JNA: Formation of Companies in Guernsey

Updated 27 April 2016

WHY USE GUERNSEY?

Guernsey is a leading international financial centre with a good reputation and excellent standards. The Island is also one of the leading jurisdictions providing international insurance services and is developing a base from which internationally mobile individuals can be organised. Factors contributing to and enhancing the status of this jurisdiction include: 

  • A general rate of tax payable by Guernsey companies of zero (with exceptions, see point 9).
  • Guernsey does not levy Value Added Tax (VAT) on transactions.
  • There are no wealth taxes, no inheritance taxes, no withholding tax on dividends and no capital gains taxes.

  • For Guernsey resident individual taxpayers there is a maximum tax charge of £220,000.  This being in respect of overseas income in excess of £550,000 and Guernsey source income in excess of £550,000.
  • The Companies (Guernsey) Law 2008 and the Trusts (Guernsey) Law 2007, reflect Guernsey’s commitment to providing a modern statutory basis and increased flexibility for companies and individuals using the jurisdiction of Guernsey. The laws also reflect the importance placed on corporate governance.
  • Legislative and fiscal independence mean that the Island  responds quickly to the needs of business. In addition the continuity achieved through the democratically elected parliament, without political parties, helps deliver political and economic stability.
  • The unique relationship with the European Union (EU) provides a number of the advantages of being in the EU without all of the implications of operating as a full EU member state.
  • A wide range of internationally respected business sectors: banking, fund investment and management, insurance and fiduciary. To meet the needs of these professional sectors, a highly skilled workforce has developed in Guernsey.
  • Guernsey was the first jurisdiction in the world to provide a statutory image rights regime. Individuals can assign their registered image rights to a Guernsey company which enables a tax-efficient treatment for the wealth generated from licence arrangements.
     
  • The Guernsey aviation registry offers a number of tax and commercial efficiencies for the registration of private and, off-lease, commercial aircraft.

General information is detailed below outlining the formation and regulation of companies in Guernsey, as embodied in the Companies (Guernsey) Law 2008.

  1. Incorporation

    Incorporation can normally be effected within twenty four hours.

  2. Minimum Capitalisation

    There are no minimum or maximum capital requirements. Bearer shares are not permitted.

  3. Directors/Company Secretary

    The minimum number of directors is one. There are no residency requirements for either directors or secretaries.

  4. Registered Office/Registered Agent

    The registered office must be in Guernsey. A registered agent needs to be appointed, and must be licensed by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.

  5. Annual General Meeting

    Members can elect not to hold an Annual General Meeting by Waiver Resolution (requiring a 90% majority).

  6. Annual Validation

    Each Guernsey company must complete an Annual Validation, disclosing information as at 31st December of each year. The Annual Validation must be delivered to the Registry by 31st January of the following year.

  7. Audit

    Members can elect for the company to be exempt from the obligation to have an audit by Waiver Resolution (requiring a 90% majority).

  8. Accounts

    There is no requirement to file accounts. However, proper books of account must be maintained and sufficient records must be kept in Guernsey to ascertain the financial position of the company at no greater than six monthly intervals.

  9. Taxation

    The general rate of corporation tax is zero. The only exceptions are:
  • Banking activities which are taxed at 10%
  • Rental income from Guernsey properties which is taxed at 20%
  • Profits of Guernsey resident regulated utility companies which are taxed at 20%.

If you would like additional information regarding the formation of companies in Guernsey and the fees that Dixcart charge, please contact: john.nelson@dixcart.com

 

Dixcart Trust Corporation Limited has a Full Fiduciary Licence granted by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission

Categories: Jurisdiction, Guernsey, Year, 2014