Vanuatu is a group of tropical islands on the eastern seaboard of Australia, off the coast of Queensland. The islands had British/French governance until independence in 1980; languages are English, French and Bislama (pidgin). The time zone is GMT plus 11 hours.
International companies are exempt from taxes; for companies that operate only on international market, this offshore jurisdiction is a reasonable decision. Indirect taxes and fees are minimal. The legislative environment in Vanuatu is directed toward the offshore business market and includes good confidentiality provisions. Support for the offshore business sector was strengthened in 1993 with the passage of the International Companies Act, which made Vanuatu an attractive and competitive financial centre. An international company can normally be set up in a day.
The Official Secrets Act and the various companies’ acts assure the secrecy of information relating to offshore entities. Because Vanuatu has no income tax and there are no double taxation treaties there is no legislation for the exchange of information.
Forex brokers have found Vanuatu to be a popular offshore jurisdiction to incorporate their business and establish a license.
Advantages to Incorporate in Vanuatu
– Vanuatu offers a politically stable environment with no direct taxes or exchange controls;
– Vanuatu is one of the few countries that, so far, did not sign and did not express any expected date to sign the AEOI – Automatic Exchange of Information;
– May carry on business anywhere in the world, except Vanuatu;
– May carry on any business pursuant to Vanuatu International Companies Act Cap.222 except to the limitation of the jurisdiction the business is carried, e.g. banking, insurance;
– Director and shareholder may be natural person or corporate entity; (a) no specific requirement on residence or citizenship, (b) minimum number is 1, (c) sole director may also be the sole shareholder;
– Director meeting and shareholder meeting may be held anywhere;
– Meetings via telephone, facsimile, conference calls, electronic means are acceptable;
– No audit on financial statements; no annual returns, filing required;
– Except the constitution filed with the Commission Registry, the company’s statutory registers will be maintained only with the registered agent. No need to file with governmental authorities in respect of company structure;
– Banking system is one of the most important arguments in favour of doing business in Vanuatu; opening a bank account in Vanuatu is a simple process;