Seychelles is an independent island nation officially known as the Republic of Seychelles. It is located in the Indian Ocean east of mainland Africa. The archipelago is made up of several larger Inner Islands and over 100 smaller Outer Islands. The capital Victoria is situated on the main island Mahe and is the smallest capital city in the world.
Historically, Seychelles was a French and British colony. The country became independent from the United Kingdom in 1976. It is governed by a parliament, the National Assembly, and the president is the head of the state.
Seychelles became an offshore financial centre in 1994 after adopting the IBC regime. Soon thereafter, it emerged as a very popular offshore 0% tax jurisdiction. Nowadays, a Seychelles company is one of the best options for offshore incorporation due to its cost efficiency and a thriving financial industry on the islands.
Seychelles offshore legislation allows for the establishment of effective offshore trusts and foundations with high levels of privacy. Local director and shareholders services for a Seychelles offshore company are also available. While the offshore banking industry in Seychelles has declined somewhat over the last decade, opening an account with a local bank is possible.
The taxation system in Seychelles underwent significant changes in 2020 with the adoption of amendments to its tax legislation. The most notable change for Seychelles offshore companies is the abolishment of the preferential IBC tax regime and the switch to a territorial taxation system.
This means that any Seychelles IBC company’s income becomes taxable if it is derived from business activities on the islands. All companies become tax residents in Seychelles and are eligible to apply for a TIN number.
However, a Seychelles offshore company’s income from overseas business activities is still not subject to tax in Seychelles. Accordingly, companies that do not derive income in Seychelles are not required to file annual tax returns or audited financial statements.
For such offshore companies, there is no capital gains tax nor withholding tax on royalties, interest or dividends in Seychelles.
No value-added tax is applicable to offshore companies in Seychelles.
The official currency of Seychelles is the Seychelles Rupee (SCR). However, the US dollar is widely used for the offshore industry.
There are also no currency exchange controls in Seychelles.
|Currency||Seychelles Rupee (SCR)|
|Capital gains tax||0%|
Seychelles has a hybrid legal system based on a combination of common and civil law, with the latter prevailing. The roots of this blend lie in the country’s former colonial past. On the one hand, there is French civil law, based on the Napoleonic Code, which is the most influential, and on the other hand, there is English common law.
In terms of offshore legislation, the Seychelles jurisdiction has adopted the standard IBC model for its companies since 1994. This concept has evolved along with the rectification of the rules by intergovernmental organisations. In 2016, the new International Business Companies Act was adopted. However, the most significant changes took place in 2020, when a territorial tax regime was implemented along with the adoption of the Beneficial Ownership Act. Under this act, after each Seychelles company formation, the registered agent is obliged to submit information on the beneficial owners to the centralised beneficial ownership register maintained by the Seychelles FIU.
Today, Seychelles offshore company formation and administration is still a quick, cost-effective and straightforward process.
The vast majority of offshore incorporations in Seychelles are limited liability companies in the form of IBCs. Although, the legislation allows for other types of entities to be incorporated, such as a Limited Partnership (LP) or Protected Cell Company (PCC).
The following laws regulate the offshore industry in Seychelles:
Seychelles has recommended itself as one of the top offshore jurisdictions for IBC companies because of the reliable, confidential and cost-effective services offered on the islands. This jurisdiction is very popular among business owners and investors wanting to operate globally.
The Seychelles company register maintained by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) is very fast and efficient. As a result, the process of Seychelles offshore company incorporation can practically be completed within one or two days. Ready-made companies are also widely available. Astra Trust can help you incorporate your company in the shortest possible time.
A Seychelles company is not subject to any tax on the islands. In addition, no corporate tax, capital gains tax, withholding tax or VAT is applicable on its overseas profits.
Further Seychelles offshore company benefits include a high degree of privacy, closed company registers and nominee services that are used extensively in Seychelles. The registers of directors and beneficial owners are filed with the Seychelles authorities upon company registration and are updated as and when amendments are made. However, these registers are not available to the public and can only be accessed by the Seychelles authorities.
For an offshore company in Seychelles the price is very competitive compared to other jurisdictions, such as the Cayman Islands, Isle of Man or even the British Virgin Islands. The cost-effective service fees for Seychelles companies are underpinned by a modest government fee and competition among service providers.
Seychelles banks can offer offshore services to certain clients. A decade ago, it was possible to simply acquire a ready-made Seychelles offshore company with a bank account already opened and ready to operate. Things have changed dramatically since then, although the opening of a bank account in Seychelles is still possible. Astra Trust can assist in Seychelles company formation with a bank account opened at local or foreign offshore banks.
Under the current legislation, it is possible to establish the following types of offshore companies in Seychelles:
Astra Trust can incorporate a Seychelles company and open an account quickly and cost-effectively. Other services such as local director and nominee shareholders are also available. We have extensive experience in incorporating and administering Seychelles offshore companies.
By registering a company in Seychelles, you can create a reliable and cost-effective structure with a high degree of privacy.
A Seychelles offshore company is the best option for the following business activities:
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To incorporate an offshore company in Seychelles, the following CDD documents are required:
Seychelles company formation fees include the following services:
After your Seychelles offshore company setup, you will receive the following Seychelles company documents:
Other documents depend on the services ordered.
According to the Seychelles International Business Companies Act, 2016, the name of a Seychelles IBC company shall end with:
Where the abbreviation Ltd, Corp, Inc or PCC is used as part of a company’s name, a full stop may be inserted at the end of the abbreviation.
The proposed company name shall not be identical or similar to the name under which another company is registered in Seychelles that the use of the name would, in the opinion of the Registrar, be likely to confuse or mislead.
The name of the company can be expressed in any language, including Chinese.
The name shall be stated in the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Seychelles company upon incorporation.
In the Seychelles company register, an online application system allows for fast and efficient operations. All name checks and reservations are free of charge.
The minimum number of directors of a Seychelles international business company is one. Directors can be individuals or legal persons of any nationality and residency.
The board of directors meetings can take place anywhere in the world.
Shareholders of a Seychelles offshore company can be individuals or legal entities of any nationality and residency. The minimum number of shareholders is one.
Upon your Seychelles offshore company registration, it is possible to appoint a nominee director and a shareholder. Astra Trust can assist in all matters relating to Seychelles registration, appointment of nominees and bank account opening.
The share capital of a Seychelles offshore company can be any value and currency as stated in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.
The standard authorised share capital is usually USD 50,000 with a par value of USD 1 each. 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 can be both par value and no par value.
A Seychelles IBC can issue different classes of shares as stated in its Memorandum of Association.
Bearer shares are prohibited from being issued in Seychelles.
The registers of directors, shareholders and beneficial owners shall be stored at the registered office by the registered agent of the Seychelles company.
The register of directors is to be submitted to the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The register of beneficial owners is to be submitted to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) after the incorporation of a Seychelles company, with amendments to be filed respectively. None of these registers are open to the public, meaning that sensitive information is only available to government authorities.
The privacy of a Seychelles offshore company can be further enhanced by using the services of a director and a nominee shareholder. Beneficial ownership can be structured through trusts or foundations.
If you would like to know more about Seychelles incorporation, please contact the Astra Trust team to receive more detailed information free of charge.
The economic substance requirements apply to a Seychelles company that on its own, or as part of a group on a consolidated basis, exceeds the limits of at least two of the following criteria on the balance sheet of its parent undertaking:
(a) a balance sheet total in excess of EUR 20,000,000;
(b) net turnover in excess of EUR 40,000,000;
(c) an average number of employees in excess of 250 during the financial year.
All companies that do not exceed the abovementioned criteria are not subject to the economic substance requirements in Seychelles.
Following the adoption of the Business Tax (Amendment) Act, 2020, Seychelles companies making profits in the territory of Seychelles are required to prepare and file a tax return with the local tax authorities.
If the Seychelles offshore company does not operate on the islands, the worldwide income of such a company is not subject to tax in Seychelles.
Business Activity Restrictions
Requirements for Directors
Requirements for Secretaries
Requirements for Shareholders