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Establishing a company in Seychelles

Seychelles is a tiny island country comprised of a small archipelago in the Indian Ocean. It is a republic 1,500 km away from the eastern shores of Africa (to the east is Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania) and to the northeast of Madagascar. France and the UK controlled the islands respectively, so the official languages are French and English, although Seychellois Creole is also officially recognized and prevalently used. The state has instituted a convenient and efficient system to draw in foreign companies, offering an organized process and various incentives for external companies and foreign investments.

80% of the population is ethnically Seychellois Creole (originally African), but there are also many British, French, Chinese and Indian immigrants. The capital is Victoria, located on the main island of Mahé, and its overall area is only 451 km2. The islands were uninhabited before their discovery by Portuguese sailors in the 16th century. In 1756 France took control of the islands (and thus they are named after Louis XV's Minister of Finance), and in 1810 the UK managed to bloodlessly annex it from France and make it a British colony. They were awarded their independence in 1976. To date the Seychelles are still part of the British Commonwealth.

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Three things you didn’t know about Seychelles:

  • Although very small, Seychelles can boast of some of the world’s most exclusive and lavish resorts. Visitors can bask in sandy white beaches, clear waters, endless diving and scuba activities in the coral reefs, and adventures in the tropical groves.
  • Seychelles served as the central hub of piracy in the Indian Ocean for centuries. There is one famous story of Olivier Levasseur: the notorious pirate is said to have buried his treasure in the region, estimated today to be worth 160 million dollars, and many locals believe it is still waiting to be found, buried at sea along the Bel Ombre coast north of Mahé.
  • The coral atoll Aldabra is a declared UNESCO word heritage site and considered the largest elevated atoll in the world.

Seychelles’ economy

Seychelles has 85,000 residents, GDP is 2.3 billion USD, and per capita income is 25,200 USD, a figure that is relatively high for Africa. The local currency is the Seychellois rupee. Its economy used to be based on agriculture (cinnamon, vanilla and coconut as major exports), but after several economic reforms and emphasis on tourism more money has begun to flow into the state budget. This has produced significant economic growth with tourism generating 30% of local jobs. Financial services and registration services of foreign companies on the islands is also key to furthered growth, and Seychelles provides excellent infrastructure in terms of legislation, communication systems, regulatory requirements and various tax breaks according to type of company.

Seychelles offers full discretion for office holders of foreign companies and 0% corporate tax. However, they must adhere to several restrictions: they may not trade within the islands or own real-estate there, they may not conduct business relating to banking, insurance, asset management (excluding the company premises), finance management and similar endeavors. Other limitations relate to the ban of sale of shares to the public.

Additional information about establishing companies in Seychelles:

Type of company
IBC – International Business Corporation
Relevant Companies Law
International Business Companies Act, 1994 (as amended, 2011)
Law requires companies to provide a local office address
Language of original incorporation documents
Finance and Taxation
Corporate tax rate
Standard share capital
100,000 USD
Office Holders
Obligation to appoint company secretary
Not required
Obligation to appoint local secretary
Not required
Type of entity that may function as company secretary
Individual and/or company
Obligation to appoint company director
Obligation to appoint local company director
Not required
Minimum number of directors
Type of entity that may serve as company director
Individual and/or company
Obligation to register shareholders
Obligation to register local shareholders
Minimum number of shareholders
Type of entity that may register as shareholder
Individual and/or company
Type of shares
Registered shares or bearer shares
Accessibility of Information
Company registrar
Information regarding company directors is accessible to the public
Annual Assembly and Reporting
Obligation to hold annual assembly
Not required
Obligation to prepare financial reports
Obligation to submit financial reports
Not required