A radical new company law designed to ensure that the Isle of Man corporate product is at the forefront of the creation and development of modern businesses is to be introduced this autumn.

The 2006 Companies Bill – which completely revamps the way businesses are set up and run in the Island – has completed its passage through parliament and is due to receive Royal Assent before the November General Election.

The new ‘Manx corporate vehicle’ has been structured to complement the Isle of Man’s zero tax policy and present a highly competitive corporate package to international business.

Treasury Minister Allan Bell believes company reform is fundamental to business benefiting from the equally radical tax reforms the Island has introduced under his stewardship. He wants company structures to be more flexible and appealing to fast moving global business and has worked with the industry to bring forward the legislation. ‘The new Act will be far more streamlined and relevant to the needs of modern business,’ said Mr Bell.

The Isle of Man’s standard zero rate of business tax forms the foundation for this innovative new corporate product that will ensure the Island remains at the cutting edge of international finance and commerce. Major investment has also been made in the Companies Registry, which now provides a stateof- the-art online service.

Broad international appeal

‘It is not the Isle of Man’s strategy to be a mass producer of companies on its own,’ said John Aspden, Chief Executive of the Financial Supervision Commission. ‘The goal is to offer a value chain of professional services around the corporate product. That is where the real economic benefits lie for the Island, and it demonstrates the breadth and depth of service that we have on offer. For this strategy to remain successful, it is essential that we have a competitive product to complement finalisation of the new corporate tax regime.

‘The new vehicle is expected to have broad appeal in the specialist offshore market. In particular, the new legislation provides for much reduced and simplified reporting, the use of regulated corporate directors, and greater flexibility by moving many obligations from statute into the articles of a company, and the introduction of the role of the registered agent for retention of company records. Other provisions allow the new company to be used in protected cell form, and as a vehicle which can easily redomicile to or from the Island.’

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