The financial services industry on Curaçao was started by the Dutch during the 1940’s when Dutch corporations moved their assets to the region to escape the Nazis.
After the war many of the companies returned their head quarter back to the Netherlands but left behind the infrastructure of an offshore center.
The infrastructure includes 70 banks, more than 50 of them international, as well as asset management, trust and insurance companies. The worlds major global audit and law firms are also established on the island.
Picture of Curaçao courtesy of Wiki Commons
The Caribbean island of Curaçao realized that competition for business is stiff. So they had to keep the tax rate extremely low and attractive and add value to business. Being a tax free jurisdiction almost guarantees that you’ll end up on some OECD or IRS blacklist.
So the tax rate on corporate profits was set to 2% only, something that wouldn’t qualify them as a tax haven, but would be low enough to attract entrepreneurs. In addition, Curaçao also looked at ways it could actually provide value to 21st century businesses.
The Internet businesses they hoped to attract all need bandwidth. So Curaçao invested in fiber to the point that its data centers now have among the fastest, most highly connected data centers in the region.
So instead of just being a Curaçao company in name only, businesses can actually host their servers here as well. This helps any Internet business justify why the company is based in Curaçao.
Advantages of being based in Curaçao:
– Not being listed as a tax haven.
– Offering robust local services incl. state of the art internet which support the business.
– International financial center
– A blend of European and Caribbean Culture
The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a member of the European Union. However, Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten all have the status of Dutch overseas countries and territories and are not part of the EU.