Investors can easily open a cryptocurrency company in Cayman Islands, given the country’s easy company set up process and the fact that it welcomes foreign investments. In order to operate a cryptocurrency company in Cayman Islands, companies are required to obtain a crypto license from the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA). The crypto exchange license in Cayman Islands is in place under the law that governs virtual assets service providers.
Entrepreneurs who wish to benefit from the advantages of incorporating a company in the Islands can reach out to our Cayman Islands company formation specialists for complete assistance during the set-up process. Our team is able to answer any questions concerning opening a company in Cayman Islands.
|Cryptocurrency seen as legal tender (Yes/No)||No|
Local regulatory agency
The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA)
Special licenses for those who open a cryptocurrency company in Cayman Islands
When the digital assets are considered securities
|Special licenses for crypto exchanges in Cayman Islands||
Subject to licensing from CIMA for money services business
|Anti-money laundering rules||
Anti-Money Laundering Regulations, commonly referred to as the AML Laws
|Special requirements for investors who open a cryptocurrency company in Cayman Islands||
– the special requirements for anti-money laundering relevant in the context of operating with digital assets,
– other specific requirements, such as those for organizing an initial coin offering (ICO)
|Residency requirements for investors||
|Types of companies used by those who open a cryptocurrency company in Cayman Islands||The exempt company is commonly used
|Minimum capital for a cryptocurrency company in Cayman Islands||
There is no prescribed minimum capital
|Minimum number of shareholders||
|Minimum number of directors||1|
The business registration license issued by the Companies Register
|Mandatory requirements for the cryptocurrency company||
Compliance with the CIMA requirements and the AML Laws
|Cryptocurrency company taxation||
No corporate income tax applies
|Reasons to open a cryptocurrency company in Cayman Islands||
– tax neutrality,
– full foreign ownership,
– straightforward company creation,
– minimum requirements for incorporation as well as corporate management,
– no stringent cryptocurrency regulations
Table of Contents
General requirements for investors who open a cryptocurrency company in Cayman Islands
Company formation in the Cayman Islands is a simple process that involves a few key steps and for which there are several mandatory conditions.
Our incorporation agents can help you open a cryptocurrency company in Cayman Islands and apply for the needed licenses.
The following requirements are relevant for virtual asset service providers in the Cayman Islands:
- Provide an auditor report issued by an independent auditor, when instructed to do so by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority;
- Prepare annual accounts and provide these documents for inspection, at the request of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority;
- Ensure that the senior officers activating in the company and the beneficial owners are fit and proper for the positions they occupy;
- Protect the personal data and virtual assets of their clients, as well as make sure that the communications related to the virtual asset service they provide are accurate.
Cryptocurrency company regulation
Companies activating in the digital or virtual assets sector are subject to a number of requirements. These include obtaining a crypto exchange license in Cayman Islands when they engage in activities related to the exchange between one or more forms of convertible virtual assets.
The following laws are relevant for these types of activities:
- Virtual Asset (Service Providers) Law: under this law, a crypto exchange license in Cayman Islands is a necessity for those who offer virtual asset custodial services or operate a virtual asset trading platform;
- FATCA compliance: the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) in the case of US persons (for the reporting of information on the financial accounts held by US citizens to the US Internal Revenue Service);
- AML: anti-money laundering rules are to be followed by companies that engage in relevant financial business activities;
- Other rules: the incorporation requirements under the Companies Law; as previously stated, a company will need to have a registered office in the Cayman Islands, as well as a registered agent.
Opening investment funds that issue digital assets
You can establish both an investment fund and open a cryptocurrency company in Cayman Islands.
However, if there is an investment fund operating in the Cayman Islands and it issues digital assets like cryptocurrencies or tokens, it may fall under certain laws called the Mutual Funds Act or the Private Funds Act. These laws require the fund to obtain a registration or license if the digital assets they issue represent ownership or investment interests.
Whether the fund needs to register or obtain a license depends on various factors, such as the terms of the digital asset issuance and the type of assets involved. It is recommended to seek specific legal advice in these cases. Please contact our team if you are interested in establishing an investment fund or have more questions regarding how to set up a Cayman Islands company.
Taxes for cryptocurrency companies in Cayman Islands
Opening a cryptocurrency company in Cayman Islands has many tax advantages. The government does not impose taxes on income, inheritance, gifts, capital gains, corporations, withholding, or other similar taxes related to digital assets. This applies to activities like issuing, holding, or transferring digital assets. There is a small fee called stamp duty that may apply to certain documents executed or brought into the Cayman Islands, but the amounts charged for stamp duty are generally very low.
If a company is formed in the Cayman Islands, it has the option to apply for a tax exemption certificate that offers additional protection to the company from potential future tax changes. By paying a relatively small fee, the company can receive a certificate confirming that no future tax laws in the Cayman Islands will impose taxes on the profits, income, gains, or appreciations of that company or its operations. These tax exemption certificates are typically valid for a period ranging from 20 to 50 years, depending on the type of entity.
You can get in touch with our lawyers or accountants for more specific details about these taxes.
Open a crypto company in the Special Economic Zones (SEZ)
Special Economic Zones in the Cayman Island are designed to attract specific types of businesses, including those in science, technology, finance, maritime, media, and education sectors. Therefore, investors can open a cryptocurrency company in a SEZ easily.
Incorporating a company in Cayman Islands, specifically in a SEZ, offers several advantages, such as a streamlined application process with a quick incorporation time frame of around ten days. It also provides additional protections for intellectual property, grants employees automatic five-year work and residency visas, and allows the unrestricted transfer of investments within the SEZ.
To set up a crypto company in SEZ, the following steps need to be taken:
- Apply to Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) for an examination of the business to determine its eligibility for the SEZ;
- Modify the company’s memorandum to include objects related to the SEZ requirements;
- Submit the necessary incorporation documents;
- Apply for a SEZ trade certificate specifying the intended business activity and pay the required fee;
- You will also need to apply for a crypto license in Cayman Islands to perform crypto-related activities in the special economic zones.
Cayman Islands exempted companies can also benefit from these advantages, as the SEZ framework is open to both new and existing exempted companies that wish to convert to SEZ status. Please contact our specialists for more details about the process, including how to set up a cryptocurrency company in Cayman Islands Special Economic Zones.
Advantages for investors opening cryptocurrency companies in the Cayman Islands
Perhaps the most important advantage for those who open a cryptocurrency company in Cayman Islands is the fact that there are no taxes on digital assets.
As mentioned before, companies that obtain a crypto license in Cayman Islands are extempt from paying any corporate taxes, capital gains or gift taxes on activities performed in relation to digital assets (transfer, issuance, or holding).
Adding to the benefits of the recognized tax neutrality is the fact that there are no restrictions concerning residency or nationality for investors.
Foreign nationals are permitted to incorporate a legal entity in the Cayman Islands and enjoy full ownership rights.
The Cayman Islands General Registry offers comprehensive statistics on company registration, as presented below by our agents:
- 16,584 companies were registered in 2021;
- there were 116,996 active companies in Q4 2021;
- 82.2% of the active companies were exempt companies, followed by 6.5% resident companies.
Contact our Cayman Islands company formation agents if you wish to know more about the process to incorporate a cryptocurrency company or the registration of the virtual asset service providers.
The process needed to set up a Cayman Islands company that will offer cryptocurrency services can be explained by our team. We offer complete solutions for those looking to open a blockchain or cryptocurrency company and we assist investors from the earliest incorporation stages. You can reach out to us for more details about our solutions.
Investors that wish to expand their cryptocurrency companies in Cayman Islands, can ask for our services regarding how to open a branch in the country.