Bahamas Overview

The Bahamas is situated in the Atlantic Ocean, south-east of Florida and the US. It is made up of approximately two thousand cays and seven hundred islands that form an archipelago. The Commonwealth of the Bahamas is an independent sovereignty. It gained its independence from the UK in 1964 and is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. It is politically and legally very similar to the UK. Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of State. The Queen is represented by the Governor-General.

The official language is English however Creole is also widely spoken.

International business companies (IBCs) incorporated under the International Business Companies Act 2000 are the most popular and common entities formed in the Bahamas. They are used generally by foreign  investors for holding, trading and asset protection. Due their ease of incorporation, flexible corporate structures and manageable compliance requirements, Bahamas is seen as one of the most favourable jurisdictions offshore.

Bahamas IBC Companies Key Facts

  • It takes approximately 5-10 days to incorporate a Bahamian company.
  • Bahamian IBCs have the advantage of no tax on dividends from foreign companies, interest, capital gains, inheritance, VAT or sales taxes.
  • There is no tax on dividends and IP Royalties as such. However 5% stamp duty is charged on funds that have been converted from Bahamian dollars to a foreign currency and remitted to a foreign shareholder as dividends.
  • A Bahamian IBC will also receive full tax exemption from any local taxes including Stamp Duty.
  • The company and shareholders are exempt from all Bahamian taxes and duties.
  • Corporate taxation is nil.
  • There is no tax on foreign profit.
  • The minimum authorised share capital is 5,000.
  • The minimum number of shareholders is 2.
  • Details of Beneficial Ownership of all entities must be supplied to the Register Agent under the Register of Beneficial Ownership Act, 2018,
  • Shareholders’ details are available on public file.
  • Shareholders’ meetings can take place anywhere in the world.
  • Bearer shares are not permitted.
  • The minimum number of Directors is 1.
  • Corporate Directors are allowed.
  • Directors’ details are disclosed on public file.
  • A Company Secretary is not required.
  • There are no requirements to file annual returns or accounts for Bahamanian IBCs.
  • Filing accounts and auditing of companies are not required in Bahamas, however you must maintain financial records of all transactions internally to determine the financial position of the company at all times.

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