Guernsey is a small nation that falls under the authority of Britain and it makes for excellent business opportunities. Its main source of income is the tourism sector with agriculture and fishing industry also contributing to the overall wealth of the island. It is the perfect spot for an import-export company due to the efficient sea transport routes from the island to the mainland. The politics of taxation planning does not affect Guernsey and there is no exchange control.
The most popular type of company on this island is the Exempt Company and this is used for international trade and investment. Such a company holds all the power of a natural or legal person and the English Common Law imposes duty on professionals to keep their affairs confidential.
A Guernsey company may be formed by non-residents but it may not conduct any business on the island. The incorporation procedure consists of the submission of the Memorandum and Articles of Association, submission of the details of directors/shareholders, and a full description of the business activities of the company. A registered office must be established in Guernsey. The name of the company must be unique, without any illegal activity, and it can be used in any language that uses the Latin alphabet. It must also have ‘LTD’ at the end of it.
There is a minimum requirement of 1 director and this director does not have to be a resident. The minimum amount of shareholders is 2 and there must be a company secretary appointed. Normally, the authorised share capital is 10,000 GBP, although the minimum is 2 GBP. All shares must be paid in cash.
Exempt companies in Guernsey pay no taxes but are subject to a flat rate of 600 GBP per annum. Guernsey has also signed numerous taxation treaties which enhance the trade agreements between the island, the UK and other countries. An annual return must be filed at the beginning of January along with a filing fee of 100 GBP. Failure to do so will result in penalties.