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Open a Branch in Cayman Islands

Open a Branch in Cayman Islands

Opening a Grand Cayman branch is one way in which a foreign company can establish its business operations in the Cayman Islands in 2024.

This type of establishment is commonly used by banks and other financial institutions, however, provided that the characteristics of the branch suit the investor’s needs, companies in different other industries can choose to register a branch.

The Cayman Islands are a popular location for setting up a place of business, especially for international companies. The low incorporation requirements, combined with the tax exemption for certain types of business forms, make the Islands attractive for entrepreneurs interested in Cayman Islands offshore company formation.

Foreign companies activating in the banking industry, or in other business fields, can reach out to our company formation experts if they plan on opening a branch in the Islands in 2024.

 Quick Facts 
  Applicable legislation

Part IX of the Cayman Islands Companies Law for foreign companies

Best used for

– group operations,

– expanding the company’s activities 

Minimum share capital


An annual fee is payable to the Registrar

Time frame for the incorporation (approx.) 

5 business days


Local, as appointed

Legal representative required


Local bank account 


Independence from the parent companyNo
Liability of the parent companyFull liability
Corporate tax rate  N/A 
Possibility of hiring local staff Yes

Read below a description of the characteristics of the Cayman Islands branch, as well as information about the incorporation requirements.

Investors who wish to set up a Cayman Islands company can reach out to our team of company formation experts for information on the differences between local company registration and branch formation. While some foreign companies will benefit from expanding their operations via a branch, in other cases the incorporation of a locally registered company can be favorable.

Those who require more information about other business forms, such as the limited liability company or the exempt company, can reach out to our Cayman Islands company formation agents for additional information.

The characteristics of the Grand Cayman branch

A branch is a business form that is incorporated by a foreign company intending to set up its operations in another jurisdiction. Some of its key characteristics are the following:

  1. Status: the branch is not an independent business form, such as the exempted company;
  2. Liability: the foreign company abroad is fully liable for the debts and obligations of its Caymanian branch;
  3. Activities: a Cayman Islands branch engages in the same business activities as the parent company abroad (for example, banking);
  4. Assets: are part of the foreign company’s total assets; however, the branch will have separate accounting records.

The most convenient manner in which foreign companies can register a Grand Cayman branch is through a company that provides special company formation services, such as the one run by our experts. We can provide assistance for registration, as well as handling other key matters for this business form through an authorized, resident representative.

Overseas company registration in Cayman Islands in 2024

As the branch is merely an extension of the parent company abroad, its registration with the Caymanian authorities will be closely linked to the foreign company.

Foreign companies will need to formally register their operations in order to be able to carry out business through a Grand Cayman branch. The following documents are required to register an overseas company:

  • Incorporation certificate: the foreign company’s certificate of incorporation, issued by the trade register in its country of origin;
  • Good standing certificate: a certificate issued by the relevant authority in the foreign company’s country of origin confirming that the company has a good standing status;
  • Information concerning directors: the names and other personal details of the foreign company’s directors or executives;
  • The authorized representative: the name and contact information of the Cayman Islands resident who will act as the foreign company’s representative (for example, accepting notices on behalf of the company).

Please keep in mind that this is only a summary of the required documents. Companies incorporated outside the Cayman Islands, which wish to engage in activities here, will need to provide services according to the local rules for licensing, as applicable in their field of activity. Our team of Cayman Islands company formation experts can give you more details.

Advantages of setting up a branch in Cayman Islands

There are several potential advantages of setting up a branch in the Cayman Islands, including tax benefits, the country’s political stability, its proximity to the USA, access to global markets, and a secure, strong banking system.

The Cayman Islands are known for being a tax haven with no income tax, property tax, wealth or inheritance tax, or company tax, making it an attractive option for residents looking to reduce their tax burden.

Banking in the Cayman Islands provides easy access to North and South America as the islands are located just south of the United States. Despite being a British Overseas Territory, the Cayman Islands offer a stable government, strong economic links to the outside world, high-quality legal services, healthcare, and education.

Setting up a branch in the Cayman Islands is no longer seen as a method of tax evasion. The increasing regulatory controls in the territory have made it simply another location in the world that provides high-quality banking services, albeit within a low-tax regime.

If you are interested in setting up a branch in the Cayman Islands, you will need to work with a Cayman Islands company formation provider to navigate the legal requirements and registration process.

Requirements for opening a branch office in Cayman Islands

In order to set up a branch in the Cayman Islands, a foreign trust company is required to register as a foreign legal entity and acquire a trust license.

The company must have two individuals or a body corporate approved by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) and resident or incorporated in the Cayman Islands to serve as its agent.

The application process requires providing various documents and information, including a copy of the applicant’s charter, a list of directors and shareholders, personal questionnaires, and police clearance certificates for each person involved in the branch. CIMA assesses each person’s fitness and propriety for their role in the company.

Other requirements include a corporate chart, auditors’ names and addresses, annual accounts, references from international banks, assurances from the Central Banking Authority, and payment of fees. The process can be complex and involves significant documentation and financial requirements.

If you are interested in setting up a branch in the Cayman Islands, it would be advisable to seek the services of a Cayman Islands company incorporation service.

Documents for opening a bank account in Cayman Islands

If you plan to conduct business activities after setting up your branch in Cayman Islands, you may need to establish a local bank account to facilitate transactions and manage finances.

Having a local bank account can provide various benefits, such as easier access to local currency, reduced transaction fees, and faster processing times for payments and transfers.

To open an account, you typically need to provide basic documents: your passport and proof of residence, such as a utility bill. However, additional acts may also be necessary, such as notarized copies of documentation, bank statements, reference letters from your current bank, tax returns, and supporting documents for the source of funds.

Please consider seeking the advice of our local attorneys to ensure that you comply with all relevant legal and regulatory requirements. If you are also interested in setting up a Cayman Islands company, our team is ready to assist you.

Cayman Islands bank branch statistics

As previously mentioned, a Cayman Islands branch is commonly incorporated by a financial institution. According to the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, most of the banks present in the jurisdiction conduct activities by opening a branch.

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority provides us with informative data on banking registration and licensing statistics. According to the 2023 data on banking registration, many international banks have branches in the Cayman Islands, most of these from South America. The data summarized by our team shows that:

  • There were 24 licensed banks from South America in Q3 of 2023, and 23 such banks in the fourth quarter of 2023;
  • The Caribbean and Central American banks had the second-largest presence in the Cayman Islands, with 19 banks in Q3 and 17 banks in Q4, 2023;
  • The United States had 9 licensed banks in Q3 2023 in the Cayman, and 8 licensed banks in Q4 2023; Europe had 12 licensed banks in Q3 and 11 licensed banks in Q4, 2024;
  • During the final quarter of 2023, there were a total of 87 foreign licensed banks, compared to 94 in Q3, 2023.

Banks interested in opening a Grand Cayman branch can contact our experts in company formation in Cayman Islands for more information about the regulatory requirements set forth by the Monetary Authority.

Foreign companies interested in setting up their operations in the Islands can contact us if they need personalized assistance during the set up process as well as for accounting services.

You might also be interested in setting up a Cayman Islands exempted company. The presence of exempted companies contributes to the development of a sophisticated financial services industry in the Cayman Islands. A Cayman Islands exempted company provides a range of benefits that can support the growth and protection of your business.

Together with our experts, foreign investors, entrepreneurs, and company representatives can determine the most suitable form of business for their operations. We can help you with more details about the subsidiary, the exempted company, and other business forms.

Planning on setting up a branch or another type of legal entity in the Cayman Islands in 2024? Our team can help you throughout the needed stages so that your company can start trading as soon as possible.