Offshore companies can provide benefits which an on-shore company usually cannot. Offshore bank accounts are preferred not only to keep transactions confidential, but also to provide you flexibility in where and how you spend your money.
An offshore company with a bank account is protected by law:
When bank accounts of offshore companies are opened in the same jurisdiction as the registration of the company, then both the banks and the ‘introducers’ feel more comfortable. It also simplifies the opening procedures.
This also introduces a layer of ‘fog’ between the individual and his assets. So, many businessmen find it convenient to use their offshore company formation with bank accounts so that there is no need to disclose their assets in their tax country.
Increasingly, a larger number of people are internationalizing their affairs for both profit and security. An offshore company with a bank account is safer than opening only an offshore bank account in your personal name because privacy laws are increasingly under constant pressure from the US and EU governments.
Some of the many reasons for a company formation with a bank account are:
An offshore formation is a proactive positioning of your assets beyond the immediate reach of potential creditors and tax authorities. These objectives are achieved by simply making your assets legally unreachable by such parties. This is one of the objectives of offshore asset protection planning.
Your tax burden can be significantly reduced by the structuring of both personal and commercial activities in offshore, tax haven jurisdictions. It not only sounds easy, but it actually is!
For individuals who live in economically or politically unstable countries, having assets abroad can protect against financial ruin. And for those living in well organized, ‘developed’ economies, everything is so structured and well disclosed that a little privacy feels liberating. For this reason, we recommend offshore investments for any client who is a long-term investor, rather than have him risk focusing on just the domestic investment market.
Greater Financial Privacy:
Falling under the purview of ‘Big Brother’ is an ever-increasing reality in most developed countries. As a result, many individuals find the greater privacy they require or feel they need, by moving assets and activities to the offshore world. Confidentiality is not just guaranteed; it is enforced by law.
Considering the combined forces of estate, income and capital gains taxes, a valuable estate can easily be destroyed by the government. With proper estate planning your investment income and assets can be passed on to your designated beneficiaries with a minimal tax liability and hassle. To do this, an offshore company formation with a bank account is essential. You may even want to augment it with a trust company.
If you make the appropriate choice suitable to your situation, you will end up saving your wealth by incorporation offshore and the attendant financial structure. In the past, only the wealthy chose offshore company incorporations with bank accounts. There were fewer tax haven jurisdictions and the fees were high.
With increasing competition from offshore banking centers and various tax havens, offshore banks operate just like all other banks in the world; they issue offshore credit cards, debit cards and provide all other services provided by your local bank. By choosing these services you too can plan where your income should be spent and where your wealth should be retained!
Documents required for an offshore company with a bank account:
Most of the banks require a one-on-one interview or they do due diligence. However an offshore company formation with a bank account in the same country gives them some confidence because the ‘introducers’ are present in the same country, and the banks will know them well.
Following is the list of documents which are usually required to open bank accounts and get offshore credit cards for an offshore company formation with a bank account:
* Verification of a permanent address – either by a notary public or by a bank in the home country.
* The bank application form completed and signed
* A certified copy of the Certificate of Incorporation
* A certified copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association or Articles of Incorporation depending on the country where it is being done.
* For the purpose of identification, a certified copy of passport for each signatory, director, and shareholder. Some banks may accept certified copy of the national photo ID (ex. Drivers license or national identity card)
* A bank reference for all signatories, directors and shareholders
* A board resolution which appoints the authorized signatories.
Offshore credit or debit cards:
It is interesting to note that in some cases the tax authorities have been unable to precisely identify individuals based on the information received from MasterCard or VISA since they do not issue credit cards but merely process transactions for member banks licensed to issue the credit cards!
While offshore companies with bank accounts have credit cards issued to them – normally both MasterCard and VISA – which behave the same way as your existing credit cards, they are secured cards. And this is what adds to the costs.
Costs of using credit cards issued from offshore company formation with bank account:
These cards are secured by deposits – ranging from 125% to 175% of the credit limit you want. So if you want a limit of US$ 20,000, you may need to deposit about US$ 30,000 with the offshore bank where you have your company account!
The initial administration fee to cover the efforts to arrange the card and facilitate the trust deposit could range from US$ 100 to more than US$ 3,000 in some questionable cases.
Normal annual credit card fees apply and will, in most cases, be similar to those charged domestically; in the range of US$ 100 to US$ 200 depending on the card. Once again, however, excessive annual fees of more than US$ 500 are charged by some.
From a transaction perspective, charges for services like use of automatic teller machines can be fairly high, ranging from US$ 5 to US$ 10 per transaction or 2% to 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater. Additional charges may also apply. So while applying for a credit card issued to you via your offshore company with a bank account, please remember that there are attendant transaction costs which may be higher than what you are used to from your domestic credit card provider!
Process to obtain a card for an offshore company formation with a bank account:
* A security deposit for a trust account,
* A completed application form and trust agreement with a personal security code,
* A notarized copy of photo ID (preferably a driver’s license with your address) or a copy of the picture page of your passport along with
* A recent utility bill to confirm your address, and a bank reference letter or a letter from your lawyer or accountant.
* A copy of the certificate of incorporation,
* A resolution of the board (authorizing the card holder to hold a card in the name of the company) and
* The signature pages of the memorandum and articles of association, including a listing of the directors.
Unsecured offshore credit cards:
Best not to carry one if you are a seriously trying to save your wealth. Both MasterCard and VISA have very stringent requirements from issuing institutions and it is not worth it to take a chance. A Debit or ATM card will be much cheaper and perhaps sufficient for your purposes. Save your wealth by using a reputable bank in a known offshore incorporation jurisdiction.
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