Company Registration in the Isle of Man: An Overview The Isle of Man has become an attractive destination for company registration among foreign investors due to its jurisdiction being recognized as being a well-regulated offshore finance centre having progressive developments across various international financial products. As per the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Isle of Man has been able to maintain and improve on high compliance with the Insurance Core Principles (ICP) under their assessment program called the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP). Generally, countries with low tax requirements or zero corporate tax rates face condemnation and criticism from various authorities, but the Isle of Man has been able to establish itself in high regard as they maintain a high standard of the regulatory framework. As a result, many foreign investors choose to invest in the Isle of Man, and the country receives a high level of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs). Benefits of Company Registration in the Isle of Man Company Registration in the Isle of Man can provide the following benefits Absence of Corporate Tax One of the primary benefits of an Isle of Man corporation is the absence of corporate taxes. However, US citizens and other countries whose worldwide incomes are taxed have to declare their Isle of Man income to their tax authorities. No Minimum Capital In the Isle of Man, the company registrations need no minimum capital. Many corporations are formed by just declaring two pence Sterling as their capital. Bearer Shares In order to ensure privacy, an Isle of Man corporation can issue "bearer" shares without any name on the corporate share certificates other than "bearer", which implies that whoever possesses the bearer share is the owner. Additionally, there aren't any records which reveal that the actual owner is of the bearer shares. Single Shareholder A minimum of only one shareholder for an Isle of Man corporation are allowed since 1993. Less Bureaucracy There is less red tape, and bureaucratic paperwork is needed for company registration in the Isle of Man as compared to the British or Irish legal systems. Less Filing Requirements Isle of Man corporations don’t have to file any type of accounting or annual financial summaries to the government. Confidentiality The company will not need to share information about its officers, directors, owners, or shareholders. None of this information is filed with the Registrar, thereby maintaining confidentiality due to the names not being listed in public records. Business Friendly The Isle of Man does not restrict where the entrepreneur can do business or buy property, giving business owners a wide range of options. It is also easy to move the company from the Isle of Man Island to another jurisdiction. As well as the protection of Intellectual Properties Eligible Business Structures for Company Registration in the Isle of Man The entrepreneur can choose from the following business structures for company registration in the Isle of Man. Limited Liability Company The LLP is formed as per the Limited Liability Companies Act 1996. An Isle of Man limited liability company has the privilege of being granted a separate legal entity, different from its manager, members, and registered agent. As a separate legal entity, the liability of its members is limited to the extent of their capital contribution. As such, at the time of winding up, the members aren't personally liable for the debts and obligations incurred by the LLC. Otherwise, there are also restrictions on the transfer of members' shares in the company. Limited Partnerships This business structure is governed under the Partnership Act 1909, wherein limited partnerships can be formed by 1 or more persons, as per capped to 20 members with a minimum mandate of at least 1 general partner with unlimited liability. The general partner shall be authorised for managing and binding all other partners in contracts with external stakeholders. However, it must be noted that all general partners shall be liable for all debts and obligations incurred by the partnership in the event of a winding-up. For registering a limited partnership, it is important for the applicant to file the company’s application with the Companies Registry. Generally, there are no limitations as to the residency of the partner, and there is no requirement for a minimum authorised capital. Foreign Companies The foreign companies are registered under the Foreign Companies Act 2014, which is the type of company incorporated in an external jurisdiction out of the Isle of Man. However, the foreign company has since established a place of business or owns land on the Isle of Man. Foundations A foundation owns a corporate personality and is commonly set up for a specific purpose i.e. charity, or for the benefit the specific beneficiaries. With stricter restrictions, foundations aren't permitted to engage in commercial trading for setting up a foundation. The application must be filed by the registered agent. The application should include the foundation's name and address, its objects, registration number, and the registered agent's name and address. The certificate of establishment can be obtained after the approval of the application. Trust Businesses intending to provide financial services such as wealth management and real estate planning can consider setting up a trust company. A trust company is a legal entity acting as the trustee or agent for a person or business. In essence, a trusted company will administer and manage the assets on behalf of its beneficiaries, and any gains to the assets will eventually be transferred to the beneficiaries. All trust companies operating in the Isle of Man must provide their services through an Isle of Man-based corporate trustee who shall be handling the beneficiaries’ assets as if they were its own assets, limited only by the terms listed in the trust deed. A trust company can provide family office services to serve the needs of wealthy families in the Isle of Man. Eligibility Criteria for Company Registration in the Isle of Man The eligibility criteria for company registration in the Isle of Man are discussed below - Name of the Company The name which is intended to be reserved for company registration in the Isle of Man must be unique and not similar to other Isle of Man corporation names. The name of the corporation can be in any language. But, the corporate name cannot imply government or royal patronage. Another requirement is that corporate names with a multi-national presence or high capitalization must have the government's approval for the inclusion of words like “European” or “International” and for using words like "Fiduciary", "Trust", "Trustees", "Group", or "Holdings" are required. Corporations intending to provide such services must obtain appropriate government licenses with the usage of such services in the corporate name should be approved, which includes: ", "loans", bank"savings", ", assurance", "insurance", "co-operative", "building society",, "Chamber of Commerce", "council", "trust", "finance", and "municipal" or their foreign-language equivalents. Office Address and Local Agent There is a need for a registered office address and a local agent for company registration in the Isle of Man. Shareholders GBP is the official currency of the Isle of Man, and as per the rules laid down, the authorised capital shall is 1 share worth 1 GBP, and it is the minimum requirement. All the shareholders must be the owner of one share at least. Directors and Officers A minimum of 1 director is needed for an Isle of Man corporation, and the assigned director doesn't have to a resident of the Isle of Man. However, the corporation should appoint one resident company secretary. There isn’t any need to have an MD. Both the appointed director and secretary should be natural persons. Directors are required to have their names included in the public records, but confidentiality is available if the corporation opts to appoint nominees. Authorized Capital There isn’t any minimum capital for an offshore corporation. Normally, the corporation's registered agent only issues 2 £1.00 shares. Documents Required for Isle of Man Company Registration: The below-mentioned documents are required for company registration in the Isle of Man Notarized passport of each shareholder/beneficial owner and director. Notarized proof of residential address of each director and shareholder/beneficial owner (Must be in English or be translated into English). The proposed 3 company names with ending suffix “Limited” or “Ltd”. The usual authorisation is 1 GBP. Procedure for Company Registration in the Isle of Man The below-mentioned procedure must be followed for company registration in the Isle of Man Choosing the Business Structure for the Company Before commencing the company registration process in the Isle of Man, the entrepreneur must choose the correct type of company. Depending upon the structure and long-term goals. Reservation of company name The next step in the company registration procedure is to check for the available names and choose a unique name for the company, followed by reserving the same with the competent authority. Appointing the registered agent A limited liability company in the Isle of Man doesn’t need to appoint a resident director; the company must employ a registered agent managed by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority. Preparation and submission of Relevant Documents Prior to the company registration in the Isle of Man, the entrepreneur must provide a list of requisite KYC documents such as the names of directors, the company's resolution and identification proof, along with drafting the MOA, AOA, and Business plan based on the documents provided Grant of Registration Certificate After filing the Application and submitting the documents, the company shall be registered under the Companies Act 2006. Upon successful company registration, the entrepreneur shall receive the Certificate of Registration only if the competent authority is satisfied with the adequacy and accuracy of the submissions. Opening a Corporate bank account Based on the business structure, the documents required to open a corporate bank account will differ slightly. Generally, directors and shareholders are not required to travel to the Isle of Man to open a corporate bank account.