Brunei company registration

DOING BUSINESS IN BRUNEI IN 2018

Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has assisted our Clients with business registration in Brunei. Our services include i) Brunei company incorporation ii) government license registration iii) business bank account opening iv) employee recruitment v) visa strategies and vi) office rental solutions.

Summary table of Brunei company registration

SummaryResident LLC Free zone LLCBrunei PLC BranchRepresentative office
Best use of company?Local TradingManuf./LogisticsHolding/TradingAgent/TradingMarketing/Research
Legally tax exempt if properly structured?NoYesNoNoYes
Corporate bank account location?HSBC BruneiSCB BruneiHSBC BruneiCitibank BruneiSCB Brunei
Client must travel to Brunei?NoNoNoNoNo
Can secure trade finance?YesYesYesYesNo
Limited liability entity?YesYesYesNoNo
VAT payable on sales to local customers?NoNoNoNoN/A
Withholding tax on payments to overseas shareholders?NoNoNoNoN/A
Average total engagement costs?US$19,560US$20,710US$19,130US$11,630Contact us
Average total engagement period?21 weeks20 weeks21 weeks25 weeks14 weeks

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Accounting and tax considerationsResident LLC Free zone LLCBrunei PLC BranchRepresentative office
Statutory corporation tax payable?18.5%0%18.5%18.5%0%
Must file an annual tax return?YesYesYesYesNo
Effective corporation tax rate on net profits of US$250,000?18.5%0%18.5%18.5%0%
Must file annual financial statements?YesYesYesYesYes
Investment income is legally tax exempt in Brunei?NoYesNoNoYes
Access to double taxation treaties?YesYesYesYesNo
Monthly GST reporting to the Government?NoNoNoNoNo
Legally tax exempt entity?NoYesNoNoYes
Dividends received are legally tax exempt?YesYesYesYesN/A
Company registrationResident LLC Free zone LLCBrunei PLC BranchRepresentative office
Resident director required?YesYesYesYesYes
Minimum number of shareholders/partners?227Parent companyParent company
Minimum number of directors/managers?21211
Minimum paid up share capital?US$1US$1US$1N/AN/A
Shelf companies available?YesNoNoNoNo
Time to incorporate a new entity?12 weeks12 weeks12 weeks12 weeks12 weeks
Can easily convert to a local PLC company?YesYesYesNoNo
Can have preference shareholders?YesYesYesNoNo
Business considerationsResident LLC Free zone LLCBrunei PLC BranchRepresentative office
Can invoice local customers?YesYesYesYesNo
Can hire local staff?YesYesYesYesYes
Can rent local office space?YesYesYesYesYes
Secures a residence visa for business owner?YesYesYesYesYes
Good entity for trademark registration?YesYesYesYesNo

Brunei has signed free trade agreements?Yes
This country is a member of WIPO and TRIPS?Yes
The country is a member of the ICSID?Yes
Average customs duties suffered?1.2
Government foreign investment approval is required?No
Average monthly office rental? (US$ per sq m)60
Minimum statutory monthly salary?No legal minimum salary in Brunei
Average monthly US$ salary for local employees?2,780
Brunei dollar deposit interest rate? (1-year average)0.3%
US$ deposit interest rate? (1-year average)0.1%
Overseas remittance currency controls?No
Public register of shareholders and directors?No
Banking considerations
Multi-currency bank accounts available?Yes
Corporate visa debit cards available?Yes
Quality of e-banking platform?Good
Crowd funding available in this country?Yes

Brunei business setup summary

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  • Advantages of Brunei company registration

    Brunei business registration advantage

    1. Brunei has signed 15 agreements for the avoidance of double taxation. This implies a lessening of the tax burden from all the companies operating in Brunei that directly deal with these 15 countries.
    2. The country has a stable economy and currency, with the Brunei Dollar directly pegged to the Singapore Dollar;
    3. It offers several incentives for foreign investments, such as:
      • Companies which are given a pioneer certificate will enjoy i) exemption of 30% of corporate tax for a period of up to 11 years, depending on the capital expenditure; ii) exemption of import taxes on certain products and raw materials, among other incentives;
      • Companies which produce products or services for export are also eligible for exemption of income tax for up to 11 years;
      • Tax exemption may also be granted for companies which acquire foreign loans for the purchase of production equipment.
  • Disadvantages of Brunei company registration

    1. By the 24th December 2017, all Brunei IBCs as well as Brunei Offshore Companies were fully closed, as declared by the Brunei Registry. The Brunei government took this step in order to promote and protect the local businesses in Brunei. As a result, all the foreign investors had to shut down or sell their businesses, thereby reducing the foreign investor’s confidence and reliance over this jurisdiction.
    2. Brunei is still perceived as a tax haven in some circles because:
      • While the Sultanate is not anymore on the black list of tax havens prepared by the OECD, Brunei-based companies continue to attract additional scrutiny from Western tax authorities and banks, but less than traditional tax haven countries;
      • While many countries including i) France and ii) Canada have recently removed Brunei from their list of tax havens, but others including i) Portugal and ii) Colombia have not done so yet. As a result, funds transfers from these countries to a Brunei company are still subject to higher withholding tax rates.

Company registration

  • Time to incorporate: 3 months
  • Cost to set up: US$10,900
  • Minimum capital: US$1
  • Physical office required: No

Required appointments

  • Shareholders: 2
  • Directors: 2
  • Company secretary: No
  • Resident director: Yes

Key facts

  • Corporate tax rate: 20%
  • Corporate tax base: Territorial
  • Shelf companies: Available
  • Main company type: Brunei LLC

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Contact us

For additional information on our company registration services in Brunei, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Kunal Fabiani, directly:
client relationship officer - Kunal