Feb 6, 2020

How to open a company in Gibraltar in 2020? all specifics of registering offshore companies in Gibraltar

Gibraltar is one of the oldest traditional offshore zones in Europe. The jurisdiction attracts businesses from all over the world thanks to loyal tax laws based on English law, excellent communication channels, and exceptional banking services. Registration of a company in Gibraltar will provide offshore status to the business, together with the wide range of benefits associated with European entities. After all, the peninsula is formally a British Overseas Territory. How to open a company in Gibraltar in 2020? In the article we will talk about all the specifics and nuances of registering a non-resident company Gibraltar.

The effect of Brexit on Gibraltar

The effect of Brexit on Gibraltar is mainly related to the status of Gibraltar after Brexit (i.e. withdrawal of the UK from the European Union. The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 after having voted to leave in the 2016 referendum and formally notified the EU of its intention to withdraw in March 2017). Although Gibraltar is not part of the UK but is a British Overseas Territory and was a part of the European Union similar the UK, and participated in the referendum. By default, Gibraltar ceased to be a part of the EU after the UK’s withdrawal.

Gibraltar’s standing during the UK withdrawal from the European Union is particularly noteworthy in the course of the negotiations. Gibraltar voted strongly to remain in the European Union during the referendum, and the jurisdictions unique status might lead to bottlenecks in Brexit negotiations due to the Spanish claim on Gibraltar, the large contribution of on-line gambling, offshore banking and duty-free shopping to the Gibraltar economy, and the prospects of Gibraltar after it ceased to be a part of the single market. Anticipating a loss of access to EU market as a result of Brexit, the Government of Gibraltar received “a firm commitment from the United Kingdom government to maintain and broaden access to their financial markets,” including “automatic access to the United Kingdom in banking, insurance, investment services and any other similar area where cross-border directives currently apply”.

Benefits of establishing a company in Gibraltar in 2020

Gibraltar is by far the most attractive offshore zone in Europe. Offshore business is booming, as it receives active support from the state. The ratification of the Hague Convention of 1961 simplified the legalization of foreign official documents. it is sufficient to apostil the documents of a foreign company registered in Gibraltar so that they are deemed legal.

Gibraltar is not included in the notorious blacklist of countries compiled by the International Organization for Combating Financial Crimes. Gibraltar has not concluded any treaty on the avoidance of double taxation with any of the countries. All these aspects increment to the arguments in favour of a decision to register an offshore company in this jurisdiction. 

What other benefits await the owners of non-resident Gibraltar companies?

  • A non-resident company in Gibraltar has a European image despite the “offshore” status;
  • No need to pay profits tax, income tax, gift tax, dividends or capital gains;
  • it is possible to use a nominee service;
  • a simplified accounting scheme is allowed, there are no specific or stringent requirements for bookkeeping;
  • No currency control;
  • No control of beneficiaries’ register exercised by the registry office.

Having a company tax number will help you open a corporate account in any country in the world. It should be borne in mind that even in case of having nominee directors and shareholders, the name of the actual owner will still have to be presented to the registry. Otherwise, company registration will be denied. However, this information is confidential and is not subject to disclosure to third parties, unless there is a specific court order.

Key aspects of setting up a non-resident company in Gibraltar

For a company to be deemed non-resident, its beneficiaries as well as shareholders and directors should not be residents of jurisdiction. The company should not conduct business on the peninsula, provide services to its population, keep money in local banks or transfer funds through Gibraltar. The presence of a physically operating representation on the territory of jurisdiction is also prohibited for non-resident companies. At the same time, a non – resident company requires a Gibraltar registered address, as well as a secretary who is resident in the country. Although there are no requirements for the audit of financial statements (Balance Sheet) of the company, it still needs to be maintained. The director is the signatory on these statements

Here are some more specific requirements and limitations for a non-resident company in Gibraltar:

  • requirements for directors – at least one individual or legal entity that is not a resident of the jurisdiction;
  • requirements for shareholders – at least one individual or legal entity – non-resident of Gibraltar;
  • the amount of the minimum authorized capital has not been established. At least one share worth £ 1 needs to be issued;
  • there are no restrictions in terms of the venue for the annual meetings of shareholders;
  • bearer shares are prohibited.

When registering a limited liability company in Gibraltar, special attention must be paid to the name of the future enterprise. It should be unique and not give rise to connotations with names of existing companies. The name should end with the word Limited.

Types of activities for which company registration in Gibraltar is recommended:

  • trade in physical goods;
  • IT business, e- commerce;
  • application and software development;
  • online business.

Additional licenses are required for those who plan to establish a banking or insurance company in Gibraltar, and these are relatively challenging processes to accomplish. Therefore, these sectors of business are not widely popular with foreign investors in Gibraltar.

How to register a company in Gibraltar in 2020?

If you have made up your mind to set up a non-resident company in Gibraltar, then here are a few simple steps which will help you materialize your plans:

  1. Choose shareholders and directors of the company (at least 1 each). Or use a nominee service for these purposes.
  2. Come up with a unique company name that meets all the requirements specified for company names, as described earlier.
  3. Prepare a package of papers that will be needed to develop the company charter and the articles of incorporation of the company. To this end, you need copies of the passports of the beneficiaries and other signatories, proof of their place of residence.
  4. Contact our professionals by email info@offshore-pro.info for more detailed information and further advice.  

We will guide you through the process registration of a company in Gibraltar; furthermore, we will also assist you in opening an account with any bank or payment system in the world on terms and conditions which are most beneficial for your purposes.

Why open a company in Gibraltar in 2020?

Jurisdiction’s legislation is as loyal to foreign investors as ever. Thus, if a business wants to protect and increase assets, reduce the tax burden, protect information about company owners from third parties, then establishing a non-resident company in Gibraltar in 2020 is the best solution.