29 November 2000

What Is Acorn?

Anguilla Wealth Management
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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 year 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 Anguilla found that ACORN and the operation of the company registry in general to be an example of how on-line registration can be developed in a well-regulated manner. ACORN enhances rather than detracts from the regulatory environment.

ACORN went live on the 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 world-wide standards.

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

ACORN has effectively done away with paper. Users can file electronically anything from Articles of Incorporation in a variety of languages to paying annual fees and the system will provide immediate guidance. Incorporations are effected immediately, with ACORN providing by e-mail 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 system is 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 submit electronically all of the documents that currently require physical filings 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:

  • Administration:
  • Establish user password control.
  • View all fees.
  • Do full company searches.
  • Review announcements.
  • View the legislation relevant to a document being submitted or to an activity being undertaken.
  • Obtain help with respect to any function of the system at any time.
  • Retain incomplete documents in a separate file pending submission.
  • Name Search : This can be done alphabetically, phonetically or on a key-word basis. This system gives immediate confirmation as to whether aname 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 : Incorporation on-line has been made as straightforward as possible:
  • A user must select one of the types of available company or partnership.
  • The system will then take the user through the incorporation process with information being typed directly into the system.
  • 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

  • It allows the user agent to monitor and to review all activity or individual activities for any chosen period.
  • It provides a full accounting system for both the user agent and the registry.
  • It provides a full administrative system for the registry for both monitoring activity and assisting user agents in their usage of the system.
  • Other Filing and Inquiries
  • Searches.
  • Certification.
  • Instant jurisdictional news updates.
  • Document storage.
  • Foreign script naming capabilities.

What Are The Advantages Of ACORN?

  • It is an interactive system, which is both user friendly and easy to understand.
  • It provides checks and guidance for the user at crucial stages of the input process.
  • It responds instantaneously allowing incorporation and submission of documents to be filed electronically from anywhere 24 hours a day.
  • It allows the user to do electronically and in a fraction of the time all those activities, which ordinarily would be done in paper form.
  • It provides a seamless way of incorporating companies offshore.
  • It makes the administration of offshore companies fast, cost effective and simple.
  • It provides an instantaneous company name search facility and immediate name reservation ability, which does away with maintaining the cost of shelf companies.
  • It permits the incorporation of names and filing of articles in languages and script other than English.
  • 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 direct with the registry.

The procedure for registration is as follows:

  • The overseas agent must establish a commercial agency agreement with an Anguillian licensed practitioner, who will, among 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 form available through the 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 with a sum of money appropriate to the volume of business which the agent anticipates undertaking. Payment, which is left to the discretion of each agent since there is no minimum or maximum amount, is made through the Government of Anguilla. An overseas agent can do this either directly or in conjunction with its licensed practitioner in Anguilla. In either case, when an activity is undertaken, the system will show an on-screen record of the cost of each transaction together with the balance of the account still available. The fees applicable to each activity can be checked directly under the "Enquiries" menu on the system.

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. In each case, the system takes the user through each process with a help button and a legislation reference button which are available at all times.

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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