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>>You are here: Bahamas
Key Corporate Features


Type of entity:


Type of law:


Shelf company availability:


Our time to establish a new company:

2 weeks.

Minimum government fees (excluding taxation):


Taxation on foreign income:


Double taxation treaty access:


Share capital or equivalent

Standard currency:


Permitted currencies:


Minimum paid up:


Usual authorised:


Directors or Managers

Minimum number:


Local required:


Publicly accessible records:


Location of meetings:



Minimum number:


Publicly accessible records:


Location of meetings:


Company Secretary



Local or qualified:



Requirement to prepare:


Audit requirements:


Requirement to file accounts:


Publicly accessible accounts:



Requirement to file annual return:


Change in domicile permitted:


General Information

The Bahamas extends in a 1,225 km arc from 78 km east of Palm Beach, Florida, to just north of Haiti. The Bahamas consists of an archipelago of nearly 700 islands and 2,000 cays.

» Population
The population of the Bahamas is approximately 340,000.

» Political Structure
In July 1973, the Bahamas become an independent country within the British Commonwealth. A Governor General appointed by the British Government is responsible for defence, external affairs and internal security.

However, the real head of the Government is an elected Prime Minister who consults with a Cabinet of sixteen, twelve Cabinet Ministers and four Ministers of State chosen from the Legislature. There are four political parties, the dominant Progressive Liberal Party, Free National Movement Party, and Labour Party. The bicameral legislature has a 49 member House of Assembly and a 16 member Senate.

» Infrastructure and Economy
The Bahamas has excellent communications. There are direct flights from Europe as well as many US cities.

Miami is only 30 minutes away by jet aircraft and New York is less than three hours away.

» Language
The official and spoken language is English.

» Currency
Bahamas Dollar is on a par with the US Dollar.

» Exchange Control
Residents are subject to Exchange Control, but International Business Companies are exempted.

» Type of Law
Statute Law and Common Law based on English Common Law.

» Principal Corporate Legislation
International Business Companies Act 2000, as amended.


Company Information

» Type of Company for International Trade and Investment International Business Company (IBC).

» Procedure to Incorporate
Registered Agent prepares the Memorandum of Association, which after being signed by the two subscribers is delivered to the Registry. The Articles of Association can either be filed at the same time as the Memorandum of Association or within 30 days from the date of incorporation.

» Restrictions on Trading
Cannot trade within the Bahamas or own real estate there. Unless government permission is granted, cannot undertake the business of banking, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, ollective investment schemes, trust management, trusteeship, the rendering of investment advice or any other activity that would suggest an association with the banking or insurance industries. Cannot sell its own shares or solicit funds from the Public.

» Powers of Company
An International Business Company has all the powers of a natural person.

» Language of Legislation and Corporate Documents
The legislation and corporate documentation are in English.

» Registered Office Required
Yes, must be maintained in the Bahamas at the address of a licensed management company or law firm.

» Shelf Companies Available

» Time to Incorporate
Two weeks.

» Name Restrictions
Any name that has already been incorporated, or a name that is so similar as to cause confusion. Names such as royal or imperial. Any name which, in the opinion of the Registrar, is considered undesirable, obscene or offensive, or any name, which suggests the patronage of the Bahamas Government.

» Language of Name
The name can be in any language using the Latin alphabet. The Registrar may require an English translation to ensure that the proposed name is not on the list of restricted names.

» Names Requiring Consent or 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 or any name in English or a foreign language that may suggest association with the banking or insurance industries.

» Suffixes to Denote Limited Liability
Limited, Corporation, Incorporated, Sociét?Anonyme, Sociedad Anónima, Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung or the relevant abbreviations.

» Disclosure of Beneficial Ownership to Government Authorities


» Authorised and Issued Share Capital
The normal authorised share capital is US$50,000 divided in to 50,000 shares of US$1, this being the maximum capital for the minimum duty payable at the time of incorporation and the maximum authorised share capital for the minimum licence fee payable annually. The share capital may be expressed in any currency. The minimum issued capital is either two shares of no par value or two shares of par value.

» Classes of Shares Permitted
Registered shares, shares of no par value, preference shares, redeemable shares and shares with or without voting rights.

» Taxation
The Bahamas is a pure tax haven and has no direct taxation in the form of income tax, capital gains tax, gift tax or inheritance tax.

» Double Taxation Agreements
The Bahamas is not a party to any double tax treaties.

» Licence Fees
Companies with an authorised share capital, with a par value, up to US$50,000 pay the sum of US$350 per year.

Companies with share capitals more than US$50,001 pay the sum of US$1,000 per year.

» Financial Statement Requirements
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. Directors may be natural persons or bodies corporate. They may be of any nationality and need not be resident in the Bahamas.

» Company Secretary
The Act makes no specific reference to a company secretary, but one is normally appointed to facilitate signing obligations.

» Shareholders
Minimum number of shareholders: two subscribers, but the shares can be transferred to a single person


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