is about using the possibilities offered by countries (commonly known as jurisdictions),
whose legislation allows for certain advantages (tax, confidentiality, company
structure, etc.) to be used by non-residents.
This means that a country,
or jurisdiction, will allow registration of a company and offer them certain tax
freedoms in exchange for an annual licence fee. It is normally a legal requirement
that the registered company must not conduct any business or own any assets in
the jurisdiction of incorporation.
This in turn allows companies to be
set up in that jurisdiction, sometimes resident, sometimes not (depending on the
legislation), to trade on an international basis taking advantage of the easier
flow of money on the international markets. These jurisdictions often allow another
company to be appointed as the Director and Shareholder of a company. Most countries
today still partake in the idea that the flow of money in or out of the country
has to be restricted, regulated, or at least monitored, and of course, taxed.
is asset protection?
Conventional asset protection is not hiding assets,
defrauding creditors or evading income taxes. Asset protection is the positioning
of assets to make them unattractive and legally unreachable by creditors, but
available for financial goals and needs.
Sound asset protection does not
encourage nor necessitate illegal acts such as perjury or concealment of assets
in violation of law. The law itself recognises asset protection as exampled by
numerous provisions defining permitted and prohibited strategies. It is certainly
possible to affect an asset protection plan legally. There is no need to violate
any law or regulation.
Even those with ethical objections can still adopt
an asset protection plan and then if a rightful claim later arises, surrender
What is the meaning of offshore?
There are two
common meanings for the word offshore. Literally, offshore means off or away from
the shore. The Channel Islands are offshore from England and France; while Vanuatu
is offshore from Australia. Offshore is also used to mean "foreign."
Swiss banks are offshore relative to Americans; whereas Panamanian banks are offshore
relative to Swiss.
What is offshore banking?
If a bank is located
in a foreign country does not make it an offshore bank. An offshore bank must
be specifically licenced as such under appropriate offshore banking legislation.
Regular onshore banking is subject to the tax rules, foreign exchange rules and
charges of whatever country the account is in. They are also subject to foreign
exchange regulations and are not covered by the offshore banking confidentiality
and asset protection legislation. By the contrary, offshore banking is tax free,
there are no foreign exchange regulations, and all account information is confidential.
Why offshore investing?
Offshore investors obtain greater freedom
than is possible onshore. European & North American nations suffocate individuals
and institutions alike with complex regulations. Thus, the likes of Barclays Bank
and Bank of America go offshore to reduce red-tape. Others go offshore to simplify
international trade. Thus, a German jewellery might establish an offshore subsidiary
to buy gold. Still other persons and businesses seek privacy. They want bank accounts
in jurisdictions where it is a felony for a banker to reveal that they even have
an account! By contrast, there is zero financial privacy in Europe and America.
In addition, many go offshore for tax benefits. Some locales have zero income
tax, zero inheritance tax, and zero corporate tax.
Do criminals hide
Yes, they do. Blackmailers, extortionists, drug dealers,
and corrupt politicians operate onshore everywhere, both within and outside mainstream
institutions. Criminals hide their activities everywhere they can, including offshore.
Why do law abiding people go offshore?
There are many reasons:
to increase personal privacy
protect yourself from invasive bureaucracy
to protect against frivolous lawsuits
to protect your assets from seizure
to assist estate planning
your assets for your heirs
to protect a percentage of your income from income
to protect a percentage of your profits from capital taxes
capital gains from capital gains taxes
to delay any taxation
Is going offshore only for wealthy investors?
offshore is like taking a vacation. Years ago only the very affluent did. At the
entry level, you can open an offshore bank account in a pro-privacy locale with
about US$1,000 initial deposit. The cost to open and pay annual maintenance fees
for an offshore trust or corporation is roughly the same as its onshore counterpart.
Of course, high net worth investors have many advantages offshore and onshore
which are unavailable to persons with few assets.
Is it safe to go offshore?
The world's major companies and wealthiest investors think so. A conservative
investor can put money in foreign banks that have top-rate credit ratings. More
American banks and savings & loans collapsed due to corruption in the 1980s
than in any other country. I live by the maxim, "Investigate before you invest."
Investing offshore is as safe as walking across the street, if you look in both
Who discourages investors to go offshore?
persons and institutions interested in your ignorance, including: 1) the national
banking system, which is afraid you'll transfer funds to foreign banks that offer
better services, 2) onshore accountants and money managers, who are afraid to
lose you as a customer, 3) credit bureaus and database firms, which make money
selling data about you, and 4) onshore attorneys, who are afraid they will be
unable to confiscate your life savings if your money is safely overseas.
How do I go offshore?
The first step is do a little homework.
You'll save yourself a lot of time, frustration, and money by doing a little research.
Get some info before proceeding. Let us suggest you first the contents of this