The Commonwealth of the Bahamas is an archipelago of approximately 700 islands and cays located in the Atlantic Ocean 80 kilometers east of the Peninsula of Florida and 35 minutes away from Miami by daily scheduled flights.
The population of the island is approximately 330,000 the majority of which live on the Island of New Providence and Grand Bahamas Island.
The currency is the Bahamian Dollar.
The Bahamas is an independent country since 1973 and continues to remain an active member of the British Commonwealth of Nations.
The Bahamas is a Parliamentary type democracy and can be considered politically very stable.
The legal system is based on the statute law and common law based on English common law complemented.
Highlights of Bahamas IBC companies
The Bahamas have an exchange of Information agreements with 33 jurisdictions.
The principal corporate legislation is the International Business Companies Act (2000) and the DBC (amendment) act 2004.
IBCS can conduct business with Bahamians and also own Bahamian Real State, but local exchange controls and stamp duty will apply.
Name: IBC’s names must contain the words Corporation, Incorporated, Sociedad Anónima, Societé Anonyme, Limited, Gesellschaft mit beschrankter Haftung or their abbreviations.
The words “Assurance”, “Bank”, “Building Society”, “Chamber of Commerce”, “Chartered”, “Cooperative”, “Imperial”, “Insurance”, “Municipal”, “Royal”, “Trust”, or any word conveying a similar meaning requires consent or license from the corresponding authorities.
Furthermore, any name identical to that of a company already in existence or suggesting the patronage of any member of the Royal Family, or the Government of the Bahamas or a department thereof, a statutory corporation, or board, or a local, or municipal authority, cannot be used. A company name can be approved within a few hours of the receipt of the request.
Capital/Shares: Capital can be denominated in any currency and shares can be issued other than for cash and with or without par value.
This being the maximum capital for the standard authorized capital is US$50,000, shares of US$1,000 the license fee payable.
Bearer shares are not permitted.
Subscribers: Two persons or companies duly licensed must subscribe the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association.
Registered Office / Agent: IBC’s must have a Registered Office and a licensed Registered Agent in the Bahamas.
Directors / Officers: Name and address of persons who are directors and officers must be noted on a Register of Directors and Officers.
The Register of Directors and Officers, commencing from the date of the registration of the company shall be filed with the Registrar and shall be open to inspection by members of the public during official hours.
The Director and Secretary of the company must sign this document and the corporate seal must be affixed to it.
A minimum of one director, who may be individual or corporate, must be appointed.
Register of Members: An updated copy of the register of shareholders must be kept at the Registered Office and must commence from the date of registration.
A general meeting of members of IBC’s shall be held at least once every year.
Information on the beneficial owner must be help at the registered office but are not publicly accessible.
Register of Beneficial Owners: A Register of Beneficial Owners must be kept at the registered office to be uploaded into a secure system.
The retention period for information kept by registered agents is five years after:
- the dissolution of the legal entity;
- the legal entity ceasing to be a legal entity; or
- the registered agent ceasing to act for the legal entity.
The consequences for not complying with the act will result in fines of up to B$250,000, imprisonment of up to five years or both.
Books, Records, and Seal: Books, records, and minutes of an IBC may be kept at a place outside the Bahamas.
A Company Seal is mandatory under the Act and an imprint of it must be kept at the Registered Office.
It is mandatory for all Bahamas companies to keep reliable accounting records and filing annual declarations.
Information contained in this publication does not constitute any kind of advice on any particular matters and should not be considered as such.
OMC Group accepts no responsibility for clients’ decisions. LR_MR_0421
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