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.

  • 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.

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.

General Information


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


Company Secretary (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

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