Over the last decade, Seychelles has seen significant success in establishing itself as a well-known and respected international financial services jurisdiction. This journey started with the establishment of the International Business Companies Act in 1994, the International Trusts Act in 1994 and the International Trade Zone Act in 1995. Since then the Seychelles has swiftly been acknowledged by the global financial community as one of the most competitive and recognized jurisdictions for International business company incorporations.
Today, the financial services sector is said to be the most rapidly evolving sector of Seychelles’ economy with a growing assortment of financial products and services, substantial advancements in the competence and capabilities of the country’s human resource and a common understanding that success, growth and productivity can all be achieved whilst complying with an efficient and up-to-date legal and regulatory framework. One of the key factors leading to the country’s ascent onto the global financial services scene has been its success in implementing a legal framework that is sound, reliable and attractive to investors.
The Financial services sector is often referred to as the third pillar of the Seychelles’ economy and offers a range of services and products that make it such an exciting destination for Investment.
International Business Companies (IBC)
IBCs are limited companies that carry out business activities outside of Seychelles. They are incorporated by the Registrar of International Business Companies which is the Financial Services Authority (FSA). These companies are created for conducting international business outside of Seychelles and are exempt from all forms of taxation. IBCs are ideal for a wide variety of uses such as holding companies, asset protection, patents and copyright holding companies.
Trusts set up under the International Trust Act 1994, provide an efficient, sensible and legitimate means of protecting your assets depending on your requirements. There are various purposes for trusts and these include property-holding trusts, charitable trusts or purpose trusts which are not used for the benefit of individuals, but for some specific purpose.
The Seychelles Foundation Act 2009 encompasses many of the best provisions found in other foundation jurisdictions yet provides more precision on essential legal issues in addition to more flexibility and better asset protection. The Seychelles Foundation is a separate entity, in that once the founder transfers assets to a foundation, those assets become the property of the foundation giving it full legal and beneficial title and no longer form part of the founder’s personal estate. Moreover, whilst its scope is limited to activities for which a Business License or professional qualification is not required, a foundation may still be the owner of securities, real estate and bank accounts and may enter into contracts of any kind that do not imply the practice of a commercial business.
Companies Special License (CSL)
The Seychelles CSL is a local tax resident company specially licensed under the Companies (Special Licences) Act, 2003 by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and is subject to a tax rate of 1.5% of its worldwide (gross) income. It is incorporated as a domestic company under the Companies Act 1972 but awarded a special license by FSA which grants the company a special status as it benefits from access to the Seychelles’ growing network of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) and can also operate part of its business within Seychelles.
Protected Cell Companies (PCC)
Under the Protected Cell Companies Act, 2003 a company incorporated under the Companies Act 1972 can be authorized to divide into identifiable cells without having to assume a separate legal entity. Cells within a PCC are protected against liabilities incurred by cells of the same company making it an attractive solution for many business activities such as captive insurance or mutual funds businesses.