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Set up an Offshore Company in Isle of Man

Updated on Monday 13th April 2020

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There are many reasons why investors should choose to set up an offshore company in the Isle of Man, most importantly the fact that there are no taxes on profits.
 
Offshore company formation in the Isle of Man can be an excellent solution for trading or for maintaining various investment portfolios.
 

Steps for setting up an offshore company in the Isle of Man

 
The Isle of Man company formation process is a simple one and it can be expedited with the help of our company formation agents. We can help you gather and draw up the needed company documents and submit them for registration.
 
The steps for opening an offshore company are generally the following ones:
 
  1. Choose the business type: the LLC, the foundation, the trust – used according to the offshore or holding investment needed.
  2. Appoint the registered agent and determine the registered office: these two elements are required when setting up a company in the Isle of Man
  3. Draw up the company documents: the Memorandum and Articles of Association.
  4. Document submission: once prepared, the company documents and information about the directors and shareholders are submitted for company registration with the Companies Registry.
  5. Open a bank account: once registered, the company can open a bank account; our agents can help investors during this step without them needing to travel to the Island. 
 
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Conditions for Isle of Man offshore company set up

 
The following list describes the several most important conditions for company registration in the Isle of Man:
 
  • Registered office: according to the local company registration requirements, the company must maintain a registered office on the Island.
  • Registered agent: also according to the general company formation rules, it is required to appoint a licensed registered agent (the license is to be issued by the Island of Man Financial Supervision Commission).
  • Management: one director is needed to open a company, however, there are no restrictions on special requirements for residency. One shareholder is also needed.
  • Special requirements: upon registration, the company will need a proposed company name and alternatives, if applicable, the names of the directors and shareholders.
The video below is a presentation of the requirements for opening an offshore company in the Isle of Man
 
 
Apart from the conditions mentioned above, there are a number of key costs for offshore company formation in the Isle of Man:
 
  • 1GBP: this is the minimum paid-up capital for the private limited company; a usual authorized capital value can be 2,000 GBP;
  • 195 GBP: the value of the Government fees for company formation, not including taxation; please keep in mind that these fees can be subject to change and we recommend verifying this in advance or reaching out to our agents for updated information;
  • 360 GBP: recurring government costs for a company in the Isle of Man;
  • 1-5 days: the usual time needed for Isle of Man company formation.
 
Companies in the Isle of Man are required to have a unique name and it can be verified via the online portal provided by the Isle of Man Government. The name availability is also checked if an investor wishes to change the name of an existing company. There are a set of conditions for choosing the corporate name and they refer to originality as well as the description of the business activity or the inclusion of certain words. Names that may be refused are the ones that:
 
  • - are identical to one already registered in the Isle of Man or to a business registered in another jurisdiction;
  • - are not distinctive for the business activity and falsely describe the company;
  • - are similar to names already registered in the Isle of Man or in another location and may cause confusion among clients;
  • - contain restricted words such as “bank”, “building society”, “royal”, “king”, “queen”, “prince”, “Windsor”, etc.
  • - were used by companies that were dissolved or struck off from the Register in the last five years.
 
This list of situations in which the names can be refused is not an exhaustive one. The authorities have complied a document, the Company and Business Names Regulations 2013 that can be detailed further by our team of Isle of Man company formation agents.
 

Annual requirements for companies in the Isle of Man

 
The annual return is a mandatory document that is filed by all companies within one month after its incorporation date. The requirement to file takes place even when the company is not trading. The fees for the submission vary according to the type of company:
 
  • - for the standard company: £380 for regular filing, £480 for 1 to 3 months delay and £630 for more than three months from the incorporation date;
  • - for exempted companies: £95, £195 and £345 according to the same deadlines as above;
  • - for registered charities: £0 for on-time filing, £100 and £250 in the two other cases.
 
The registration is considered complete once the authorities have checked it. If a document is rejected, and the submission is thus not possible on time, the penalty will apply. 
 
Failure to file the annual return can result in the prosecution of the company or, in some cases, in it being struck off the register. We advise investors to reach out to our Isle of Man company registration agents if they have questions about the filing fees, the filing process or any other issues.
 
Apart from these annual returns, a company must also file the annual declaration which confirms the fact that it will continue trading and there have been no changes to its particulars. There is no registration fee in this case and the annual deadline for filing is the date on which the name of the company was registered.
 

Anonymity for offshore company formation in the Isle of Man

 
Investors who are interested in offshore company formation in the Isle of Man should know that the information on the company directors and shareholders is publicly available, however, the details of the beneficial owner are not included in the public record, just as the financial accounts. This means that a nominated officer can be appointed and indeed many investors will choose this option. A condition is for this person to be a natural person who resides in the Isle of Man or a legal entity that provides services included in Class 4 regulated activities. 
 
When a nominee is used for setting up a company in the Isle of Man, the law stipulates that this appointed individual will receive details regarding the beneficial owner. The nominee will receive information about the beneficial owner’s personal details (name, address, nationality, the nature and the extent of the interest in the legal entity and other information) and must be notified when any changes occur to these details. When a beneficial owner holds more than 25% of a legal entity, he is included in the Isle of Man Database of Beneficial Ownership and updated as needed. The Act that sets forth these provisions applies to some types of legal entities.
 
For more information about setting up a company in the Isle of Man, we invite you to contact us.
 

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