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Seychelles is an island country in the Indian Ocean. The country consists of 115 volcanic and coral islands, only 33 of which are inhabited.
Seychelles were occupied by France and later by the United Kingdom, to gain independence in 1976 within the Commonwealth of Nations. Seychelles is a democratic country with stable political and economic situation.
Seychelles is one of the most popular jurisdictions for doing business, as International Business Companies (IBC) companies formed there are fully exempt from taxation, and the legal system is simple and clear, thanks to which managing a company is easy. Seychelles has transparent and modern regulations on financial and corporate services that are based on British solutions.
The official languages are Seychellois Creole, French and English, which makes the country attractive both for Anglo- and Franco-phonic investors. The official currency is Seychellois rupee (SCR).
The most popular type of companies in Seychelles is International Business Company (Seychelles IBC). Company activity was regulated by the Seychelles International Business Companies Act (Seychelles IBC Act) of 1994. The legal system is based on British common law and French civil law.
Internal company matters are regulated by Articles of Association. Every company has to have a name, a registered address in the territory of Seychelles, at least one shareholder and director. There is no obligation to have a company secretary. Companies have to be established by licenced agent who are obliged to keep the data of the beneficiary owners confidential.
There are no minimum or maximum share capital requirements for Seychelles IBCs, but typically their share capital is in the amount of 10 000 USD (there is no requirement for the capital to be paid). Shares may be issued with or without par value, with or without voting rights. Bearer shares are allowed.
To establish a company, you need only one director and one shareholder, who may be the same person – physical or legal. This may be a non-resident or a foreign company. Director and shareholder data is not public.
Every company registered in Seychelles has to have a name different from the names of the already existing entities. Company name may include any endings, including: Limited, Ltd, Corporation, Co, Inc, SA, GmbH, AG. It may not, however, include the words: assurance, bank, Chamber of Commerce, insurance, imperial, foundation nor any other words suggesting the company is linked to the Seychellois government or other country’s government or its meaning is misleading or offensive.
Every company has to have a registered address which has to be located in the territory of the country.
Management board and shareholders’ meetings may take place in any country in the world, including Seychelles. It is also allowed to hold meetings by phone, Skype or other means of communications.
Seychelles IBCs, to maintain its offshore status, are not allowed to conclude transactions with companies that have their registered office in Seychelles, own real estate in the territory of the country or conduct bank and insurance activity and other activity specified by the local law.
Seychelles IBCs are typical international offshore trade companies, which means capital gains and dividend incomes from offshore activity are completely exempt from taxation. There is also no personal income tax or stamp duty. In practice, this means companies do not pay any tax. That is why Seychelles are commonly regarded as a tax haven. In place of taxes, there is an annual licence fee of 100 USD.
Accounting is obligatory, but accounting books of Seychelles IBCs may be kept at any address and are not subject to audit, there is no obligation to submit annual financial reports either.
Seychelles is a country with stable economic situation and the highest, after Mauritius, GDP per capita in Africa – 7800 USD.
The economy is based on tourism, which brings 70% of budget revenue and employs 30% of the population. A significant pillar of the economy are services, including financial services and providing services to companies that are registered here.
The main exports are vanilla, cloves, cinnamon, tobacco and coconut.
Thanks to advantageous tax policy, internal investment has grown significantly in the recent years, especially in the financial services sector and the hotel industry.
The main trading partners of the island country are USA, United Kingdom, France, South Africa, Singapore and Japan.
Seychelles is a democratic republic which gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1976, remaining a member of the Commonwealth. The official head of state is British Queen Elisabeth II, yet the country is not subject in any way to the British Crown. The legal system is based on British common law and French civil law. The current constitution was enacted in 1992.
Seychelles has separation of powers and a multi-party political system.
The country belongs to many international organisations, such as: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, the Commonwealth, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, Red Cross, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, MKOL, ISO, NAM, OAU, OPCW, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WMO, WToO, WtrO.
Bank activity is subject to the Central Bank of Seychelles pursuant to Financial Institutions Act of 2004, as amended. The act stipulates the terms of issuing licences to offshore banks, remaining certain flexibility that is to guarantee banking sector development. Banks are legally obliged to protect clients’ data and maintain certain confidentiality, criminal investigation being the only exception.
The following commercial banks are present in Seychelles: Bank AL Habib, Bank of Barod, Bank of Ceylon, Barclays Bank, Wittelsbach Princely Trust Bank, BMI Offshore Bank, Habib Bank, Mauritius Commercial Bank, Nouvobanq, Seychelles Commercial Bank.
All companies are equal before the law.
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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.