There was once an independent federation of Saint Kitts, Nevis, and Anguilla. At a certain point, Anguilla decided to regain its status of a British overseas territory so the country was now called ‘the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis’. Besides, people of Nevis once had a referendum that nearly ended in Nevis splitting from St Kitts (the independence supporters lost by only a small margin). The referendum can serve to show that Nevis is rather independent from the larger island of St Kitts even though it is associated with it and the residence of the Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis is located on St Kitts. What is more important for an international entrepreneur, however, is the fact that the legislations and the tax systems of St Kitts and Nevis differ to a large degree. If you study the corporate laws of the two islands, you will see that the opportunity to set up a foreign company in St Kitts does not look as attractive as the opportunity to do so in Nevis. Well, even though the country is one, each island lives by its own laws.
Nevis has been an offshore zone since the time when the country became independent from Great Britain. By ‘offshore zone’ here, we mean a jurisdiction that provides opportunities to foreign investors to register companies there keeping their company ownership confidential and paying nothing (or very little) in taxes. Instead of levying taxes, offshore zones charge annual company registration fees or at least that’s how they used to make a profit before. Things have changed now and some business instruments that were available earlier are not to be had for love or money today.
What exactly is NOT possible to do any longer? First, you cannot have an offshore company that exists on paper only. Economic substance requirements are in place now whatever country you look at, offshore or onshore. Second, the resident companies’ financial information has become transparent to the fiscal authorities of the company owners’ home countries. CRS (Common Reporting Standards) are imposed all over the globe and banks in Nevis automatically exchange the account holders’ information. You should bear this fact in mind when contemplating registering a company in the jurisdiction. It will be interesting to note at this point that the only large country that does not exchange its residents’ financial information is the United States of America.
Third, the personal data of the ultimate beneficiary company owners will have to be submitted to the Company Register in Nevis. We must stress, however, that the data are going to be available to the registrar alone if you choose to set up a company in Nevis. Your competitors, your greedy relatives, various kinds of swindlers, and all other members of the public are not going to have access to this information. Moreover, they are not even going to know that your Nevis-based company exists! Thus, the high level of company owners’ personal information protection can serve as an important argument in support of the decision to set up a company there.
Of all the forms of company ownership, we suggest that you should choose to register an LLC in Nevis for the following reason. In this way, you can efficiently protect not only your personal information but your property as well. The matter is that the corporate legislation in this particular jurisdiction serves this purpose extremely well. Nevis courts of law have no regard to court decisions that judges in other countries make. So, if your company is to be sued, it can only be sued in Nevis. Now, if the claimant wants to take the case to court, he or she will have to first make a substantial payment to the legal authorities of Nevis so few people will do it because if they lose the case, they are not getting anything back.
As a result of the global de-offshorization campaign, all offshore jurisdictions have lost many benefits that used to attract foreign investors to them. One important benefit that most of them have been able to preserve, however, is zero taxes. Your Nevis-based company is going to pay nothing in taxes in the country if you can meet the key condition. Namely, you shouldn’t be involved in any business in Nevis nor derive any profits from local people. If you conduct your economic activities in foreign countries through the use of your Nevis-registered company, you will owe nothing to the fiscal service in St Kitts and Nevis. Your profits will be taxed in the countries where you make them. This opportunity provides a good reason for setting up a company in Nevis. If you do derive an income from business activities in Nevis, however, you are going to be taxed and taxed heavily.