What are the Cayman Islands?
The Cayman Islands is a British overseas territory in the Caribbean. It is the largest offshore financial centres for international businesses. The current population of the Cayman Islands is approximately 65,000 as of June 2020, based on the latest United Nations estimates. The capital of the country is George Town. The official language is English. The official currency of the Cayman Islands is the Cayman Islands Dollar (KYD).
What is the Cayman Islands’ legal system based on?
The Cayman Islands are administered as a British overseas territory but have a significant degree of internal self-government. The Cayman Islands have a combined common law and statute-based legal system. Decisions of the UK courts and those in other Commonwealth jurisdictions are of persuasive authority.
Are the Cayman Islands tax-free?
Yes, there is no taxation of Cayman International Business Companies (IBCs). The Cayman Islands has no income tax, no corporate tax, no estate or inheritance tax, and no gift tax or capital gains tax, making it a tax haven.
What are the major businesses in the Cayman Islands?
The main industries are financial services, tourism, and real estate.
What would be the form of entity of my company?
We would help you to establish an exempted company, which applies to the cases when the proposed activities of a company are to be carried out mainly outside of the Cayman Islands.
What is the process of company formation?
To form an ordinary resident company, the company’s memorandum and articles of association must be filed with the Registrar. The Registrar registers the constitutional documents and issues a certificate of incorporation certifying that the company was incorporated on the date the incorporation documents were lodged with the Registrar. An exempted company is formed in the same way except that the subscriber for the initial shares of the company must swear an affidavit in the presence of a notary public that the objects of the company will be carried out mainly outside the Cayman Islands. Companies can be registered within 24 hours of filing the documents for an express fee; otherwise, registered documents will be returned within three to five business days.
What grants or incentives are available to investors?
Investment in the Cayman Islands is generally encouraged by policy rather than direct grants and incentives, although the Special Economic Zone Law permits certain types of business (internet/technology, media/marketing, commodities and derivatives and biotechnology) to benefit from a streamlined and expedited regulatory regime when establishing a physical presence within the Islands. Investment in the Sister Islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman is encouraged by a 50% reduction in import duties for approved investments, and reductions in certain licensing fees.
Can the company be set up remotely?
Absolutely and we know just how it can be done for you.
How long it usually takes to incorporate a Cayman company?
Simple company incorporation can take up to two or three workdays to be completed. However, you can choose to apply for registration within 24 hours by paying an extra fee.
Are there requirements for my company name?
There is no requirement for an exempted company to include any suffix such as ‘Ltd’, ‘Limited’ or ‘Inc’.
Can I change the company name?
Yes, you can change the name of the company. The process will usually take about 15 workdays.
What is the minimum capital needed to incorporate a company in the Cayman Islands?
There is no minimum or maximum share capital requirement. However, the size of the authorised share capital determines the initial registration and annual government fee. Fees range from KYD 300, for an ordinary company with an authorised capital of KYD 42,000 or less, to KYD 2,568, for an exempted company with a capital of more than USD 2 million.
Do the Cayman Islands allow foreign-ownership for companies?
The Cayman Islands distinguishes between doing business within the Islands and doing business outside the Islands. The Local Companies Control Law (2019 Revision) governs foreign ownership and control of businesses doing business within the Islands and ordinarily requires 60% Caymanian ownership and control. However, licences can be granted to overseas investors who are unsuccessful in attracting local participation. There are no restrictions on foreign ownership of land.
Exempted companies, limited partnerships and trusts formed to do business outside the Islands are, with limited exceptions, not subject to statutory or regulatory constraints on investment policies and strategies or other commercial matters.
Is foreign tax relief applicable to Cayman registered companies?
Since no income taxes are imposed on individuals in the Cayman Islands, foreign tax relief is not relevant in the context of Cayman Islands taxation.
Are there any foreign exchange regulations for the Cayman Islands company?
There are no exchange control or currency regulations.
Should I set up a fully operational office in the Cayman Islands?
An exempted company must have a registered office in the Cayman Islands provided by a service provider licensed for such purpose in the Cayman Islands. The registered office of a company may be changed by resolution of its directors.
Are there any requirements for employment of local workforce for Cayman companies?
No, there is no obligation of employment of local workforce.
What are the main laws regulating employment relationships?
The provisions of the Labour Law (2011 Revision):
- Govern the terms and conditions of employment.
- Provide remedies for unfair dismissal.
- Provide for the payment of severance pay.
- Regulate health, safety and welfare in the private employment sector.
The Labour Law applies to Caymanian and foreign employees alike but does not extend to the public sector, charitable organisations or churches. Employment issues are adjudicated by Labour Tribunals or the Grand Court. The Workmen’s Compensation Law (1996 Revision) deals with some issues relating to accidental injury in the course of employment but is now of limited practical application. The Gender Equality Law 2011 provides remedies for discrimination on certain grounds within the workplace. The prescribed minimum standards in the Labour Law cannot be excluded for employees working within the Cayman Islands, irrespective of the governing law of the contract. A draft bill proposing significant amendments to the Labour Law has been undergoing an extended additional period of review and consultation; it is yet clear when it will be introduced.
Is a written contract of employment required?
A written statement of working conditions must be provided within ten days of commencement of employment for most categories of employee.
Do foreign employees need work permits and/or residency permits?
All non-Caymanians employed in the private sector must have a work permit. An application for a full permit usually takes two to three months to process. Short-term temporary permits may take a shorter processing time. A streamlined regime exists for certain types of business that can be set up within the Special Economic Zone.
Permit costs vary. It depends on the sector for which you are applying the permit, i.e. financial services, tourism or construction etc., and the skill level of the employee. The costs range from an annual minimum of KYD 300 for unskilled workers to over KYD 30,000 for certain senior management positions or professional roles. Permits are renewable to a maximum of up to nine years. An employee can make an application for permanent residency when they have been in the Islands for a continuous period of eight years, and these applications are determined by a points-based system which will cover various economic and social criteria.
Are there any circumstances when an employee has to pay personal tax?
There is no personal tax requirement in the Cayman Islands.
It is not necessary to have local directors and shareholders for setting up a Cayman Islands exempted company.
You can form a company with only one shareholder, there is no requirement for a minimum authorised capital.
What is the requirement for directors in my Cayman Islands company?
The Caymand Islands company should have at least one director.
Does Cayman Islands company need to file a Register of Directors?
A Register of Directors must be kept at the registered office. It must contain the names and addresses of the directors and officers. Often, it also includes the directors’ dates of appointment and resignation. This is the only register that the company needs to file with the Registrar.
When should I arrange for the annual renewal of the Cayman company after it is incorporated?
The renewal date of the Cayman Islands company is December 31. You have to pay the renewal fee by January 15 (both dates are inclusive).
What is the company renewal fee?
For Cayman Company, the annual fee payable to maintain an exempt company depends on the number of shares issued. The annual fee starts from KYD 700 for companies issuing up to 42,000 shares and it goes up to KYD 2568 for companies that issue more than 1,640,001 shares.
What is penalty fee if I fail to pay the renewal fee on time?
Licence holders who do not pay the renewal fee within 28 days after the expiry date will pay a surcharge not exceeding 25% of the renewal fee for every month, or part of a month, that the renewal is not paid. We can assist in ensuring that your renewal fee will be paid on time.
Is there any audit required for company renewal?
No. The main requirement is to pay the renewal fee on time.
Does the company have to file annual financial reports?
Offshore corporations in the Caymans are not required to submit financial reports to any Caymans Islands’ government authorities. Annual returns should be filed yearly in the Cayman Islands. However, there is no requirement for corporations to provide financial records when filing yearly returns.
Does the company have to maintain books and records in the Cayman Islands?
All companies must keep proper books of account. The books are not required to be held at the Registered Office. A company that keeps their books of account outside of the Cayman Islands is required to provide the Registered Office with information regarding their books of account on an annual basis.
Which information about a company would be public?
The only information which may be obtained by a member of the public from the Registrar concerning any company is the type of company (i.e. ordinary or exempted), date of incorporation, company number, status (i.e. active or dissolved), the location of its registered office and the names of its current directors. No other information is required to be made available to the public of an exempted company. However, its register of mortgages and charges may be inspected by any shareholder or creditor of the company.
How are imports and exports taxed?
Most imports are subject to duty, which is charged at a rate that varies depending on the nature of the goods in question; the most common rate is 22% (see www.cbc.gov.ky). Though there is also a category for duty-free goods.
Can I open a bank account for my Cayman company in Singapore?
Yes, we can open a bank account here in Singapore for your Cayman Islands’ company.