Privacy

Privacy and confidentiality are among the main factors for using offshore facilities. Many offshore jurisdictions do not have public disclosure requirements for directors or shareholders of companies and also permit bearer shares. Also, there is not usually a register of trusts.

A majority of offshore jurisdictions adopted laws guaranteeing nondisclosure of confidential information, through which any disclosure of information about founders, shareholders or stockholders of an offshore company to third persons, public or state institutions and governmental authorities is excluded.

As competition becomes more intense, the ability to restrict competitor's access to your company's true financial position may be the way to success. In certain circumstances it could also be necessary to 'mask' the true ownership of a company. Such confidentiality is not available directly in most West European countries, however, it can often be guaranteed by using tax exempt companies.

For high net worth individuals it may be beneficial to hold properties and assets abroad, through a personal holding company. This would ensure privacy and savings on legal fees, and allow to avoid publicity. They also may settle the ownership of such a company into trust.

In a majority of cases, the authorities do not force the offshore company founders, through legislative tools, to perform the actual establishment of the company directly on site or to convene General Meetings and pass resolutions in the countries in question. The interest of the authorities are most that the company should pay in time all fees, lump-sum taxes and conduct its business activities in a legitimate manner.

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30/09/2006
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