There are at least 10 types of structures available through which you as a foreign investor are able to do business in The Bahamas…

Having several viable choices may seem daunting at first, but your attorney will help you review the options for structuring the business ownership that best suits your needs. Structures range from the most commonly used, the IBC, to the most complex, the Segregated Account Company, with a wide variety in between, including foundations, types of partnerships, limited liability companies and Bahamas Foreign Companies. Because the country’s judicial system is based on English law, company structuring also follows British society civil law. But over the years, structures have been amended, options increased and segments of the law now reflect a combination of American and British civil law.

The IBC

The most common structure for doing business in The Bahamas is the IBC (International Business Company). Since the passage of the International Business Companies Act, 1989, more than 36,000 IBCs have been created, becoming the vehicle of choice for offshore investors because of its ability to serve as a vessel through which to conduct certain forms of business without imposing burdensome requirements or fees. Forming an IBC is inexpensive, does not place a limit on authorised capital and may issue various types of shares — registered, fractional or bearer. While there are restrictions — an IBC may not conduct banking activities on its own, it cannot on its own be the registered owner of residential real estate without approval by The Central Bank and it may not act as its own office but must be held by a registered office (almost always a law firm), it does have many advantages. Names of owners need not be revealed so it provides privacy and confidentiality. A minimum of two directors may make all decisions and board meetings may be held electronically and forming is quick. Most IBCs can be created within 24 hours.

Other structures include Sole ownership, partnership, Limited Company, Limited Liability Companies, Companies Limited by Guarantee, Foreign Company, Joint Venture, Trusts, Foundations and Segregated Account Companies. Categories such as Trusts are further defined by need and include Asset Protection Trusts, Insurance Trusts, Special Purpose Trusts, Real Estate Trusts and more.

The lawyer of your choice will help you navigate the waters of available individual, partnership, company and corporate structures to minimize risk and maximize potential for you to conduct business and enjoy the many opportunities that present themselves to you in The Bahamas. We hope you will select Halsbury Chambers where our Partners, Associates and support staff are dedicated to providing results you have a right to expect and information you need to know with personal service. We deliver that service with the highest of standards and an ongoing commitment to the development of The Bahamas through commerce, investment and appropriate economic diversification and growth. We welcome you.

 

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