerships to be incorporated and registered in Anguilla electronically through the Internet. Companies can be incorporated instantly 24 hours a day, 365 days a year from anywhere in the world. In addition to company registrations, ACORN also enables all other corporate registration activities, which are either required or permitted under the appropriate company legislation, to be undertaken online. The system is available to all licensed practitioners within Anguilla and to their overseas agents. Overseas agents are required to be registered with the Financial Services Department of the Government of Anguilla in order to access the Registry's services directly. There is no charge for becoming a registered agent or for access to the system.
What does the system do ?
The system allows users to do electronically all that is currently done or can be done in paper form with the Anguilla Companies Registry. Registered users will be provided with software that enables them to have a secure digital encrypted access to the system, supplemented by individual user password controls.
The ACORN menu presents a user friendly list of administrative functions, name search and name reservation and the three types of corporate vehicle plus limited partnerships mentioned above, The administrative functions permit:
- To establish user password control
- To view all fees
- To do full company searches
- To view announcements
- To view the legislation particular to a document being submitted or to an activity being undertaken at any time
- To obtain help with respect to any function of the system at any time
- To retain incomplete documents in a separate pending file.
Name search can be done alphabetically, phonetically or on a keyword basis. The system tells you immediately whether the name is free, not free or reserved. The name may then be either reserved for a period of 10 days without cost or for a longer period with the payment of the relevant government fee. Alternatively, the name of the company may simply be incorporated directly. If the user wishes to reserve a name, the system produces a reference name reservation document. The system allows multiple searches and reservations (initially up to 20 names) and the names of companies and their articles can also be incorporated in foreign languages.
For incorporations the user selects one of the types of company or partnership available and the system takes the user through the incorporation process by a system of boxes to be completed or drop down boxes with options. Standard sets of articles of incorporation can be pre-established in the system for use with incorporations. Once completed the screen provides the user with a completed registration document for checking and final submission. On submission, the certificate of incorporation appears immediately on screen and can be printed out. The whole registration process is simplicity itself and quick to complete.
A sub menu for each of the corporate vehicles and limited partnerships is also available. This lists all documents and registry activities which the relative corporate legislation either permits or requires the registered company to file.
In each case the system takes the user through each process with a help button and a legislation reference button available at all times.
How to register as an overseas agent ?
An overseas agent will be a person or firm who incorporates companies offshore on behalf of clients. In order to demonstrate the ACORN system, a CD-ROM will be available as a user guide to the system. In the first instance the overseas agent needs to establish a commercial agency agreement with an Anguillian licensed practitioner. Details of all licensed practitioners in Anguilla are available on the website or from Financial Services Department. The reason for the requirement for a commercial agreement with a licensed firm in Anguilla is that every company registered is required to have the registered office situated in Anguilla. The Anguilla agent also needs to be satisfied as to the fit and proper qualities of the overseas agent and the overseas agent is additionally required to become registered with the Financial Services Department by means of a simple application. This is available on the website under the heading 'Register as an Overseas Agent'. A copy of this application is also attached for ease of reference.
How does an agent pay for registry activity ?
All agents, local and overseas, will need to credit ACORN through the Government of Anguilla with a sum of money appropriate to the volume of business, which the agent anticipates undertaking. An overseas agent can do this directly or in conjunction with his agent in Anguilla. In either case the system will, when an activity is undertaken, show on screen the cost of that transaction and the balance of account available.
Each cost or fee can be routinely checked with the fees applicable to that activity shown under the menu item 'Enquiries' Each fee is exactly the same as prescribed under the various pieces of company legislation.
What are the advantages of ACORN ?
- ACORN is an interactive system, which is both user friendly and easy to understand
- The system detects mistakes at the input stage and provides relevant guidance
- The system provides checks for the user at crucial stages of the input process
- The system will respond instantaneously
- Incorporations and submission of documents can be done from anywhere at any time
- ACORN allows the user to do all activities done in paper form electronically and in a fraction of the time.
- ACORN provides a seamless method to incorporate companies offshore
- ACORN makes the administration of offshore companies fast, cost effective and easy to use.
Further details on ACORN and on Anguilla's financial services are available on the website, Click Contact Link
Welcome to ACORN
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
For further information please contact:
Office of the Registrar Government of Anguilla Financial Services Department The Secretariat The Valley Anguilla B.W.I Tel No: 001 242 497 5881 / 001 242 497 3881 Fax No: 001 242 497 5872