What is ACORN? ACORN is the modern way in which companies are formed. companies can be incorporated instantly and in real time 24 hours a day, 365 days a ear from anywhere in the world by Anguilla-based company managers and trust companies, together with their approved overseas agents. Anguilla's robust corporate and partnership legislation provides users with a choice of ordinary Companies, International Business companies, limited liability companies and limited partnerships. ACORN users can register any one of these companies and transact all other registry activities (and submit all other documents) electronically as allowed under the relevant legislation.

No other company registration system can match ACORN in terms of speed and efficiency. It is at the cutting edge in terms of e-commerce, and because it is the responsibility of Anguilla's regulatory authority, users are assured of a sound service. the recent publication by KPMG, commissioned by the UK Government, of a report into financial regulation in the Caribbean territories, including Angela, found that acorn and the operation of the company registry in general to be an example of how online registration can be developed in a well-regulated manner. ACORN enhances rather than detracts from the regulatory environment.

ACORN went live on 16 November 1998 and is the pinnacle of Anguilla's high quality financial services. As the jurisdiction is a fairly new provider of international financial services, it has given Anguilla the added advantage over its competitors that its growth has been developed in a solid legislative and regulatory environment, designed to meet worldwide standards.

The ACORN system was developed in Anguilla with financial assistance form Companies House UK, an executive agency of the Department of Trade and Industry.

ACORN has effectively done away with paper. Users can electronically file anything from the Articles of Incorporation in a variety of languages to pay annual fees, with the system providing immediate guidance. incorporations are effected immediately, with ACORN providing by email a copy of the company's Certificate of Incorporation. hard copies of all certificates generated are also provided through the local licensed company manager. the system even enables users to call up online reports detailing transactions already undertaken, and the costs and dates of those transactions. This is system technology at its very best. Acorn allows company searches also to be done electronically and this is regarded by many users as an extremely important facility.

What Does Acorn Do?

The system allows a user to electronically submit all of the documents that currently require physically filing with the Anguilla Companies Registry. Registered users are provided with secure digital encrypted access to the system supplemented by individual user password controls. The acorn menu allows a user to choose one or more of the following functions:


  1. Establish user password control;
  2. view all fees;
  3. fulfil company searches;
  4. review announcements;
  5. view the legislation relevant to a document being submitted or to an activity being undertaken;
  6. obtain help with respect to any function of the system at the time;
  7. retain incomplete documents in a separate file pending submissions.

Name Search

This can be done alphabetically, phonetically or on a key-word basis. this system gives immediate confirmation as to whether a name is free, not free or reserved.

Name Reservation

A name can be reserved for ten days without charge, or for a longer period upon payment of a reservation fee. The system allows multiple searches and reservations (initially up to 20 names) and the names of the companies and their articles can also be incorporated in foreign languages.

Name Reservation Ability

Name reservation ability, plus the instant incorporation facility, dispenses in the main with the need for shelf companies.


Incorporation online has been made as straightforward as possible;

  1. a user must select one of the types of available company or partnership;
  2. the system will then take the user through the incorporation process with information being typed directly into the system;
  3. standard sets of articles of incorporation can be pre-established in the system for use on incorporation. Once completed, the screen will provide the user with the registration document for checking and final submission. On submission, the certificate of incorporation appears immediately on screen and can be printed out.

Other Attributes ACORN Additionally Facilitates

  1. it allows the user agent to monitor and to review all activity or individual activities for any chosen period;
  2. it provides a full accounting system for both the user agent and the registry;
  3. it provides a full administrative system for both monitoring activity and assisting user agents in their usage of the system.

Other Filing And Inquiries

  1. searches;
  2. certification;
  3. instant jurisdictional news updates;
  4. document storage;
  5. foreign script naming capabilities.

What are the Advantages of ACORN?

  1. it is an interactive system which is both user-friendly and easy to understand;
  2. it provides checks and guidance for the user at crucial stages of the input process;
  3. it responds instantaneously, allowing incorporation/submission of documents to be filed electronically from anywhere, 24 hours a day.
  4. it allows the user to electronically, and in the fraction of time, do all those activities which ordinarily would be done in paper form;
  5. it provides a seamless way of incorporating companies offshore;
  6. it makes the administration of offshore companies fact, cost effective and simple;
  7. it provides an instantaneous company name search facility and immediate name reservation ability, thereby eliminating the cost of shelf companies'
  8. it permits the incorporation of names and filing of articles in languages and script other than English;
  9. it has the regulatory controls in place to ensure that users are fit and proper.

How To Register As An Overseas Agent

Acorn provides approved overseas agents with a virtual presence in Anguilla, thereby allowing them to serve their clients needs directly with the registry. To register, the overseas agent must establish a commercial agency agreement with an Anguillian licensed practitioner who will, amongst other things, satisfy the requirement for a registered office in Anguilla. The Anguillian agent will also have to satisfy itself as to the fit and proper qualities of the overseas agent. The Financial Services Department, by means of a simple application available from its website, must then approve the overseas agent.

How Does An Agent Pay For Registry Activity?

All agents, whether local or overseas, will be required to credit ACORN according to the volume of business which the agent anticipates undertaking. Payment is left to the discretion of each agent, since there is no minimum or maximum amount, and this is made through the Government of Anguilla. The system will show an on-screen record of the cost of each transaction, together with the balance of the account still available.

The Whole Registration Process Is Simplicity Itself

For each of the corporate vehicles and limited partnerships a sub-menu is available which lists all documents and registry activities, which the relevant legislation either permits or requires the company or partnership to file.

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.