Business entities in Cayman Islands

Business entities in Cayman Islands

Entrepreneurs willing to setup a business in the Cayman Islands are able to do so through a number of business entities, the most common being by far the Cayman Islands exempt company. Please find below more information on the different types of business vehicles available in the Cayman Islands.

Cayman Islands offshore company (Exempted company)

  • Incorporation of a Cayman Islands exempt company requires i) a minimum of one shareholder, ii) one director (no requirements to be local) and iii) no minimum capitalization. The company must have a registered office in the Cayman Islands;
  • Such entity cannot conduct business with Cayman residents and is not subjected to corporation, income, capital gains, inheritance or wealth tax, though a nominal fee of US$854 is imposed annually on the company;
  • There are no requirements for appointment of auditors or filing of financial statements;
  • Best uses: Such entity is usually used as a trading company or as a conduit company for investment overseas.

Cayman Islands Non-resident Company

  • The non-resident company is an alternative option to the exempt company. The requirements are similar to exempt company in that it requires i) at least one shareholder, ii) one director and iii) no minimum capitalization;
  • Such companies must have a registered office and maintain a register of members open to inspection. Details of members, directors and paid-up capital must also be reported to the registrar annually;
  • Non-resident companies are prohibited from trading within the country and no taxes are levied on it, annual fee of US$701 is required;
  • This entity may be converted to an exempt company or a resident company;
  • Best uses: Such entities are useful for offshore operations and transactions.

Cayman Islands Exempted Limited Partnership (ELP)

  • ELP requires a minimum of one general partner and one limited partner. The general partner must agree to all contracts concluded by the partnership and has unlimited liability while the limited partner benefits from limited liability. Partnership law requires all ELPs have a registered Cayman office and that at least one of the general partners be a resident in Cayman Islands;
  • Neither the ELP nor the partners are subjected to taxation in the Cayman Islands. ELP are not permitted to conduct business inside of Cayman. Annual fee of US$1,463 is imposed on ELP;
  • Best uses: Generally recommended for firms providing professional services.

Excluded Person Financial Company

  • Same requirements as exempt companies;
  • Securities Investment Business Law can exempt certain persons (excluded persons) who are engaged in securities investment from full licensing requirement conditional on filing an annual declaration with CIMA and an annual fee;
  • Excluded persons include i) a company managing securities investment for one or more members of its group, ii) a person carrying on investment exclusively for a listed or regulated entity or iii) a person regulated in respect of securities investment by a recognized overseas regulatory authority;
  • Best uses: Overseas trading companies or investment companies dealing in securities.
 Exempted companyExcluded person financial companyNon-resident CompanyExempted limited partnership
Operations and logistics
Bank signatory must travel?NoNoNoNo
Is doing business in Cayman permitted?NoNoNoNo
Allowed to sign contracts with local clients?NoNoNoNo
Allowed to invoice local clients?NoNoNoNo
Can rent local office premises?YesYesYesYes
Tenancy agreement required before incorporation?NoNoNoNo
Allowed to import raw materials?NoNoNoNo
Allowed to export goods?NoNoNoNo
Accounting and tax
Corporate tax payable?0%0%0%0%
Corporate bank account?Deutsche BankButterfield BankCayman NationalFidelity Bank
Statutory audit required?NoNoNoNo
Annual tax return to be submitted?NoNoNoNo
Access to double taxation treaties?NoNoNoNo
Company law
Issued share capital required?US$1US$1US$1US$1
Resident director required?NoNoNoNo
Cayman shareholder/trustee/partner required?NoNoNoYes
Minimum number of directors/managers?1111
Minimum number of shareholders/partners?1112
Individual shareholders/partners allowed?YesYesYesNo
Corporate director(s) allowed?YesYesYesYes
Public register of shareholders and directorsNoNoYesNo
Immigration
Can the entity hire expatriate staff?NoNoNoNo
Fees and timelines
How long to set the company up?1 week1 week1 week1 week
How long to open corporate bank account?3 weeks3 weeks3 weeks3 weeks
Estimate of engagement costsUS$12,512US$16,952US$10,682US$13,170
Draft invoice

Contact us

For additional information on our company registration services in Cayman Islands, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Paavan Chhabra, directly:
client relationship officer - Paavan
cayman-immigration cayman financial services cayman enterprise city - special economic zone cayman chamber of commerce cayman islands society of professional accountants cayman-tourism cayman islands monetary authority