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.

  • 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 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.

General Information


Type of company

IBC – International Business Corporation

Relevant Companies Law

International Business Companies Act, 1994 (as amended, 2011)

Offices

Law requires companies to provide a local office address

Language of original incorporation documents

English

Finance and Taxation


Currency

SCR

Corporate tax rate

0%

Standard share capital

100,000 USD

Office Holders


Company Secretary (Secretary)

 
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

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

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

Required

Obligation to submit financial reports

Not required

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