Setting up a tax-exempt corporate advisory business in Bermuda

A self-governing British overseas territory, Bermuda is a prime location for tourism and offshore banking. It is a wealthy island, with a US$7.484 billion (2019) economy and has one of the world’s highest per capita incomes. As an offshore jurisdiction, it’s a popular and prominent business location.

I recently took on a Bermuda engagement for a Client as part of a wider multi-country expansion strategy. His goal was to set up a firm on the island without being subject to the economic substance requirements (ESRs).

Our Client runs an institutional investment banking firm based in New York City. The company offers a full spectrum of investment banking services, including financing, mergers and acquisitions and advisory services to customers across a wide range of market capitalisations, from start-ups to big pharma companies.

Most Clients require us to open a corporate bank account for their business. However, in this case, the Client had an existing relationship with a USA bank with a presence in Bermuda and did not need our assistance.

We only needed to establish a new Bermuda exempt company, provide a legal registered address for the business and obtain a tax assurance certificate for our Client.

Overall, it was a straightforward process. To begin with, we needed the details of the Client’s proposed business activity and then confirmation from the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) that the business would be exempt from the local ESRs.

Apurv Trivedi explains how he helped the investment banking Client with Bermuda tax-exempt company set up.

Then, we created a detailed proposal for a Bermuda exempt company set up for our Client. It included our fees and timelines, as well as confirmation that the business was not liable to the ESRs.

Our Client swiftly provided the requisite due diligence documents and settled our fee. Thereafter, we prepared a detailed Engagement Project Plan, mapping out steps to engagement completion.

The company registration process then began. First, I checked the availability of the Client’s preferred company name and reserved it with the Bermuda Registrar of Companies. Then, I prepared the company incorporation documents and sent them to our Client to complete and sign.

After the Client reverted with scans of the signed incorporation documents and confirmed the corporate structure of the Bermuda business, our team compiled and submitted the No-Objection Request to the BMA for approval.

Within two days, Healy Consultants Group PLC secured the No-Objection and submitted a quality application to Bermuda Registrar of Companies. Within a day, we secured and supplied our Client with company numbers and a tax assurance certificate for his Bermuda entity.

A simple engagement was complete. Our Client was satisfied because Healy Consultants Group PLC was thorough, and that’s what our Clients appreciate about us!

Read more about setting up a business in Bermuda here.

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