Registration of a company in Antigua is not the most obvious way to open offshore in a foreign jurisdiction. However, this option has good prospects for optimizing taxation of your company. The process of setting up a company is relatively simple if you approach the issue properly. No personal presence of the applicant is required, and local legislation allows you to conduct business with minimal maintenance costs.
The jurisdiction is especially favourable for such areas as online gambling and gaming industry - many bookmakers prefer to register their companies in Antigua and Barbuda.
We will tell how to register an enterprise in this state, which forms of doing business are the most popular. And also let’s talk about which taxes must be paid when setting up a company in Antigua.
Advantages of business setting up in Antigua and Barbuda
This island state is located in the Caribbean Sea and is part of the Lesser Antilles. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, which includes Great Britain and its former colonies, the UN and the Organization of American States. It consists of two relatively large islands (Antigua and Barbuda) and several smaller ones. Antigua is the largest island in area; the capital is located here - St. John’s. The climate is tropical and temperature is stable throughout the year. Total land area is 440 sq. km. The population is 93.5 thousand people. The official language is English. The national currency is the East Caribbean dollar.
The country maintains diplomatic relations with the largest states of the world - the USA, PRC, Great Britain and Canada. Antigua belongs to the developing countries and the local economy is based on tourism. This industry accounts for about 60% of the state’s GDP.
The population not employed in tourism sector is engaged in agriculture (growing mangoes, coconuts, bananas, sugarcane), production of clothing and alcoholic beverages. In the last decade, international online gaming business has begun to develop rapidly here. Many companies specializing in gambling (bookmakers, online casinos) open offshore branches here. The country’s budget is annually supplemented by state fees from the registration of foreign companies and fees for renewal of licensing.
Major advantages of doing business in this jurisdiction:
- favourable geographic location, mild climate;
- stable political and economic situation;
- attractive conditions for commercial activities of foreign companies;
- ideal jurisdiction for bookmaker’s facility, online sweepstakes, poker rooms and other gambling business options;
- excellent conditions for owning ships and shipping business;
- high level of protection of foreign capital;
- confidentiality of information about final beneficiaries of the enterprise;
- maximum simplified remote registration procedure
- tax benefits for companies for 50 years;
- annual submission of financial statements and audit are not required;
- developed banking facilities.
For those willing to move to the islands, simplified conditions have been introduced to obtain a residence permit and citizenship. A visa-free regime applies to over 100 states.
Features of local legislation
Registration is conducted in accordance with local Law on foreign companies. Provisions of this legal instrument are constantly being improved to make local jurisdictions even more attractive for foreign investment.
The most important provisions of the International Companies Act:
- A resident of any country can set up a company. Personal presence is not required but a local agent – individual person or legal entity with authorities to conduct business. Most often, lawyers, accountants or trust companies act as intermediaries.
- All offshore companies registered in Antigua are controlled by a special regulatory commission and, without special permission, they are not entitled to do business with the local population or using local currency. They can only do business on the international scene.
- When setting up a company, the agent is obliged to provide the Registration Commission with all the information requested. Pending a positive decision, the applicant is issued a registration act.
Assets of foreign companies are well protected by the law – information about them is confidential. Nominee service is allowed - third-party managers can deal with all the affairs of the company for the benefit of the beneficiary.
Tax system and reporting
Representatives of international business on the islands of Antigua and Barbuda are subject to a special tax regime. If the company runs a business outside the local jurisdiction, the following tax conditions apply:
- stamp duty is not paid;
- capital gains tax - 0%;
- sales tax – 0%;
- personal income tax – 0%;
- taxes on donation of assets and accession to the heirship – 0%;
- corporate tax – 0% within 50 years from the date of registration of the company.
Within 50 years commercial companies do not need to file tax returns, but they must strictly comply with the following conditions – do not do business in the country and do not purchase real estate on the islands. Herewith, legal entities are obliged to keep accounting and financial documents in the office, registered in the state. Every year companies pay a registration state fee in the amount of 300 USD. Payments can be made locally by the registration agent in Antigua.
If you need to do business in the state (for example, if you acquire local citizenship or buy real estate on the islands), you comply with the tax legislation for residents and pay VAT in the amount of 15% (or 12.5 at reduced rate), corporate tax of 25%, real estate tax in the amount of 0.1 to 0.5% of market value of the property.
Selection to BLS and requirements to companies
On the territory of Antigua and Barbuda entrepreneurs can register legal entities in the following business legal structures:
- ILLC/LLC – analogues of private and public limited liability companies:
- IBC – international business company;
- non-profit organizations;
- branches (representatives) of foreign companies;
- shipping companies;
The most profitable option in terms of softening the tax burden is IBC. This form is often considered as a synonymous of offshore company in Antigua.
Requirements to IBC
- director – minimum one person (individual person or legal entity), can be a non-resident;
- shareholder – minimum one person (individual person or legal entity), no requirements to citizenship;
- one person can be a director and shareholder;
- position of the local agent and the presence of a registered address are required;
- there are no requirements for the minimum authorized capital.
Name of organization should be unique and have the ending corresponding to the company’s BLS.
Documents for IBC registration
The following papers are required, notarized and translated into English:
names (options are given as a priority);
description of the company’s activities;
colour scanned copies of the passports of directors and shareholders;
if the shareholder/director is an individual person, proof of residence (utility bill and bank statement not older than 3 months) are required;
if the shareholder/director is a legal entity, apostilled constituent documents are required (charter, registration certificate, order of the director’s assignment etc.) as well as documents of final beneficiary – copy of passport, proof of residence.
Registration of a company with Beforis
Despite the fact that the process of registration of companies in Antigua is considered relatively simple and takes 1-2 weeks, the procedure requires certain training, knowledge and experience. If you have not previously encountered setting up a business abroad, problems may arise at any stage of the event.
To set up a business in this jurisdiction without any problems and extra costs, use professional legal support from Beforis. The company specializes in registering a business abroad, assumes complete support of the process.
Specialists will check the uniqueness of name for the legal entity in the Register, prepare and submit all registration documents. Beforis will also provide the services of registration agent and registration address in Antigua. In addition, lawyers will take care of all communications with government agencies and payment of fees.
To contact Beforis team, e-mail to email@example.com or complete the form below. Consultant of the company will email you to answer all your questions.