The Seychelles, officially known as the Republic of the Seychelles, are a cluster of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean. Since it gained independence in 1976, the country’s economy has steadily grown, making it one of the major financial hubs of Africa. It has now become one of the most popular places for offshore incorporation.
Incorporating your business in another country can have a number of benefits. In the Seychelles, the financial services sector is the pillar of the economy, offering offshore banking services, offshore companies registration, registration of investment funds and insurance companies, and more. Here, we’ve outlined the top eight benefits of opening a business in the Seychelles, along with how to go about incorporating.
The process of opening a business in the Seychelles is one of the easiest in the world. Seychelles International Business Companies (IBCs) are the most common type in the country for non-residents and the process is quite simple.
New IBCs usually only take 24 hours to incorporate. The primary language used for businesses is English, meaning there will be little confusion. There is no up front capital required, and no par stock value is accepted, so there is little financial commitment needed.
The issue of privacy, especially when it comes to personal information, has been an increasingly hot button issue. Luckily, if you open your business in the Seychelles, your privacy is guaranteed by law. Aside from the identity and personal information of the initial company director, the identity of shareholders, other directors, and beneficial owners are not kept on public records.
The Seychelles is also an independent jurisdiction, meaning that it does not report or share information with external countries or organizations. Additionally, the country is not subject to the EU Savings Tax Directive. There is very little political pressure when it comes to the disclosure of information in the Seychelles.
One of the biggest benefits of incorporating in the Seychelles is the lack of taxation. The country has a Territorial Tax System, which means any income you earn outside the country is not subject to taxation. Zero taxation also applies to capital gains, interest, and stamp duties on business transactions.
In order to comply with this taxation law, it is extremely crucial that your company does not earn any income within the Seychelles. Additionally, your business can’t own property or may need a specific license (usually for companies in the financial sector). It is important to remember that you may be subject to resident taxes in your country of residence depending on regulations there.
Designed to accommodate a wide variety of business structures, the Seychelles is very flexible when it comes to structuring your business. For IBCs, there only needs to be one director and one shareholder, and they can be the same person. There is no limitation on nationality and there is no requirement for a local director either.
Furthermore, there is no mandatory tax filing or auditing as long as you keep your accounting records, but it is important to note that this only applies to IBCs who don’t earn any income within the Seychelles. There is no requirement for an annual general meeting to take place in the country; doing so by phone or video is just fine.
The Seychelles offer some of the most modern banking facilities in the world, meaning you’ll have access to premium services when it comes to your business banking and any other financial services. For IBCs, it is legally required to have the main bank account in the Seychelles. There are a wide range of bank accounts available, including multicurrency. Naturally, internet banking is a standard and is known for being highly secure.
The best part is that you can open an account from abroad; no in-person visit to the bank is necessary. Additionally, there are no or very low minimum balance requirements for accounts. Once again, there is no restriction based on nationality aside from international sanctions lists.
The future success of your business is directly tied to the economic situation of the country in which you choose to incorporate. Economic growth has been steadily increasing in the Seychelles, and shows no signs of stopping. Additionally, the government has been focusing on debt reduction to ensure further stability.
Political stability is as equally important as economic stability. For example, a study by the London School of Economics has shown that a change from a democratic government to an autocratic one can have a negative impact on businesses in the tourism industry. The Seychelles is a free democracy and is also very stable politically. The likelihood of a political uprising, revolution, or any other activity that would affect how business is conducted in the country is very low, meaning your company and its assets are safe.
Since the Seychelles is such a popular destination when it comes to company incorporation, there is a lot of support available to you. If you don’t want to go through the legal process of incorporation on your own, various companies and law firms offer to do it on your behalf for relatively low fees.
Additionally, there is a large network of financial, legal, and secretarial experts available for you to use. There is a burgeoning professional network of experienced professionals who can help you with whatever you need. Should your business need technical support, it is readily available too.
The yearly requirements for incorporated companies are so minor that they aren’t even close to being a hassle. Once you’ve set up your business, there really isn’t that much to do. For IBCs, there is a yearly license fee of $100 and you will need to maintain a local agent.
As we mentioned earlier, you don’t even need to file taxes. Additionally, annual meetings don’t need to take place in the Seychelles themselves. Maintaining a business in the Seychelles is almost easier than incorporating in the first place.
Opening a business in the Seychelles is one of the easiest processes in the entire world. There are a few things you need to do in order to incorporate, but compared to other countries, it’s quite simple.
Before you open your business, you need to come up with a trading name, which can be in any language. That being said, English is the primary language used for trading names in the Seychelles. You will also need to obtain a registered legal address in the Seychelles. This may sound complicated, but all you really need is a virtual office or an equivalent.
From there you need to choose what type of company you want to open. As we mentioned earlier, IBCs are the most common type for offshore business provided you don’t plan to earn any income within the Seychelles. Note that if your company is involved with gambling activities or banking services, you cannot open an IBC.
You will then need to draw up a business plan if you don’t already have one, mainly to decide on a shareholding structure. After that is completed, you can register your business with the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA).
Depending on what type of business you want to open, you may need to apply for an additional special license from the Seychelles Licensing Authority. You can find a full list of what activities will need a license on their website.
Lastly, you will need to open your business bank account. As we mentioned earlier, it is a legal requirement that IBCs have their main bank account be in the Seychelles. Luckily, opening an account is extremely easy and can be done without an in-person visit to the bank itself.
As you can see, the Seychelles offer a wide number of benefits to anyone looking to incorporate an offshore company. Whether you’re concerned about taxation, privacy, convenience, or stability, the Seychelles has something to offer everyone. Technology is also evolving, meaning that smart companies are starting to become more prevalent in the Seychelles too.
A smart company is a form of organization that has been incorporated onto the blockchain with full legal compliance. Smart companies are legally recognized as IBCs, and the Seychelles are the world’s first jurisdiction to approve the smart company model.
Smart companies are completely digital, and our friends at Korporatio have managed to make opening a business in the Seychelles easier than ever before. Through a dedicated digital dashboard, everything involving your business takes place securely online and in real time. Additionally, they have built-in compliance, meaning you don’t have to think about any legal requirements.
We've partnered with Korporatio to offer you smart company incorporation in the Seychelles through the SelfKey Wallet. Download the SelfKey Wallet, navigate to the Incorporations Marketplace and click on the Seychelles jurisdiction to get started.