Offshore companies and legal entities in The Bahamas are governed by similar laws by which they are characterized and differentiated from foreign and local companies, subsidiaries and branches.

Firstly, with the exception activities not deemed as doing business, such as banking, corresponding with local professionals and maintaining a local office for conducting the company’s affairs outside The Bahamas, any corporation or legal entity incorporated in The Bahamas as an offshore vehicle is prohibited from active business in The Bahamas to the effect that services or products are offered to local residents of The Bahamas.

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Offshore companies incorporated in The Bahamas are not taxed; one of the most attractive features of The Bahamas as a tax haven, which levies zero corporate and income tax, zero capital gains tax, does not apply license fees nor tax on dividends, estate, succession or gift obtained by an offshore company, its shareholders and directors.

Any offshore company, even though struck off from the Companies Registry for whatever reason, remains liable for all its debts, obligations, claims and liabilities.

Stamp duty shall be payable by a company incorporated or continued under this Act in relation to real property situated in The Bahamas which it owns, or which is owned by any company in which it holds shares or for which it holds a lease.

Nothing in this act shall prohibit an International Business Company from carrying on the business of external insurance provided such company is registered as an external insurer under the External Insurance Act.

A notice of a change in directors and officers of an International Business Company shall be filed with the Registrar within twelve months after such change occurs.

A company incorporated under this Act may, if it will satisfy the requirements for a company incorporated under the Companies Act continue as a company under that Act.

A company that has been struck off the Register under this section remains liable for all claims, debts, liabilities and obligations of the company, and striking-off does not affect the liability of any of its members, directors, officers or agents.

A member or shareholder of an IBC shall not be subject to any business licence fee, income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax or any other tax in income or distributions accruing to or derived from such company or in connection with any transaction to which that company or shareholder, as the case may be, is a party; any estate, inheritance, succession or gift tax, rate, duty, levy or other charge payable in The Bahamas with respect to any shares, debt obligations or other securities of that company shareholder.

The exemptions granted shall remain in force for a period of twenty years from the date of incorporation of a company under this Act or from the date of continuation under this Act as the case may be.

Two or more persons may, by subscribing to a Memorandum incorporate a company under this Act.

No person other than a bank or trust company licensed under the Banks and Trust Companies Regulation Act, 2000 shall incorporate an International Business Company unless such person is licensed and approved under the Financial and Corporate Service Providers Act, 2000.

The liability of the members of a company incorporated under this act may, according to the Memorandum- be limited either to the amount, if any, unpaid on the shares respectively held by them (company limited by shares; - be limited to such amount as the members may respectively undertake by the memorandum to contribute to the assets of the company in the event of its being wound up (company limited by guarantee); - have no limit placed in the liability of its members (unlimited liability company).