International Business Corporations (IBC) - An International Business Corporation is an offshore entity with a registered office and Director, which generally does not have a real physical operation in the country in which it is registered. An IBC in most cases must be owned or controlled by non-residents and generally cannot carry on any local business or invest in local property or securities. IBC's operate internationally, investing in stocks, bonds, commodities and real estate. They are often used as holding or trading companies, or combined with trusts in asset protection and investment structures.

The IBC is widely considered the most flexible and efficient vehicle for offshore investments and asset protection planning.

  • No, or very low, taxation

  • Quick formation and low fees

  • Confidentiality of ownership and directors

  • No or low minimum capital requirement.

  • No residence requirements.

  • Limited liability of owners

  • No auditing or filing of annual returns

  • No foreign exchange controls

  • Bearer shares and registered shares permitted.

An IBC must have a local registered office, typically through a professional corporate services provider. IBCs are permitted to engage in certain activities, including opening local bank accounts, holding meetings, retaining certain services, preparing and keeping books, without being considered to be carrying on local business. IBCís are typically not allowed to operate banking, insurance, reinsurance and trusteeship services.

Limited Liability Companies (LLC) - The limited liability company is an offshore entity with a registered office and members who may participate in the management of the company. The company is managed pursuant to its Articles of Organization which are usually very simple allowing for great flexibility. Commonly included in the Articles are:

  • name;

  • the last date on which the LLC is to be dissolved, if any;

  • name and address of registered agent;

  • whether the company is to be managed by managers exclusive of members or by all the members in their capacity as members;

  • that the company is authorized to conduct any lawful business.

In addition there may be an operating agreement which is essentially a contract between members as to how the company will operate.

The LLC is gaining in popularity as it is becoming better known and understood by those familiar with the IBC.

Advantages include:

  • no personal liability exposure to owners;

  • no limit on the number of members;

  • no stock limitations and can issue preferred interests analogous to preferred stock of corporations;

  • no corporate tax, income tax, withholding tax, stamp tax, asset tax or other form of taxation;

  • members may be natural persons or other entities of any nationality and do not file annual or other reports;

  • members interests may be assigned unless restricted in the operating agreement;

  • management can be by members or managers designated by members and may assume any titles;

  • company records may be located any where in the world.