The privacy for an offshore company in the Cayman Islands remains high despite the ongoing international requirements for transparency and the conditions for inter-state cooperation between other states and the Island, such as those imposed in the tax information exchange agreements.
Some foreign investors interested in Cayman Islands incorporation require a high degree of confidentiality and privacy when doing business in this location. For this purpose, the local laws and regulations are permissive in regards to the publicly shared information about a registered legal entity.
In order to farther increase the privacy of their business activities, interested individuals can also choose a nominee director and/or nominee shareholder service.
Below, our team of Cayman Islands company formation agents who specialize in privacy matters answers some of the most common questions regarding the ongoing compliance for disclosing information about a company registered in this British Overseas Territory.
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What information about Cayman Islands companies is publicly available?
A Cayman Islands exempted company, as well as the other available types of legal entities that can be incorporated here, need to be registered with the Registry of Companies. A search according to company particularities will reveal part of the information about that legal entity, including:
- the company’s name and incorporation number;
- the date of incorporation;
- the type of company (ordinary, exempted, etc.);
- the address of the registered office in the Cayman Islands;
- its current status: if it is operational, dissolved, etc.
Cayman Island manages to maintain a convenient degree of investor privacy through the fact that it does not disclose information about the individuals running the company. thus, the following information is readily available in a Registrar of Companies search:
- details about the company shareholders;
- details about the company directors;
- copies of the Memorandum and Articles of Association;
- search the company’s situation with the Cayman Registry of Companies (whether or not it is in good standing).
While it is true that exempted companies need to maintain a register containing asset charges and mortgages, it is only available for inspection from shareholders and company creditors.
Companies licensed and registered with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority can be searched by an interested party and the regulatory status of the said company will be available.
What are the requirements for conducting meetings?
Company owners in the Cayman Islands are not required to have an annual shareholder’s meeting at the registered office in the Islands and there is no need to perform an annual audit. Moreover, the company’s meetings minutes can be stored at another location and not necessarily in the Cayman Islands. The company accounts remain private in the Cayman Islands.
Our team of Cayman Islands incorporation agents specialized in privacy can help you with complete information about the requirements for companies and the general corporate management principles.
What are the obligations to exchange information when doing business in the Cayman Islands?
The Cayman Islands are a signatory state to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, enacted in 2010 by the U.S. Congress with the purpose of targeting non-compliance by United States companies and individuals. As per the agreement, the Cayman Islands authorities can and shall obtain information on a U.S. Reportable Account and will share this data automatically on an annual basis with the relevant United States authorities. The obtainable information includes the following:
-the name, address and taxpayer identification number of a U.S. Person that is a holder of an account of interest and, in case of non-U.S. entities, after it has been established that it is controlled by a U.S. person.
-the account number;
-the identifying number of the Cayman Islands Financial Institution;
-the account balance or value according to the reporting period; if the account was closed, the value immediately before closure.
The exchanged information can also concern a custodial account (the gross interest amount, gross dividends amount, and gross amount of other income), the gross proceeds from the sale of paid property and in other cases.
Notwithstanding the provisions of the automatic tax information exchange treaties, the Cayman Islands remains a jurisdiction with high investor privacy.
For more information about the conditions for setting up a Cayman Islands company, please contact our team.