International Company FAQs

  1. What are the uses of international (offshore) Company?

    An international company can be used as a holding company for various investments  such as bank deposits, shares, property, patents/trademarks etc., as well as being used to accumulate salaries or consultancy fees in a low tax area. Such a company may be used as a genuine trading company which

  1. What are the major advantages of having an international company?
  • No company or capital gains tax is payable in Vanuatu, however there may be taxation considerations in the individuals home country which should be discussed with a tax lawyer/accountant there;
  • Details of a company's director(s) and shareholder(s) do not have to be filed at the Financial Services Commission and therefore confidentiality is assured;
  • Assets can be protected from creditors/litigation and an international company may avoid high levels of inheritance tax and death duties that would otherwise be payable if the assets were held directly;
  • Protect the long-term survival of assets domiciled in countries with poor economic or political stability by moving them to a more stable offshore financial centre;
  • Keep global interests/assets separate from those in the individual's home country.
  1. Is there a need to have an international company's accounts audited and does an annual return have to be filed each year?

    There is no need to have an international company's accounts audited or file an annual return.

  2. What information, if any, will be released to a government department or taxation office of another country?

    No information whatsoever would be released to any government department of another country, unless it was ordered by the Supreme Court of Vanuatu. Only in cases where the Supreme Court was presented with substantial evidence that a company is involved in an illegal activity such as money laundering or drug trafficking, would such a directive be given.

  3. What types of international companies can be incorporated?

    Limited by Shares or Limited by Guarantee.

    A company limited by shares has shareholders whose liability in the event of the company being wound up is limited to any unpaid par value of the shares. Any excess funds after the liquidation is completed are distributed to shareholders.

    A company limited by guarantee does not have shareholders but members, who undertake to contribute a nominal sum of say, US$5.00 in the event of the company being wound up. Upon liquidation, the US$5.00 pledged is returned to the member, with the balance of the funds being distributed by the liquidator in accordance with the members' instructions. Surplus funds can not be distributed to the members.
  1. How many directors and shareholders are required for an international company and is a certain number required to reside in Vanuatu?

    Only one director and one shareholder are required for an international company and they may be a natural person or a company and may reside anywhere in the world. Details of an international company's directors and shareholders do not have to be filed with local authorities.

  1. Is it possible to continue (transfer) an international company from / to another jurisdiction?

    An offshore company can be transferred to Vanuatu from another jurisdiction, provided the previous jurisdiction permits this. Likewise a Vanuatu international company is permitted to transfer to another jurisdiction.

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