The Bahamas ( Commonwealth of the Bahamas)

General information

The Bahamas, an archipelago of 700 islands and islets, with an estimated population of 308,000 is located off the South East coast of Florida. The Bahamas is an independent country within the British Commonwealth, with a political and legal system which closely follows the UK. 

The country is a major centre for offshore finance and has one of the world's largest open-registry shipping fleet.


Currency: The Bahamian Dollar, which is on a par with the US Dollar
Language: The official and spoken language is English
Type of law: Common Law
Type of Company: International Business Company (IBC)

Principal Corporate Legislation:

International Business Companies Act 2000 and the International Business Companies (Amendment) Act 2004
Uses: Commercial and trading activities, subject to trading restrictions as below
Trading Restriction:

Local exchange controls and stamp duty will apply in cases where IBC conduct business with Bahamians and/or own real estate in The Bahamas. Trading cannot be associated with banking, insurance, assurance, fund management or any investment schemes unless with government permission.  Cannot sell its own shares or solicit funds from the Public. 

Company name:

Restriction: Cannot be in conflict with pre-existing company name.  Certain words are prohibited, such as Assurance, Bank, Building Society, etc
Language: Any languages using Latin alphabet.
Suffixes: All company names must end in one of the following words or abbreviations: Limited, Corporation, Incorporated, Société Anonyme, Sociedad Anónima, Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung

Language of legislation and corporate documents:

Taxation: An IBC pays no tax in The Bahamas for any  business activity or transactions carried out outside The Bahamas
Annual license fee:

USD350 for authorised capital below USD50,000
USD1,000 for authorised capital above USD50,000

Double Tax Treaty Network:

The Bahamas is not party to any Double Taxation Agreement.

Registered Agent / Office:

The IBC must have a registered office in The Bahamas and a registered agent who is a resident of  The Bahamas.

Minimum number: One
Publicly accessible records: No
Register of Shareholders:  Must be kept at the Registered Office

Disclosure of Beneficial Owner:

Not publicly available
Directors: Minimum: One. Can be corporate or natural person
Nationality: No restriction
Publicly accessible records: Yes
Location of meetings: No restriction.
 Secretary: Local or qualified: No restriction
 Share capital: Permitted currency: Any
No minimum or maximum capital requirement.
Only nominative/registered shares are allowed
Bearer shares: Not allowed
 Annual Reporting: There is no requirement to file accounts or submit an annual return
 Shelf company: Yes


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