Establishing a company in Gibraltar

Gibraltar is a peninsula state on the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula and the European continent. Immediately adjacent to the Strait of Gibraltar, it constitutes the meeting point between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The region has long been contested with both British and Spanish claiming ownership, but finally in 2004 a poll taken among 30,000 residents of this 6.5 km2 territory continued its association with the UK.

Gibraltar is a British overseas territory; it has a stable and sovereign government, parliaments are elected through democratic elections and it instated its constitution in 1969. Concurrently, it also relies on the UK government for aid in areas of security, foreign affairs, economy and domestic security.

Although a member of the EU, Gibraltar is exempt from imposing joint protective tariffs on imports. Additionally, Gibraltar has advanced telecommunication infrastructure and a tax policy that relies on low taxes, points that make it attractive for foreign companies. Evidence of this can be seen in the online gaming industry, booming these last few years on the peninsula, the establishment of which was greatly facilitated by local tax policies and developed telecommunication services.

The state economy is based on four main markets: financial services, online gaming, shipping and tourism. The country also serves as a base of activity for several international banks, and you can find outlets of every major fashion chain, including Marks & Spencer, Tommy Hilfiger and many others – testimony to a developed economy and much local wealth.

After a 15 year period in which offshore activities in Gibraltar relied significantly on an extremely encouraging 0% corporate tax, in 2011 this law was amended to impose 10% corporate tax on resident companies. It is important to note that this tax is only relevant to companies making their profits from business within Gibraltar. All other income sources still retain the 0% tax rate.

For Viewing Gibraltar in Google Maps - Click Here

Three things you did not know about Gibraltar:

  • Gibraltar is home to a small but prominent Jewish community. It has five synagogues and even several restaurants serving traditional Jewish cuisine. The first prime minister of Gibraltar was Jewish.
  • On the Strait of Gibraltar there is the last remaining population of Barbary Macaques in Europe, considered a major attraction. They often surprise visitors by stealing food right from their hands.
  • Gibraltar is a favorite destination for shopping-loving tourists as all products and goods are sold without VAT.

Gibraltar’s economy

Foreign companies are not allowed to trade within Gibraltar itself or deal in areas of banking, insurance, capital management, or additional activities relating to the finance industry. On the other hand, Gibraltar does regulate online gaming and gambling activities and imposes a 0% corporate tax rate on all profit made from sources outside its territories. Furthermore, it does not impose a capital gains tax, wealth tax, gift tax or VAT.

Additional information about establishing offshore companies in Gibraltar:

General
Type of company
Non Resident
Relevant Companies Law
The Companies Act 2006
Offices
Gibraltar law requires companies to provide a local office address
Language of original incorporation documents
English
Finance and Taxation
Currency
GBP
Corporate tax rate
0% on income from sources outside Gibraltar 10% on income from sources within Gibraltar
Standard share capital
2,000 GBP for par value shares of 1 GBP
Office Holders
Secretary
Obligation to appoint company secretary
Required
Obligation to appoint local secretary
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
Minimum -1, maximum - 10
Type of entity that may serve as company director
Individual and/or company
Shareholders
Obligation to register shareholders
Required
Obligation to register local shareholders
Registration of non-resident shareholders is mandatory
Minimum number of shareholders
1
Type of entity that may register as shareholder
Individual and/or company
Type of shares
Registered shares
Accessibility of Information
Company registrar
Names of shareholders appear on incorporation documents and annual reports
Annual Assembly and Reporting
Obligation to hold annual assembly
Required – one annual meeting outside Gibraltar
Obligation to prepare financial reports
Required
Obligation to submit financial reports
Required