DOING BUSINESS IN GIBRALTAR IN 2023
For over a decade, Healy Consultants Group has been efficiently and effectively assisting our Clients with i) Gibraltar business registration ii) business licensing iii) business banking solutions iv) visa options and staff recruitment strategies and v) workspace rental solutions.
Gibraltar is a British territory located at the southern tip of Spain, and is a strategically-located naval port. Gibraltar company registration is governed by the Companies Ordinance Act 1984 (based on the UK Companies Act 1929), and offers legitimate tax advantages to international business people if properly-structured.
|Compare different Gibraltar entities||Legally tax exempt LLC||Bitcoin trading LLC||FinTech LLC||Foundation||Trust|
|Also known as||Non-resident company||Bitcoin company||Blockchain company||Private foundation||International / Offshore trust|
|Best use of company?||International trading||Cryptocurrency trading||Blockchain technology||Tax planning||Asset protection|
|How long to supply company registration/tax numbers?||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week|
|How soon can you invoice Clients/sign sales contracts?||2 weeks||2 weeks||2 weeks||2 weeks||Cannot trade|
|How soon can you hire staff?||2 weeks||2 weeks||2 weeks||2 weeks||Cannot hire|
|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?||6 weeks||2 months||2 months||2 months||2 months|
|Corporate tax rate on annual net profits?||12.5%||12.5%||12.5%||0%||0%|
|Limited liability entity?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Government grants and tax incentives available?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Resident director/partner/manager/legal representative required?||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Minimum paid up share capital?||£1||£1||£1||£1||£1|
|Can bid for foreign Governments contracts?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Corporate bank account location?||NatWest International||Lombard Odier||Barclays||Gibraltar International Bank||RBS|
|Can secure trade finance?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|VAT payable on sales to local customers?||Cannot trade locally||Cannot trade locally||Cannot trade locally||Cannot trade locally||Cannot trade|
|Average total business set up engagement costs?||£22,700||£13,500||£10,500||£22,400||Request a proposal|
|Average total engagement period?||2 months||3 months||2 months||2 months||2 months|
Gibraltar company registration summary
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Advantages of Gibraltar company registration
- Gibraltar does not tax companies on their profit-making activities located outside of Gibraltar. For activities carried out within Gibraltar, the corporate tax rate is only 12.5%. Thus registering a company in Gibraltar can therefore prove to be a tax efficient option for many businesses;
- Unlike other British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies in Europe, Gibraltar is part of the EU. This gives it access to harmonized laws in the form of directives and regulations;
- Only 1 shareholder and 1 director are required to register a company in Gibraltar. The company can be registered in one week with a minimum paid up capital of €100;
- Gibraltar is the only European Union (EU) finance centre exempt from value added tax (VAT). As a member of the EU, Gibraltar has direct access to EU financial services markets through laws such as MiFID and AIFMD. In addition, British pensions held by expats anywhere in the world may be moved to Gibraltar-based schemes under the QROPS regime;
- Gibraltar’s common law system based on the English model makes the legal regime very accessible to foreign lawyers and businessmen;
- It is easy to open global corporate bank accounts to support business registration in Gibraltar. Healy Consultants works with internationally recognised banks such as HSBC, Standard Chartered and Citibank to provide corporate bank account services;
- Gibraltar’s excellent geographical location provides its industries an easy access to the markets of Mediterranean Europe and North Africa, thereby bringing great business to the country. The FDI amounts prove the same, especially looking at its special relationship with the European Union;
- Both English and Spanish are widely spoken in Gibraltar, making it easier for the foreign investors to adapt in the country;
- Banks in Gibraltar do not require our Clients to travel to Gibraltar to open the bank account. This can be achieved through a video call;
- Despite Gibraltar banks perceiving crypto-currency companies as high risk, Healy Consultants’ effective communication with the bank and provision of all documents in a timely manner makes the process easier.
Disadvantages of Gibraltar company registration
- Since January 2019, the Gibraltar government requires all Gibraltar LLCs to comply with new substance requirements;
- Following registration of a Gibraltar LLC, shareholders and directors’ details are available for public viewing at the official register at the Gibraltar Registrar of Companies;
- Despite being part of the EU, Gibraltar is not part of the EU’s customs area or VAT area. Consequently, using an Isle of Man company is better than using a Gibraltar company for companies selling goods to Europe;
- Despite its stringent compliance laws, Gibraltar may be perceived as a tax neutral jurisdiction;
- All companies registered in Gibraltar are legally required to submit annual financial statements to the Gibraltar Income Tax Office within nine months after the end of their financial year. Companies with annual sales below £500,000 are however exempted from audit requirements;
- During the pre-Brexit time, many companies had moved to Gibraltar due to i) it being a tax-free residence and ii) its proximity to the attractive EU market. However, post-Brexit, these companies will no longer be able to enter the EU freely. As a result, these companies could decide to dissolve or relocate again;
- In Gibraltar, the company agents may require our Clients to appoint them as directors and bank signatories to oversee activities performed by the company. In some cases, local registered agents will also request a legal opinion before proceeding with company registration;
- For crypto-currency and other high-risk business activities, Gibraltar banks apply enhanced due diligence and KYC procedures. For example, it is likely the bank will ask for proof of source of funding;
- As a result of the above, bank account opening can take several months for high risk businesses.
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Useful links for Gibraltar
Government and public authority websites:
- Government of Gibraltar
- Gibraltar Chamber of Commerce
- Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses
- Gibraltar Airport
- Gibraltar Yellow Pages
- Gibraltar PWC – Gibraltar Tax Facts 2019/2020
- Financial Services Regulations
- Trade and E-Trade in Gibraltar
- Doing Business and Investing in Gibraltar
- Companies Re-Domiciliation Regulations
- Gibraltar Companies Act