Bahamas Company Formation

#Go Bahamas. Be Global
  • Brief description of the Bahamas jurisdiction

    The Bahamas is a sovereign country located in the Atlantic Ocean, consisting of more than 700 islands and cays. Known for its beautiful beaches and tourism industry, it also has a strong financial services sector that has made it a popular offshore financial centre.

    The Bahamas’ journey to becoming an offshore financial centre began in the 1930s when it began to attract foreign investors due to its favourable tax policies and strict banking secrecy laws. Since then, the Bahamas offshore jurisdiction has become globally renowned. The country continued to develop its financial services sector, and by the 1980s, it had become a popular destination for international banks and offshore companies.

    It is not difficult to set up an offshore company in the Bahamas. Some of the Bahamas’ offshore benefits include strict bank secrecy laws, no corporate or personal income tax, and a stable political and economic environment. Additionally, the country has a well-developed regulatory framework that helps ensure the integrity of its financial system.

  • Taxation in the Bahamas

    The Bahamas is a classic tax haven. Unlike most other countries, there is no income tax, corporate tax, withholding tax, or capital gains tax. This means that individuals and businesses operating within the Bahamas do not have to pay any income taxes or tax on profits or gains.

    Effectively, a Bahamas offshore company is tax-free on worldwide income from any sources. Dividend distribution is not subject to tax in the Bahamas. Instead of tax, companies in the Bahamas pay a fixed government fee.

    The Bahamas offshore tax haven is the primary choice to set up an offshore company in a tax-neutral jurisdiction.

    The same approach applies to individuals residing in the Bahamas. Going offshore in the Bahamas is indeed reasonable, as there is no personal income tax applicable to both residents and non-residents in the Bahamas. Inheritance tax, estate tax, or taxes on gifts are not applicable either.

    For this reason, the Bahamas’ offshore company formation can be highly beneficial for estate planning purposes.

    No value-added tax is applicable to offshore companies in the Bahamas.

    The official currency of the Bahamas is the Bahamian dollar (B$). There are no currency exchange controls in the Bahamas.

    Currency Bahamian dollar (B$)
    Corporate tax 0%
    Withholding tax 0%
    Capital gains tax 0%
    VAT 0%
    Exchange Controls No


  • Bahamas legislation

    The Bahamas has a well-developed legal system based on the English common law tradition. The country’s legal system consists of statutes, common law principles, and case law.

    At the heart of the Bahamas’ offshore company formation is the International Business Companies Act 2000 with amendments. This groundbreaking legislation was the first of its kind and established the concept of International Business Companies (IBCs) at the dawn of the offshore industry. Currently, this up-to-date legislation regulates all matters relating to company formation and administration.

    Under the Bahamas’ offshore legislation, IBCs are exempt from taxation and are not required to disclose their ownership or financial information to the public. They can also operate with no minimum paid-up capital requirements and are free to conduct business in any currency.

    The Bahamas offshore industry is overseen by the Securities Commission of the Bahamas. The commission ensures that Bahamas company formation services are carried out according to the country’s laws and regulations.

    Local legislation provides a competitive and attractive environment for international investors and entrepreneurs looking to establish an offshore presence. With its favourable tax policies, strong confidentiality protections, and flexible corporate structures, setting up an offshore business in the Bahamas is highly beneficial.

    Overall, the International Business Companies Act is a progressive piece of legislation that has laid the foundation for the country’s thriving offshore industry. Its impact has been felt not only in the Bahamas but also in offshore jurisdictions around the world.

    Offshore business in the Bahamas is regulated by several different laws and regulations. Some of the key laws and regulations governing the offshore industry in the Bahamas include:

    • The Banks and Trust Companies Regulation Act: This law provides for the regulation and supervision of banks and trust companies operating in the Bahamas. The law sets out the requirements for obtaining and maintaining a banking or trust licence and also outlines the responsibilities of licensees.
    • The Securities Industry Act: This law regulates the securities industry in the Bahamas and provides for the licensing and supervision of securities dealers, investment advisors, and other market participants.
    • The International Business Companies Act: This law governs the establishment and operation of International Business Companies (IBCs) in the Bahamas. Bahamas IBCs are often used as offshore holding companies or for other purposes, and the law sets out the requirements for forming and operating these entities.
    • The Mutual Funds Act: This law regulates the formation and operation of mutual funds in the Bahamas. The law sets out the requirements for obtaining and maintaining a mutual fund licence, as well as the responsibilities of fund managers and administrators.
    • The Trustee Act: This law governs the formation and operation of trusts in the Bahamas. The law sets out the requirements for creating and managing trusts and also outlines the duties and responsibilities of trustees.

    In addition to these laws, the Bahamas also has regulatory bodies that oversee the offshore industry, including the Central Bank of The Bahamas, the Securities Commission of The Bahamas, and the Bahamas Financial Services Board.

  • Why choose the Bahamas?

    The Bahamas’ offshore company benefits make it a fantastic offshore destination for many reasons. Firstly, the tax system is unique and has no income tax, capital gains tax, or corporate tax. This means that individuals and businesses can keep more of their profits, which is a huge advantage. Secondly, the regulatory framework in the Bahamas is well-developed and provides for effective regulation of the financial services sector.

    This includes a robust anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regime. Additionally, the Bahamas’ strategic location, not far from the United States, makes it an ideal location for offshore businesses. English is the official language, and the country has a friendly and welcoming culture that is attractive to visitors. There is also access to a well-educated workforce that includes many experienced professionals in the financial services sector.

    Finally, a company formation in the Bahamas offers a stable political and economic environment that is conducive to business growth and development. All of these factors make offshore incorporation in the Bahamas an excellent alternative for individuals and businesses looking to establish a presence in a tax haven that is well-regulated and offers a stable environment. So, why not consider the Bahamas for your next offshore venture?

    A Bahamas offshore business is a popular alternative due to its tax efficiency, business-friendly environment, and strong legal framework. The process of forming an offshore company in the Bahamas is relatively straightforward, and there are several types of companies to choose from, including IBCs and LPs. Offshore company formation in the Bahamas also offers strong privacy in addition to tax-free status.

    One of the benefits of incorporating an offshore company in the Bahamas is that there are no income taxes on profits earned worldwide. In addition, there are no exchange controls or public records of shareholders or directors. Furthermore, having a Bahamas offshore bank account allows one to easily manage assets.

  • Process of Bahamas offshore company formation

    The process of offshore company formation in the Bahamas is relatively straightforward. To get started, you will need to contact us and provide us with certain documents. From there, we will be responsible for preparing the required documents, submitting them to the Registrar of Companies, and obtaining the necessary licences and permits.

    Stage 1 Contact us for more information and quotes. We answer within three hours!
    Stage 2 Fill in a form, provide us with the required documents and make a payment.
    Stage 3 Receive the scanned Bahamas offshore company incorporation documents within two days, and hard copies by courier in up to seven days.


  • Required documents for offshore incorporation in the Bahamas

    The KYC documents required for Bahamas offshore incorporation include the following:

    • Certified copy of passport
    • Certified copy of a utility bill or other proof of address
    • Bank or professional reference letter
    • Completed and signed KYC form provided by your personal manager at Astra Trust
  • Documents and services you receive

    Bahamas company formation includes the following services:

    1. Company name search in the register of companies to check for availability
    2. Revision of documents
    3. Drafting of activation corporate documents upon the incorporation of a Bahamas company
    4. Bahamas registered office services for one year
    5. Bahamas registered agent services for one year
    6. Full administrative 24/7 support from your personal manager at Astra Trust


    After the Bahamas offshore company incorporation, you will receive the following Bahamas company documents:

    • Certificate of Incorporation issued by the Bahamas Company Registry
    • Memorandum of Association stamped by the Bahamas Company Registry
    • Articles of Association stamped by the Bahamas Company Registry
    • Register of directors
    • Register of shareholders
    • Register of beneficial owners
    • Resolution of appointment of first directors
    • Written resolution adopted by the directors upon incorporation
    • Share certificate
    • Consent letter of the director

    Other documents depend on the services ordered after company registration.

  • Company name in the Bahamas

    When choosing a name during Bahamas offshore formation, you will need to ensure that the name is not already in use and that it complies with the requirements of the Companies Act.

    The name must also include one of the following words or abbreviations:

    • the word “Limited”, “Limited Liability Company”, “Corporation”, “Incorporated”, “Gesellschaft mit beschrankter Haftung”, “Societe Anonyme”, or “Sociedad Anonima”; or
    • its respective abbreviation “Ltd.”, “LLC”, “Corp.”, “Inc.”, “GmbH”, or “S. A.”.

    Such abbreviations shall be at the end of the name of every company with limited liability.

  • Shareholders and board of directors of a Bahamas company

    When incorporating an offshore company in the Bahamas, you will need at least one shareholder and one director. A single person or entity can fulfill both roles. There is no residency requirement for directors or shareholders, and they can be non-Bahamians. Moreover, it is possible to have a corporate entity serve as a director or shareholder.

    It is essential to understand the responsibilities of directors and shareholders when they set up an offshore business in the Bahamas. The board of directors is responsible for making critical business decisions and managing the company’s affairs. The shareholders, on the other hand, own a portion of the company and may have the right to vote on certain matters, such as electing directors and approving major transactions.

    In the offshore industry in the Bahamas, a company secretary is a senior administrative officer who ensures that a company complies with legal and regulatory requirements. They manage relationships with offshore service providers, maintain corporate records, convene meetings, and assist with regulatory reporting. Their role is critical to ensuring that the company operates in compliance with laws and regulations and maintains its good standing in the Bahamas offshore jurisdiction.

  • Share capital of a Bahamas company and types of companies

    The share capital requirements for offshore companies in the Bahamas are flexible. Companies can issue shares with or without par value and in any currency. There are no minimum or maximum share capital requirements, and there are no exchange controls or public records of shareholders or directors.

    In the Bahamas, there are two main types of offshore companies: International Business Companies (IBCs) and Limited Partnerships (LPs). IBCs are the most common type of offshore company in the Bahamas. They have many tax benefits and are useful for a range of business activities, including holding assets, trading, and investment.

    The standard authorised share capital can be USD 50,000 with a par value of USD 1 each. In this case, the issued share capital can be one share of any par value up to USD 50,000 or 50,000 shares of par value of USD 1 each.

    The authorised share capital of the Bahamas company can be both par value and no par value.

    A Bahamas IBC can issue different classes of shares, as stated in its Memorandum of Association.

    Bearer shares are not permitted in the Bahamas.

  • Privacy of a Bahamas offshore company

    Privacy is a key consideration for many individuals and companies looking to form an offshore company.

    The Bahamas has strict confidentiality laws that protect the privacy of offshore companies. The names of directors and shareholders are not publicly available, and the company’s financial information is not disclosed to the public.

    The only information that is available in public records is the Bahamas offshore company registration number, name, and registered office address.

  • Economic substance requirements in the Bahamas

    The Bahamas has introduced economic substance requirements for companies operating in certain sectors. The requirements aim to ensure that such companies have a physical presence in the Bahamas.

    The substance requirements are imposed on commercial entities engaged in any of the following relevant activities:

    • banking business
    • insurance business
    • fund management business
    • financing and leasing business
    • headquarters business
    • distribution and service centres business
    • shipping business
    • commercial use of intellectual property
    • as a holding company engaged in one of the activities listed above (or if a subsidiary of the holding company is engaged in one of the activities)

    All other companies are not required to have a physical presence in the Bahamas.

  • Reporting requirements in the Bahamas

    For companies that do not conduct activities in the territory of the Bahamas, there is no legal requirement to file accounts and tax returns in the Bahamas.

    Any offshore business in the Bahamas is required to file a corporate return annually.

    Companies operating in certain sectors, such as banking and insurance, may be subject to additional reporting requirements to file.

Key features

    General Information

  • Jurisdiction - Independent nation
  • Entity Type - International Business Company (IBC)
  • Corporate Tax - 0%
  • Currency - B$
  • Currency Exchange Control - No
  • Legal Framework - Common law
  • Recognition of Trust - Recognised
  • Court of Final Appeal - Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
  • Business Activity Restrictions

  • Business Activity Restrictions - No. Subject to standard licensed types of activities
  • Economic Substance Requirements - Applicable
  • Prohibition of Business Within Bermuda - Applicable
  • Requirements for Directors

  • Register of Directors - Closed for public
  • Minimum Number of Directors - 1
  • Corporate Director - Available
  • Local Director - Not required
  • Nominee Director - Available
  • Requirements for Secretaries

  • Secretary - Not required (optional)
  • Local Secretary - Not required (optional)
  • Requirements for Shareholders

  • Register of Shareholders - Closed to public
  • Minimum Number of Shareholders - 1
  • Corporate Shareholder - Available
  • Annual General Meeting - Not required
  • Location of Meetings - Anywhere in the world
  • Nominee Shareholder - Available
  • Share Capital

  • Minimum Authorised Share Capital - No requirements
  • Standard Authorised Share Capital - USD 50,000
  • Minimum Issued Share Capital - USD 1
  • Currency of Share Capital - USD or any other
  • Reporting Requirements

  • Preparation of Accounts - Not required
  • Filing of Annual Return – Not required
  • Publicity of Annual Return - Closed to public
  • Audited Accounts – Not required
  • Other Features

  • Redomiciliation to/from Jurisdiction - Permitted
  • Shelf Companies - Available

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