IBC or International Business Company or as it is also called international business corporation basically is an offshore company which is usually formed under the laws of some jurisdictions worldwide as a tax-neutral company meaning that it is not taxable in the country of incorporation. It is also limited in direct business activity it may conduct while operating within the context of the jurisdiction in which it is incorporated.
Meaning and main functions of IBC
Often IBC features can vary by jurisdiction, however, usually they include business data confidentiality, ability to issue shares, provision for a local registered agent or office and exemption from local corporate taxation as the majority of offshore jurisdictions have removed or are processing the removal of IBCs from local taxation while reducing corporate tax to zero in order to avoid damaging the whole offshore finance industry.
Such companies in general are incorporated for offshore banking, making international investments, asset protection, real estate and intellectual property ownership and other business activities related to international trade.
A list of jurisdictions offering IBC as a business structure
As it is stated in Streber Weekly, there are plenty of jurisdictions offering IBC as a business structure. The list of such jurisdictions is pretty long: Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Barbados, Bahamas, Belize, Brunei, British Virgin Islands or BVI, Cook Islands, Comoros, Dominica, Grenada, Gambia, Mauritius, Marshall Islands, Monsterrat, Nauru, Saint Lucia, Samoa, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles and Vanuatu. This list contains most of the jurisdictions without taking into account their worldwide reputation. Some popular offshore jurisdictions which weren't mentioned before offer territorial taxation and other tax incentives instead of offering IBCs. These business structures can be operating as exempt companies, free zone companies or non-resident companies etc. while lacking the ease of IBC companies: Panama, Hong Kong, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bermuda.
For example, Panama's jurisdiction, in general, is suitable for International Foundation or IBC in terms of asset protection. Hong Kong jurisdiction in general is also suitable for international trade due to favorable taxation regime as it imposes no withholding tax, capital gains tax, tax on investment income, VAT and other sorts of taxes.
Most reputable jurisdictions for IBCs
British Virgin Islands (BVI) is referred to as world's leading offshore business center with more than 450,000 operating companies registered in its territory. It is often called the grandfather of all IBCs. International international business companies have a rather good reputation among other jurisdictions of such kind due to the ability to transfer domicile and privacy of ownership for assets collected inside of the company. In general BVI provide flexible, low-cost and prompt services for international offshore companies' incorporation.
Seychelles can be alternatives to BVI offshore companies as this jurisdiction offer ease of administration, simplicity and privacy as well. In addition, IBC is the most widely used type of company incorporated on islands with more than 175,000 companies registered there. The IBCs of this jurisdiction are commonly used as consultancy and personal service companies as well as Holding Companies shares, real estate and equities.
Bahamas is one of the oldest offshore jurisdictions, considered to be a classic one as the BVI mentioned before as it is an independent and politically stable which has an improving reputation and is gambling friendly.
St. Kitts and Nevis has decent reputation while being also politically stable and having average to low costs. However, this jurisdiction is more popular for its Limited Liability Companies (LLC).
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has merely low costs. It is quite politically stable with good reputation which has improved in recent years because of the gaining popularity due to financial operations carried out by Euro Pacific Bank and Loyal Bank.
Belize is also a great place for IBC formation. In frames of this jurisdiction IBC can be used with the purpose of international trade, asset protection, offshore banking, owning real estate, e-business or any other financial services.
Such IBCs are suitable for business transactions globally as well as making deposits and managing offshore investments such as bonds, mutual funds, stocks and other types of business services, while providing consulting and such professional services as management, corporate credit cards ownership, covering legitimate expenses etc.