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Current Offshore Locations
  • Hong Kong - is the leading Asian centre for both finance and commerce and ranks as the world's third largest financial centre after New York and London.


  • Seychelles - Seychelles is situated in the Indian Ocean and has a population of 80,000. It is one of the fastest IBC (International Business Company) registrar in the world with the most comprehensive, modern and attractive approach to the establishment and operation of offshore companies, banking, and insurance.


  • British Virgin Islands - Called by the French 'les Iles sous le Vent', and with a near perfect climate, the BVI has raced to the forefront as one of the premier tax havens of the world. The BVI have the basic offshore financial center attributes: stable, capitalistic government, good communications, an educated population, no exchange controls, and a tax and regulatory climate that encourages offshore activity.


  • Cayman Islands - Whilst the Cayman Islands offers political stability, sophisticated infrastructure and a strong economy based on international banking and tourism, the main features of Cayman Islands that have attracted many international businesses and investors are No local taxes, Privacy, Investment freedom, No exchange controls.


  • Belize - Belize offshore IBC is exempt from all local taxes including income tax, dividend tax, capital gain tax and stamp duty on transfer of corporate property, shares, and other corporate financial instruments.Belize offshore company is not required to file tax returns or any other type of report or declaration to the government regarding sources of income. 


  • Mauritius - Mauritius has attracted more than 15,000 offshore entities, many aimed at commerce in India and South Africa, and investment in the banking sector alone has reached over US$1 billion. 


Beaufort Offshore Company Incorporation Services

International Business Corporation


An International Business Corporation (IBC) or offshore company is commonly set up in a tax haven like the Seychelles. Hong Kong, British Virgin Islands (BVI), Marshall Islands among others. Beaufort offers offshore company incorporation services to help you set up in your company in these tax havens.


Beaufort sets up and manage offshore companies to meet the specific personal or business objectives of our clients. Broadly these objectives include wealth protection and tax reduction, international business and market entry. Beaufort's focus is to understand, assess, design and implement a solution that best fits our clients' specific needs and goals while maximizing the available benefits. 


BVI does not ask for taxes on corporate or personal income, as well as on capital gains, gifts, death or wealth.


There are no exchange controls, and minimum red tape in there too.


Which offshore jurisdiction is best for your business?

Find out more in the sections below or



  • What is Offshore ?

  • Is setting up offshore illegal?

  • Can I move my existing business offshore?

  • How do I find the right jurisdiction?


  • 3 Golden rules

  • Are there any other advantages besides Tax?

  • Types of offshore companies

  • Uses of offshore companies

  • Current Offshore Locations


What is Offshore?

The word offshore business and offshore company have no precise legal, tax or general business meaning. It merely means anywhere other than the place of physical location of the person using the word (ie overseas). 

Offshore business is about using the possibilities offered by countries (commonly known as jurisdictions), whose legislation allows for certain advantages (tax, confidentiality, company structure, etc.) to be used by non-residents. 

It is normally a legal requirement that the registered company must not conduct any business or own any assets in the jurisdiction of incorporation in order to enjoy certain tax freedoms. 

This in turn allows companies to be set up in that jurisdiction, sometimes resident, sometimes not (depending on the legislation), to trade on an international basis taking advantage of the easier flow of money on the international markets. Nevertheless, most countries today still partake in the idea that the flow of money in or out of the country has to be restricted, regulated, or at least monitored, and of course, taxed.


Is setting up offshore illegal?

Setting up offshore is not illegal because most nations encourage international trade and enterprise and thus there are usually no restrictions on residents doing business or having bank accounts in other countries. However, withholding information about your offshore investments is illegal in some countries.


An offshore jurisdiction should be perceived as just another foreign country, but with certain advantages. These can take the form of banking secrecy laws, advantages in forming companies in international trade through tax treaties, no interest tax, no inheritance taxes, no capital gains tax, no individual tax, and many others.


Can I move my existing business offshore?

Some companies move parts of their business offshore almost immediately as separate subsidiaries and profit centres. However, you will need to look at your business with a view to re-structure your activities and maybe look for new business opportunities on a cross-border basis into other countries.


The possibilities are quite extensive, and we are able to assist you when it comes to applying offshore advantages to your existing company operations.


How do I find the right jurisdiction?

This depends on what the corporation is going to be used for and your own personal or business circumstances. If you don't have a personal preference or a recommendation from a friend, please ask our experienced advisors for suitable suggestions. They will be able to help you make the right decision to match your budget and personal requirements.


Some important factors to consider when choosing a suitable jurisdiction: Incorporation & annual maintenance costs, the tax regime, legal system, confidentiality, exchange controls, banking facilities and the political and economic stability. 


3 Golden rules

When purchasing a company it is important to remember these 3 Golden rules: 

1. Choose a respectable corporate services provider which has a physical office you can visit to discuss your requirements in confidence. 

2. Choose a recognised bank in a stable country and ensure that they will accept instructions by fax or offer internet banking services 

3. For maximum confidentiality, try to ensure that the company and the company's bank account are located in 2 different jurisdictions.


Are there any other advantages besides Tax?

There are many advantages including: confidentiality, asset protection, limiting of liability in business transactions, foreign property holding through a company in a third country, unrestricted flow of capital, transfer of assets, etc. 

Confidentiality - Keep business affairs confidential, Offshore Companies offer complete privacy. If the company shares are held by a Trust, the ownership is legally vested in the trustee, thus gaining the potential for even greater tax planning advantages. 

Asset Protection - Protect assets in combination with a Trust, an offshore company can avoid high levels of income, capital and death taxes that would otherwise be payable if the assets were held directly. It can also protect assets from creditors and other interested parties. From competitors, adverse claimants and other parties from whom you wish to keep your business interests private and to secure against future claims such as bankruptcy, judgment creditors and other litigants, etc.

Protect investments in other foreign countries - International Companies can loan funds to corporations in other foreign countries. Investors may set up, but not directly own, an offshore company that loans funds to a development company set up in another country and charge interest rates that will lower tax obligations and protect the long term ability to repatriate investment funds. This can be especially important when working in countries with strict exchange controls and high tax profiles. 

Estate Planning - Family and Protective Trusts (possibly as an alternative to a Will) for accumulation of investment income and long-term benefits for beneficiaries on a favorable tax basis (without income, inheritances or capital gains taxes); 

Reduced compliance costs - Tax havens, such as British Virgin Islands, allow the formation of International Companies that have no tax or reporting responsibilities, thus allows cost saving not only from the absence of corporate taxes, but also from reduced compliance and other regulatory costs. 

International Tax Planning - Offshore corporations can contract the services of professionals to employers resident in high tax locations or politically unstable areas. This allow employment or consultancy fees to accumulate in a low tax jurisdiction. 

An offshore corporation can buy or lease products from one country and then sell or lease them to a company in another country so the profits of the transaction are accumulated in the offshore company where there is no taxation on profits. An offshore company can franchise or license intellectual property rights in other foreign countries allowing the profits to accumulate in a tax-free environment.


Types of offshore companies

Typically, our clients utilise the following types of offshore companies to structure international business and for tax planning:


  • Very low or zero tax offshore companies incorporated in jurisdictions often described as tax haven islands, such as the BVI or British Virgin Islands, Belize or the Seychelles.


  • Companies incorporated in jurisdictions which offer both offshore companies and onshore companies and which may benefit from favourable tax regulation and / or special offshore company regimes. For example: Mauritius has two types of company that are used for offshore business and international tax planning.


  • The Mauritius GBCII Offshore Company pays zero tax and is effectively a tax haven company;


  • The Mauritius GBCI Company is tax resident and typically utilised for double tax treaty and international tax planning. 

Singapore and Hong Kong although not typically regarded as tax haven, has a favourable tax regime which effectively means that correctly structured, managed and administered these companies can be utilised for offshore business and international business without paying tax in Singapore or Hong Kong provided that any profits arising are not made in the respective country (non resident company) and the earned money can be remitted back. This type of tax regulation is known as "territorial taxation". With the strict rule in place for prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, opening bank account for other tax haven jurisdictions can be difficult. On the contrary, to open a corporate bank account for companies in Singapore or Hong Kong is easier as these companies are more transparent due to the strict compliance control by the government.


  • The LLC or Limited Liability Company and the LLP or Limited Liability Partnership types of company. These classes of company are used for offshore business, international business and tax planning because they have the advantage of limited liability but the flow-through characteristics of a partnership for tax purposes. By this, we mean that profits are divided among the members, in proportion to their respective holdings, and are taxed in their hands. In some circumstances, if all the members or partners are non tax resident in the domicile of the LLC or LLP company and no business is undertaken in that country, neither the LLC or LLP company nor the members or partners will be subject to tax in the company's country of establishment. Such companies are said to be "fiscally transparent" and examples include US LLCs, the Isle of Man LLC and the UK LLP.


  • Companies incorporated in the many onshore countries which have tax regimes that are by statute tax advantageous for specific international purposes. The world of offshore is more complex than the black-and-white tax world inhabited by the media; offshore business consists not only of tax havens but also of onshore high tax countries competing fiercely to attract international companies and individuals with all manner of tax planning regulations and opportunities. These tax advantageous regulations are used for a wide variety of tax planning business, such as:


  • Double tax treaty planning relating to dividends, interest and royalty payments. The establishment of holding, international headquarter treasury and finance operations


  • Specialist business, for example, leasing.


  • Personal and family wealth management and tax planning. 

International tax advisers have long been aware of the opportunities which exist for improving overall tax efficiency by using the special low tax regimes offered by high tax countries seeking to encourage international business. However, successful implementation of such structures is dependent on a wide variety of issues, often relating to matters such as anti-avoidance provisions, double tax avoidance, controlled foreign company and management and control tests and provisions, transfer pricing, thin capitalisation, participation exemptions, capital gains tax and a myriad of other ever-changing tax regulation. More recently, the weapons contained in the armoury of the tax collectors have been supplemented by exchange of information treaties and provisions.


Uses of offshore companies

Investment Holding Company Both individuals and large companies regularly use offshore companies as vehicles to hold investment portfolios, which may consist of cash, stocks, bonds and other investment products. Cash assets held by offshore companies can earn deposit interest gross or can be placed in collective cash funds. Offshore companies are regularly used for inheritance purposes and to reduce probate expenses. Such companies can provide privacy and may save legal and other professional fees.


Property Holding Company


Another form of offshore holding company that has gained a lot of interest and popularity in recent years is using a company to hold property and property rights in an offshore location. Such companies are used to avoid capital gains taxes on property when it is sold, as well as inheritance taxes. This type of structure also provides privacy which ensures tenants are unaware of the property owner's identity.


The sale of property held by such an offshore company can be arranged easily by transferring the shares in the company and thus avoiding stamp duty payable by the purchaser.


A high net worth individual with properties or other assets in a number of countries may wish to hold these using a personal holding company so that upon their demise the need to obtain probate in each country is avoided. This will save on legal fees and avoids publicity.


International Trading Company


International trading is the purchase of goods in low cost production countries e.g. China, India, Thailand etc. and selling them to distributors in high income market areas e.g. USA, Europe, Australia etc., where the actual trading operation may take place from a third country. The goods bought by the trading company are sent directly from the country of origin to the country where they are to be sold.


Significantly improved profits can be achieved by forming a company which will be used as a trading medium for buying, shipping, and selling the goods. Most of the profits will be retained by the new trading company that would otherwise be lost in taxation to authorities at the original home location of the trading operation.


Professional Service Companies


Many individuals engaged in providing services in construction, engineering, aviation, computer, finance, film and entertainment can achieve considerable tax savings via an offshore-based private company. Individuals receiving consulting income can be employed by a company incorporated in a low or no tax jurisdiction and the fees generated will flow into this company. The offshore company can contract with an individual to provide him/her with services outside his/her normal country of residence and personal income can be accumulated free from taxation in the offshore centre.


It is possible to minimise income tax through proper planning and representation of your personal income.


Finance Companies


Offshore finance companies are normally established for the purpose of inter-group treasury management. Interest payments from group companies may be subject to withholding tax, but these taxes differ from the standard corporation taxes. Many large companies establish their own offshore companies for the purpose of mixing dividends of subsidiaries and deriving maximum advantage from tax credits. The interest paid can be a deductible charge for taxation purposes, thus consolidating interest payments in an offshore finance company provides a tax saving.


In certain countries, foreign exchange losses are not deductible for tax purposes. For example, if an offshore finance subsidiary that has been set up suffers a foreign exchange loss and that subsidiary company is then liquidated, the investment should be a tax-deductible item for the parent company. Offshore finance companies are also used for leasing, particularly where an offshore structure is rich in funds which, if they are not invested, may be repatriated or subject to high levels of corporate taxation.


Own or lease ships or pleasure craft Shipping companies may own or lease ships or pleasure craft and pay no taxes on income derived from the vessels. Registration fees are low and vessels are welcomed in ports worldwide.


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