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The Marshall Islands is an independent, democratic country located in the Pacific Ocean. It consists of numerous small islands and islets with the total area of 181 km2.
Despite its troubled history, presently the country’s political and economic situation is stable, due to, among other things, the Compact of Free Association concluded in 1979 with the USA (the agreement came into effect in 1986), which guarantees the Islands annual inflow of cash.
The name of the country comes from the name of British captain John Marshall who sailed to the islands in 1788. Even though the islands were discovered earlier, for many years they did not attract Wester powers’ attention.
The Marshall Islands is an ideal place for doing business, as the law of the small country was modelled on the laws of the American state of Delaware, which is considered one of the best solutions in the world. Marshall Islands legislation also draws from British common law. In a nutshell, company owners in the Marshall Islands do not pay any taxes and retain full anonymity, and what is more, establishing a company is child’s play and takes one day. It should be stressed that the Marshall Islands is one of the safest places for doing business, where information on shareholders and directors is guaranteed not to appear in any business registers or other documents owned by state administration. This is also one of the few places in the world where it is still possible to issue registered shares in their purest form – i.e. without the need to keep any registers.
Apart from the Marshallese, the official language is English and it is in this language that all company documents are prepared. The official currency in the Marshall Islands is the United States dollar (USD).
The legal system of the Marshall Islands was regulated by the Marshall Islands Revised Code of 1988, as amended, and company law is governed by the following acts: The Associations Law of the Marshall Islands comprising the Business Corporations Act 1990, the Partnership Act 1990 and the Limited Liability Company Act 1996.
The most popular type of company is the non-resident domestic corporation, the functioning of which is regulated by the Business Corporations Act 1990. Trade law in Marshall Islands is modelled on the law of the American state of Delaware which is one of the most business-friendly systems in the world. The country also draws on British common law practices.
Each company registered over here has to have a licensed representative for the Marshall Islands and a registered office in the territory of the country – our company will take care of both of these issues.
The minimum share capital of a non-resident domestic corporation is one share with no par value or one share with par value, yet the most common practice is establishing companies with 50 no-par value shares issued or capital with par value of up to 50 000 USD. Non-resident domestic corporations may issue bearer shares where not only is the holder of the shares not named in the wording of the document but there is also no obligation to disclose the share register to any public administration bodies. Additionally, companies may issue registered shares, shares with and without voting rights, preference shares, redeemable shares, shares with and without par value. Share capital may be paid in any currency.
All you need to set up a company in the Marshall Islands is one director and one shareholder, who may be the same person (physical or legal). There are no restrictions with regard to non-residents. The company has to have a secretary, who may also be either a physical or a legal person and there are also no restrictions with regard to non-residents. Information on directors, shareholders and secretaries do not appear in the business register and are not made public, which guarantees a high level of confidentiality.
Every company has to have a name which cannot be the same as the name of an existing company. Company name may be in any language and may end with words such as: Corporation, Incorporated, Limited, Gesellschaft mit beshrakter Haftung, Sociated Anonima, etc. The following words are forbidden: bank, trust, fundation, partnership, insurance, chartered, establishment.
Non-resident domestic corporations are not allowed to conduct business operations in the territory of the Marshall Islands or carry out activities of banks, insurance companies or trusts.
Non-resident domestic corporations are completely exempt from tax, including income tax, dividend tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax and donations tax as well as stamp duties. There is an annual licence fee of 150 USD. There is no obligation to submit annual financial reports either. Accounting is obligatory, but only on a basic level, to demonstrate the validity of transactions, and is not subject to audit.
US government aid constitutes half of the economy of the Marshall Islands. Every year, the budget of the islands gets a boost in the amount of approximately 65 million USD through this.
A significant impact on the economy has agriculture, concentrated in small farms with mainly breadfruit trees, coconut palms, melons and tomatoes.
The fastest developing economy sector is currently tourism, where 10% of the society is employed today.
The Marshall Islands is an independent country associated with the United States, what guarantees high level of political and economic stability of the small island country. The Compact of Free Association between the countries was signed in 1979 and came into effect in 1986.
The Marshall Islands is a parliamentary democracy, where the president is both the head of state and the head of the government. The President is elected by the parliament consisting of 33 people, every 4 years, and after the elections appoints the Cabinet.
As the official currency in the islands is USD, there is no central monetary policy and no restrictions with regard to transfers in and out of the country.
The following banks are present in the Marshall Islands: Bank of Marshall Islands, Wadiach Capital LTD, Bank of Hawaii, Bank of Guam, Asian Development Bank.
All companies are equal before the law.
A good formation agent is what makes a difference.
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Michal has completed a master degree in law at University of Lublin as well as postgraduate studies at University of Warsaw with specialization company law. Currently he is a legal counsel trainee. At ShelfCompanies24.com Michał is responsible for preparation of company registry documents as well as other legal advice.