When opening the Merchant Accounts in Europe, many European banks will want to see an application submitted by a European legal entity. It is connected with the fact that the bank may have a licence from the card organizations (VISA, MasterCard) for the work with the European residents only. For the majority of the Internet sellers, it is not a problem, but quite the opposite – it is an opportunity to create an effective and competitive structure.
Our company will help you with the complete solution: not only the opening of the Merchant Account, but also the creating of an appropriate corporate structure.
Offshore Zones and Companies – Terminology
Any company registered outside the considered country of activity or in a special offshore zone can be considered as an offshore (offshore company). For example, a German company can be considered as an offshore for a French company. The use of the offshore companies mostly means the companies registered in the so-called offshore zones. The offshore companies are mostly used to optimise business processes. The offshore companies are very often inserted into various trading and intermediary schemes. The domestic laws are sometimes not absolutely suitable for one or another activity, and in that case it is necessary to use the offshore companies. The offshore company can also be used for the Internet business: a merchant account can be opened not directly for an offshore company, but for its representative office in one of the EU countries; thereby a European bank will work with the EU resident as it is needed.
Now, the term ‘offshore,’ equally as ‘offshore company,’ is mainly used to indicate a legal entity registered in the so-called offshore zones – the international offshore financial centres. In such offshore zones, the laws usually allow registering a special type of the non-resident companies that are not intended for business dealing in the country, for example, the IBC (International Business Companies) companies. The offshore companies received the widespread use because such companies (registered in offshore zones) are often not subject to the taxation at the place of registration as well as it is not always required for such companies to submit their annual financial statements. Many offshore zones also offer a more simple and convenient licensing system for some lines of business.
Privacy in Offshore Zones
The high confidentiality can be another reason for the use of offshore companies registered in special offshore zones – the Register of Companies is closed for public in the most offshore zones, and there is no possibility for outsiders to ascertain who is the Director or the Shareholder in one or another offshore company. In addition, the so-called nominal service (Nominal Directors and Nominal Shareholders) is widespread in the offshore zones, which provides additional confidentiality because all the names of the real owners are kept confidential by the registration agent of the offshore zone and the servicing bank. Of course, this information may and must be disclosed on the basis of special and reasonable requests from local bodies. The use of the Nominal Director is sometimes necessary according to the laws in some offshore zones – there is a requirement to have a local Director in the company.
In addition to the assistance in registering offshore companies, our company will also help you with establishing the European companies that can sometimes offer no less effective working conditions. All heard of companies from: Great Britain, Cyprus, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Malta, and other European countries.
For example, a distinctive feature of the Scottish Limited Partnership is the fact that it is a separate legal entity: It means it itself may own assets, enter into agreements, be a claimant or defendant, own property, borrow money and give some types of collateral. The hybrid status of the separate legal entity in a combination with the tax transparency offers THE BEST OF TWO.
Company in Scotland – Scottish Limited Partnership (Scottish LP)
- No taxes in Great Britain, provided that the partnership does not trade in Great Britain and partners are not Great Britain residents. Partners are taxed in the jurisdiction of their location.
- Absence of a requirement to submit financial statements to the Register of Companies.
- Absence of a requirement to submit tax declarations to the Register of Companies.
- Internationally recognized jurisdiction with great reputation.
- High confidentiality.
The legal requirements that the limited partners may not participate in the management do the Scottish LP an IDEAL means for the investment structures with a large number of partners, where the management and control are assigned to the general partner or a manager assigned by the general partner.
Comparative table of some offshore zones and non-offshore companies:
|Cyprus LTD||England LTD||Scottish LP||BVI Panama||Belize Seychelles|
|Level of prestige||High||Medium||Offshore|
|Income tax rate||21%||12.5%||–||–||–||–|
|Submitting annual reports to the Register||+||+||+||–||–||–|
|Availability of large network of double taxation agreements||+||+||+||+||–||–|
|Country is excluded from OECD and FATF lists||+||+||+||+||+||–|
|Nominal managerial personnel is allowed||+||+||+||+||+||+|