Anguilla Offshore Laws & Legislation

Anguilla’s offshore legislative framework is embodied with a number of laws that were enacted to regulate the operation of offshore companies formed in Anguilla. Many Anguilla offshore companies may perform their duties in or outside of Anguilla, such as in the case of local offshore companies, offshore banks and foreign investors that open offices in Anguilla or international companies that are registered in Anguilla as an offshore jurisdiction.

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Most offshore companies formed in Anguilla may take the form Offshore Trusts, International Business Companies (IBCs), Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), International (Exempt) Insurances, Offshore Banks, Mutual Funds. Each of these entities is regulated by specific laws since they all serve different functions though they may offer similar benefits in regards to tax deferral, savings on taxes, asset protection and the ability to conduct business without any geographical boundaries. All of these Anguillan offshore laws and company regulatory mechanisms are backed by an array of anti money laundering and financial terrorist legislations that were passed in an attempt to prevent and combat financial ills and criminal activities such as the trafficking of illegal substances.

Some of the Acts regulating Anguilla’s offshore industry include:

The International Business Company Act:

This Act oversees and sets standards by which Anguilla International Business Companies or IBCs in Anguilla may operate. It thoroughly covers the essential aspects that pertain to the creation of Anguilla IBCs, IBC structuring in regards to IBC directors, shareholders and nominees, authorized share-capital, classes and number of shares and securities, IBC tax exemptions, preparation and filing of legal documents such as the Memorandum and Articles of Association, the information that must be contained in essential IBC corporate documents, the issuance of Certificates of Incorporation by the Companies Registry, Registered Agents and Registered Offices. All Anguilla International Business Companies must be formed by a locally based and licensed offshore service provider and have a registered office. Annual fees are also to be paid for the maintenance and good-standing of the company.

Trusts Act:

Establishes legal policies and deals with matters concerning Trust formation, duration and accumulation of income through Trust, the type of property that may be held on trust, trust beneficiaries, protectors, trustees and settlors, the number of trustees that a trust may have and the various types of trusts such as unit trusts, trusts for charitable and non charitable purposes.

Trust Companies and Offshore Banking Act 2005 (TCOBA):

Regulates the issuance of offshore banking and trust licenses, defines the types of licenses issued, states the conditions under which licenses are granted, by whom they are granted and the minimum paid-up share capital requirement for qualifying as an offshore banking services provider. Anguilla offshore banking applications are reviewed by the Financial Services Commission. Upon reviewing applications and before granting banking licenses, the Commission must be satisfied that applicants meet all legislative requirements, the offshore bank has well-established banking policies that promote prudent functioning and an appointed auditors that are licensed and approved and perform internationally accepted auditing standards. The bank’s management should consist of persons with excellent track records that are qualified and fit for undertaking offshore banking business and a sustainable and thorough business plan must be in place.

Offshore banking licenses will only be granted to banks that are closely associated with a bank based overseas that will participate in supervising the Anguilla offshore bank through its own local supervisory body; subsidiaries or branches of banks with an established and excellent track record; and fully-owned subsidiaries of recognized and accepted non-bank entities with shares quoted on a recognized stock exchange. The subsidiary’s duty must be restricted to only performing in-house treasury operations that are published in the parent company’s financial statements.

Decisions that play a key role in regulating, developing and stabilizing Anguilla’s offshore industry included the creation of the Financial Services Commission and the development of Anguilla Commercial Online Network.
The Financial Services Commission (FSC) was formed in November 2003 through the Financial Services Commission Act. The FSC is charged with monitoring the different financial services provided in or outside Anguilla, taking necessary measures against unlicensed financial services providers, determining and reviewing license applications, administering financial services laws and policies, monitoring financial services providers’ compliance to Anti-Money Laundering Regulations, Guidelines and Codes established for fighting against illicit financial activities, advising the Governor on issues that pertain to the financial sector, making recommendations and proposing policy and legislative changes for the development and betterment of the sector; among others.
The Financial Services Commission has greatly enhanced the quality of the services available within Anguilla’s offshore sector. This has added to credibility within the sector and surely plays a major role in motivating financial growth and foreign investments.

The formation of ACORN, Anguilla Commercial Online Registration Network has given Anguilla’s offshore financial sector the added competitive edge. The establishment of ACORN is proof of Anguilla’s progressive offshore legislation and policies. ACORN is fully electronic, interactive, simple, and economical and allows users to perform quick name searches and reservations, incorporate new companies, while providing both agents and the registry with a full accounting system. ACORN was established in 1998.