Establishing a company in the Caymans

The Caymans are comprised of three small islands in the western region of the Caribbean Sea, located between Belize and Honduras, Cuba and Jamaica. The central island is Grand Cayman, where the majority of the population resides, as well as most of its business activity, also holding the capital city of Georgetown. The islands were first discovered by Columbus in 1503 on one of his journeys to the Caribbean and the Americas. At first it was ruled by the Spanish, but in 1670 it was transferred to the British. It is currently an independent overseas British territory. The local population is very diverse, including Caucasian Europeans, Afro-Europeans, Africans and others.

Island area spans only 264 km2   and the population is only 55,000 people. As it is in the Caribbean, the climate is tropical, meaning hot and humid during both summer and winter months. The rainy season lasts from May to October, and winters are dry. During hurricane season during June-November, the islands suffer periodical tropical cyclone storms. The Caymans are generally typified by rich and luxurious tropical landscapes, long virginal beaches, clear blue waters and tropical tree groves.

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Three things you did not know about the Cayman Islands:

  • The Caymans are an extremely popular destination for foreign companies. This is evident in the fact that the number of foreign companies registered there is greater than the number of residents.
  • Due to its strategic location in the very heart of the Caribbean’s western region, the islands served pirates as an important transition point for centuries. There is still a great deal of “pirate culture” in local folklore and the booming tourist industry.
  • Although the islands function as an independent state, the territory is still subject to the British crown in certain respects. They have an internal constitution, and the state is managed by a governor appointed by the Queen. There is also a Legislative Assembly elected every four years. In terms of taxation and economic policy, the Cayman’s function with complete sovereignty.

The Cayman Island’s economy

The major component of the Cayman economy is the financial services sector, registration of companies, a successful tourism industry, and a particularly large shipping industry. The local currency is the Cayman Islands dollar (worth 1.2 USD). GDP is estimated at 2.25 billion USD and per capita income at 47,000 USD, which is the highest rate in the Caribbean and ranked 14th in the world. Local companies law in the Caymans encourages offshore business there, and the tax laws are equally hospitable. There is no requirement of income tax, capital gains tax or corporate tax on the islands. Most of the offshore companies that register there are part of the finance, banking, or hedge funds industries, or investment companies or some kind. To date, the state has been very protective of company owners’ privacy.

Foreign companies that decide to establish a business in the Cayman Islands enjoy various benefits, such as 0% corporate tax, complete confidentiality regarding company office holders, and very quick and simple registration process. However, there are some requirements that must be met, such as reports of fiscal activities and renting local offices on the islands.

Additional information about establishing offshore companies in the Cayman Islands:

General
Type of company
Exampt
Relevant Companies Law
Cayman Companies (Amendment) Law 2013
Offices
Law requires companies to provide a local office address
Language of original incorporation documents
English
Finance and Taxation
Currency
KYD
Corporate tax rate
0%
Standard share capital
50,000 USD
Office Holders
Secretary
Obligation to appoint company secretary
Not required – company may appoint a 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
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
Not required
Obligation to prepare financial reports
Required
Obligation to submit financial reports
Not required