First Point of Contact & Frequently Asked Questions

FIRST POINT OF CONTACT

The process of starting your offshore International Business Company requires the transparency and approval of specific documents.

The first steps begin with you;

1. Contact us through our website portal to communicate to us which service or services you are interested in.

2. You will receive a confirmation email upon your service enquiry being accepted, and as a new prospective client you will now be subjected to due diligence whereby you will have to:

- complete our know your client (KYC) questionnaire,

- provide us with a certified copy of your passport and recent proof of residential address (which should not be more than 3 months old).

3. Our compliance team will then do a full evaluation of all the information you have provided to us. If all are per the requirements you will be accepted to join us as our client.

4. An invoice will be issued to you and we then enter into a business relationship through a service agreement.

5. Services will be provided by way of registration of the company and preparation/production of all relevant documentation as per the International Business Companies Act; all of which will be sent to you by email for verification and signature followed by courier of the original corporate documents.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Whether you are curious about offshore companies, physically planning to open an offshore company or searching for the best place to register your company anywhere in the world, right here is a great place to get started.

Browse the commonly asked questions and their answers on offshore company formation below. If you have further queries, do not hesitate to contact us. 


What is an international business company (IBC)?

In general, an international business company (IBC) is nothing else than an offshore company that can only engage in “international business”, and not in the jurisdiction where it is incorporated. However, the new Seychelles IBC Act as amended in 2018 does make provision for a Seychelles IBC to conduct business in Seychelles.

International business company (IBCs) are frequently used for online, e-commerce, investment, trading (including crypto) businesses and may have clients from other countries. IBCs have the permission to perform all types of business excluding ones that entail authorisation such as banking, insurances, gambling, trusts and similar.

Incorporating an offshore company in Seychelles takes just 1 day. Our consultation upon the first point of contact is completely free and generally needs not more than a short email or phone call.  From there, on your behalf, ICAL administers all the groundwork. Once authorities have approved your offshore company name, we will proceed with registration and forward you corporate documents comprising all official certificates and permits. The whole procedure can be done remotely from your desk.

To clarify whether your business concept involves having a license or can proceed without one, on a regular company registration contact us for more details.

What are the main advantages and benefits of the Seychelles IBC over other IBCs?

The Seychelles IBCs are at an advantage over other IBCs because it has a flexible structure with attractive benefits for overseas investors.  Being fast, friendly and reliable, minimal record-keeping obligations and unparalleled privacy features, are what make Seychelles IBCs the most sought after in the international financial service world.

The main advantages IBCs have in Seychelles are:

• confidentiality and the highest level of privacy protection
• limited liability without any paid-up capital requirement
• legal tax exemption and no taxation on any kind of offshore income
• business can be conducted both internationally and locally
• and many more

Does one have to come to Seychelles to incorporate an IBC?

No, you do not have to come to Seychelles to incorporate and IBC, everything can be done remotely. Client registration can be completed electronically and all required information to set up the IBC can be provided via email or fax, whilst other essential original documents can be sent by post/courier. Your signature will not be required for all documents that have to be filed with the registry; documents can be signed by us as the registered agent and your names will not be recorded in public records.

A CSL is for businesses that will mostly be international but which will have an increased local presence, so it falls in between being a  domestic company and an IBC. Choosing a CSL would be the way to go if you intend to have a local office that generates or adds value to your international business. It can benefit from the double taxation avoidance agreements that Seychelles has with many fast-developing countries in Africa and Asia.

How quickly can one have an IBC?

A new IBC can usually be registered within 24 hours unless it is required to follow up closely with the registry where slow-downs would be beyond our control.  Procedures are even smoother if the required company plans to have standard features and a simple business name.

Authentication of documents may be required and retrieving them may take longer. Once retrieved documents are scanned and emailed as high quality PDFs whereas post/courier thereafter can take 3 to 4 days.

If IBC documents are needed very urgently, can one have the documents first and complete client registration later?

All documents and information at the very least are required for client registration via email in high-quality format, preferably in colour, to be able to dispatch the company documents directly to you. Client registration procedures are to be completed as per regulation requirements before fulfilling your orders; the same in all reputable jurisdictions. During the registration procedures, it is our job to ensure we “know our client” (KYC) and that any planned activity or business will be in agreement with the laws of Seychelles. Additionally, we have to make sure the IBC remains compliant once operational.

Alternativley, if your time is restricted a ready-made shelf company could help you meet your deadline. After receiving all your documents and information for your registration, documents can be despatched straight away thereafter.  

Otherwise, it would be at the discretion of our directors whether to issue documents before we have received your original registration documents and other information. If you were referred to us by a long-standing and respected client, affiliate or other contact, the directors may consider your special requests.

How fast is a name approved?

Within an hour, a name application request can be processed.

The registry approves or rejects names and it is not the norm for this procedure to take more than 2 or 3 hours although the registry does experience busy periods.
An IBC can be incorporated with a non-English name provided that a certified translation of the name is submitted together with the name request. Please note that name approval can take longer if using a non-English name as the registry is most likely to ask you for more information.

Again if matters are critically urgent for your company formation, a ready-made company may be the better option to go for.  

Can we trust you as a registered agent?

Yes, definitely. We are licenced and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Businesses of corporate service providers and provisions of trustees in Seychelles are highly monitored and illegal and unethical behaviour is not accepted by the authority. If any client is discontent with any of our services the authority has every right to investigate us.

It is the authority’s right to put us out of business by suspending or cancelling our licence if a client has complaints about how we operate. In light that any illegal and unethical behaviour is done, the registered agent would have less access to your company as a registered agent is entitled to information about IBCs, not to control them. Note that the law strongly obligates a registered agent to protect any received information.

What information/documents do you need from one to register the IBC?

Please contact us to receive the list of information and documents we need which we can email or fax you. From there you will easily be able to cover all our requirements.

Just so you do have an idea, mainly we will need:

- an IBC name,
- an amount and currency for the authorised share capital,
- the names and addresses of the directors (unless you want us to suggest some professional directors),
- the names, addresses, and number of shares for each shareholder,
- the specific proposed activities of the IBC (even if the IBC will have the most general objects in its Memorandum),
- the countries where the IBC will have some activity, and
- the source of funds to form the IBC and to make it work.

Additionally, we may ask why you chose a Seychelles IBC for your venture and depending on specific activities and other requirements we could ask for more information to ensure that your proposed activities are permitted in Seychelles for us to know how to be of service to you.

Would an IBC give foreigners an unfair advantage over residents?

IBCs do not give foreigners an unfair advantage over residents as Seychelles residents are legally able to own and operate a Seychelles IBC as long as the IBC is not conducting business within Seychelles.

Furthermore, Seychelles residents are only taxed on their locally sourced income as Seychelles has a “territorial” tax system, therefore, there is no advantage to non-residents over residents and claims.

Does an IBC need a Seychelles bank account?

A Seychelles IBC can have a bank account or several bank accounts anywhere in the world, so there is no requirement to open a Seychelles bank account.

When it comes to IBC accounts for IBCs registered with ICAL, the recommended way to open an international bank account is to use the IBC as an account holder which allows you to benefit from legal tax exemption and ultimate control over the international bank account.

Similar to an IBC being formed remotely, an International bank account opened with the assistance of ICAL is straightforward and can be done remotely too. Online banking and credit cards allow you to control the account and access funds from any place of the world.

If you have a registered company with us and would like to add an international bank account, contact us.

Does an IBC need to pay taxes?

There are NO taxes for an IBC to pay in Seychelles. Section 361 of the Seychelles International Business Companies Act (“Exemption from specified laws”) states that “A company, including all the income and profits ofa company is exempt from the Business Tax Act.”  Although this is the case, depending on the specific activities of the IBC it may have to pay taxes in other countries. We recommend that you consult a tax professional in the countries where the IBC will operate and where your offshore company will have its place of management and control.

Can and must an IBC have its offices in Seychelles?

Yes an offshore company can have its own offices in Seychelles but it does not have to. It can have its office in Seychelle for making or maintaining professional contact with counsel and attorneys, accountants, bookkeepers, trust companies, management companies, investment advisers or other similar persons carrying on business within Seychelles, or to prepare or maintain books and records of the company within Seychelles.

Can the name of the IBC be changed?

Yes,  the name can be changed without complications. To get started we will need the new name to approve to prepare all the required documents. If you are amending the memorandum and articles of the company we will need approval from the shareholders to sign the new documents which we will need to file with the registry.

If one has a company in another country (not Seychelles), can we transfer it to you?

Provided that the laws of the existing country allow you to transfer the company to Seychelles, then yes you can. The process is called redomiciliation.  As mentioned on our page services, some reviews on the existing company and its directors, shareholders, other officers and beneficial owners will have to be done and you will also have to provide proof that the company is in good standing with its current registry by providing a certificate of good standing or the equivalent as well as all existing company documents. The process is only slightly longer than an incorporation.  Second to that we will also have to check that the existing company name is available in Seychelles, otherwise you will have the same with a different name.

If one has an IBC with another agent, can we change it over to you?

Yes, changing to us is possible. If you are not an existing client, you will need to complete our client registration procedures which is fast and easy. Once we received all information we need from you we will accept to be the new Registered Agent. The next step will be to help you draft the resolutions and other documents to complete the transfer of your offshore company to us.

Please note however, that the existing Registered Agent may have their own trademarked procedures which you will have to complete. If there are any outstanding fees they will insist that all outstanding fees are paid first. Most respectable agents will not resist a change and our regulators do not support unethical behaviour but there may be delays because the other agent may not be happy about your decision to move.

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