International Business Company (Company limited by shares)
Saint Lucia has become in recent years a popular offshore financial services centre due to its pro-business legal framework, its modern financial services offer and its political stability.
Companies incorporated under the International Business Companies Act, 1999, are entitled to do business internationally and may have restrictions to trade with residents as well as own real estate property located in the jurisdiction.
International Business Companies (IBCs) may elect to be fully tax-exempt or pay 1% tax on its trading income to benefit from the CARICOM double taxation treaties (DTA).
IBCs stand out for its fast registration process, confidentiality, flexible structure and its low annual fees and reporting requirements.
IBCs can be incorporated by a sole shareholder, who can be either resident or non-resident, individual or corporation. One director is required, who can be either resident or non-resident, individual or corporation, and can be the same person as the shareholder.
The appointment of a secretary is not mandatory.
Details of members of the IBC remain private, as are not disclosed in a public registry. The equity in the form of the company’s shares are only made available to the Registered Agent.
Furthermore, it is an offence punishable by fine or imprisonment for a bank or trust officer or registered agent to divulge personal details about a customer without his express permission.
Reporting requirements are non-existent. Annual return, financial statements and tax return are not required to be filed. Audits are not mandatory. However, companies that elect to pay 1% tax to benefit from tax treaties should file a yearly tax return.
Saint Lucia has agreed to implement the OECD’s automatic exchange of information for tax purposes (AEoI) by 2018 and is not considered as a non-cooperative country and territory by the Financial Action Task Force due to its effective anti-laundering and anti-fraudulent policies, making Saint Lucia a secure and reliable offshore jurisdiction.
Due to its features, Saint Lucia’s IBCs are commonly used vehicles for a broad range of investment and business purposes. Such as fund and wealth management and offshore investments, professional services, international trade, tax planning, insurance and as a holding company.
Country code – LC
Legal Basis – Mixed (Civil and Common Law)
Legal framework – International Business Companies Act 1999 (Amended 2000, 2001)
Company form – International Business Company (Corporation limited by shares)
Liability - The liability of the shareholders for the company is limited to the amount of their respective shareholdings.
Business restrictions – International Business Companies are entitled to do business outside Saint Lucia and may not carry out any trade with residents or hold assets within Saint Lucia. Banking, trust, insurance or re-insurance sectors requires a specific license.
Share capital – There usual authorized share capital is US$50,000. No minimum paid up capital required. Shares may be denominated in one or more currencies. Shares may voting shares, redeemable shares, fractional shares and shares with or without par value. Bearer shares are not allowed.
Shareholders – IBCs may be incorporated by one or more shareholders, who can be either natural or legal persons, residents or non-residents, without restrictions. Details of shareholders are not publicly disclosed.
Directors – At least one director is required, who may be a natural person or a legal entity. Directors’ details are not available to the public.
Secretary – The appointment of officers such as a secretary is optional, and may be an individual or a corporation, resident or non-resident.
Registered Address – Every company must have a registered office in Saint Lucia, provided by a licensed service provider.
General Meeting – Annual general meetings are not mandatory. However, if meetings are held, they can be anywhere in the world and may be by proxy, and minutes of the meeting must be taken but minute book can be kept anywhere.
Electronic Signature – Permitted.
Re-domiciliation – Inward and outward re-domiciliation is allowed.
Compliance – Saint Lucian International business companies must keep accounting records. The records may not be kept anywhere.
IBCs are not required to file annual return nor financial statements. IBCs that elect to be taxed at 1% are required to submit an annual tax return. IBCs are also required to pay an annual government fee (US$ 300).
- Shareholders not disclosed
- Directors not disclosed
- Corporate shareholders permitted
- Corporate directors permitted
- Local director required
- Secretary required
- Local secretary required
- Annual general meetings required
- Redomiciliation permitted
- Electronic signature
- Annual return
- Audited accounts
- Audited accounts exemption
- Exchange controls
- Common law Legal basis
- 1 Minimum shareholders
- 1 Minimum directors
- USD 1 Minimum issued capital
- - Minimum paid up capital
- USDAny Capital currency
- Anywhere Location of annual general meeting
- 2018 AEOI
Corporate Income Tax – Saint Lucian International Business Companies (IBCs) conducting business outside the country may elect to be exempted from all form of taxes and stamp duties or may elect to be subject to 1% tax levied on their trading income to benefit from CARICOM double taxation treaties.
Personal Income Tax – Personal Income Tax is levied on a residence and remittance basis.
Individuals residents or ordinarily residents in Saint Lucia are subject to personal income tax on a worldwide basis.
Individuals residents but no ordinarily residents are subject to personal income tax on their Saint Lucian source income and foreign-source income remitted to the country.
Individuals non-residents are taxed on their income from Saint Lucian sources and income from foreign-sources remitted to the country.
Personal Income tax rates are progressive up to a top marginal tax rate of 30% on annual income exceeding XCD 30,000. Capital Gains, Dividends and Saint Lucian bank interests are tax-exempt.
Other taxes – Saint Lucia levies a residential property tax of 0.25% of the open market value of the property. There is a stamp tax on the transfer of assets, ranging from 2% to 10%, depending on the type of asset and residency status of the seller. There are no net wealth and inheritance taxes in Saint Lucia.
The Value-added tax rate is 15%. Reduced rate of 10% applies to the hotel sector. Certain goods and services are tax-exempt.
- Offshore Income Tax Exemption
- Offshore capital gains tax exemption
- Offshore dividends tax exemption
- CFC Rules
- Thin Capitalisation Rules
- Patent Box
- Tax Incentives & Credits
- Property Tax
- Wealth tax
- Estate inheritance tax
- Transfer tax
- Capital duties
- 0% Offshore Income Tax Rate
- 0% Capital Gains Tax Rate
- 0% Dividends Received
- 0% Dividends Withholding Tax Rate
- 0% Interests Withholding Tax Rate
- 0% Royalties Withholding Tax Rate
- 0 Losses carryback (years)
- 6 Losses carryforward (years)
- 5% Social Security Employee
- 5% Social Security Employer
- 30% Personal Income Tax Rate
- 15% VAT Rate
- 32 Tax Treaties
Saint Lucia is a small island state in America member of the CARICOM and the Commonwealth. It is located in the Caribbean Sea, north of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and south of the island of Martinique. The island has a population of 185,000 inhabitants.
Its official languages are English, although 90% of its population speak a French-based Creole.
Its official legal tender currency is the East Caribbean Dollar (XCD), which has a fixed exchange rate with the dollar at 2.7: 1.
St. Lucia is an independent country but maintains the monarch of the United Kingdom as its sovereign and head of state, who in turn appoints a Governor General to perform the duties that would correspond to the monarch, which are usually merely symbolic.
The head of the Government is the Prime Minister, who is the president of the party that obtains the most votes in the legislative elections.
Traditionally, the economy of Santa Lucia was based mainly on the cultivation of bananas. Currently, Tourism is the sector that most contributes to the economy, it tends to be more important during the dry season (from January to April). Saint Lucia tends to be popular due to its tropical climate, its landscapes and its large number of beaches and resorts.
Since the enactment of its International Business Companies Act in 1999, Saint Lucia has developed a robust financial centre, currently offering financial services such as offshore trusts, mutual funds, insurance and offshore banking.
Please, contact us to request a free, no obligation consultation.