KNOWLEDGE BASE

KEY CORPORATE FEATURES

GENERAL INFORMATION

The State of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines hereinafter called SVG consists of a group of 18 Islands known as the Windward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean approximately 97 km north of Grenada.

Population

SVG is a small island economy with a population of about 105,000 and a land area of 389.3 sq. km.

Political Structure

Kingstown the capital, situated on the main Island of Saint Vincent, is not only the seat of the Government, but also the centre of business and finance.

The State of Saint Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG) gained independence on 27th October 1979. H.M. Queen Elizabeth II remains Head of State, represented by a Governor General, who is appointed on proposal of the SVG Government. SVG became the 141st member of the British Commonwealth and on 16th September 1980, the 154th member of the United Nations. SVG is both a member of the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Infrastructure and Economy

There is an excellent daily air service between the Islands and the USA. Cruise ships call in regularly to the Islands and more than 200,000 tourists visited the islands in 2008. Economic growth reached 7% in 2006. The International Financial Services Authority (IFSA), (previously the Offshore Finance Authority) was created by Parliament to institute a system to manage and supervise the financial services industry. In 2003 SVG was granted a clean bill of health by the FATF, putting its offshore economy on a more stable footing and enabling steady growth in the industry.

Language

The official and spoken language is English.

Currency

The OECS countries share a common currency, the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$) and a central bank (Eastern Caribbean Central Bank). The EC$ is linked to the US$ at an exchange rate of EC$ 2.7 = US$ 1.0, in addition to the US dollar, the British pound and the Canadian dollar are widely used in the islands.

Exchange Control

None.

Type of Law

Common Law, based on English Common Law.

Principal Corporate Legislation
  • The Company Act, No 18 of 1996
  • The International Business Companies (Amendment and Consolidation) Act 2007 and its regulations.
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SAINT VINCENT COMPANY INFORMATION

Type of company for international Trade and Investment

The International Business Company (IBC)

Procedure to Incorporate

By Submission of:

  • Articles of Incorporation and by-laws nominating the first directors (and optionally a secretary),
  • details of the situation of the Registered Office and Agent,
  • details of the currency of the capital, authorized capital and type of shares
  • Name approval certificate
  • Certificate of compliance issued by the Registered Agent or Solicitor confirming that the requirements of the act have been complied with.

Two types of Incorporation Certificate are available, namely with our without the director’s name displayed.

Restrictions on Trading

Cannot trade within SVG. Cannot undertake banking or insurance activities. Cannot solicit funds from the public nor offer its shares to the public.

Powers of Company

An International Business Company has the full capacity of, and all rights, powers, and privileges of, a natural person.

Language of Legislation and Corporate Documents

English.

Registered Office Required

Yes, must maintain a registered office in SVG.

Shelf Companies Available

Yes.

Time to Incorporate

One to five days.

Name Restrictions

A name that is similar to or identical to an existing company. A name that implies illegal activities. A name that implies royal or government patronage.

Language of Name

Names can be expressed in any language using the Latin alphabet, if the Registrar of Companies is in receipt of an English translation and the name is not considered undesirable. Chinese names possible.

Names Requiring Consent or a Licence

Bank, building society, savings, loans, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, investment fund, trust, trustees, Chamber of Commerce, university, municipal or their foreign language equivalents.

Suffixes to Denote Limited Liability

Limited, Corporation, Incorporated, Société Anonyme, Sociedad Anónima, Aktiengesellschaft or their relevant abbreviations.

Disclosure of Beneficial Ownership to Government Authorities
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ST VINCENT COMPLIANCE

Authorised and Issued Share Capital

The share capital may be expressed in any currency. The minimum issued capital is one share of no par value or one share of par value. The annual fees are not linked to the amount of share capital.

Classes of Shares Permitted

Registered shares, shares of no par value, preference shares, redeemable shares, and shares with or without voting rights. The International Business Companies (Amendment) Act No.26 and 44 of 2002 allows for the registration and custody of bearer share certificates by the Registered Agent.

Taxation

An IBC's is exempt from all taxes for twenty-five years.

Double Taxation Agreements

SVG has no tax treaties.

Licence Fee

A SVG IBC pays US$ 100 fixed annual fees to the government - no limit for share capital.

Financial Statements Required

Whilst there is no requirement to file audited accounts with the authorities, a company is required to keep financial records, which reflect the financial position of a company.

Directors

The minimum number of directors is one. They may be natural persons or bodies corporate, may be of any nationality and need not reside in SVG.

Company Secretary

A company secretary can be appointed. The company secretary may be a natural person or a body corporate, may be of any nationality and need not reside in SVG.

Shareholders

The minimum number of shareholders is one.

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HOW TO PROCEED

A bespoke 'offshore' solution can be complex and requires careful planning and execution. We therefore encourage our clients to contact us directly, without obligation, for a Free Initial Consultation.

Our experienced consultants will gladly assist with advice on how to approach your particular challenge.

To make contact with a consultant at one of our offices who speaks your language, click here for a full list of our office contact details.


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