Offshore Banking Explained

Offshore Banking – What You Need to Know

Notice* If you are considering opening an offshore bank account, please read this information first.

Offshore companies are a legal, sensible way for individuals and business owners to pay less tax. An offshore company can be used to help provide for your family, avoid inheritance tax, capital gains tax and much more.

Avoid Online Resale Agents

Many offshore service providers that are found online are simply resale agents who offer offshore companies coupled with offshore bank accounts at a cheap price to attract new clients. What these agents do not tell you is that after you’ve purchased an offshore company there is a long, complex list of other steps that need to be taken before you can begin trading and open and operate your corporate bank account.

We are approached by people every day who have purchased an offshore company elsewhere only to find they are not able to open a bank account. In any industry, and including offshore finance, there are good, reputable banks and there are poor ones. There are websites online that pose as banks yet are not, and yet can look extremely inviting and professional.

Use Recognized International Banks

However, there are international banks who specifically cater for genuine offshore clients whether corporate or personal, and these banks are established, profitable and secure institutions that provide a professional service to clients on an international basis and in a multitude of languages. These are the banks that we deal with. There is nothing illegal in owning your own offshore bank account.

Before you go ahead, please take a look at some of our bullet points on some of the main aspects involved:

  • Offshore companies and offshore bank accounts are perfectly legal. In fact, some of our politicians own and operate offshore bank accounts.
  • You might want to think about having your company documents certified by a notary in the country of its incorporation.
  • In order for your company documents to be accepted in any of our offshore banks they will be required to be sent for the apostile. This is an international recognition that the documents certified are genuine and a process we can manage for you.
  • If the above have been done then there is no need to travel to open a bank account. We can do it all by email.
  • You may need to take some tax advice from a suitably experienced person or company. Some UK accountants are not familiar with the complexities of offshore companies.
  • Never buy an offshore company ‘off the shelf’. You do not know what skeletons it has in its closet.
  • Always use a reputable and licensed bank intermediary who will not only recommend a safe and suitable bank, but will assist fully in completing the forms on your behalf.
  • Remember that some jurisdictions like the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and the UK require to meet the bank signatories in person. If any company are promising that they can open you a bank account ‘remotely’ in any of these jurisdictions then they are giving you false information.
  • Think twice about how you want to structure your new company before incorporating it. For example, making use of nominee directors as well as nominee shareholders can add a further layer of protection and secrecy to your entity. If you are a director or indeed a shareholder of a company and plan to take an income from it then you will need to declare this in your country that you are tax resident in.
  • Check the minimum funds required to be deposited in your new offshore bank. This can range from zero to $50,000 and upwards.