Seychelles: Your Top Choice for Tax-Free Offshore Business Registration in 2024

Seychelles is known as a tax haven for offshore companies. The nation maintains its neutrality and extends a warm welcome to people from all nations amidst the political storms of today. However, as a member of the United Nations, Seychelles also adheres to international regulations. Basically, it means that if you are a sanctioned individual, you are prohibited from establishing offshore companies in the jurisdiction.

Seychelles is not only a hub for offshore services but also a paradise for holidaymakers. Visitors will enjoy untouched natural beauty, stunning sandy beaches, the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean, and the warm hospitality of the locals. With direct flights from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Doha, Nairobi, Mauritius, Johannesburg, among others, you can reach this idyllic destination without any worries. A trip to Seychelles certainly promises to be a memorable adventure.

Why Seychelles is ideal for offshore businesses: tax benefits and more

This island nation in the east of Africa is known to the world not just as an exclusive vacation spot but also as an excellent place for offshore company registration. While Seychelles provides appealing offshore advantages, it also adheres to the FATF Recommendations and is not considered a high-risk jurisdiction by this agency.

The country employs a progressive income tax system, exempting individuals who earn under SCR 8,556 from taxation. Plus, a variety of non-monetary perks offered by employers to their employees are also tax-exempt.

This is how corporate taxation is structured in Seychelles:

  • Companies with an annual income below SCR 1 million are subject to a 15% tax rate, a reduction from the previous 25% prior to 2022.
  • For annual incomes surpassing SCR 1 million, the tax rate is 25%, decreased from the former 30%.
  • Businesses with licenses for specific activities, such as insurance, brokerage, and banking, incur a 33% tax rate on income over SCR 1 million annually.
  • Offshore entities that offer corporate and medical services, as well as those in the fisheries and agriculture sectors, enjoy a complete tax exemption in Seychelles, subject to certain conditions.

While domestic companies pay taxes in Seychelles, offshore businesses enjoy a 100% tax exemption. This significant tax benefit is a key reason why numerous international entrepreneurs opt to register their international business companies here.

Please remember that any companies willing to qualify for a zero tax rate in Seychelles have no right to do business in the jurisdiction, own any property there, conduct banking or insurance operations, or be a part of the gambling sector.

Choosing the right company structure in Seychelles: local vs. offshore

Your business goals and sector will determine whether you register a taxable local company or an offshore entity in Seychelles. Most foreign entrepreneurs opt for offshore company registration due to the tax-exempt status offered in Seychelles. The absence of taxes is the primary incentive for setting up a business in this jurisdiction.

Seychelles comes with several offshore company structures:

  • International Business Company (IBC): IBCs in Seychelles benefit from zero taxation on worldwide income. Shareholders’ liability is limited to charter capital contributions. IBCs can engage in various business activities, barring those that require a license. Non-residents must register an IBC through a local agent and only need a minimum of one director, who can be a person or a legal entity. The key benefits of an IBC include no minimum charter capital requirement, absence of currency control, and the allowance of nominee services.
  • Limited Partnership (LP) or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP): This less common ownership structure requires one partner to be a Seychelles resident with unlimited liability. A company may also act as the General Partner.
  • Trust: Trusts offer the highest level of asset protection and anonymity for owners. Suffice it to say that Seychelles trusts protect assets even against court-ordered expropriation. Establishing an offshore trust in Seychelles is both quick and cost-effective, but the trust’s assets must be held outside the country. Only non-residents are allowed to set up such trusts in Seychelles.

Political, regulatory, and compliance considerations

When you set up an offshore company in Seychelles, there are some important things to keep in mind:

  • Dealing with World Politics: The world’s political scene is always changing, and this can affect companies that are based offshore. Seychelles is friendly to people from all countries, but it has to be careful about its place in the world. With this in mind, companies should keep an eye on world news that might influence how they do business and make sure they follow any newly adopted international regulations.
  • Following AML and KYC Policies: Seychelles upholds international Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) standards. Hence, offshore companies are obliged to follow these regulations. Don’t forget that it involves establishing strong systems for client identity verification and record-keeping.
  • Understanding International Sanctions and Restrictions: Seychelles observes UN sanctions and international restrictions, which means that people or companies that have been sanctioned can’t start or run offshore companies there. If you want to launch a Seychelles company, make sure you’re not on any sanction lists and understand how these rules could affect your business.

How to establish an IBC in Seychelles

Seychelles is now a popular place to start a company because it has easy-to-follow business rules, a simple way to register, and low taxes. Also, the privacy of the business owners’ details is well-protected. This information is only shared with the registration agent or if the law requires it. A big update for 2024 is that Seychelles is no longer on the EU’s list of non-cooperative countries for tax purposes.

To set up an International Business Company (IBC) in Seychelles, you need to gather some documents and make sure you meet all the legal rules. The steps required to achieve your goal are listed below:

  • Appoint at least one shareholder and one director for your IBC.
  • Submit an annual non-financial report.
  • Keep financial records.
  • Pay an annual fee.

NB: In Seychelles, IBCs are not obligated to undergo an audit.

Need further advice on company incorporation in Seychelles or any related issues? Turn to International Wealth for assistance! Remember, your first consultation with us is free of charge.

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