/ / Turks and Caicos Islands

Turks and Caicos Islands


The first documented European to sight the islands was Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León, who did so in 1512. During the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, the islands passed from Spanish, to French, to British control, but none of the three powers ever established any settlements. Bermudian salt collectors settled the Turks Islands around 1680. For several decades around the turn of the 18th century, the islands became popular pirate hideouts. In 1765–1783 the islands were under French occupation, and again after the French captured the archipelago in 1783. In 1799, both the Turks and the Caicos island groups were annexed by Britain as part of the Bahamas. In 1873 the islands were made part of Jamaica colony. When Jamaica was granted independence from Britain in August 1962, the Turks & Caicos Islands became a Crown colony. From 1965, the governor of the Bahamas also was governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands and oversaw affairs for the islands. When the Bahamas gained independence in 1973, the Turks and Caicos received their own governor. At present, the islands enjoy the status of a British overseas territory.

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

2 480 USD

3 845 USD

4 345 USD

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Core Services

2 480 USD

— Incorporation

(including incorporation tax and state registry fee)

included

— Annual government fees

(Stamp Duty) and Companies Registry incorporation fee

2 090 USD

— Corporate legal services

(including registered address and registered agent)

160 USD

—Delivery of documents by courier mail

DHL or TNT, at cost of a Courier Service

595 USD

— Apostilled set of Statutory documents

Optional services

375 USD

Nominee Shareholder

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

Related services

Tax Certificate

515 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.

515 USD

Certificate of Incumbency

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 2480
Cost of nominee director services per year, including an apostilled set of documents 990
Cost of nominee shareholder services per year, including an apostilled set of documents 375
Cost of annual service, starting from the second year 2090
Open account in 28693
Incorporation timescale for a turnkey company 1 week
Country 26675

General information shortly

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Total area Population Capital Unemployment Corruption perceptions index rank
616.3 sq. km 31.548 (2012) Cockburn Town 5.1% (2009) no data
Location Caribbean, two island groups in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of The Bahamas, north of Haiti
National currency US dollar
Conditional reduction of currency USD
Against USD 1
Climate, average max and min t° Tropical; marine; moderated by trade winds; sunny and relatively dry; avg. maximum temperature (August) +35°; avg. minimum temperature (January) +25°
Time difference from Moscow - 7 hours
Dialing code +1-649
State language English
Ethnic groups Black 90%, mixed, European, or North American 10%
Literacy rate 98%
Credit rating BBB+
Government type British overseas territory
Executive branch Executive Council headed by the Governor
Legislative branch Assembly (21 seats)
Judicial branch Supreme Court, the United Kingdom's Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, Court of Appeal and Magistrates' Courts
GDP per capita rank 47 (2007)

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 based upon English common law and some locally modified laws of Bahamas and Jamaica 1 week No Yes
Types of entity ordinary resident company; exempt company; foreign company; limited life company; hybrid company
Incorporation timescale for a new company 1 week
Company suffix Limited, Corporation, Incorporated and their abbr. Can also be without suffix denoting limited liability
Sensitive words bank, building society, savings, loans, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, investment funds, friendly society, trust, trustee, guarantee, indemnity, underwriters, co-operative, Commonwealth or their foreign language equivalents
Local registered agent Yes
Information to be kept at the registered office accounting records, meeting minutes and other accounting and reporting company documents
Seal required, type of seal yes, common seal
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 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 No

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 No requirements
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 No
Issued capital payment deadlines No requirements
Standard currency US dollar
Standard authorized share capital 5000
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
0% No No No No
Personal tax No
Corporate tax (in detail) No
Other taxes Hospitality and Tourism Tax, Telecommunications Tax, Financial Services Tax, Insurance Premium Tax, Social Contributions
Stamp duty 5-10%

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 Yes No
Requirement to prepare accounts Yes
Tax Exchange Information Agreement network 16
OECD member No
Offshore/onshore status according to the RF laws Yes

GENERAL INFORMATION

General Info

The Turks and Caicos Islands, or TCI for short, are a British Overseas Territory consisting of the larger Caicos Islands and smaller Turks Islands, two groups of tropical islands in the Lucayan Archipelago, part of the larger Antilles islands grouping. The Turks and Caicos Islands lie southeast of Mayaguana in the Bahamas island chain and north of the island of Hispaniola.
Total area of TCI is 616.3 sq. km. Population of TCI is 31.548 (2012). Ethnic groups include Black 90%, mixed, European, or North American 10%.
The capital of TCI is Cockburn Town.
The official language of TCI is English.
The official currency is US dollar (USD).
The climate of TCI is tropical; marine; moderated by trade winds; sunny and relatively dry; avg. maximum temperature (August) +35°; avg. minimum temperature (January) +25°.
Time difference with Moscow is - 7 hours.
Literacy rate is 98%.
Calling code of TCI is +1-649.

History

The first documented European to sight the islands was Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León, who did so in 1512. During the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, the islands passed from Spanish, to French, to British control, but none of the three powers ever established any settlements. Bermudian salt collectors settled the Turks Islands around 1680. For several decades around the turn of the 18th century, the islands became popular pirate hideouts. In 1765–1783 the islands were under French occupation, and again after the French captured the archipelago in 1783. In 1799, both the Turks and the Caicos island groups were annexed by Britain as part of the Bahamas. In 1873 the islands were made part of Jamaica colony. When Jamaica was granted independence from Britain in August 1962, the Turks & Caicos Islands became a Crown colony. From 1965, the governor of the Bahamas also was governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands and oversaw affairs for the islands. When the Bahamas gained independence in 1973, the Turks and Caicos received their own governor. At present, the islands enjoy the status of a British overseas territory.

Government Type

The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory.
The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, represented by a governor appointed by the monarch, on the advice of the Foreign Office.
Executive power is exercised by the Executive council, headed by the Governor. The Council consists of prime-minister, and 6 ministers appointed by the governor from the member of Assembly and attorney general.
Legislative power is vested in the Assembly (local parliament) which consists of 21 member, 15 of which are elected by the general election for a 4-year-term, and the other 6 are appointed by the governor.
Judiciary power is vested in the Supreme Court, the United Kingdom's Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, Court of Appeal and Magistrates' Courts.

Economy

Economy of TCI is based on tourism, offshore financial business and fishing.
In 2009, GDP contributions were as follows:

  • Hotels & Restaurants 34.67%,
  • Financial Services 13.12%,
  • Construction 7.83%,
  • Transport, Storage & Communication 9.90%, and
  • Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities 9.56%.

Most capital goods and food for domestic consumption are imported.
In 2010/2011, major sources of government revenue included Import Duties (43.31%), Stamp Duty on Land Transaction (8.82%), Work Permits and Residency Fees (10.03%) and Accommodation Tax (24.95%).
The primary agricultural products include limited amounts of maize, beans, cassava (tapioca) and citrus fruits. Fish and conch are the only significant export. The territory used to be an important trans-shipment point for South American narcotics destined for the United States, but due to the ongoing pressure of a combined American, Bahamian and Turks and Caicos effort this trade has been greatly reduced.
The islands import food and beverages, tobacco, clothing, manufacture and construction materials, primarily from the United States and the United Kingdom. Imports totalled $581 million in 2007.

CORPORATE INFORMATION

Legal System

Legal system of Turks and Caicos is based upon English common law and some locally modified laws of Bahamas and Jamaica.
Companies in Turks and Caicos are governed by the Companies Ordinance.

Types of Entity

The principal forms of business organization in Turks and Caicos are:

  • ordinary resident company;
  • exempt company;
  • foreign company;
  • limited life company;
  • hybrid company

The most common structure is the exempt company.
A company may apply to be registered as an exempted company, if its objects are to be carried out mainly outside the Turks and Caicos Islands.

INCORPORATION

Company Name

  • Suffixes to denote limited liability: Limited, Corporation, Incorporated or their abbreviations. Can also be incorporated without a suffix denoting limited liability.
  • The name of a proposed company contained in its memorandum of association may end with the words “International Business Company” or the abbreviation “IBC” which shall serve to identify it as an exempted company.
  • Can be in any language using the Latin alphabet or Chinese translation using the Latin alphabet.
  • Names requiring consent or a licence: bank, building society, savings, loans, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, investment funds, friendly society, trust, trustee, guarantee, indemnity, underwriters, co-operative, Commonwealth or their foreign language equivalents.

Exempt Company Registration

To incorporate an exempt company in Turks and Caicos you should submit with Companies Registry the following documents:

  1. Memorandum of Association (3 copies)
  2. Articles of Association (3 copies)
  3. Any Resolution which may be signed by the parties


The Memorandum and Articles of Association should contain:

  • The proposed name of the company
  • The proposed registered office address
  • The objects of the company
  • A declaration that the liability of the members is limited
  • A declaration confirming that the activities of the company will be undertaken outside the Turks and Caicos Islands

After incorporation, the company should ensure that the location of the registered office is published in the Gazette.
It takes 1 day to register a company in Companies Registry, but on the whole it takes about a week to startup a new company in Turks and Caicos.

Restrictions on Activities

TCI exempt company cannot:

  • trade within the Turks and Caicos Islands, and may not own real estate there.
  • undertake the business of banking, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, collective investment schemes, the rendering of investment advice or any other activity, which may suggest an association with the banking and insurance industries.
  • solicit funds from the public or offer its shares for sale to the public.

Local Registered Office

TCI exempt company should maintain a registered office in the Turks and Caicos Islands at the address of the registered agent what means that a company should also appoint a registered agent.
The following documents should be kept at the registered office:

  • accounting records,
  • meeting minutes,
  • other accounting and reporting company documents

Seal

Every company registered under the Companies Ordinance 1981 shall have a common seal upon which its name is engraved in legible letters.

Redomicile

The redomiciliation of companies either to or from the Turks and Caicos Islands is permitted.
An existing overseas company may transfer its domicile to the Turks and Caicos Islands where the laws of the overseas country do not prohibit such a transfer. A Turks and Caicos company can transfer its domicile to an overseas country where the overseas country laws allow for such a transfer. Once a company is redomiciled to the Islands it is deemed to have been incorporated there under the 1981 Companies Ordinance.

COMPANY STRUCTURE

Directors

A minimum of one director is required. The directors may be natural persons or bodies corporate, be of any nationality and need not resident in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
There is no requirement to file the details of directors on any public record.

Secretary

All companies incorporated in the Turks and Caicos Islands are required to appoint a company secretary. The company secretary may be a natural person or body corporate, be of any nationality and need not resident in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Shareholders

An exempted company need only have one shareholder. The shareholders may be natural persons or bodies corporate, be of any nationality and need not resident in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
There is no requirement to file the details of shareholders on any public record.
The company need not hold any annual meetings and such as are held need not be held in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Beneficiary

Beneficiaries’ details do not appear on a public profile. The identity of the beneficial owner of a Turks and Caicos company is treated as strictly confidential and must be disclosed as part of the obligatory due diligence to service providers including firms specializing in company formation, trust managers, lawyers, and accountants, as well as to the auditor. It can only be disclosed by them in the cases stipulated by law and following statutory procedure.

Share Capital and Shares

There is no minimum capital requirement.
It is normal to incorporate an Exempt Company with an authorised share capital of US€ 5,000; divided in to 5,000 common voting shares of US€ 1 each, this being the maximum capital for the minimum duty payable at the time of incorporation.
Thereafter if the authorised share capital exceeds US€ 5,000, the capital duty is increased by 1% of any increase up to US€ 50,000, by 0.5% of any increase over US€ 50,000 and by 0.1% of any amount over and above US€ 100,000.
The minimum issued capital is one share of no par value or one share of par value.
Bearer shares are prohibited from January 1, 2014.

TAXATION

General Info

According to Companies Ordinance for a period of twenty years from its date of incorporation an exempted company shall be exempt from any tax or duty to be levied on profits or income or on capital assets, gains or appreciations; estate duty or inheritance tax, payable on the shares, debentures or other obligations of a company.

Individual Taxation

There is no personal income tax in Turks and Caicos.

Corporate Income Tax

Exempted companies are exempt from corporate income tax.

Capital Gains Tax

Exempted companies are exempt from capital gains tax.

Withholding Tax

There is no withholding tax for exempted companies in Turks and Caicos.

VAT

There is no VAT fro exempted companies in Turks and Caicos.

Stamp Duty

Stamp duty is not levied in Turks and Caicos.

Government Fee

Pursuant to section 188 of the Companies ordinance 1981 an exempted Company shall pay annual fee of $350 not later than 31 January.
Where an exempted Company does not pay its annual fee until after 31st March in that year, the penalty fee in addition to the exempted Company's annual fee, shall be $200.

Other Taxes and Duties

Exempted companies are exempt from any tax or duty.

Double Tax Agreements

Turks and Caicos has not entered any double taxation agreements and has exchange of information relationships:

  • 16 TIEAs: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom.

Foreign Exchange Control

TCI use the US dollar with free determination of exchange rates. There are no restrictions on the transfer of money into or out of TCI. However, funds of over US$500,000 coming into TCI through local banks must be accompanied by satisfactory evidence of the source of funds, to comply with anti-money laundering guidelines. The figure specified is one set by the banks themselves, and lesser amounts may be subject to enquiry, depending on the comfort level of the bank concerned with the particular transaction.
There are no restrictions on, or reporting requirements for, the payment of profits abroad. Hard currency can be taken out of the country.

ACCOUNTS

Financial Statements

There is no requirement for filing financial statements, but financial records should be kept to reflect the financial position of the company.

Annual Return

In January of each year after the year of its registration each exempted company shall furnish to the Registrar a return which shall be in the form of a declaration that—

  • since the previous return or since registration, as the case may be, there has been no alteration in the memorandum of association;
  • the operations of the exempted company since the last return or since registration of the exempted company, as the case may be, have been mainly outside the Islands; and
  • various statutory requirements have been and are being complied with.

Tax Returns

As exempted companies are exempt from taxation there is no requirement to file annual return.

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 based upon English common law and some locally modified laws of Bahamas and Jamaica No Yes

Public authorities and legal acts

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List of laws and regulations
Act name Scope of law
Company Ordinance 1981 companies
Business Licensing Ordinance business licensing
Banking Ordinance banks
Tax treaties entered
Tax Exchange Information Agreement (TEIA) Australia, Canada, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom.
List of state regulatory authorities
Government of Turks & Caicos Islands http://www.gov.tc
Turks & Caicos Financial Services Commission http://www.tcifsc.tc
Turks & Caicos Customs Department http://www.customs.gov.tc
Turks & Caicos Tourist Boards http://www.turksandcaicostourism.com

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

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    Regards, GSL Law & Consulting Lawyer, London Office Valerija Filipova

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