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  Professional offshore incorporations and offshore banking services since 1996

 

Company Incorporation
Antigua

 

We are pleased to provide a summary of the salient features of companies incorporated in Antigua.


The State of Antigua and Barbuda is located in the Eastern Caribbean and is part of the group of islands that constitute the Leewards Islands. Antigua measures 108 square miles (280 sq. km) and Barbuda measures 62 square miles (160 sq. km). Along with these two islands which make up the State of Antigua and Barbuda is the islet of Redonda 0.6 square miles (1.6 sq. km) which is uninhabited. There are approximately 60,000 people on Antigua and 1,500 on Barbuda. Antigua is situated 170 N and 610 W, with Barbuda 25 miles to the north. Redonda is situated west of Antigua.

The climate of Antigua and Barbuda can be described as being mildly tropical with temperatures ranging between 240 and 300 (760 F and 860). The trade winds which blow constantly across Antigua help to keep the humidity low, thus maintaining a pleasant climate year round.

Although only 108 square miles, Antigua has the largest tourist sector in the Leeward and Windward Islands. Since the decline of the sugar industry in the 1960's, tourism has been the main contributor to the economy, accounting for sixty percent (60%) of the GDP. There has been a significant increase in both the number of hotels present on the island and the number of passenger arrivals. Frequent cruise ship arrivals at the St. John's Harbour and the Deep Water Harbour also play a major part in boosting the tourism industry. The opening of the Heritage Quay duty-free shopping complex provides tourists with the opportunity to shop at duty-free prices.

Antigua is a major yachting centre and every year hosts one of the world's major yachting competitions. The Antigua Sailing Week Competition, which is held at the end of April each year, attracts hundreds of yachts and is a major source of revenue for the tourism industry.

Antigua was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, who gave the island the name of Antigua, after the church of Santa Maria La Antigua in Seville, Spain. The British were the first Europeans to establish a settlement in 1632 and, except for a brief period when the settlement was occupied by the French, Antigua remained a British colony until 1967.

Antigua and Barbuda gained its independence on November 1, 1981. As an independent nation, Antigua became the 157th member of the United Nations. It is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organization of American States (OAS), the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Caribbean Common Market (CCM), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank.

The system of Government which exists in Antigua, is one of democracy based upon the British Parliamentary system. The Government consists of a Cabinet of Ministers which is headed by the Prime Minister.

LANGUAGE

The Language of Antigua and Barbuda is English.

CURRENCY

The Currency in use is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar which is linked to the United States dollar at the official exchange rate of US $1.00 = EC $2.70.

Antigua has put into place a number of features which make it ideal for permanent residence or doing international business transactions. Antigua is a tax free jurisdiction for permanent residents and those companies which are incorporated under the International Business Corporation Act. The country offers adequate infrastructure in which to conduct business.

 


 

INCORPORATION OF IBCs

Any company wishing to conduct business as an offshore entity need to be incorporated under the International Business Corporations (IBC) Act, 1982. Incorporation can only be undertaken by any two (2) citizens of Antigua and Barbuda who are resident in the country.

Incorporation is achieved by signing and sending the articles of incorporation to the Director of International Business Corporations. Articles of Incorporation must be substantially in the form set out below:

  1. Name of Corporation

  2. Where the registered office is to be situated

  3. The classes and any number of shares the corporation is authorized to issue

  4. Restrictions if any of the share transfers

  5. Number (or minimum and maximum number of directors)

  6. Restrictions on business the corporation may carry on

  7. Other Divisions, if any

  8. Incorporators

CERTIFICATE OF INCORPORATION

Upon formation of an IBC, a Certificate of Incorporation is issued and serves as conclusive evidence of the incorporation of the company. In subsequent years the Director issues a Certificate of Incorporation and Good Standing.

CAPITAL REQUIREMENTS

There are no special capital requirements for an offshore company except for Banks, Trusts and Insurance Companies which have stated minimum capital levels.

A company may choose to have one (1) shareholder and shares can be issued in registered or bearer form and with or without nominal or par value. Bearer shares must indicate that they are not transferable to a resident of Antigua and Barbuda.

DIRECTORS

A company need only have one (1) director. In the case of banks, trusts or insurance companies at least one director must be a citizen and resident of Antigua and Barbuda.

REGISTERED OFFICE AND AGENT

Every offshore company must have a registered office and registered agent in Antigua and Barbuda. An offshore service provider could be appointed as a registered agent to prepare and submit required applications.

MEETINGS

Directors of the company are required to call an annual general meeting of shareholders. Meetings may be held outside of Antigua and Barbuda except for for the Annual General Meeting. Telephone meetings are permissible as long as one (1) director is physically present in Antigua and Barbuda and shareholders may vote by proxy.

REPORTING

There are no requirements for an ordinary international business corporation to file audited financial statements. However, banks, trusts and insurance companies are required to file annual audited accounts within six (6) months of the corporation's year end.

CORPORATE MOBILITY

The legislation governing the operation of International Business Corporations allows for companies to be re-domiciled both inwards and outwards.

TAX EXEMPTION

Companies incorporated under the IBC Act, 1982 of Antigua and Barbuda are exempted from the payment of taxes for a period of fifty years.

EXCHANGE CONTROL

Income, profits, gains and other revenues, and the funds and securities of an exempt corporation are exempt from exchange control regulations, unless the exempt corporation is a resident.

 


 

SHIP REGISTRATION

An International Business Company (IBC) can be used for the registration of ships under the Antiguan Flag. Once the vessel is owned by the IBC, the Company may apply to have the vessel registered under the Antiguan Flag.

The Company should be furnished with the following documents for the purpose of making any application with respect to yacht and pleasure crafts:

Written application form signed by the authorized person

  1. Copy of Bill of Sale or builder's certificate

  2. Copy of current registration certificate

  3. Evidence of deletion from previous registry

  4. Declaration of ownership

  5. Copy of latest survey report

GOVERNMENT FEES:

 

Gross Tons

Registration Fee (per ton) Tonnage Dues (per ton)
0-499

$ 3.00

$ 2.00

500-999

1.60

1.70

1000-1599

1.50

1.40

1600-14999

1.30

1.10

15000 & upwards

1.00

0.80

 


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Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the details contained herein are correct and up-to-date, it does not constitute legal or other professional advice. We do not accept any responsibility, legal or otherwise, for any errors or omissions.


Please go to our Uses of offshore Companies Page where you will find interesting information on the benefits of using offshore companies and trusts for business and personal use, links to information on other locations and details of our products and services.

 

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