The Seychelles offer a stable legal environment to investors
who wish to conduct efficient and confidential offshore
businesses. Its legal system is based on a mixture of English
Common law and French Civil law.
This archipelago currently hosts one of the fastest growing
International Business Company (IBC) registrars in the world.
Thanks to its unique features, the IBC has proved to be a
dynamic vehicle capable of fitting the various business needs
and operations internationally.
2. Advantages of the Seychelles
The advantages offered by the offshore financial services
sector of the Seychelles are numerous. Some of them are listed
Modern and business-friendly legislation;
No exchange controls;
Fast incorporation procedures;
Large flexibility in the administration of
Competitive government licence fees;
Growing network of double taxation agreements;
Low tax or tax-exempt companies;
Shelf companies available;
Confidentiality guaranteed - details of beneficial
ownership are not disclosed to the Seychelles International
Business Authority (SIBA); and
3.The International Business Company (IBC)
The International Business Company usually takes the form of
a private company limited by shares, but can also be a limited
life company. It is a vehicle which is often used for
international trading, investment holding, owning real estate,
investment in stocks, shares, bonds, etc., shipping, joint
ventures, international contracts, e-commerce and holding
intellectual property rights, among others.
An IBC may not transact business with residents of the
Seychelles, cannot hold ownership interest in real property in
the Seychelles, except for leasing for office use, and cannot
undertake such activities as banking, insurance, re-insurance,
trustee, engaging in the business of company management or
providing registered agent facilities for
The main advantage of the IBC is that its statutory
requirements are minimal, as can be shown below:
Quick incorporation – normally two days;
Only one director and one shareholder required;
Shareholders, directors and officers need not be resident
in the Seychelles;
There is no minimum capital requirement;
Shares may be registered and issued in any currency;
Accounts need not be kept;
No returns are needed of shareholders, directors or
Shareholders and directors meetings need not be held in
the Seychelles and can be held by telephone; and
The Memorandum and Articles of Association are the only
documents that are held on the records of the SIBA.
In all, the IBC is a tax exempt structure which is very easy
to set up, administer and dispose of when no longer needed. Its
government fees are fixed for the lifetime of the company and
its costs of setting up and maintenance are comparatively
In addition, it is possible to have the M&A, resolutions
and other company administration documents in French language
in order to cater for the needs of French-speaking clients.
Suites 340-345 Barkly
Le Caudan Waterfront
P.O. Box 1070, Port Louis
Republic of Mauritius
8, Place du Bourg de
P.O. Box 3627
CH-1211 Geneva 3
The Mutual Funds and Hedge Fund Act, 1998 was brought into law in the Seychelles with a view to creating an investment fund regime that is designed to be both relatively "light touch" in its regulation at the same time as protecting the interests of investors depending on their level of market experience.
Mauritius stands apart from other finance centres in that it is a jurisdiction which has a broad network of tax treaties and therefore provides the opportunity for using trusts both for tax and non-tax benefits.
It is no secret that plans to allow foreign law firms to
operate in Mauritius have met with a mixed reception since the
announcement made in the Budget Speech 2007 to bring amendments
to the existing Law Practitioners Act 1984.
An investment fund in Mauritius is commonly structured as a public company registered under the provision of the Companies Act 2001 and licensed as a Category 1 Global Business Licence company under the Financial Services Act 2007.
A Private Trust Company (PTC) is a company formed to act as a trustee to a limited number of trusts, either for the benefit of a single family, or for the benefit of different branches of a family or for distinct (but related) family groups.
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