Feb 7, 2019

A company in Nevis – IBC or LLC starting from USD 2,699

Where is Nevis and why is it worth to incorporate a company in Nevis?

Saint Kitts and Nevis is also known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis. This is an island country in the Caribbean West Indies.

Starting from 1985 the confidentiality of Nevis offshore companies and bank accounts was guaranteed for foreigners. Since then, this island became a part of a strong economic environment. Today it is one of the most popular jurisdictions to set up a business. Nevis companies registered by foreigners are exempt from all local taxes.  Full confidentiality and asset protection are just some of the benefits. Nevertheless, Nevis cannot be considered an offshore heaven since 2019. Nevis makes all the necessary efforts to comply with the current international transparency standards to stay out of black and grey lists of EU and various international organisations.

The legal system in Nevis is based on English Common Law. A national currency is Eastern Caribbean dollar, although US Dollar is widely accepted on the island and considered to be a second currency and definitely a Number 1 currency for tourism. The official language in Nevis is English.

A very short history of Nevis business & legislation

Nevis achieved independence from Britain in 1983. Business Corporation Ordinance from 1984 stated that Nevis company could be called an International Business Corporation or BCs and is tax exempt on all income earned from anywhere in the world – except Nevis island. Later in 1995, Nevis enacted the Limited Liability Company Ordinance. This is how the most popular business structure incorporated in Nevis for international business and asset protection –  LLC, was born. LLC, or Limited Liability Company as it is sometimes called, had one more benefit: the company can be structured in such a way as to be treated as a partnership under United States tax laws.

Another form came into life in 2004 as a successor of Lichtenstein and Panama foundation – Nevis Multiform Foundation. This structure can be used not only for charitable purposes but for asset protection as well.

Although there have been certain changes in Nevis legislation recently, Nevis government does not give up a reputation of a International Business Centre. As one of the 10 most free countries in the world, with stable and independent government and modern telecommunications infrastructure, Nevis proudly holds the reputation of an elite modern “offshore going to midshore and territorial taxation based”  jurisdiction.

What are the two most popular business structures in Nevis and why?

There are two business structures in Nevis that many foreigners enjoy. These are abovementioned BCs or Business Corporations and LLC or Limited Liability Company.

Comparing to other offshore jurisdictions, Nevis does not have any binding connections with UK or any other jurisdictions – it has highly independent. Bureaucracy is by far less demanding than with companies domiciled with any of the British Overseas Territories. Offshore companies traditionally were not allowed to conduct any business activities in Nevis.

Nevis Business Corporation

  • In order to form a BC in Nevis, you need to have at least one shareholder. Anybody can become an owner of such company. This means that resident of literally any other country can be a shareholder
  • A shareholder needs to bear at least 1 share.
  • A company can have from one to three Directors, depending on number of shareholders.
  • A company has to have a registered address and a secretary.
  • Nevis BC was traditionally exempt from all local taxes, but a low or 0% tax or territorial taxation can be introduced in future
  • The name of the company has to be transparent and end with words such as “corporation”, “company”, “incorporated” or similar. However, this is where transparency pretty much ends.
  • Shareholders privacy is fully protected due to the fact that Nevis Registrar of Companies is closed to the public.
  • There is no required minimum authorized capital.
  • The required minimum share capital is $1 USD.
  • Even though this structure offers endless benefits due to it’s flexible legislation, it appears to be a very affordable solution too. There are no requirements in terms of substance for now, therefore IBC can be operated and managed from anywhere. Nevertheless, substance requirements can be introduced very soon.
  • Nevis BC can be set up remotely.
  • Renewal of the company is relatively inexpensive and simple in terms of procedure.
  • It takes just a few days to register a BC in Nevis

Nevis Limited Liability Company

  • Nevis registrar is closed to the public for LLCs too. Members of LLCs may assign their interests to other parties (unless restricted).
  • Nevis LLC is governed by members or managers
  • There is a requirement of at least one member
  • Nevis LLC has to have a registered office and a registered agent on the island.
  • Just like BC, Nevis LLC is exempt from all local taxes, but this can change after the transition period and 0% tax or territorial taxation might be introduced shortly
  • The name of the company has to be transparent about its structure and end with “LLC”, “L.L.C.” or similar
  • There is no required minimum authorized capital.
  • There are no requirements in terms of substance, therefore LLC can be operated from anywhere
  • Nevis LLC can be incorporated remotely.
  • Renewal of the company is inexpensive and simple in terms of procedure.
  • It takes just a few days to register LLC in Nevis

What is the difference between Nevis BC and Nevis LLC?

A fundamental difference between LLCs and BCs is the structure of ownership and management. While IBC has shareholders, LLC has members who own an ownership interest and managers who run the company.

Nevis LLC can be incorporated by only one member, although LLCs have no limitation on the number of members. No limitations on ownership either.

Double taxation treaties and TIEAs of Saint Kitts and Nevis

At this time, Nevis is party to double taxation treaties and TIEAs with the following jurisdictions:

Aruba, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom

Extremely high level of asset protection in Nevis

There is no total legal immunity, but if someone decides to sue your company in Nevis, they would have to think about it twice. Nevis legislation provides legal protection for foreign owners of Nevis companies. Here is why:

  • Even if you are convicted in your home country and creditors are after your assets, those will be protected in Nevis. Nevis has a legal wall against other jurisdictions. Out-of-Nevis court sentences are not applied over your assets on the island.
  • Due to the fact that Nevis registrar is closed, it will be very difficult for creditor to relate any Nevis company to its’ owner without official proceedings or Interpol investigation
  • You will never be sued as an individual in Nevis-only companies
  • Even if the case the creditor wins a lawsuit ( there is a deadline for creditors to file a lawsuit with Nevis Court) and will decide to take over Nevis company’s assets, it is very unlikely that he will succeed fast. Nevis legislation prohibits Nevis trustees from accepting instructions by foreign court order. Even if the Nevis Court demands that the company pays out assets, the manager of LLC has the full right to redistribute profits during the next 10 year period.
  • Finally, one of the best features of Nevis legislation is the fact that the creditor has to pay 100,000 Eastern Caribbean Dollars upfront to the court of Nevis. In connection with all facts mentioned above such person will in all probability fail to take over the company’s assets. This significantly reduces the number of angry creditors willing to act and most likely to lose the case.

Recent changes in Nevis corporate legislation

At the very end of 2018 it has been announced that Nevis will adopt certain changes in order to follow requirements of EU.  The following will remain the same, but it will now have a time limit, which will be explained later in this text. Here is a short summary:

  • BCs and LLCs that do not carry business in Nevis will not be subject to any taxation
  • Dividend paid by a corporation to its shareholders will not be subject to taxation either
  • BCs and LLCs will not be considered to conduct any business in Nevis because they have bank accounts in Nevis, hold directors or shareholders meetings, maintain financial corporate and financial books in Nevis, as well as administrative offices, maintain a registered agent in Nevis, invest in shares of the company or acquire a real property in Nevis

“Any corporation/company that wishes to carry on business pursuant to subsection shall do so only if it is incorporated in Nevis on or before the 31st of December, 2018.

Notwithstanding the provisions of the above, the tax exemptions granted to all corporations /companies shall cease to take effect after 30th June, 2021. “

Nevis also became a member of automatic exchange of tax information between banks.

However, a high level of asset protection, privacy and legal protection and fast registration process still make this jurisdiction one of the top places to register a company in the world.

Accountancy requirements in Nevis

With recent changes, there have been requirements to produce accountancy for entities, incorporated in Nevis. Nevis is not the only offshore jurisdiction that had to face this new requirement. Actually, all reputable jurisdictions will have to adopt this rule.

There is no need to submit accounting documents and report, but it is still required to do basic accounting.

Non-compliance with requirements may result in fines.

It is necessary to keep records of all company’s operations which are reflected in contracts, invoices, and other business documents. The list of required documents for Nevis companies is more straightforward if you understand what is considered as accountable:

  • All receivables and payables by the company, as well as the reasons for income or expenses;
  • All purchase and sale transactions, as well as other transactions, assets and liabilities of the company.
  • According to the law, all financial statements for Nevis LLC should: correctly explain all transactions, financial state of the company at any time and include detailed reports. Reports have to be kept in records for 5 years from the moment of its preparation, preferably at the address of the registered agent or in any other place that is suitable for verification of reports by company members at any time. In case of violation of these requirements, the company will face a fine of 5,000 USD.
  • Requirements for reporting on Nevis BC are identical as for Nevis LLC, but in addition to the above, Nevis BC is obliged to keep all minutes of shareholders meetings, records of measures taken by shareholders decision, minutes of directors’ meetings and records of measures taken by their decision. All records must be kept in writing or any other form, with a possibility of conversion to writing in a reasonable amount of time.

Our fees for accountancy services start from USD 2000 a year.

How to incorporate a company in Nevis?

  • Please contact us at [email protected]
  • We will provide you with a free initial consultation. You will be able to discuss incorporation procedures as well as banking options for the company
  • You will need to pay for the invoice. The fee for basic incorporation LLC or IBC package is USD 2,699. It takes only a couple of days to incorporate a company in Nevis.
  • You will be required to send us a notarized copy of your passport, a copy of utility bill not older than 3 months and a due diligence and order form, filled in and signed
  • We will then incorporate your company

For all further questions please contact us at [email protected]