Nevis LLC Formation | Why and How to set up an Offshore company in Nevis
UPDATE September 2019: This article has been refreshed with updated links and editorial inputs. A Nevis LLC remains a powerful vehicle for companies looking to incorporate in the country as an offshore entity.
The Nevis jurisdiction is a “No-Tax” offshore domicile operated by the small Caribbean island of Nevis within the country of St Kitts and Nevis. If you set up a Nevis LLC, one of the only restrictions issued by the St Kitts and Nevis government is the inability to do business with residents of Nevis. This is quite common for international business companies (IBCs) in that one is not allowed to do business with the residents of the country in which the company is formed.
St Kitts and Nevis is an independent sovereignty and not a crown dependent, such as the Channel Islands, and the country is not connected to another larger dependency. St Kitts and Nevis has grown in profile in recent years for its instant (6+/- months) passport program. Other official instant passport program options include the Dominica and the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Program. Explore the full list of passport and residency by investment programs at passports.io and residencies.io.
Why should YOUR company be incorporated as a Nevis LLC?
A distinct advantage of a Nevis LLC is the ability to incorporate with a single member. Although Nevis isn’t the only place this is possible, the strong asset protection laws of Nevis are favorable compared to other jurisdictions.
Easy Corporate Compliance
Unlike other jurisdictions, an example being Hong Kong, a Nevis LLC does not have to face mandatory audits, and corporate compliance is minimal. There are very few company records to be maintained; examples are corporate minutes and a record of shareholders, though this does not need to be made public. Your company meeting can be held anywhere, and an operating agreement can be tailored to your exact specifications.
Hong Kong is a good place to set up shop, but it does have its drawbacks. The company must employ Hong Kong nationals in certain higher-level positions, and, moreover, a Hong Kong Co. Ltd. company is not automatically considered offshore – it must qualify for that status each year. The names of the company’s directors are kept on a public roster (unless a nominee is used, which is common).
However, banking in Hong Kong is some of the best in the world.
No Resident Directors
A Nevis LLC can be formed without mandatory resident directors.
Strong Asset Protection
To bring an action against your business incorporated in Nevis, the creditor would need to post a $25,000 cash bond with the court, in addition to any legal fees. It might not be as strong as the Cook Islands, but Nevis is a solid choice from an asset protection standpoint.
Be careful if you’re considering starting a single member LLC in the United States!
U.S.-domiciled single-member LLCs have been perceived as risky because they don’t always have outside-in asset protection or ‘personal lawsuit’ protection.
The best place to operate an LLC in the US is within the states of Wyoming, Delaware or Nevada. This is because of strong charging order protection which has faced – and defeated – legal challenges. The State of Wyoming has statutes that specifically provide for charging order protection in support of single-member LLCs.
Nevis offshore statutes for Nevis IBCs and Nevis LLCs are actually derived from the jurisdictional law of the states of Delaware and Wyoming, respectively. A single-member LLC in Nevis has charging order protection, and other benefits of a Wyoming LLC, located in a jurisdiction offshore, with Nevis courts, governing. So you get all the benefits of the strongest LLC in the United States located offshore in Nevis.
Nevis has no connection to U.S. court systems or governance; the country simply borrowed its jurisdictional law because they felt it was the strongest upon which to build their offshore domicile laws.
The Confidential Relations Act of 1985 guarantees the confidentiality of Nevis offshore companies and bank accounts.
Nevis Has No Public Registry – Nevis does not have a database of corporate records accessible to the public. Only the government of St Kitts and Nevis, as well as lawyers practicing in Nevis, can access this database.
Unlike other jurisdictions, no greedy creditor can get even the most basic information about your LLC, such as when it was filed, whom it was filed by, or who owns the company. Your registration is essentially anonymous.
How is an LLC Different from a Company Limited by Shares?
This may be basic for some of you, but it’s a question we get asked a lot so it’s worth covering:
A member of a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is limited to the amount of contributed capital they make to capitalize the company and ‘buy’ a membership interest. An LLC is comprised of membership interest, whereas a shareholder in a company is limited by shares. This limits the owners’ personal liability to the amount in which they’ve invested in the company.
I’ve heard that Hong Kong is the Best Place to Incorporate Offshore – is this true?
Hong Kong does offer some distinct advantages over other jurisdictions. For starters, a Hong Kong company that operates “offshore,” or in a “no-tax” environment, is actually not a distinct offshore jurisdiction.
Hong Kong is one of the best jurisdictions in the world; however, it does have its downsides, such as yearly audits. Also, you will likely have to travel to Hong Kong and, in person, make the initial deposit necessary to open a bank account there in person. There is a way around this, but it involves paying a premium fee for a full-service incorporation and bank introduction.
Your Nevis LLC is backed by strong laws
Nevis is a common law jurisdiction with LLC statutes. English is used in the court system and the knowledge that they will need to post a bond in order to sue you tends to deter creditors.
Your Offshore Nevis LLC is private
Your name is not on the company registry, because there is no publicly accessible company registry. Nevis LLC formation is a private procedure, and your name won’t be disclosed.
You have the choice of a manager-managed LLC with multiple members, or a member-managed LLC with multiple members. LLCs are for the most part very flexible.
A Nevis LLC is perfect for someone who:
- Is the sole owner of their business and doesn’t want to have another director.
- Wants the benefit of strong asset protection.
- Wants a private and secure registration.
- Doesn’t want to pay for nominee directors.
- Doesn’t want to face yearly audits.
- Desires a relatively simple and easy incorporation offshore.
What really stands out about Nevis Offshore Incorporation?
A Nevis LLC offers strong asset protection advantages, as a $25,000 bond must be posted to file a lawsuit against a company incorporated in the country.
Belize, BVI, Nevis – All of these jurisdictions are tax-free and tax-transparent. If you are looking for a tax-opaque / “onshore” company with a low tax (which allows for business to be transacted locally, as opposed to offshore) you might consider Cyprus, Romania and Hong Kong. Or perhaps you could also start a company in Myanmar, discover how to set up an Offshore Headquarters in the Philippines, or, if you want to lose money, consider trying to start a company in Bali, Indonesia.
Setting up a Nevis Offshore Company today
You can incorporate a Nevis Offshore Company by acquiring our Incorporate in Nevis Complete Package.
Incorporation and Banking are a key and critical step that will underline and shape the rest of your operations. By choosing the right jurisdiction for your business, you can experience its benefits in a dramatic and immediate way. To compare countries for incorporating an offshore and onshore company, you can check our free tool: incorporations.io.
If you need an integral approach and personalized advice, you can use the incorporations.io tool to explore how we can help you, or contact us directly to internationalize and improve your freedom, privacy and wealth.