Nevis


Nevis was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493; however, Spain did not colonize the island. In two consequent years (1623 and 1624) the English and then the French colony were established. Since then, two major European states had fought for the dominance over the islands. The fight was over in 1783, with signing the Treaty of Versailles (Peace of Paris), and the dominion of Britain. Saint Kitts and Nevis used to be a constituent part of the British Leeward Islands and West Indies. In 1967 the islands St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla gained the status of the UK “Associated State”, which was entitled to having a local government. Traditionally, the foreign policy and defence matters were dealt with by the UK. In 1980 Anguilla seceded from federation of the three islands. On 19 September 1983 the islands were proclaimed an independent state: the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Service packages

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Service item Express Standard Optimum
Company registration
Legal address per year
Secretarial services for the first year
Fees and duties for the first year
Apostilled bound set of incorporation documents
Compliance fee
Nominee service per year
Bank Account Pre-approval
Price

2 300 USD

5 600 USD

6 100 USD

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Core Services

2 300 USD

— Incorporation

including incorporation tax, state registry fee, including Compliance fee

uncluded

— Annual government fees

Stamp Duty and Registrar of Companies incorporation fee

1 565 USD

— Corporate legal services

including registered address and registered agent, NOT including Compliance fee

135 USD

—Delivery of documents by courier mail

DHL or TNT, at cost of a Courier Service

1 050 USD

— Apostilled set of Statutory documents

Optional services

Nominee Shareholder

Paid-up “nominee shareholder” set includes the following documents

Related services

380 USD

Tax Certificate

Company’s tax residence certificate for access to double tax treaties network

430 USD

Certificate of Good Standing

Document issued by a state agency in some countries (Registrar of companies) to confirm a current status of a body corporate. A company with such certificate is proved to be active and operating.

500 USD

Incumbency

Document issued by a Registered Agent (in some countries by a secretary) to confirm a status and corporate structure of a company.

Compliance fee

Compliance fee is payable in the cases of: renewal of a company, liquidation of a company, transfer out of a company, issue of a power of attorney to a new attorney, change of director / shareholder / BO (except the change to a nominee director / shareholder)

150 USD

Basic

simple company structure with only 1 physical person

50 USD

For legal entity in structure under GSL administration

additional compliance fee for legal entity in structure under GSL administration (per 1 entity)

100 USD

For legal entity in structure not under GSL administration

additional compliance fee for legal entity in structure NOT under GSL administration (per 1 entity)

250 USD

For client with high risk Status

Cost of incorporation, including first year servicing 2300
Cost of nominee director services per year, including an apostilled set of documents 3300
Cost of annual service, starting from the second year 1565
Open account in 28693
Incorporation timescale for a turnkey company 10 days
Country 26726
Category Most Popular

General information shortly

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Total area Population Capital Unemployment Corruption perceptions index rank
93 sq. km. 12.106 (2013) Charlestown 4.5% (2013) no data
Location the Caribbean
National currency East Caribbean dollar
Conditional reduction of currency XCD
Against USD 2.7
Climate, average max and min t° tropical under constant influence of north-easterly sea breeze. There is a slightly hotter and rainier season from May to November. Average monthly temperature is about 26°С, very seldom going down to 18°С or up to 32°С.
Time difference from Moscow - 8 hours
Dialing code +1 869
State language English
Ethnic groups black 90,4%, mulatto 5%, Indian 3% and other 1,6%
Literacy rate 98%
Government type parliamentary democracy
Executive branch Government: the Nevis Island Administration headed by the premier
Legislative branch Deputy Governor General, members of the Nevis Island Assembly; 3 Nevis seats in the House of Representatives of National Assembly
Judicial branch the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court
GDP per capita rank 56 (2013)

Corporate info

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Shelf companies permitted Legal system Incorporation timescale for a turnkey company Cyrillic alphabet permitted in company name Local registered office
Yes common law, based on English common law and American corporate law (that of the states of New York and Delawer) 10 days No Yes
Types of entity Nevis Business Corporation (NBCO 1984) Limited Liability Company (NLLCO 1995) International Exempt Trust (NIETO 1994) Multiform Foundations (MFO 2004)
Incorporation timescale for a new company 1 day
Company suffix “corporation”, “incorporated”, “company”, or “limited”
Sensitive words Bank, building society, savings, loans, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, investment fund, municipal, trust, trustee, Chamber of Commerce, university, or their equivalents
Local registered agent Yes
Information to be kept at the registered office no requirements
Seal required, type of seal not required
Redomiciliation (to, from) permitted permitted

Director and secretary

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Minimum number of directors Residency requirements for directors Corporate directors permitted Disclosure to local agent Disclosure to public
1 (if there is only 1 shareholder) No Yes Yes No
Directors’ meetings/frequency/location No requirements
Company secretary required Yes
Residency requirements for a secretary No
Qualified secretary required No
Corporate secretary permitted Yes

Shareholder and beneficiary

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Minimum number of shareholders Residency requirements for shareholders Corporate shareholder permitted Disclosure to local agent Disclosure to public
1 No Yes Yes No
Meetings/frequency/location Yes / annually / anywhere
Beneficiary info disclosure to No

Shares and share capital

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Minimum authorized share capital Minimum issued share capital Minimum paid share capital Authorized capital payment deadlines Bearer shares permitted
No requirements 1 1 No requirements Yes
Issued capital payment deadlines Upon the issue of shares
Standard currency US Dollar
Standard authorized share capital 50000
Standard par value of shares 1
Shares with no par value permitted Yes

Taxes

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Min. rate for corporate tax Capital gains tax VAT Withholding tax Exchange control
33% 20% 17% 15%/15%/15% No
Personal tax No
Corporate tax (in detail) Resident companies pay tax on global income, non-residents - on income from sources in the country. The income tax rate is 33%.
Capital gains tax. Details Gains from the sale of assets with a holding period of up to a year are taxed at half the tax rate, in any case not more than 20%.
VAT. Details The standard VAT rate is 17%. A preferential rate of 10% applies to the tourism and hospitality industry.
Other taxes Social contributions, Real estate tax
Stamp duty Stamp duty is payable at various rates for real estate transactions.

Accounts

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Requirement to file accounts Publicly accessible accounts Audit required Requirement to file Annual Return Publicly accessible Annual Return
No No No No No
Requirement to prepare accounts No
Double tax treaties network 14
Tax Exchange Information Agreement network 24
OECD member No
Offshore/onshore status according to the RF laws Yes

GENERAL INFORMATION

General info

Nevis is an island in the Caribbean Sea that forms part of the inner arc of the Leeward Islands. Nevis and the island of Saint Kitts to the northwest form the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Under certain conditions, Nevis may secede from the federation.
Total area of the country is 93 sq. km. The population is 11.106 people (2013). Among ethnic groups are black (90,4%), mulatto (5%), Indian (3%) and other (1,6%).
The capital is Charlestown.
The official language is English.
The currency is Easter Caribbean dollar (XCD). 1 USD is equal to 2.7 XCD.
Climate of Nevis is tropical under constant influence of north-easterly sea breeze. There is a slightly hotter and rainier season from May to November. Average monthly temperature is about 26°С, very seldom going down to 18°С or up to 32°С.
Time difference with Moscow is -8 hours.
Literacy rate is 98%.
Calling code is +1 869.

History

Nevis was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493; however, Spain did not colonize the island. In two consequent years (1623 and 1624) the English and then the French colony were established. Since then, two major European states had fought for the dominance over the islands. The fight was over in 1783, with signing the Treaty of Versailles (Peace of Paris), and the dominion of Britain. Saint Kitts and Nevis used to be a constituent part of the British Leeward Islands and West Indies.
In 1967 the islands St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla gained the status of the UK “Associated State”, which was entitled to having a local government. Traditionally, the foreign policy and defence matters were dealt with by the UK. In 1980 Anguilla seceded from federation of the three islands.
On 19 September 1983 the islands were proclaimed an independent state: the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Government Type

Being a part of Saint Kitts and Nevis, the politics of Nevis takes place in the framework of a federal parliamentary democracy.
Executive power is represented by the government – the Nevis Island administration, headed by the premier. It collects its own taxes and has a separate budget, with a current account surplus.
Legislative power is vested in Her Majesty's representative (the Deputy Governor General) and members of the Nevis Island Assembly. The constitution actually empowers the Nevis Island Legislature to make laws that cannot be abrogated by the National Assembly. In addition, Nevis has a constitutionally protected right to secede from the federation, should a two-third majority of the island's population vote for independence in a local referendum. The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis has a 14 or 15-member unicameral legislature or parliament (the Senate and House of Representatives sit and vote together): A Senate, with three or four members appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister and the leader of the opposition; and a popularly elected House of Representatives with 11 members, eight Saint Kitts seats and three Nevis seats.
Judiciary power is managed by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.

Economy

The major source of revenue for Nevis today is tourism. During the 2003–2004 season, approximately 40,000 tourists visited Nevis.
The introduction of new legislation has made offshore financial services a rapidly growing economic sector in Nevis. Incorporation of companies, international insurance and reinsurance, as well as several international banks, trust companies, asset management firms, have created a boost in the economy. During 2005, the Nevis Island Treasury collected $94.6 million in annual revenue, compared to $59.8 million during 2001.

CORPORATE INFORMATION

Legal system

Nevis is sometimes called the “Delaware of the Caribbean”, for its legal system is based both on English Common Law and American Corporate Law.
The island focuses on offshore asset protection and has its own offshore legislation in place. Since the Nevisian offshore legislation is different from that of the Federation, companies in Nevis can choose between Federation and Nevis forms, while St Kitts’s companies are only allowed to use Federation forms.

Types of entity

The principal forms of business organization in Nevis are:
  • Nevis Business Corporation (NBCO 1984)
  • Limited Liability Company (NLLCO 1995)
  • International Exempt Trust (NIETO 1994)
  • Multiform Foundations (MFO 2004)

The most common structure is the Nevis Business Corporation.

REGISTRATION

Company name

There is a range of requirements to the company name in Nevis:
  • The company’s name must contain words like “corporation”, “incorporated”, “company”, or “limited” or other words to denote limited liability or their abbreviations.
  • It shall not be the same as the name of an existing corporation or company, or a name as similar to any such name as to tend to confuse or deceive.
  • A name that in the opinion of the Registrar is undesirable or suggests an illegal activity is not permitted.
  • A name that may imply government patronage is not acceptable.
  • A name requires consent or a license if it contains the following words or their foreign language equivalents: Bank, Building Society, Savings, Loans, Insurance, Assurance, Fund Management, Investment Fund, Municipal, Chamber of Commerce, and University.
  • Company names may be expressed in any language using the Latin alphabet.
  • Names in Cyrillic alphabet are not allowed.

Incorporation

To register an NBC in Nevis, one must engage a local registered agent/corporate service provider with a registered office (which may further serve as the office of the Company, since the registered office address must be located in Nevis).
The Registered agent shall first reserve the name for a customer’s IBC through the Nevis online registration module or by calling to the registry. Upon that, the articles of incorporation may be filed with the Registrar of Companies. If the documents are in order, the Registrar will issue a certificate of incorporation. The whole procedure of IBC’s formation takes about 24 hours.
The timescale for a new turnkey entity is about 10 days (including document shipping).

Restriction on Activities

Being international, NBCs may conduct business in more than one country, but for tax exemption purposes they are not permitted to do business in Nevis.
No corporation shall be considered to be doing business in Nevis solely because it engages in one or more of the following activities:
  • maintaining bank accounts in Nevis;
  • holding meetings of directors or shareholders in Nevis;
  • maintaining corporate or financial records in Nevis;
  • maintaining an administrative or managerial office in Nevis with respect to assets or activities outside of Nevis;
  • maintaining a registered agent in Nevis; and
  • investing in stocks or entities of Nevis corporations or being a partner in Nevis partnership or a beneficiary of a Nevis trust or estate;
  • acquires real property in a local industrial or tourist facility provided always that such property shall be situated in a project or development approved and authorized by the Nevis Island Administration.

Local registered office

A NBC registered in Nevis is required to maintain a registered agent at all times and a registered office in Nevis. The legislation permits the office of the registered agent to act as the office of the company. A registered agent must be licensed by the Minister of Finance, and may be either a Barrister or Solicitor admitted to practice in St. Kitts and Nevis or a trust company or a local company having a paid-in capital of at least $500,000. Additionally, qualified accountants and such other persons as the Minister of Finance prescribes may be allowed to obtain licenses as registered agents.

Seal

There are no statutory requirements to have a company seal.

Redomicile

The redomiciliation of companies to or from Nevis is permitted.

COMPANY STRUCTURE

Directors

A NBC company is required to have a minimum of three directors. However, if a Nevis company has fewer than 3 shareholders it is allowed to have less than 3 directors, but not fewer than the number of shareholders. Therefore, one person may create a company being as a sole shareholder and director.
A director may be of any residence or nationality, either corporate or a natural person. There are no restrictions on how often or where directors’ meetings should be held.
The Board of Directors manages all corporate affairs and exercises all corporate powers, save for the action, which shall be authorized or approved by the shareholders. The articles of incorporation may require that directors have special qualifications. Alternate or substitute directors may be appointed, upon the terms and conditions set forth in the articles of incorporation (bylaws). The number of directors may be increased or decreased by amendment of the bylaws, by the shareholders, or by action of the board under the specific provisions of a bylaw.

Secretary

Every corporation shall have a secretary, who shall be appointed by the board or in the manner directed by the articles of incorporation or the bylaws. The secretary may be of any residence or nationality, either corporate or a natural person.

Shareholders

All Nevisian companies must have at least one shareholder.
The shareholder may be of any residence or nationality, either corporate or a natural person.
All companies must every year hold an annual general meeting. The place of the meeting may be anywhere in the world.
Shareholders' information do not appear on public profile.

Beneficiary

The identity of beneficial owners are not required to be filed in any public record. Similarly, changes in beneficial ownership are confidential. Moreover, a company wishing to open a bank account need not disclose the beneficial owner or beneficiaries.

Share capital and shares

There are no minimum requirements for share capital of NBC.
Authorized capital of US$50,000 divided into 50,000 registered shares of US$1.00 each is considered as the standard authorized capital. Such capital keeps the incorporation and annual cost of Nevis offshore company at a minimum level.
Nevis IBC is not obliged to issue all its shares for the total amount of authorized capital in any mandatory time frames. The company could issue just one share to a single shareholder and remaining shares or any part of them issue any time in the future or not issue at all.
All issued shares must be paid up by shareholders. It means, if a company issued one share of US$1.00, the shareholder must pay into his company US$1.00.
With respect to Bearer Shares, they have been restricted. Bearer shares are only permitted with the approval of the Registrar of Companies or the Regulator. The Registered Agent must maintain custody of the bearer share certificate on behalf of the beneficial owner and must maintain a register of each bearer share.

Disclosure of Information

Secrecy of information is governed by the Confidential Relationship Act 1985. This act prohibits the disclosure of any information obtained in the course of business, and applies to banks, and professionals as well as Government officials. The act provides prison sentences for violation of secrecy provisions and insures complete confidentiality where foreign authorities seek private banking and financial records.
Banking secrecy is governed by the Nevis Offshore Banking Ordinance 1996.

TAXATION

Personal taxes

The employment income of individuals is not subject to personal income tax.
However, in addition to social security contributions earnings are subject to housing and social development levy. For employers, the rate is 3%. Employees are charged at the rate of 3.5% on monthly earnings ranging from XCD (East Caribbean Dollar) 1,000 to 6,500, 10% on earnings from XCD 6,500 to 8,000, and 12% on earnings over XCD 8,000.
The income of individuals from any business that includes trade, professional services, or any kind of entrepreneurship, but does not include employment, is taxed at the rate of 4% on the revenue less XCD 12,500 for trading business and less XCD 2,000 for business of providing services. Entrepreneurs have the right to switch (only once) from this tax regime to the payment of corporate income tax.

Corporate income tax

Resident companies pay tax on their worldwide income and non-residents on income sourced within the country.
The corporate income tax rate is 33%.
Until recently, companies that did not do business in the country or only did business with foreign counterparties were exempt from tax. This regime does not apply to newly incorporated companies and from July 2021 ceases to apply to companies incorporated before 31 December 2018.
Gains from the sale of assets held for up to a year are taxed at half the tax rate, but in any case, at no more than 20%.

CFC rules

None.

Withholding tax

Withholding tax on dividends, interest, and royalties is levied at the rate of 15%.
Withholding tax may also be levied on some other types of income.

VAT

The standard VAT rate is 17%.
A reduced rate of 10% applies in the tourist and hospitality industry.

Social security contributions

Social security contributions are paid on the earnings at the rate of 5% by employers and at the rate of 5% by employees. The maximum monthly earnings used to calculate contributions are XCD 6,500.
There are other contributions too, in particular, contributions to the Severance Payments Fund (1% for the employer) and employment injury coverage (1% for the employer).
There is a housing and social development levy. For employers, the rate is 3%. For employees, the contribution is levied at progressive rates: 3.5% for monthly earnings from XCD 1,000 to 6,500; 10% for earnings from XCD 6,500 to 8,000, and 12% for earnings over XCD 8,000.

Property tax

This tax is levied on the market value of the property. Residential property is taxed at 0.2% rate and commercial property – at 0.3% rate.
There are exemptions.

Stamp duty

Stamp duty is payable at various rates on real estate transactions.
Stamp duty may also be charged on certain other transactions.

Double Tax Agreements

Saint Kitts and Nevis have entered a whole range of double tax and tax information exchange mechanisms:
  • 13 DTC: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Monaco, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago;
  • 21 TIEA: Aruba, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Curaçao, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Guernsey, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Saint Maarten, Sweden, United Kingdom

Exchange control

Foreign exchange transactions can generally be made without restrictions.

ACCOUNTS

Accounting records

Nevis companies records and accounts do not have to be held or filed with the authorities. If the shareholders, directors or officers decide to maintain such records or accounts, these may be held anywhere in the world.

Financial statements

NBCs are not required to prepare and file financial statements.

Annual Return

Generally speaking, Annual Return is a short review on the current state of the company, which is prepared by the company secretary annually. As a rule it includes the following information:
  • Incorporation information (registration date, registered address);
  • Information about directors and their resignation;
  • Information about secretaries and their resignation;
  • Information about registered capital, nominal value of shares and amount of issued shares;
  • Information about shareholders and share transfer.


NBCs are not required to prepare and file annual return.

Tax returns

The tax year coincides with the calendar year. However, it is possible to apply for a different tax year.
The tax return is filed and business tax is paid generally by the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the year.
Quarterly advance payments are made during the year.

International law relations

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Party to the Hague Convention (Apostille) Legal system Double tax treaties network OECD member Offshore/onshore status according to the RF laws
Yes common law, based on English common law and American corporate law (that of the states of New York and Delawer) 14 No Yes

Public authorities and legal acts

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List of laws and regulations
Act name Scope of law
Nevis Business Corporation Ordinance 1984 (amendment 2009) Nevis business corporation
Nevis Limited Liability Company Ordinance 1995 limited liability company
Nevis Multiform Foundations Ordinance 2004 multiform foundations
Nevis International Insurance Ordinance 2006 international insurance
Nevis International Mutual Funds Ordinance 2007 international mutual funds
Nevis Investment Promotion Agency Ordinance investment promotion agency
Nevis Offshore Banking Ordinance 1996 offshore banking
Nevis International Exempt Trust Ordinance 1994 international exempt trust
Confidential Relationships Act 1985 confidentiality
St Kitts and Nevis Companies Act 1996 companies
St Kitts and Nevis Limited Partnerships Act 1996 limited partnership
Tax treaties entered 14: Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago
Tax Exchange Information Agreement (TEIA) 24: Aruba, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Curaçao, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Guernsey, Iceland, India, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Saint Maarten, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom
List of state regulatory authorities
Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis http://www.gov.kn/
Nevis Island Administration http://www.nia.gov.kn/
Nevis Investment Promotion Agency http://www.nevisipa.org/
Inland Revenue Department https://www.sknird.com/
Customs Department http://www.skncustoms.com/
Financial Services Regulatory Commission http://fsrc.kn/
Nevis Housing and Land Development Corporation http://www.nhldc.com/
Nevis Tourism http://www.nevisisland.com/

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    Regards, GSL Law & Consulting Lawyer, Head of UK GSL office Aniko Sebok

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