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Seychelles - More on Offshore Jursidiction

 

SEYCHELLES

Capital: Victoria
Population: 81,000 (est. 2003)
Languages: English/French (official), Creole
Area: 455 sq. km (land area)
Currency: Seychelles Rupee (SCR)
Fiscal year: Calender year
Independence status: 29/06/1976 (from U.K.)
 

BACKGROUND
THE SEYCHELLES are a string of 92 small islands that lie about 1,000 miles off the east coast of Africa in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The Seychelles islands have historically been a tourist destination. In 1994, the Seychelles announced its intention to turn the country into a full-fledged international business centre and announced with a number of steps taken to promote inward bound investment by the private sector.

Legal System
The legislative side of Government is headed by a National Assembly of directly elected Members. Seychelles is an independent republic within the British Commonwealth. It is based on English common law, French civil law, and customary law.

Currency
Exchange controls do not apply to “offshore” business. Local currency can be imported for free, but export is limited to 100 Rupees. There are no restrictions on import/export of foreign currency. Euros, British Pounds and U.S. Dollars are also accepted for local uses.

Confidentiality
Confidentiality is one of the key features as details of the company beneficial owners, directors and shareholders are NOT part of public record. This information is kept only at the offices of the Registered Agent in complete confidentiality.

Taxation
A Seychelles IBC is by law not subject to any tax or duty on income or profits. It is also exempt from stamp duties on transfer of property and any exchange controls.

Legislations
To expand the economy, a collection of modern business legislations modeled after other successful havens, including the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, the Cook Islands, Panama, and the Caymans, was setting up. In 1995, the Seychelles International Business Authority ("SIBA") was set up to act as regulator for the new of business legislation being introduced and it was made up of both private sector members and Government Statutory members. The main role is to advance the jurisdiction as a centre, safeguard and carry out the function of the Authority/Registrar for International business activities. The new legislation include:
  • The International Business Companies Act, 1994
  • The International Trusts Act, 1994
  • The Seychelles International Business Authority Act
  • The Seychelles International Trade Zone Act

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