International Financial Services
· Portfolio of tax efficient structures.
· Close collaboration between the regulators and private sector.
· Stable political environment.
· 24 hour incorporation of International Business Companies.
· Modern telecommunications infrastructure.
· Efficient and fast processing of residence and work permits.
· No Exchange Controls.
· Skilled, professional and bilingual workforce.
· Good regulatory practices and compliant with international standards.
International Business Companies
The International Business Company (IBC) is a simple but flexible tax structure ideal for a wide range of uses. Similar to structures found in other jurisdictions, their flexibility makes them ideal for anything from personal services companies to collective investment schemes. The IBC has the flexibility of conversion into a Company (Special Licence), through a simple and straight forward process. Seychelles operates one of the fastest IBC Registrars in the world with same-day incorporations. Activities relating to the incorporation and management of IBCs must be handled through a locally licenced International Corporate Service Provider.
Companies (Special Licence)
The Company (Special Licence), commonly referred to as CSL, is a Seychelles domestic company (incorporated under the Companies Ordinance, 1972) which is granted a special licence under the Companies (Special Licence) Act, 2003. The CSL is tax resident in the Seychelles and may carry on permitted business both internationally and within the Seychelles. The CSL is tax efficient and permitted to engage in a range of activities including, international holdings, intellectual property licencing, services and any other activities approved by the Authority (FSA).
A CSL is required to have a minimum of two directors, which must be natural persons and a Seychelles resident company secretary. A foreign company or Seychelles IBC may continue as a CSL. Licencing must be handled through a locally licenced International Corporate Service Provider.
The Seychelles Foundation is legally a separate entity. Unique to the Seychelles, legislation clearly stipulates that once assets have been transferred to a foundation, they become the assets of that foundation with full legal and beneficial title and do not form part of the founder's personal estate on death.
The assets of a Seychelles Foundation cannot include any immovable property in Seychelles. A foundation may however hold interests in Seychelles IBCs, Limited Partnerships and entities licensed as a Seychelles mutual fund. The Foundation may also hold an interest or entitlement as a beneficiary under a Seychelles Trust or another Seychelles Foundation.
A Seychelles Foundation may be used for a host of purposes, but it is not intended to engage in commercial activities on a daily basis. However, there are no restrictions on the trading activities of companies wholly or partly owned by the Foundation. The beneficiaries of a foundation have no legal or beneficial interest in the foundation's assets and these do not become the assets of a beneficiary unless distributed in accordance with the Foundation Charter or Regulations.
It is permissible for a foundation to appoint a protector, whose role is to oversee the administration of the foundation by the Foundation Council. A founder, beneficiary or councillor may be appointed as a protector, provided that the protector is not the sole councillor or sole beneficiary. The Foundation Council must consist of one or more persons which may include body corporates. Registration of Foundations with FSA must be handled through a service provider licensed to offer foundation services.
The Seychelles International Trust is a legal arrangement similar to trusts found in common law jurisdictions. A Seychelles Trust is formed when a licensed Seychelles resident trustee registers a Declaration that all the provisions of the Act have been complied with. No trust deed or details of the beneficiaries are revealed publicly and in official compliance procedures the trust is only referred to by its reference number.
The Seychelles Limited Partnership (LP) is a legal arrangement similar to Limited Liability Partnerships found in other jurisdictions. Two or more legal persons can form an LP but the partnership must consist of one or more General Partners and one or more Limited Partners. A body corporate may be a General or Limited Partner and a General Partner may hold an interest as a Limited Partner. Registration of LPs with FSA must be handled through a locally licensed International Corporate Service Provider.
Collective Investment Schemes
The Mutual Fund and Hedge Fund Act, 2008, provides the legal framework and approach to the licensing of collective Investment Scheme, in the Seychelles. Seychelles allows for companies including IBCs, unit trusts or partnerships to be licensed as mutual funds, giving fund managers a long list of potential fund vehicles. These companies can be constituted in Seychelles or in any one of 31 recognised jurisdictions. An Exempt Foreign Fund status is available to funds that can satisfy the Authority that it is in good legal standing and holds a valid licence from one of the recognised jurisdictions. An Exempt Foreign Fund must be already licensed in a recognised jurisdiction, administered by a Seychelles licensed fund administrator and either listed on a stock exchange or have a minimum investment of USD 100,000.
Protected Cell Companies
A Protected Cell Company (PCC) is a Seychelles domestic company that is able to create one or more cells with segregated assets and liabilities. Each cell however does not constitute a separate legal entity. A PCC only needs one set of directors, company secretary and registered office. It can be incorporated from the onset as a PCC or converted from an existing company. Creditors to a particular cell only have recourse to the assets of that specific cell and the non-cellular assets of the PCC. Taxation of a PCC is the same as all Seychelles domestic companies, with the option of applying for a Special Licence under the Companies (Special Licence) Act, 2003.
The Securities legislation, enacted in 2007, provides the regulatory framework for securities trading within the Seychelles. The laws safeguard investor confidence by licensing and regulating all components of the market and enforcing internationally accepted guidelines. Licences under the Act are only liable to a 1.5% business tax rate on worldwide taxable income.
The Insurance Act, 2008 modernises and allows for greater flexibility within the regulatory framework of the Seychelles Insurance industry. Provisions are made for the regulation of a wide variety of products including captive insurance, reinsurance and life insurance. All nondomestic insurers must, at a minimum, have a local principal insurance representative. The principal representative is responsible for maintaining the records of the company, filing of returns and acting as the point of contact in Seychelles.
International Trade Zones
Seychelles International Trade Zones are zones created to allow for cost effective international trading in and through Seychelles. All such zones are effectively considered as ex-territorial and as such Seychelles taxes and other specific laws do not apply. The laws that govern the operations and financial freedom of operators are designed to give an international competitive edge to the operator and to cater for the needs of redistributors, exporters and re-exporters of goods and services.
Ship / Yacht Registration
With the recent development of a luxury marina close to Victoria, attractive registration laws and year round stable weather conditions, Seychelles is fast becoming a destination choice for ship and yacht registration. The marina provides ideal berthing and support facilities for super-yachts of up to 100 metres. The present law makes provision for consular and diplomatic representatives of Seychelles abroad to issue provisional certificates of registration to vessels satisfying the ownership and registration criteria.