Establishing a company in the Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands are an island state located in the Pacific Ocean, southwest of Hawaii and east of Micronesia. From the 19th century onwards control of the island switched between various European countries, among them Japan and the U.S., and only in 1990 did they fully gain independence. The government is a democratic republic and its political reality stable. The island spans 181 km2 and has 70,000 residents. State revenues rely, among other things, on activities related to the establishment of foreign companies on the islands. The local infrastructure is highly developed in comparison to neighboring countries, including two power stations, a central water system, two international airfields and 12 deep water docks for ocean liners.

The Marshall Islands boast long, sandy beaches spotted by groves of coconut trees, clear water lagoons, and a bounty of tropical fish, huge tortoises and coral reefs. The climate is hot and humid, with the rainy season lasting from May to November. The islands suffer yearly typhoons and sometimes floods. They are built on atolls, formerly volcanoes that have eroded and produced coral reefs surrounding lagoons. These can span thousands of square acres, gradually being formed over 30 million years.

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Three things you did not know about the Marshall Islands:

  • In the years 1946-1958 two Marshall Islands – Bikini Atoll and Enewetak Atoll – were used as sites for nuclear testing conducted by the U.S.
  • The Marshall Islands have repeatedly voted in favor of Israel in UN assemblies.
  • Global warming has led to the rapid rise of sea level, endangering the local residents (as well as other nearby islands in Oceania) and potentially covering large swathes of island surface. The state has approached the UN with a request to mandate use of alternative energy sources to stop the global phenomenon.

The Marshall Islands’s economy

The fishing industry, specifically the huge tuna market and export of coconuts, provide a significant measure of island revenue. There is also great tourist potential thanks to the diverse and pastoral shorelines and almost perfect weather, but this has only recently been understood. Today efforts are being made to realize this potential and transform the tourist trade into big revenues. The U.S. military also has a base on one of the islands, contributing significantly to the economy by providing employment to locals and rent. Additionally, the islands receive substantial aid from the U.S.

Companies established there enjoy 0% corporate tax and residents pay low income tax. Offshore businesses need not submit financial reports, and information regarding company shareholders and directors is not accessible to the public.

Additional information about establishing offshore companies in the Marshall Islands:

General
Type of company
IBC – International Business Corporation
Relevant Companies Law
The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Associations Law (1990)
Offices
Law requires companies to provide a local office address
Language of original incorporation documents
English
Finance and Taxation
Currency
USD
Corporate tax rate
0%
Standard share capital
50,000 USD in nominal value shares or 500 non-nominal shares
Office Holders
Secretary
Obligation to appoint company secretary
Required, individual and/or company
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
Not required
Minimum number of shareholders
1
Type of entity that may register as shareholder
Individual and/or company
Type of shares
Registered shares and/or bearer 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
Required
Obligation to prepare financial reports
Required
Obligation to submit financial reports
Not required