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St Vicent

St Vicent

Introduction

The State of St. Vincent and the Grenadines hereinafter called SVG consists of a group of 18 Islands known as the Windward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean approximately 97 km north of Grenada.

Population

SVG is a small island economy with a population of about 105,000 and a land area of 389.3 sq. km.

Political Structure

Kingstown the capital, situated on the main Island of St. Vincent, is not only the seat of the Government, but also the centre of business and finance.  The State of St. Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG) gained independence on 27th October 1979.   H.M. Queen Elizabeth II remains Head of State, represented by a Governor General, who is appointed on proposal of the SVG Government.   SVG became the 141st member of the British Commonwealth and on 16th September 1980, the 154th member of the United Nations. SVG is both a member of the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

Infrastructure and Economy

There is an excellent daily air service between the Islands and the USA.  Cruise ships call in regularly to the Islands and more than 200,000 tourists visited the islands in 2008.  Economic growth reached 7% in 2006.  The International Financial Services Authority (IFSA), (previously the Offshore Finance Authority) was created by Parliament to institute a system to manage and supervise the financial services industry.   In 2003 SVG was granted a clean bill of health by the FATF, putting its offshore economy on a more stable footing and enabling steady growth in the industry.

Language

The official and spoken language is English.

Currency

The OECS countries share a common currency, the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$) and a central bank (Eastern Caribbean Central Bank).  The EC$ is linked to the US$ at an exchange rate of EC$ 2.7 = US$ 1.0, in addition to the US dollar, the British pound and the Canadian dollar are widely used in the islands.

Exchange Control

None.

Type of Law

Common Law, based on English Common Law.

Principal Corporate Legislation

  • The Companies Act, No 18 of 1996
  • The International Business Companies (Amendment and Consolidation) Act, 2007 and its regulations
  • COMPANY INFORMATION

    Type of Company for International Trade and Investment

    The International Business Company (IBC).

    Procedure to Incorporate

    By submission of:

    • Articles of Incorporation and by-laws nominating the first directors (and optionally a secretary),
    • details of the situation of the Registered Office and Agent,
    • details of the currency of the capital, authorized capital and type of shares
    • Name approval certificate
    • Certificate of compliance issued by the Registered Agent or Solicitor confirming that the requirements of the act have been complied with.

    Two types of Incorporation Certificate are available, namely with our without the director’s name displayed.

    Restrictions on Trading

    • Cannot trade within SVG.
    • Cannot undertake banking or insurance activities.
    • Cannot solicit funds from the public nor offer its shares to the public.

    Powers of Company

    An International Business Company has the full capacity of, and all rights, powers, and privileges of, a natural person.

    Language of Legislation and Corporate Documents

    English.

    Registered Office Required

    Yes, must maintain a registered office in SVG.

    Shelf Companies Available

    Yes.

    Time Scale to Incorporate

    One to five days.

    Name Restrictions

    • A name that is similar to or identical to an existing company.
    • A name that implies illegal activities.
    • A name that implies royal or government patronage.

    Language of Name

    Names can be expressed in any language using the Latin alphabet, if the Registrar of Companies is in receipt of an English translation and the name is not considered undesirable.  Chinese names are possible.

    Names Requiring Consent or a Licence

    Bank, building society, savings, loans, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, investment fund, trust, trustees, Chamber of Commerce, university, municipal or their foreign language equivalents.

    Suffixes to Denote Limited Liability

    Limited, Corporation, Incorporated, Société Anonyme, Sociedad Anónima, Aktiengesellschaft, or their relevant abbreviations

    Disclosure of Beneficial Ownership to Authorities

    No.

    COMPLIANCE

    Authorised and Issued Share Capital

    The share capital may be expressed in any currency.  The minimum issued capital is one share of no par value or one share of par value.  The annual fees are not linked to the amount of share capital.

    Classes of Shares Permitted

    Registered shares, shares of no par value, preference shares, redeemable shares, and shares with or without voting rights. The International Business Companies (Amendment) Act No.26 and 44 of 2002 allows for the registration and custody of bearer share certificates by the Registered Agent.

    Taxation

    An IBC is exempt from all taxes for twenty-five years.

    An International Business Company has an option to pay 1% tax on annual profits to benefit from the Caricom Tax Treaty.

    Double Taxation Agreements

    SVG has no tax treaties.

    Licence Fees

    A SVG IBC pays US$ 100 fixed annual fees to the government - no limit for share capital.

    Financial Statement Requirements

    Whilst there is no requirement to file audited accounts with the authorities, a company is required to keep financial records, which reflect the financial position of a company.

    Directors

    The minimum number of directors is one.  They may be natural persons or bodies corporate, may be of any nationality and need not reside in SVG

    Company Secretary

    A company secretary can be appointed.  The company secretary may be a natural person or a body corporate, may be of any nationality and need not reside in SVG.

    Shareholders

    The minimum number of shareholders is one.


    Relative Countries

    1. Anguilla
    2. Bahamas
    3. Belize
    4. Brunei
    5. BVI
    6. Cayman
    7. Cyprus
    8. Delaware
    9. Gibraltar
    10. Hong Kong
    11. Jersey
    12. Malta
    13. Mauritius GBC1
    14. Mauritius GBC2
    15. Panama
    16. RAK
    17. Samoa
    18. Seychelles
    19. Singapore
    20. Switzerland
    21. UK – Private Limited
    22. UK- Public Limited
    23. UK-LLP
    24. Vanuatu