Bermuda: Bermuda Offers What Other Offshore Jurisdictions Don't

Last Updated: 2 October 2017
Article by Stephanie Sanderson

Ask any one of the sophisticated and discerning businesses, high net worth individuals (HNWIs) and investors who have made Bermuda their jurisdiction of choice as to why they chose the jurisdiction and you'll hear that Bermuda is the smartest option for offshore structuring. There are a multitude of reasons which, taken together, produce the Bermuda advantage.

Bermuda is ideally located between Europe and the US and easy to get to with daily direct flights to and from Toronto, London and US gateway cities. The flight from New York to Bermuda is less than two hours.

International finance centre. Bermuda is a world-class centre of commerce, featuring a business-friendly environment, modern infrastructure, a stable political and economic climate, as well as an unmatched collection of talent and intellectual capital in key sectors. Bermuda's main international business sectors include investment funds, (re)insurance, HNWI offices, asset finance and financial services, electronic commerce, telecommunications, shipping and aircraft. It is one of the top three insurance centres, along with London and New York.

Modern infrastructure and the Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX). Bermuda has a secure, modern and world-class physical and technological infrastructure, and is ideal for incorporating global companies seeking to list on internationally recognised stock exchanges. The BSX is a globally respected, fully electronic offshore securities exchange that offers a variety of international listed products.

Regulatory sophistication. Bermuda is an internationally respected offshore financial centre and recently achieved coveted EU Solvency II equivalency, which served as validation of the quality and sophistication of regulation by the Bermuda Monetary Authority. The jurisdiction enjoys tax neutrality and continuously modernises its legislation and infrastructure to offer competitive holding and investment options to its stakeholders and potential investors in Bermuda.

Exceptional service providers. Bermuda is competitively priced and benefits from a broad section of world-class service providers in the fund administration, private wealth management, family office, trust, legal, accounting and insurance sectors. This makes it an attractive location for companies looking to manage all aspects of their business from a quality jurisdiction.

Well balanced and collaborative approach. Bermuda has an unrivalled reputation in the international business sector for its well balanced and collaborative approach to the implementation of regulatory and international regimes, and is the preferred choice for sophisticated commercial enterprises. The Bermuda government and regulator work closely with Bermuda's international business community to develop laws and regulations that continuously enhance the business environment in Bermuda.

International co-operation and AEOI. The global push for increased transparency has really taken off in the past few years, and does not seem to be slowing down. This means that now, more than ever, it is important for business and investors to look for sophisticated jurisdictions that offer balanced regulation and are also internationally respected, such as Bermuda. The jurisdiction is a highly respected and successful financial centre recognised for worldwide standards of compliance, regulation, transparency and infrastructure.

Bermuda has more than 100 tax treaty partners around the world and is rated a first-class domicile by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) including inclusion on the OECD White List. The jurisdiction is an early adopter of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) and country-by-country reporting. Potential investors and stakeholders should definitely be looking at Bermuda as a perfect option for structuring their investments and businesses in an offshore context, as Bermuda is committed to proportionate and fair transparency.

Tax neutrality. Bermuda is a low-tax jurisdiction and it has zero income, corporate, withholding or capital gains taxes. The jurisdiction's unique tax system was designed to support its own infrastructure and it has a consumption-based system that levies payroll tax, import duties, social insurance, and custom duties on goods and services, which is a major component of Bermuda's tax revenues.

Business immigration. Bermuda allows business immigration to improve its economy by addressing the needs of the local and international business community. Also, recent changes to work permit policies introduced new categories that make obtaining work permits easier. Permanent residency is also available in certain circumstances.

High standard of living. Bermuda is a self-governing overseas territory of the UK, and English is the official language. Bermuda has one of the highest standards of living in the world, with political and economic stability, a world-class legal system, access to excellent education services and top-tier healthcare. The jurisdiction also has a temperate sub-tropical climate, physical beauty, world-famous beaches, golf courses and is home to the northernmost coral reefs in the world.

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.

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