Nevis: What Does This Jurisdiction Offer Companies And Individuals?

Last Updated: 23 November 2018
Article by Graham Sutcliffe

Background

Nevis is a leading international Caribbean financial centre with a good reputation and excellent standards.

The jurisdiction of St Kitts & Nevis offers options in terms of international companies, private trustee companies and international trusts and foundations. It also offers an attractive passport scheme (recipients do not need to reside in St Kitts & Nevis), which is of particular appeal for individuals requiring an additional passport to ease travel and/or perhaps whilst they are awaiting receipt of a passport from another jurisdiction.

A brief summary of the key advantages available is detailed below. For further information please contact the Dixcart office in Nevis: advice.nevis@dixcart.com.

Nevis as an International Business Centre

  • Nevis does not levy VAT or other indirect taxes in relation to Nevis International Business Corporations (IBCs) and there is NO income tax, NO corporation tax, NO capital gains tax, NO wealth tax, and NO death duty or  inheritance tax.
  • The Nevis Financial Registry maintains the strictest levels of confidentiality.
  • Legislative and fiscal independence mean that the island responds quickly to the needs of business.
  • Nevis is a well-regulated jurisdiction and is recognised by the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).
  • New legislation is regularly being introduced, offering an increased number of corporate vehicles. These include IBCs; insurance, companies, LLCs (Limited Liability Corporations), multiform foundations, registered trusts and mutual funds.
  • The island is independent and offers a stable political and economic environment.
  • Nevis is a former British Colony which applies a common law legal system (similar to the English legal system).

Dixcart, in Nevis, offers bespoke structures, allowing families to set up specific solutions that maintain the confidentiality of the family.

The Dixcart office in Nevis establishes and manages companies and can also assist with the re-domicile of non-Nevis companies to Nevis for the purpose of either continuance or closure.

Dixcart also has the ability to manage companies from other Caribbean jurisdictions and to provide the necessary levels of management and substance that are now commonly required by countries within the EU and other countries around the world.

Nevis Structures, the Economic Citizenship Programme and their Key Benefits:

  • IBC – International Business Corporation 
    • Sole directors allowed (both personal and corporate).
    • Incorporated in 24 to 48 hours.
    • Easy to setup and maintain, private and cost effective.
    • Ability to have documents legalised in the UAE, due to the St Kitts Consulate in Dubai.
    • Certificates of Good Standing/Incumbency can be notarised and apostilled in under 24 hours.
  • LLC – Limited Liability Company
    • A legal entity with separate rights and liabilities, distinct from its managers and members, which is liable for its own debts, obligations and liabilities.
    • Can be used for any legal purpose, including financing US and non-US operations, real estate holding, manufacturing and investment vehicles for international trusts.
    • Incorporated in 24 to 48 hours.
    • Foreign LLCs may convert to become a Nevis LLC through use of a simple conversion plan.
    • Foreign entities may convert to become a Nevis LLC after redomiciling to Nevis.
    • Extra protection can be gained by stating that 'the explicit naming of a member or manager in a legal action being brought against the company is legal grounds for dismissal or at least for a motion of misjoinder'.
  • PTC – Private Trustee Company
    • No licence required to act as trustee (for private family arrangements).
    • Incorporated in 24 to 48 hours with sole directors allowed (both personal and corporate).
    • Can be owned either by a purpose trust or by the settlor.
    • Ability to have a representative of the underlying asset companies on the Board of the PTC and it is relatively easy to replace the Board and therefore the effective trustees, if necessary.
  • International Trust
    • Registered in 24 to 48 hours.
    • Cannot be declared void, voidable or defective by reason of any forced heirship rules of the Settlor's domicile, residence, place of current incorporation, formation or establishment.
    • No rule against perpetuity unless otherwise provided for; the international trust can therefore have unlimited duration.
    • Foreign judgements are not enforceable in Nevis.  Any civil action to recover assets would need to be brought, in addition, in the Courts of St Kitts & Nevis.
    • A deposit of $100,000 must be paid before creditor action can be taken.
    • If the Protector has the authority to direct the Trustees to make and approve distributions, or to direct the Trustees to make particular investments, statutory protection is given to the Trustees for acting on the direction of the Protector, in the absence of wilful misconduct.
  • Multiform Foundations
    • Asset protection and succession planning opportunities.
    • Can be set up for estate planning, charity, financing and special investment holding arrangements.
    • Can take the form of a foundation, a company, a trust or a partnership.
    • The ordinance allows for entities to be converted or transformed, continued or consolidated and merged into Nevis Multiform Foundations.
  • Economic Citizenship Programme – Passports

A St Kitts & Nevis passport can provide a relatively fast option to ease  travel and to gain residence, if required, whilst plans are being made to live elsewhere.

There are three alternative routes to gain a St Kitts & Nevis passport:

  • Investment in Real Estate.
  • Investment in Luxury Real Estate.
  • Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) Contribution.

Applicants do not need to visit St Kitts & Nevis in order to apply for a St Kitts & Nevis passport. They do, however, need to use an approved intermediary on the island, such as Dixcart, to coordinate the application.

There are NO conditions attached to a St Kitts & Nevis passport in terms of the number of days that need to be spent on St Kitts & Nevis. Other advantages include:

  • Visa-free access to over 130 countries around the world including Europe, UK, Hong Kong, Russia, Ukraine, India and Switzerland.
  • Fast processing times; approval can be achieved in between 45 to 60 days using the 'accelerated process' and 90 to 120 days with standard processing.
  • Inclusion of dependant children up to the age of 30.
  • Inclusion of dependant parents from the age of 55.
  • Sponsorship of common law partners.
  • Ability to pass citizenship to children.

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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