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Offshore Company Jurisdiction Comparison Chart / List

Offshore Company Jurisdictions

Here is a comparison chart common offshore company jurisdictions. There is an article for each type of company detailing its benefits and requirements. Please click on one of the following links to learn more about each offshore company jurisdiction.

We have rated many of the top jurisdictions with a star system for asset protection, convenience, affordability and tax benefits. We form companies and trusts in all jurisdictions. So, the intent is to provide and unbiased rating based on three decades of managerial experience in the offshore services industry.

You will find two important sections below. 1. Our ratings of each jurisdiction. 2. Why we rate them the way we do, as you scroll further on this page.

Common Offshore Company Jurisdictions Ratings

Best ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ to Worst ⭐️

We rate some of the most common and popular countries for company registration. With nearly 30 years of experience in the industry, we like the Nevis LLC (our only 5-star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️) for several reasons. First, it has a short statute of limitations for fraudulent conveyance. That means, once you place assets into an LLC in Nevis the Nevis courts will not hear challenges to the asset transfer after the two year time has expired. Second, if a member does get a charging order against his membership in the LLC, the judgment falls off of the company in a short three-year period. These charging orders are not renewable. Moreover, the setup cost is lower than other jurisdictions. Nevis ranks high on the affordability rating. Plus, Nevis allows us to form companies quickly and requires a reasonable level of due diligence. Moreover, this Caribbean jurisdiction regularly updates and improves its legislation to keep up with the modern requirements and to maintain an edge over other financial havens. We form companies in all countries. So, our motive for recommending Nevis is only as stated here.

Guide to Offshore Company Ratings

Anguilla – Anguilla is a UK territory, so, has a stable government and regulatory environment. Legislation not as favorable as Nevis but nothing negative comes to mind about this jurisdiction.

Antigua – Fairly good jurisdiction overall but their legislation is “me too” and has not kept up with their nearby rivals in Nevis.

Aruba – Located in the Caribbean off of the Venezuelan coast and part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Official languages are English, Dutch, and local Papiamento. Stable government and one of the safer islands in the Caribbean. A good choice for incorporation and LLC formation. Our management’s favorite place to visit in the Caribbean, but not quite as good as Nevis for company legislation.

Bahamas – A former champion. But their legislation has not kept up with the times. Plus, regulation has surpassed benefits. So, not bad, but not as gleaming as its past reputation.

Bahrain – Protective legislation in favor of local residents and raise eyebrows of bankers when there is a high volume Middle East transactions.

Barbados – Decent legislation but nothing special…unless you live in Canada. Canadians may receive tax benefits. Check with a Chartered Accountant to see if this is right for you. If, so call us. We’ll form one for you.

Belize – Very good jurisdiction. We especially like their LDCs, which is roughly equivalent to the LLC in other regions. Bribery and money under the table transactions are commonplace plus high crime in Belize City, hinder its reputation. (Though, fairly safe in the coastal tourism zones.) One of our favorite Caribbean region banking centers. Good for less than $250,000. For anything above that we would go with a Nevis LLC or Belize LDC plus Swiss, Luxembourg or Liechtenstein bank account. Call us and we can help you do so.

Bermuda – A former champion which relies on its long outworn former reputation. A regulatory nightmare. Ten to fifteen times more expensive than many other jurisdictions in spite of the fact that their legislation remains behind the times (compare Nevis, Cook Islands, Belize). Takes much longer to form than other jurisdictions. Requests for due diligence (know-your-client) information is consistently met with further due diligence requests. A beautiful place to visit but not so for company formation anymore. Don’t use your memory about their past reputation. Use today’s reality and realize they are not worth the money or the hassle. Visit this beautiful place but set up a company elsewhere. On the other hand, they do have a developed and fairly well-respected financial sector and seasoned (though somewhat pretentious) providers. So if money is less important than perceived prestige, and you would rather wear a Patek Philippe (a very expensive wristwatch) than a Rolex, then call us. We have established a number of companies here.

Bonaire – Part of The Netherlands, this Dutch-controlled island is a beautiful place to visit. The corporate law is good but not superior to others in the region.

Brazil – Time-consuming regulatory nightmare. Needs a seal of approval from the federal government (which takes a while), then the state (which takes a while more) and the municipal (city) government (that takes even more time). We cannot get approval from the first layer of bureaucracy without approval from the prior. Government officials have been known to slow the registration process unless bribes are paid (which is not legal, so we must refrain). Only form a company here if you must do business in Brazil. We have formed numerous Brazilian companies. So, if you have us form one here, don’t be surprised if you feel like calling us and asking, “Why is this taking so long?” Now you know.

British Virgin Islands (BVI) – Former champion jurisdiction that has become  overly regulated. Has become a sector of the regulators, by the regulators and for the regulators. That might be acceptable if their prices were low and their laws were superior. Though fairly reasonable formation fees, their laws have not kept up with the current demands. A good place to form a company but other jurisdictions in the region are better.

Brunei – Decent regulations, very wealthy head of state, but its companies are nothing earth shattering. Companies can have 100% foreign ownership, liability protection, no minimum share capital, two shareholders minimum. English is second official language.

Bulgaria – North of Greece and Turkey. Touches the Black Sea. Because it is part of the EU it may be a good choice for those who want a PayPal or Amazon account because these companies will do business with companies from here.

Cayman Islands – Formerly one of the top jurisdiction. However unlike Nevis and the Cook Islands, laws have not kept up with the current demands for asset protection. Company formation is very expensive compared to other popular jurisdictions that have much better asset protection statutes. Head-in-the-sand dependence on its past reputation in attempt to justify its now unjustifiable fees.

Chile – Very expensive ongoing fees as the company needs a local administrator (mandatory) for between $1200 and $3500 per month plus a legal address at $750 per month plus about $990 per month in administrative fees until the business is operating. There are regulations of Chapter XIV of the Foreign Exchange regulations Compendium of the Central Bank of Chile. As a result, local professionals need to propose a tax planning alternative for the inflow of capitals or credits, including advice on tax burdens and proof of income.

China –  Very restrictive on who can own a company and what type of business is allowed. Wholly foreign owned enterprises are one of the few companies that foreigners can own and control. Very expensive and time-consuming company formation process that can take two to five months. Need to first provide a business plan in Chinese to the government. Will only be approved if the type of business qualifies. Not all types are approved and the list of types change continuously. Owner needs to show significant resources and existing business operations. Must present budget and plan for capital management including salaries and benefits for employees. Must also show office space lease before company submission.

Comoros – Located between Mozambique and Madagascar near the east African coast. A Comoros LLC has these benefits: no taxes, 100% foreign ownership, privacy, one member who can also be the only manager, low minimum share capital, and limited liability. Members are not pubic. Managers are. Nominee managers are available.

Cook Islands – Best jurisdiction for asset protection trusts. Second best jurisdictions, behind Nevis, for LLCs and offshore corporations.

Costa Rica – Formerly popular. Other jurisdictions have surpassed.

Curacao – In the Caribbean, north of Venezuela. A sovereign state of the Kingdom of Netherlands. Dutch and English official languages. A Curacao Tax Exempt NV has these benefits: 100% foreign ownership, no or low taxes, one shareholder who can also be the only director, no minimum share capital. Nice place to visit and decent company statutes.

Cyprus – More popular for Europeans than Americans. Financial and banking crisis and excessive government debt gave it black eye.

Denmark – Good economy but unless you need to do business in Denmark, no significant benefits.

Dominica – One of the better jurisdiction in the Caribbean but not nearly as beneficial as Nevis for asset protection. Bribery and under the table payments to government officials is a way of life.

Dutch / Netherlands – Good economy but unless you need to do business in here, no significant benefits. Sorry, the former “Dutch Sandwich” tax-saving arrangement formerly used by large public companies is not longer available.

Egypt – No significant benefit.

Estonia – No significant benefit.

Finland – Good economy but unless you need to do business in Finland, no significant benefits.

France – Good economy but unless you need to do business in France, no significant benefits.

Germany – Good economy but unless you need to do business in Germany, no significant benefits.
Gibraltar – Fairly good but does not match the Caribbean and South Pacific competition.

Greece – Deeply in debt country and nothing special. Stay away unless you opening a business here .

Grenada – Fair but nothing special. Corruption and bribery of officials has been prevalent.

Guam – A US territory is one of the few positives. Otherwise, nothing special.

Guatemala – Nothing special. Dangerous and high-crime country.

Guernsey – Regulation run amok. Frustrating and time-consuming regulatory nightmare. Stay away.

Guyana – Nothing special.

Hong Kong – Region with strong economy and part of China. Much easier and less expensive to form a company here than China. No need to travel here to form a company but signatories must travel here to open a bank account.

Hungary – Nothing special.

Iceland – Beautiful country with wonderful people but their corporations are nothing special.

India – Fairly burdensome to establish. Corporations and LLCs can have 100% foreign owners but is required to file an audited statement of their annual accounts. Shareholders meetings must be held in India. Records of the shareholders, directors, audits, and financial records are a matter of public record.

Ireland – Very reputable, low-tax, English-speaking, stable government. Company needs to either have a local director or to have you pay an insurance bond.

Isle of Man – In a word, frustrating. In a few words: frustrating and time-consuming. Formerly popular tax-haven with formerly tremendous benefits. However, it is now a regulatory nightmare. Once the excessive due diligence (know-your-customer) documents are supplied, don’t be surprised if you are asked to send more documents. Once you send more documents, don’t be surprised for demands for more. After several rounds of frustration to obtain your not-so-special company you will wish you had gone with Nevis.

Israel – Fairly good economy. Unless you have a special heartfelt connection to Israel (which many do) or unless you are starting a business here, the laws are not significantly better than other jurisdictions.

Italy – Nothing special and not especially good economy.

Jamaica – Nothing special compared to many of its neighbors, which are. Dangerous and high crime.

Jersey – Nothing special regardless of its former status. See Isle of Man description above and replace it with the country “Jersey.”

Labuan – One shareholder companies are acceptable. Opening bank account is fairly easy. Follows English Common Law. Both Asian and Islamic cultures.

Latvia – Nothing special. Most popular offshore bank has had regulatory issues in the past and is coming back.

Liberia – If you need to form a company in Africa, Liberia and South Africa are two of the easiest and fastest places to do it. If you plan to visit either country, Liberia is on the dangerous side of dangerous. South Africa is on the slightly safer side of dangerous.

Liechtenstein – Extremely high per-capita income; one of the highest worldwide. Company formation is expensive with a medium level of due-diligence required compared to other jurisdictions. Strong banking sector.

Lithuanian – Nothing special.

Luxembourg – Extremely high per-capita income. Company formation is expensive with a medium level of due-diligence required compared to other jurisdictions. Strong banking sector.

Macao – Nothing special.

Madeira – Fairly good jurisdiction, especially if you live in a country that does not tax worldwide income. Many tax-free options.

Malaysia – They look after their own. If you are not a Malaysian, not so much. Most companies must have local owners, offices, officers and employees.

Maldives – We don’t know much about this jurisdiction, which, with our 30 years of experience in the industry, probably says something. If it was special we would have heard more about it.

Malta – A so-so tax haven that is not bad but nothing outstanding comes to mind.

Marshall Islands – A U.S. territory. But other than than nothing stands out.

Mauritius – One of the better jurisdiction. More popular for Europeans than for those in the US. The GBC I is a fancy term for “local company.” Foreigners can own 100% of a GBC II.

Mexico – If you are doing business in Mexico, go for it. Otherwise, no significant benefits.

Micronesia – A U.S. territory. But other than than nothing stands out.

Monaco – Beautiful (and expensive) place. But the corporate law is nothing special.

Montenegro – Nothing stands out as good or bad.

Montserrat – Nothing stands out as good or bad.

Morocco – Islamic country in North Africa. Better to visit this beautiful company than to form a company here unless, for some reason, you need to do business here.

Nauru – Nothing stands out as especially good or bad compared to other jurisdictions. Nauru IBCs have 100% foreign ownership available, no taxes, confidentiality, privacy, limited liability, rapid registration, a single shareholder can be the only director, no minimum capital, and English an official language.

Netherlands – Strong economy. Form a company here is you need to do business here.

Nevis – Best offshore company haven for asset protection (LLCs), ease and speed of formation and price. Low crime, safe (unlike their St. Kitts neighbor) and reputable. Laws regularly improve to keep up with modern demands. Advanced asset protection from lawsuit statutes in both their trust and LLC statutes.

New Zealand – Good economy and reputable, stable government. Has taken Cook Islands under its wings for many years which, for asset protection and privacy, is a better choice than New Zealand. If you want to operate a business here however, forming a company here is a good choice.

Nicaragua – One of the most dangerous countries in the world. Nothing special about companies here.

Niue – A good choice for privacy and protection. Not as good as Cook Islands and Nevis, but one of the better jurisdictions for what many of our client’s seek.

Panama – Formerly very popular as a tax and privacy haven. Still one of the better jurisdictions but doesn’t hold a candle to Nevis or Cook Islands.

Philippine – If you want to start a call center, starting a company here is a good start.

Poland – Why would you want to form a company in Poland? We do not know. But if you do, call us, we can form one.

Portugal – We can form a company here. Don’t know why you would want one but if you do you probably have a good reason. One may be because you want a PayPal or Amazon account.

Puerto Rico – Tremendous tax benefits for certain industries. Check with your tax advisor. We have established many companies here.

Romania – Nothing special unless you just need a company here for some reason.

Russia – If you are in the oil, gold are diamond industries, there may be must money to be made by forming a company here. Not an easy place to form a company but we can establish one here.

Samoa – One of the better jurisdictions. Not quite as good as its Cook islands neighbor but a good choice.

Serbia D.o.o – Want to hire Europeans in a country with low labor costs where a high percent (40%) of the people speak English? I.T. laborers, for example? This may be a good choice.

Seychelles – One of the world’s best offshore company havens. Reasonable cost. Very inconvenient time zone for U.S. people. More convenient for Europeans.

Shanghai Free Trade Zone Company – Very restrictive in the types of businesses allowed to operate. This list is ever-changing. Expensive, time-consuming and frustrating to form. But, if you get a company here, you may have just set up a company with access to the world’s largest population.

Singapore – One of the better places to form a company in Asia for financial privacy and ease of formation. Though, second place behind Hong Kong. At least one shareholder needed, which can be a person or company. Needs a Singapore resident as a director and physical address in Singapore.

Slovakia (S.R.O.) – Benefits include the following: 100% foreign ownership, limited liability, privacy, allows one shareholder / one director, low share capital, and EU membership. If you need a company in the EU, this may be a good choice.

Spain – If you need a company in Spain, then we can help. Otherwise, there are other jurisdictions that are better choices for asset protection and financial privacy. As of this writing, minimum capital is a little more than 60000 Euros. You will need to make a deposit into a bank of one fourth of that amount into a bank, or about 15000 Euros before forming the company.

St. Lucia – A beautiful place to visit.  The company formation laws are good but nothing outstanding.

St. Maarten – The most common company type for foreigners is the B.V. or “Besloten Vennootschap” in Dutch. A part of the Netherlands, their main language is Dutch. English is widely spoken. The company formation laws are favorable. 100% foreign ownership and one-person companies are legal. Not as good as Nevis for asset protection but, a good place to incorporate.

St. Vincent – A favorable place to incorporate. Not as good as its neighbor, Nevis, for asset protection. A decent banking sector though there are regulatory issues from time to time.

Suriname – Crime, corruption and bribery of government officials is commonplace. A Suriname Limited Liability Company (NV) offers total foreign ownership, privacy, one shareholder who can also be the only director, limited liability, and English documents that one can use with a certified translation. Laws are nothing special unless you need a company here.

Sweden – Strong economy and politically stable. English spoken by almost everyone. High taxes. If you need a company because you want to do business here, call us. We can form one. Otherwise, not the best company type to stash cash for safekeeping.

Switzerland – We like the banks here better than the companies. Incomplete news stories lead lay people to believe that Switzerland isn’t the banking center it used to be. Not necessarily so. They just won’t let people use their country for tax evasion anymore. Otherwise, the banking system is very strong and we highly recommend it. Company formation, however is quite expensive without corresponding significant benefits for holding liquid investments. Better to form an LLC in Nevis and set up a Swiss bank account. You will need about half a million dollars to open a bank account here.

Thailand – Our management lived here for three months here several years ago. Has low labor costs and decent education in the larger cities. Outlying rural areas are more manual-labor-based. If you want to manufacture items such as clothing, company formation here is a good choice.

Turkey – Most popular business type is the limited liability company. Needs one owner. Minimum share capital of  10,000 TRY which you will need to deposit during the company formation process. Liability of the shareholders limited to the money they  have invested in the company.

Turks and Caicos – Fairly good choice for company formation. Foreigners can own 100% of an exempt company. Company exempt from paying taxes even if new tax laws are imposed over the next 20 years. Owners and directors not in public records. Fast 2-day incorporation. One director/shareholder companies are acceptable. No need to report accounting records. British dependency and English is the official language. We like this jurisdiction more than most.

Tuvalu – In the South Pacific northeast of Australia and southwest of Hawaii. Tuvalu IBCs have 100% foreign ownership, no taxes, rapid formation, privacy, no minimum capital, limited liability, limited personal liability, and English as an official language. A fairly good choice. We like Cook Islands better for asset protection.

U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) – A US territory with tremendous potential corporate tax benefits. Favorable tax incentives for people who open businesses here, including up to a 90% tax reduction and up to 100% exemption on excise, business property, and gross receipt taxes. Needs only one shareholder and two directors. Friendly to offshore investors and stable economy provided by US.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) – Companies formed here are for the purpose of benefiting the local economy, attracting investors and educated professionals. Local corporations and LLCs need 51% local owners. Free zone companies can have 100% foreign owners but can only conduct certain types of business and only in a small strip of land surrounding the port(s) and must lease office space there. Offshore Companies have no corporate tax and can have 100% foreign ownership. Can hold a multi-currency account in UAE. The RAK Offshore and RAK International Company are offshore companies without the needing physical presence. Very restrictive as to what it can do inside UAE. Civil Company is a partnership for professionals such as physicians, lawyers, engineers and accountants. A local service agent is usually required. A foreign company can be part-owner if in the same field.

United Kingdom (UK) – The most cost-effective company if you need one in Europe. Fast formation. Well-respected, stable government. Certainly not a place for asset protection since UK does recognize and enforce foreign judgments. May be a good place for those needing a PayPal or Amazon account.

Uruguay – Known as the Switzerland of South America, companies formed here do not tax foreign assets or income, nor tax dividends. The Uruguay LLC is the only tax exempt entity in South America. For Corporation, only taxes profits earned from within the country. Needs two shareholders and one director, who can live anywhere. US dollars and Euros widely accepted. Politically and economically stable with best literacy rate on the continent. Strategic location. No capital gains tax for foreigners. Bearer shares are available. We think this a much overlooked incorporation jurisdiction. We have not found significant asset protection benefits with an Uruguay LLC.

Vanuatu – Southeast of Hawaii and North of New Zealand, a Vanuatu Exempted Company offers 100% foreign ownership, no taxes, privacy, is exempted from most government filings. One shareholder who can be the only director is allowed. English is one of the three official languages. In the region, we do like Cook Islands must better for their asset protection statutes.