The island of Barbados is territorially located in the east of the Caribbean Sea in the group of Lesser Antilles. The state is the jurisdiction of Great Britain and the official head is considered to be the queen, whose authority on the island is represented by the Governor-General. The official language of Barbados is English but the local dialect is also quite common.
Almost all the business activity of the country takes place in the capital of the state – Bridgetown where almost half of the population lives. The tourism and the sugar industry are developed at a sufficiently high level in the state. In addition, the spheres of financial and information technologies are taking the rapid growth.
Barbados is a jurisdiction that offers many advantages for legal entities, among which:
- stability of the government and administration;
- providing guarantees and protection to the stakeholders at the legal level;
- broad tax advantages;
- the minimum level of corruption in the country;
- lack of control over foreign exchange transactions;
- confirmation of the respectability of the jurisdiction in the form of approval from the Organization of the Economic Cooperation and Development;
- reliable and developed legal framework;
- application and support of various types of investment mechanisms;
- the ability to conduct business in various formats, including international commercial companies, mutual funds, trusts and limited liability companies.
Taxation system of Barbados
Barbados is a country with one of the most loyal and convenient tax systems with a wide range of well thought-out benefits and incentives. The state supports agreements on avoidance of double taxation with 16 countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Switzerland and Norway.
The legislation of Barbados provides the existence of such tax advantages for various entities registered in the jurisdiction of the state:
- absence of tax payment on the income from the capital, as well as other indirect taxes;
- absence of tax collection from the property or inheritance;
- the ability to import goods, equipment, raw materials and plants without payment of duties and fees;
- providing a wide range of benefits to non-residents.
Types of corporations in Barbados
The activity of the firms in this jurisdiction is regulated in compliance with the Law on Companies. According to this legal act, in Barbados, such types of corporations are able to implement their activities:
- International Business Company (IBC);
- Segregated portfolio company (SCC).
Regardless of the form chosen by the founder, it is necessary for the creation of any company in this country:
- to provide the statute and the Memorandum of association of the company;
- to declare a registered address within the state;
- to apply for a request for verification and confirmation of the name in the Register;
- to appoint the directors and a secretary.
Characteristics of the international business company (IBC)
IBC is most often used to achieve offshore goals, since this type of corporation is given a special status, according to the Law on International Business Companies of Barbados.
To acquire this status, a registered company must obtain a license and extend it annually. The corporations have the right to implement any activities not prohibited by the law. At the same time, it is not permitted to conduct any commercial transactions with residents of the country, as well as ownership of real estate within the territory of Barbados.
When creating a company and forming its authorized capital, no mandatory requirements are imposed to the volume of issued shares.The physical and legal persons with the residence of any country may be among the shareholders and the directors of IBC. It is necessary to have at least one director and one shareholder, as well as a secretary.
The tax liabilities of the international business company (IBC)
The tax liabilities of the international business company (IBC) for corporations operating under the special status of IBC provide a number of features, among which:
- the provision of an optimal tax regime;
- exemption from taxation of dividends and other types of payments received from non-residents within Barbados;
- application of a progressive tax on income received from the sources on the territory of the state, which rate make up 1 – 2.5%;
- no taxation of the source of dividend payments.
The IBC is also obliged to submit an audited financial report every year if the total assets or income of such a company exceeds $ 0.5 million. In addition, in the case when the profit of the corporation is more than $ 1 million, the accountant, a member of the Association of Accountants of Barbados conducts an obligatory balance audit.
Key features of the company with segregated portfolios (SCC)
SCC is a corporation that uses special, highly protected investment mechanisms. The company creates two key groups of asset for this:
- total assets (or reserve assets);
- assets divided into portfolios (or “cells”).
Reserve assets are a kind of guarantee that is provided to the shareholders in the event if the volume of their assets does not allow to pay the emerged indebtedness.
The assets allocated into the portfolio have their own structure (share and reserve capital, reinvested profit, etc.) and no way related to the assets placed in other portfolios, as well as with reserve assets. Thus, a separate block of shares is issued for each portfolio and, accordingly, their dividends are paid. Any liabilities to the creditors are covered exclusively at the expense of the allocated portfolio for which they were taken. Such a system allows to achieve rather low costs for the structure with practically unlimited possibilities of the diversification of the activity of the corporation.
At the same time, the allocated “cells” do not represent separate legal entities, but they are viewed in the complex as a company with segregated portfolios. SCC is used most often for commissioning:
- the schemes of collective investment;
- umbrella mutual investment funds;
- captive insurance companies;
- holding companies;
- banking institutions.
Creation and operation of the companies with segregated portfolios (SCC) in Barbados
The legislation of Barbados provides several ways to create SCC:
- creation of SCC from the scratch in this jurisdiction;
- transformation of the existing and registered company of Barbados to SCC;
- the transfer of a foreign company into the legal field of regulation of Barbados and further assignment of SCC status to it.
SCC of Barbados relates to tax residents and pays a fee from the profit received on the territory of the state at a rate of 1 – 2.5%. If the source of the income of the company is outside this jurisdiction, it is not subject to taxation. The separate accounting of all financial and accounting documentation should be carried out for each allocated SCC portfolio.
The corporations of this type are allowed to implement both financial and any non-financial activities that must be necessarily approved by the Ministry of International Business.