Forex License in Vanuatu

It’s an attractive jurisdiction offering loyal terms for business owners, and especially for financial companies. There is no inheritance tax, as well as, capital gains tax, and tax on profits in Vanuatu. At the same time, financial and investment activities are strictly regulated.

The country, which is an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, consists of more than 80 islands and is very popular among forex traders and investors. Thanks to its friendly business regulation, a Vanuatu forex license offers an easy way to confidently operate in the forex market in compliance with the law, guaranteeing reliability and confidentiality.

Why You Should Choose a Forex License in Vanuatu

The Vanuatu license forex was developed for the sake of striving to thrive in a competitive global market and is valued for its many advantages:

  • Vanuatu has convenient access to markets such as Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, while being located in the Pacific Ocean.
  • Since English is the official language here, it greatly facilitates interaction with international clients and investors.
  • Foreign investment is encouraged due to fewer bureaucratic procedures, which are currently being implemented by the Vanuatu government. As a result, the licensing process is fast and cost-effective.
  • It is possible to carry out a variety of international transactions in different currencies with no strict currency control regulations.
  • There are no taxes such as income tax or VAT, which allows companies to significantly increase profitability at the expense of saved funds.
  • International banks in Vanuatu ensure client confidentiality and compliance with global compliance standards by providing a wide range of services.


Regulatory Framework for Forex Trading in Vanuatu

The Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC) is the main regulator responsible for overseeing the issuance of inexpensive offshore Vanuatu forex license and was established in 1993. It also ensures that companies comply with legal standards to maintain market integrity and protect the public interest. The government needs the VFSC to advise on financial regulation policy.

Established in the same year, the non-profit organization Financial Centres Association of Vanuatu (FCA) supports the financial sector, covering banking, insurance, and brokerage services. Thus, the body is needed to create an attractive regulatory environment for attracting foreign investment in the foreign exchange sector without direct government intervention.

The Financial Markets Association (FMA), created by financial dealers, is a self-regulatory organization that is necessary to protect the industry from criminal activity while building trust in Vanuatu as a reputable financial center.

Key laws and regulations

  1. The Vanuatu Financial Services Commission Act No. 35 of 1993 governs the VFSC, promoting a favorable investment climate and corporate governance standards.
  2. The Counter Terrorist Financing Act No. 13 of 2014 and the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations impose strict controls to prevent abuse of the financial system by requiring detailed customer due diligence.
  3. The Law on Global Corporations [CAP.222], the Law on Companies No. 25 of 2012, and the Law on International Limited Liability Companies No. 39 of 2009 provide the legal framework for corporate governance, shareholder rights, and partnership management.
  4. The Law on the Registration of Business Names [CAP 211] is needed to ensure the uniqueness of business names and prevent the use of misleading names.

The laws on the regulation of stock exchanges, digital transactions, and financial intermediaries are responsible for regulating the activities of stock exchanges, digital commerce and licensing of financial intermediaries, as well as ensuring professional standards and market transparency.

Types of Vanuatu Forex Licenses

Vanuatu’s regulatory environment offers a range of forex licenses that meet different business models and operational requirements. These licenses allow you to legally trade forex within the jurisdiction, each with unique requirements and benefits tailored to the specific needs of your business:

  • The Securities Dealer (Principal) License is required for brokers engaged in market-making and trading as principals, which allows them to expand the range of instruments other than Forex and customize trading conditions at their discretion.
  • Securities Dealer (Client) License — focused on brokers acting as intermediaries, with an emphasis on brokerage services and access to liquidity and trading platforms for execution of various orders.
  • Foreign Exchange Trading License (Principal) — Ideal for direct Forex trading, offering flexibility in trading conditions for Forex-oriented clients.
  • The Foreign Exchange Transactions (Client) License is intended for brokers who act as intermediaries in Forex trading, facilitating access to trading platforms and liquidity.
  • The Derivatives Trading License (Principal) is suitable for brokers who trade derivative financial instruments, including currency derivatives, offering a variety of derivative products and trading strategies.
  • Derivatives Trading License (Client) — for brokers who facilitate client trading in derivatives, focusing on derivatives-based client services and various derivatives instruments.

Each license under the Financial Dealers Licensing Act [CAP 70] is valid for one year from the date of issuance. Brokers should proactively manage their forex license Vanuatu renewal to ensure uninterrupted operation in the Forex market and meet the deadlines set by the authorized body.

Forex Licenses in Vanuatu and Mauritius

Vanuatu licensing requires establishing a local presence, checking the reputation and economic knowledge of the founders, and ensuring financial transparency with a minimum capital of USD 50,000. It is worth considering compliance with the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) policy. In addition, you need to take care of an independent financial audit, customer complaint procedures, prepare a comprehensive business plan and risk management strategies to obtain a forex license in Vanuatu.

In the case of Mauritius, it is necessary to open an account in a local bank and register a company. In terms of hiring, you need to take care of resident directors and an AML/CFT officer. In addition, the process includes financial statements for regulatory compliance, authorized capital, a detailed business plan, and holding board meetings in the country.

Criteria for a Vanuatu Forex License

  1. Establishing a local office within Vanuatu.
  2. A minimum required share capital of $50,000.
  3. Founders must exhibit an unblemished reputation and financial education.
  4. Documentation evidencing legitimate capital sources and a pristine financial standing.
  5. Director documentation and address verification.
  6. Crafting a viable 3-year business strategy.
  7. Adhering to AML/CFT regulations, including designating an AML/CTF Compliance Officer.
  8. Engaging an external auditor for financial reporting.
  9. Establishing protocols for addressing client grievances.
  10. Maintaining comprehensive records in Vanuatu.
  11. Formulating a risk management plan.

Steps to Secure a Vanuatu Forex License

Company Registration

  1. Register the company in Vanuatu through the VFSC’s official website.
  2. Rent a local office space.
  3. Ensure compliance with all local regulations.

Opening a Corporate Bank Account

  • Open a corporate bank account for the company.
  • Deposit the mandatory share capital of $50,000.

Preparation of Documentation for Forex License Vanuatu Application

  • Certified copies of identity documents.
  • Proof of address.
  • Bank statement.
  • CV of the applicant.
  • Proof of a clean criminal record and absence of bankruptcy.
  • A detailed three-year business and financial plan.
  • Letter of recommendation from a reputable law firm.
  • Proof of local office rental.

Submitting Your Application

  • Fill out and submit the license application form.
  • Pay the $2,000 state fee.

Ensure all submitted information and documents are truthful and accurate to avoid rejection for reasons such as:

  • Providing false information or forged documents, which could lead to criminal liability.
  • Submitting an unrealistic or economically unfeasible business plan.
  • Having directors or company beneficiaries with a criminal record.
  • Failing to deposit the required share capital into the bank account at the time of application.
  • Not paying the mandatory government fees.

Obtaining a Brokerage License in Vanuatu

  • Wait for the VFSC to review and issue the broker license Forex Vanuatu, typically within a 2-3 month timeframe.
  • Be prepared to supply any additional documents if the regulator requests them.

Setting Up a Forex Company in Vanuatu

Depending on your business goals, there is flexibility in choosing a legal structure for establishing a forex business. Due to its simplicity, quick registration process, and minimal regulatory obstacles, the IBC (International Business Company) model is quite popular. However, it is worth noting that IBCs are not allowed to operate in the local market of Vanuatu.

By choosing an IBC, you enjoy such advantages as access to the country’s favorable tax policy, as well as limited reporting requirements and a high degree of confidentiality of information about shareholders and directors. With proper preparation of documents, registration can be completed within one day.

In addition, the state does not require IBCs to have an account with a local bank for foreign exchange transactions, which makes the country stand out among others. The flexibility to open accounts with national or international banks, depending on the specific needs of the business, is no less important.

IBC Requirements

  1. Minimum of one shareholder and one director.
  2. A registered office in Vanuatu for service of official documents.
  3. A local resident agent for representation.

Incorporation Steps

  1. Select a unique company name following the Business Names Act [CAP 211].
  2. Secure a local office space.
  3. Appoint a resident agent.
  4. Compile the necessary incorporation documents.
  5. File the application and documents with the VFSC.
  6. Pay the VFSC’s incorporation fees.
  7. Upon approval, receive the Certificate of Incorporation.

Required Documents for Incorporation

  1. Memorandum and Articles of Association.
  2. Application for name reservation.
  3. Identification and address proofs for directors, shareholders, and beneficial owners.
  4. CVs of directors and shareholders.
  5. AML/CFT policy documents.
  6. Detailed business plan.
  7. Fit and Proper Declaration by directors and shareholders.
  8. Evidence of meeting capital requirements.
  9. Receipt of paid application fees.

Taxation Benefits for Forex Companies

The country offers significant tax incentives for international companies, including brokers with a Vanuatu forex license founded by foreign investors:


  • Dividend payment taxes.
  • Royalty usage charges.
  • Corporate taxes.
  • Financial transaction fees.
  • Inheritance taxes.
  • Capital gains and export taxes are also not applicable.
  • Many business operations in Vanuatu are not subject to VAT.

Financial Considerations for Forex Businesses in Vanuatu

When setting up a forex business, important financial factors include:

  1. A nominal duty rate of 2%, positioning Vanuatu as a highly competitive jurisdiction.
  2. Real estate transactions attract a 5% tax, applicable to office leasing or purchases.
  3. Employers must contribute 6% of employee salaries to the National Reserve Fund for social security and pensions.
  4. Vanuatu has no double taxation, supported by 14 international treaties.
  5. Discussions are ongoing regarding the introduction of personal income tax.


How long does it usually take to obtain a Forex license in Vanuatu?

Having all the necessary documentation, as a rule, an application for a Vanuatu license Forex is considered by the VFSC within 3 to 5 months. Please note that it may take additional time to prepare and submit all the necessary materials and fulfill the basic requirements of the regulator.

Are there any penalties for violation of the regulations governing financial activities in Vanuatu?

In some cases, a license may be revoked, and its further renewal will require significant investments. In addition, a violation may result in a fine of 10 million VUV, which is approximately 80,000 USD.

What difficulties can be encountered when applying for a Forex license in Vanuatu?

Due to the strict regulatory requirements, obtaining a brokerage license in Vanuatu can be a challenging task that requires appropriate preparation. In order to achieve the desired result, you should take care of the proof of financial stability and compliance with AML/KYC regulations and show experience in Forex trading. The best solution is to consult experienced professionals.

What type of license should I choose when starting a business in Vanuatu?

It all depends on your business needs and future goals. This issue should be approached responsibly, and to guarantee success, it is best to talk to financial and legal experts.

Our partners