Establishing a company in the Bahamas

The Bahamas are in fact an archipelago that includes over 3,000 islands, reefs and islets located in the Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Florida and to the north of Cuba. Its total area is around 13,000 km2, and despite the large number of islands and reefs, the majority of the population is centered on only twenty islands. The official language is English and the major religion is Christianity. The banking system is extremely advanced and allows foreign companies to conduct business there. The country gained its independence in 1973.

The Bahamas enjoy a subtropical to tropical climate, alleviated by the cooling breezes of the Gulf Stream. Temperatures do not drop below 0°C but can go as low as 2°-3°C, and every few years the islands suffer a particularly harsh hurricane season. Most of the Bahamas are low, flat islands, almost none elevated beyond 15m above sea level. The highest point is Mount Alvernia on Cat Island, with an altitude of no more than 63m.

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Three things you did not know about the Bahamas:

  • Much of the film “Thunderball” (1965), the fourth spy film in the James Bond series, was shot in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas.
  • The College of the Bahamas offers academic degrees, includes three campuses, a research centre and is now undergoing the accreditation process to become a university.
  • Despite the islands’ warm climate, during January of 1977 the islands experienced some snow (the Miami area was also snowed at the time).

The Bahama’s economy

The islands exist primarily on a highly developed tourism sector, constituting roughly half of their GNP and providing for about 60% of jobs for residents, and a financial services sector. The country encourages offshore company establishment through attractive tax policies.

As stated, foreign companies registering in the Bahamas enjoy 0% corporate tax, no requirement of submitting annual reports, and company confidentiality, apart from names of company directors and shareholders.

Additional information about establishing offshore companies in the Bahamas:

General
Type of company
IBC – International Business Corporation
Relevant Companies Law
International Business Companies (Amendment) Act 2004
Offices
Local law requires companies to provide a local office address
Language of original incorporation documents
English
Finance and Taxation
Currency
Bahamian dollar (BSD)
Corporate tax rate
0%
Standard share capital
50,000 USD in nominal value shares of 1 USD
Office Holders
Secretary
Obligation to appoint company secretary
Not required – companies may choose to appoint their own secretary
Obligation to appoint local secretary
Not required
Type of entity that may function as company secretary
Individual and/or company
Director
Obligation to appoint company director
Required
Obligation to appoint local company director
Not required
Minimum number of directors
1
Type of entity that may serve as company director
Individual and/or company
Shareholders
Obligation to register shareholders
Required
Obligation to register local shareholders
None
Minimum number of shareholders
1
Type of entity that may register as shareholder
יחיד ו/או חברה
Type of shares
Registered shares
Accessibility of Information
Company registrar
Information regarding office holders is not accessible to the public
Annual Assembly and Reporting
Obligation to hold annual assembly
Not required
Obligation to prepare financial reports
Required
Obligation to submit financial reports
Not required