DOING BUSINESS IN BERMUDA IN 2021
For over a decade, Healy Consultants Group PLC has been efficiently and effectively assisting our Clients with i) Bermuda company registration ii) banking solutions iii) workspace rental solutions and iv) tax compliance.
|Summary||Tax resident LLC||Exempted company||Permit Company||Trust||Fund|
|Also known as||LLC||International company||Branch||Discretionary trust||Institutional fund|
|Best use of company?||Domestic operations||Global trading & services||Manufacturing and export trading||Tax Planning||Financial services|
|How soon can you invoice Clients/sign sales contracts?||2 weeks||2 weeks||2 weeks||Cannot trade||3 weeks|
|How soon can you hire staff?||2 weeks||2 weeks||2 weeks||Cannot hire||3 weeks|
|How soon can you sign a lease agreement?||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week|
|How long to supply corporate bank account numbers?||8 weeks||8 weeks||8 weeks||10 weeks||10 weeks|
|How long to supply company registration/tax numbers?||2 weeks||2 weeks||2 weeks||3 weeks||3 weeks|
|Corporate tax rate on annual net profits?||0%||0%||0%||0%||0%|
|Limited liability entity?||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Government grants available?||No||No||No||No||No|
|Government approval required for foreign owners?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Minimum paid up share capital?||US$1||US$1||US$1||US$1||US$100,000|
|Can bid for Government contracts?||Yes||No||Yes||No||No|
|Corporate bank account location?||Bermuda Commercial Bank||Bank of Butterfield||Clarien Bank||HSBC||HSBC|
|Can secure trade finance?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|VAT payable on sales to local customers?||0%||0%||0%||0%||0%|
|Average total business set up engagement costs?||US$18,980||US$18,980||US$23,580||Request a proposal||Request a proposal|
|Average total engagement period?||2 months||2 months||2 months||2 months||2 months|
Bermuda company registration summary
Press the link headings below to read detailed, relevant, up to date information.
Advantages of Bermuda company registration
- If properly structured, a Bermuda Exempt Company (BEC) can house international profits while legally minimising international taxation;
- 100% foreign ownership is permitted for companies that do not conduct any local business. A minimum of one US$ share capital, one shareholder and corporate shareholders are permitted;
- Unlike many offshore jurisdictions, Bermuda has the positive factor of being an international financial and banking centre with oversight from the UK as a British Overseas Territory, and has one of the world’s highest per capita incomes;
- Bermuda is the preferred jurisdiction for offshore sports fishing business for UK nationals;
- Healy Consultants Group PLC can open a corporate bank account to support Bermuda company registration;
- After registering a company in Bermuda, an exempt company is not required to submit annual tax returns or audited financial statements;
- Bermuda is an excellent location for incorporation of companies belonging to the Information, Communications and Technology Industry (ICT). This is because Bermuda has i) a highly educated and talented labour pool, ii) ties with various global ICT projects and IT companies round the world and iii) world-class infrastructural facilities including redundant fibre optic cables directly linking Bermuda to North America, the Caribbean and South America.
- Bermuda is not only the world’s third-largest reinsurance center but a global financial business hub offering key insurance, securities, and other high-net-worth services like shipping and aviation registries. The country’s regulators are also welcoming to newer sectors such as i) fintech ii) insurtech iii) cryptocurrencies and iv) digital assets businesses.
- Bermuda was the first offshore jurisdiction to be granted ‘qualified jurisdiction’ status by the US National Association of Insurance Commissioners. As a result, its reinsurers are eligible for reduced collateral requirements in US jurisdictions that have adopted the revised Credit for Reinsurance Model Law and Regulations.
- Bermuda was awarded full equivalence with its Solvency II insurance regulatory regime by the European Union, Switzerland is the only other country that enjoys this distinction.
Disadvantages of Bermuda company registration
- Bermuda company formation procedures are more complex than many offshore jurisdictions;
- A company with authorised share capital of more than US$12,000 must pay an annual government license fee of US$1,870 prior to registration. This threshold is lower than in other similar territories, with a US$50,000 threshold in the Cayman Islands, or 50,000 shares of any value in the BVIs;
- In March 2019, Bermuda was included in the European Union’s draft blacklist of uncooperative tax heavens;
- In 2009, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) grey-listed Bermuda for needing to ‘substantially implement internationally agreed tax standards’. However, Bermuda has substantially improved this situation, implementing strong AML/CFT regulations and signing up to the OECD’s automatic exchange of information protocol, exchanging tax information with a wide range of jurisdictions. As a result, Bermuda is now on the OECD white list;
- A BEC may neither trade nor own real estate within Bermuda. In addition, it is not permitted to engage in banking, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, collective investment schemes, or giving investment advice unless it has a licence;
- Bermuda generally levies a high customs duty of around 22.25% on the transaction value of all imported goods. Moreover, vehicles designed for the transport of passengers are levied a 75% duty on the first US$10,000 and 150% on the amount above US$10,000. Other vehicles designed for the transport of goods normally are dutiable at 33.5%;
- Effective 1 January 2019, locally-incorporated Bermuda entities, foreign entities registered in Bermuda and limited partnerships engaging in i) holding company activities ii) banking business iii) distribution and service centre business iv) finance and leasing v) fund management vi) headquarters business vii) insurance viii) intellectual property holding and ix) shipping are required to employ local staff and lease a physical office.
- Annual government fees are higher compared to similar territories such as the Cayman Islands or BVI. A company with an authorised share capital of more than US$12,000 must pay an annual government licence fee of US$2,095 prior to registration.
- Obtaining work permits and renewals for foreign employees is difficult and a number of conditions need to be fulfilled, including placing newspaper advertisements for roles.
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Useful links for Bermuda
Government and public authority websites:
- Bermuda Tax Authority
- Company Registrar
- Central Bank of Bermuda
- Bermuda Stock Exchange
- Investment Authority
- Chamber of Commerce
- Bermuda airport
- Visiting Bermuda
- Bermuda Statistics Portal
- Bermuda Seaports
- Bermuda Yellow pages
- Bermuda PwC – Budget Highlights 2014
- Bermuda Companies Act 1981
- Bermuda Tax Guide – PKF
- Bermuda Visas – Government of Bermuda
- Bermuda Banking Survey – KPMG
- Opening The Doors To Business – BDA