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Doing Business in Antigua & Barbuda


In an effort to establish itself as a modern offshore financial centre, Antigua enacted in 1982, the International Business Corporations Act. It is recognised generally as the most modern and attractive piece of legislation of its kind in the Caribbean and is tailor-made to meet the needs of international businesses.

International commercial banking has been conducted on Antigua for many years. Offshore banking is more recent, having started in 1983. Since that time the industry has grown rapidly. Working in co-operation with the private sector, the Government has improved Antigua's offshore company and banking environment through the introduction of new foreign residency, trust, and partnership legislation.

The prevailing offshore legislation provides for speedy formation of international business corporations (IBCs) at very competitive charges. The formation can be carried out by a locally registered trust company or by an accountant or attorney. Formation can usually be completed within 24 hours and full corporate and trust services are available to both private and corporate investors including:

• registration and maintenance of corporate charters for offshore companies;
• reception, management, and disbursement of the assets of offshore companies;
• provision and maintenance of a registered office;
• maintenance of the company's records and statutory register;
• preparation of all necessary corporate returns and reports to the Director;
• provision of directors and officers on request;
• incorporation and management of offshore banks and captive insurance companies; and
• a full range of traditional trust services.

Forms of Offshore Organisation

Holding Company

A holding company by its very definition is a company whose business it is to hold shares in and to exercise management and control of other companies. Its uses include the collecting of dividends from the subsidiary which may in turn be reinvested free of tax. In the event of the sale of the shares in the subsidiary to a third party, profits are maximised there being no taxes payable on such sale.

Personal Investment Company

The business of this kind of company is to invest in securities on behalf of its owners. Its major asset is usually a securities portfolio from which it will earn profits from trading and dividends in a low tax or no tax jurisdiction.

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