The Seychelles International Business Company (IBC)

Seychelles international business companies (IBC) are legal entities that are available for multiple business uses. They can be transformed into holding, shipping, investment, trading companies, or into companies involved in providing personal services. This primary feature makes the Seychelles IBC a flexible structure due to its ability to undertake international business efficiently.

A Seychelles IBC has limited liability and offers protection from the risk of losing personally owned assets as any loss incurred by the IBC affects only the investment made in the company.

The procedures for forming an IBC in Seychelles are simple and the requirements are straightforward. A minimum of one director and shareholder is needed, there is no requirement to appoint officers when forming the company as this can be done whenever the company chooses, the shareholders and directors can be of any nationality and residents of any country and be a corporate entity or natural person. This nature of forming a Seychelles IBC makes it a non-discriminating and fully accessible entity. However, IBC formation standards require that the necessary due diligence be done before a Seychelles IBC is incorporated on behalf of any company or person.

An IBC incorporated in Seychelles can be limited by shares and may limit the liability of its shareholders to the amount of unpaid shares that they each hold. An IBC may also be limited by guarantee and not have a share capital whereby the liability of the guarantee members is limited to the amount that each member contributed to the IBC’s assets in the event of liquidation. Thirdly, an IBC can be limited by guarantee and have a share capital.

A Seychelles IBC can issue a variety of shares including par or no par value, common or preferential, non-voting or voting, and bearer or nominal shares. This makes it possible for the members of a Seychelles IBC to issue the class or classes of shares that are most convenient and in keeping with company policy and standards. Shares can also be issued in any currency depending on the location of the company. Thus, a company located in the UK that forms an IBC in Seychelles can issue its shares in pound sterling, while an American can issue shares in American dollars (USD). Besides being issued in any currency, shares can be in the form of a contribution as dictated in accordance with the IBC laws of Seychelles.

Keeping in mind that an IBC formed in Seychelles does not operate there and has no requirement to establish any physical presence, the directors and shareholders of a Seychelles IBC are able to hold meetings anywhere they choose and are not required to travel to Seychelles for the purpose of keeping general annual meetings or other gatherings. In the event that a shareholder or director is unable to attend a meeting he can be represented by a proxy. However, when a meeting is kept, minutes and copies of resolutions taken by the shareholders and directors must be placed in the company’s records and filed accordingly.

Seychelles IBCs have much less relaxed regulations than local companies where filing audits and accounts are concerned. A Seychelles IBC is not required to have an auditor and does not have to file its accounts or audits in Seychelles. Seychelles boasts one of the fastest and efficient IBC registration systems in the world. Only one director and shareholder is required when incorporating a Seychelles IBC and there is no stipulation for the minimum capital that should be invested in the IBC. Seychelles IBCs provide confidentiality and there is no disclosure of information regarding an IBC without a court order.

A major benefit of incorporating a Seychelles IBC is its tax free status. Seychelles IBCs are exempt from local taxes as long as income generated by the company through its services and otherwise such as through dividends and share interest do not originate from Seychelles. There are however fixed annual fees that are required to be paid every year by the company. In specified instances, a Seychelles IBC is able to continue as a tax free entity if it owns securities issued by the central bank or government, establishes professional contact with lawyers, trust and management companies and accountants in Seychelles, allows its shares to be held by a resident of Seychelles or owns shares in another IBC that is registered as a Seychelles IBC. The prohibitions for a Seychelles IBC are clear and include carrying on business within Seychelles, providing banking, reinsurance and insurance services and owning real property in Seychelles.