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Why Bermuda?

Bermuda is a major International Business Centre. It is considered to be the best among insurance, shipping and investment. The flexibility in the legislation of Bermuda makes it a popular destination for registering hedge funds.

About 362 companies of the Fortune 500, operate subsidiaries in tax havens. The 362 companies maintain at least 7,827 tax haven subsidiaries. The 30 companies with the most money officially booked offshore for tax purposes collectively operate 1,357 tax haven subsidiaries. Approximately 64% of the companies with any tax haven subsidiaries registered at least one in Bermuda or the Cayman Islands tax havens.

Bermuda, 'The Jewel of Atlantic', is a beautiful stretch in the Atlantic, 650 miles east of North Carolina. An archipelago of 181 islands, it appears as a continuous landmass.

Population
population
69,200
Currency
population
Bermuda Dollar
GNI Per Capita
population
US$ 1,04,610
Region
population
Atlantic
Political Overview
population
English Common Law, British Overseas Territory

Fiscal Advantages

  • Exempt from income tax & corporate tax
  • The highest per capita income in the world
  • The 3rd largest insurance centre
  • Political stability that is conducive for establishing international businesses
  • Advanced Information & Communication Technology incorporated in domestic & business centres
  • The Companies Amendment Act 2011, offers reduced administrative costs


Regulatory Advantages

  • Strong legal system & legislation
  • More red carpet, less red tape
  • High level of confidentiality is maintained
  • Privacy provided pertaining to company records
  • Corporate directors can be appointed i.e. companies can be appointed as directors


Limitations

  • A Bermuda Exempt company cannot do business within Bermuda
  • They cannot own land or any other real estate within Bermuda
  • An Exempt Company cannot do business with the banking or insurance sector unless they have a licence
  • Exempt companies are exempted from exchange control provisions

Company Formation

  • Exempt Company
  • Company Limited by Shares
  • Company with Unlimited Liability
  • Company Limited by Guarantee
  • Limited Duration Companies


The companies Act 1981, amended in 2011, known as The Companies Amendment Act 2011, regulates the legislation of offshore formation in Bermuda. 

Companies incorporated by non-residents of Bermuda, to conduct business outside Bermuda, are categorised as Exempt Companies. They are exempted from certain provisions of Bermuda law, which stipulate that at least 60% of the equity has to be owned by a resident of Bermuda.

The companies Amendment Act 2011 (Amendment Act) received Royal Assent bringing changes to the Principal statute governing the formation & operation of companies incorporated in Bermuda. The modernized Companies Act reinforces Bermuda’s reputation as a leading international financial centre.

The Amendment Act simplifies the director and residency requirements for Bermuda companies, allowing greater flexibility and efficiency, resulting reduced administrative costs.

An incorporation that requires only the Registrar's approval consumes 24 to 48 hours. If the consent of a Minister is required, the time needed is usually 3 to 5 working days, from the date of application of incorporation with the necessary documents.

  • Name of the company
  • Address of the registered office
  • Names, addresses, and nationalities of the proposed directors
  • Names, addresses, and nationalities of the proposed shareholders and their interest in the company
  • Memorandum of Association
  • Details of share capital and classes of shares
  • Proposed bank account details
  • Bank character references relating to the proposed beneficial owners.
  • Registry fees

Taxation, Laws & Regulations

There is no corporation tax, withholding tax, capital gains tax, capital transfer tax, estate duty or inheritance taxes in Bermuda for international companies.

Employees in their home countries may pay income tax, although the overall tax for employees are lower compared to other jurisdictions.

There are no corporate taxes in Bermuda.

A payroll tax, paid by the employers in Bermuda within a range of 14% is the only corporate related tax levied in Bermuda. The employer is allowed to withhold up to 5.25% to pay the tax.

The Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) is the integrated regulator of the financial services sector in Bermuda. BMA supervises, regulates and inspects financial institutions operating in or from within the jurisdiction. It develops risk-based financial regulations that it applies to the supervision of Bermuda's banks, trust companies, investment businesses and insurance companies.

Under the guidelines of the Companies Act 1981, the Registrar of companies registers all limited liability companies, such as – Local Companies, Foreign Sales Corporations, Exempted Companies and Overseas Company.

The company law 2011, states that a minimum of one director in the board is possible, also, removal of provision for financial assistance, creating opt out provision for holding annual general meetings.

The Amendment Act has introduced a procedure whereby the members may, upon passing a resolution, waive the requirement for a company to hold an annual general meeting either for a specified number of years or indefinitely. The election to waive the requirement is however subject to the right of a member to call for an annual general meeting to be convened in any calendar year and certain events.

The Amendment Act allows the share transfer form to be executed on behalf of the transferring shareholder by any person nominated by the purchaser. The purchaser may then notify the company of the acquisition and the company is required to register the transfer upon delivery of the executed share transfer form and payment of the consideration for the purchase of the company.

A non-resident of Bermuda cannot have property in Bermuda, unless of course a licence is issued from the government. Bermuda has signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreements with a number of countries.

Immigration & Visa Requirements


As of March 2014, tourists and business visitors no longer require entry visas or work permit holders for Bermuda. However, nationals who require multiple-re-entry visas (MRV) to travel to or from Bermuda via Canada, the UK or the USA must have at least 45 days remaining on that visa beyond the date of departure from Bermuda. 

Those on a standard work permit (1 to 10 years) visa, require a Bermuda entry visa.

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