Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Saba, Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten are islands in the Caribbean Sea administered by the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The last three are considered countries by the law. The Netherlands Antilles are offshore, where it is profitable to open companies. Legislation is favorable for trade and tourism and also contributes to tax optimization. Entrepreneurs who intend to register a company in Willemstad or any other city of the Netherlands Antilles are attracted by low tax rates.
Advantages of registering a company
- the possibility of creating a company in a short period;
- agreements to avoid double taxation;
- the application of transparent European legislative norms;
- the convenient geographical location in a zone without intense hurricanes and earthquakes;
- the possibility of obtaining European Union citizenship.
Offshore Netherlands Antilles is one of the oldest and most famous. Since the 60s, international financial and insurance structures, holdings, and shipping companies have opened here.
Main forms of legal presence and doing business
Registration of a company in the Netherlands Antilles is possible in these legal forms:
The following are the types of companies:
- public limited liability company;
- private limited liability company;
The optimal choice for international trade, investment, and tax planning is to create limited liability companies.
Registering a company in the Netherlands Antilles involves the following steps:
- Check the organization's name for compliance and validity on the Chamber of Commerce of the Netherlands (KvK) website.
- Preparation and signing of the articles of association and memorandum of association must be certified by a civil-law notary.
- Registration of the company in the commercial register of the local chamber of commerce and obtain a registration number.
- Providing data to local tax authorities and social security organizations.
- Opening a bank account.
- Obtaining licenses and permits to conduct business (for certain types of companies).
Legislation and regulatory environment
The Netherlands Antilles has a civil law system based on mainland rules. The legal provisions relating to legal entities are contained in the Civil Code. The document declares the laws and regulations companies operating in the country must comply with the laws and regulations.
In most cases, only one shareholder, who may be a natural person or a company, must incorporate a company in the Netherlands Antilles.
The relevant Act protects personal data. However, the names of the founders and directors of the company are recorded in a public register. The data on the beneficiaries is partially public.
Annual shareholders' meetings are mandatory. However, depending on the legal form of incorporation, the law establishes different requirements regarding the meeting place.
The Netherlands Antilles is an offshore territory with a separate tax regime. Therefore, income received by a legal entity in this territory is not taxed.
The tax mechanism establishes the right to levy taxes on dividend income for the recipient's country of residence. However, the general dividend tax rate in the Netherlands is 15%. In some cases, the company may be entitled to partial or complete exemption from such payment or a refund.
Real estate is taxed at a rate of 0.4 - 0.8%.
VAT is not charged in the islands. Instead, there is a tax on expenses. The general rate is 8%. However, depending on the type of activity and categories of goods and services, it can range from 0 to 30%.
Opening a business in the Netherlands Antilles: how Prifinance lawyers can assist
Registering a business in an offshore jurisdiction requires understanding the business's legal norms and peculiarities in the selected territory. Prifinance lawyers will provide detailed consultations on all relevant issues, assist you to choose a suitable organizational and legal form for the company and prepare the necessary documents. In addition, we provide support in opening bank accounts and handling accounting. If necessary, our specialists can help to buy a company in the Netherlands Antilles.