St. Lucia is an island nation located between the Atlantic Ocean and the eastern Caribbean Sea, next to the islands of Barbados and Martinique. Under the International Business Corporations Act of 1999, the diversity of the offshore sector attracts many international investors and companies. Registration of companies in Saint Lucia is governed by the Saint Lucia Companies Act, which was enacted in 1996 and continues to be updated by the government in an effort to keep pace with international transparency initiatives.
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Every person engaged in business, whether it is a sole proprietorship or a partnership, must keep accounting records. A financial report provides financial information on the company, including income, expenses, cash flow, assets and liabilities in the form of profit and loss statements.
The period of storage of accounting records and documents is at least 6 years after the end of the reporting period.
Records and books of accounts relating to any business in Saint Lucia must be stored in the place where the business is conducted and must be in English.
In accordance with the Companies Act of Saint Lucia, 2008, directors of a company must provide shareholders with financial statements of the company at each annual meeting. Shareholders in turn must sign financial statements, thereby confirming them.
The international financial reporting standards (IFRS) are adopted as national reporting standards.
IBCs are not required to audit their financial statements.
According to the Companies Act of Saint Lucia, 2008, a public company must have an audit committee consisting of at least 3 directors of the company a majority of which are not officers or employees of the company or any of its affiliated persons. The audit committee inspects financial statements of the company before their approval.
A company can apply to the Registrar for an order allowing it to refuse an audit committee. The Registrar in turn can, after making sure that such an order will not harm shareholders, allow the company to refuse an audit committee on such reasonable conditions as it deems fit.
In financial statements a period chosen by the company itself is used, but it must not exceed 12 months.
A company must not later than on 1 April of each year after its incorporation or continuation send to the Registrar a report in the prescribed form containing the prescribed information made before 31 December of the previous year.
A public company must send a copy of its financial report to the Registrar at least 21 days before each annual meeting of shareholders.
In some cases, upon the company’s application the Registrar can exempt it from provision of financial statements.
Even though corporate income tax is not imposed on IBCs, financial statements and a corporate tax return form must still be presented annually.
The deadline for filing a profit tax return of corporations is 3 months after the end of the financial year.
Keeping insufficient records results in the following consequences:
Preparation of a consolidated report is not required.
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