Tag Archives: Offshore Corporation

Hong Kong Attracts Start-Up Entrepreneurs

Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) has announced the launch of its StartmeupHK Venture Program 2013 to attract local and overseas entrepreneurs to set up or expand their business in Hong Kong.

Victoria Peak HongKong

Picture courtesy of Tietew

InvestHK, the Government department established in July 2000 to take responsibility for foreign direct investment, and to support overseas and Mainland Chinese businesses that want establish themselves or expand in Hong Kong, has set up the Venture Program that features a global competition for innovative and high-impact entrepreneurs, culminating in December this year when 12 shortlisted finalists will be provided with access to business partners, financial capital, market knowledge and marketing opportunities.

The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Gregory So, said: “Make no mistake, start-ups and entrepreneurs make significant contributions to Hong Kong. What InvestHK is doing to promote Hong Kong as a premier start-up destination in Asia and attract start-up entrepreneurs will help build the city’s start-up ecosystem – an ecosystem where overseas and local entrepreneurs can meet, exchange ideas, discover synergies and access markets, capital and talent together.”

Simon Galpin, the Director-General of Investment Promotion, confirmed that, in the past two to three years, InvestHK has seen a rising number of entrepreneurs setting up business in Hong Kong. The percentage of such projects in InvestHK’s portfolio has risen from less than 10 percent to over 15 percent in 2013.

“These businesses may start small and employ only a few people in the beginning, but they also create jobs through outsourcing some of their activities to local service providers. In fact, some of these businesses grow very quickly, employing 50 or more people within one to two years,” he added. “And just as, if not more, important are the innovative business ideas and skills they bring to Hong Kong, which lend further competitive advantage to our economy in the long run.”

InvestHK’s runs a dedicated website offering a one-stop portal to the start-up community in the city, and is the first such Hong Kong Government portal on start-ups for entrepreneurs. It points the way to various government incentives and incubation schemes.

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Why’s Puerto Rico’s Attractive as a Tax Haven

Puerto Rico (Spanish for “rich port”) is turning into the next Singapore. Wealthy Americans have already taken advantage of the year-old Puerto Rican law that lets new residents pay no local or US federal taxes on capital gains.”

Why you should move your US business to Puerto Rico. See the video interview with Barry Breeman on Bloomberg:

Source: Bloomberg

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin islands.

Due to the 1952 Commenwealth of Perto Rico creation by the US congress, Puerto Rican’s residents do not pay US federal income taxes. US Citizens who moves to Perto Rico pay 4% tax on earned income, no taxes on distribution and dividends, but only on Perto Rico source based income.

Citizens of Puerto Rico are bilingual and speak both English and Spanish fluently. Official languages of the island are Spanish and English, with Spanish being the primary language.

4 millions US citizens lives in Puerto Rico. Many US hedge funds and US private equity funds have already relocated. The islands also offers well educated work force, easy communication to New York and Miami, pleasant weather as well as great cafes and restaurants.

See the video above to learn more.

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Cayman Islands to name previously hidden companies

Cayman Islands, picture courtesy Burtonpe.

The Cayman Islands will open the thousands of companies and hedge funds domiciled on the offshore Caribbean territory to greater scrutiny, in a break from decades of secrecy.

CIMA, the three-islands’ monetary authority, sent proposals, seen by the FT, to Cayman-based hedge funds and outlined plans to create a public database of funds domiciled on the island for the first time and will also list the funds’ directors, pending an ongoing consultation process due to close in mid-March.

The British overseas territory, which has been criticised as being one of the most secretive finance jurisdictions in the world, is introducing reforms that will make public the names of thousands of previously hidden companies and their directors, reports the Financial Times,

CIMA, the islands’ monetary authority, sent proposals, seen by the FT, to Cayman-based hedge funds and outlined plans to create a public database of funds domiciled on the island for the first time and will also list the funds’ directors, pending an ongoing consultation process due to close in mid-March.

“In the 24 months subsequent to the onset of the financial crisis, the BVI Financial Services Commission, the Central Bank of Ireland, the Jersey Financial Services Commission, the Bahamas Financial Services Board and the Isle of Man Supervision Commission all updated their corporate governance codes, laws and/or regulations,” the FT reports CIMA said in one document.

CIMA did not respond to the FT’s request for a comment.

The Cayman Islands are seen as a tax-haven by many companies to avoid payer higher rates of tax in other countries.

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Labuan continues to grow as offshore financial center

The Labuan Financial Services Authority (FSA) has released its 2011 Annual Report which shows continued growth in the key business sectors of the Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (IBFC).

In that Annual Report, it was noted that, supported by its strategic location and financial infrastructure, the business activity and financial service sectors in the Labuan IBFC continued to record positive growth, with strong growth seen in the banking, insurance and reinsurance, captives and leasing sectors.

At the same time, it was pointed out that the regulatory and supervisory framework has been continuously strengthened by the FSA so as to promote the integrity and resilience of the Labuan financial sector.

A total of 651 new companies were incorporated in Labuan in 2011, representing an increase of 8.1% over 2010. By the end of the year, out of the total of 8,655 Labuan companies, 72% were from the Asia-Pacific and Far East region, followed by 13% from Europe and the 10% from the Americas.

The leasing sector was one of the most vibrant sectors in Labuan during the year, with a strong increase in the number of leasing companies to 227 and accumulated assets leased of USD 27.6 bn. The focus of the leasing companies in the highly specialized areas of aviation and oil and gas provided strong support for the growth and development of the oil and gas sector in Labuan.

The Labuan banking sector also reported a steady rise in total assets by 13% to USD38.3bn as at end-2011. Two new banks from Australia and Ghana obtained licences to operate, bringing the total number of Labuan banks to 57.

The insurance sector in the IBFC remained resilient despite various episodes of natural disasters within the region during the year. Total insurance assets increased by 16.1% to USD3.6bn and total earned premium income for the sector also grew by 45.1%.

In addition, total Islamic assets registered a growth rate of 15.4% to USD1.5bn, reflecting the strong interest in Islamic finance. Total Islamic bank financing increased significantly to USD294.6m as at end-2011, with strong demand from non-residents.

Since the introduction of the Labuan Global Incentives for Trading (GIFT) programme in September 2011, five trading licences had been issued, enabling Labuan International Trading Commodity (LICT) companies to benefit from incentives under the programme.

The key incentives offered through the LICT under the GIFT programme include a flat corporate tax rate of 3% of chargeable income, a 100% exemption on directors fees paid to non-Malaysian directors, and a 50% exemption on gross employment income for non-Malaysian professional traders and managers of LITC companies. There is also an exemption of stamp duties on documentation for such business activities, a tax exemption on dividends received by or paid from LITC companies, and all of the other fiscal incentives that are attached to operating a Labuan entity.

As part of its internal organizational programme, the FSA continued to enhance its capacity and capability to regulate and supervise the IBFC, particularly in ensuring that key risk areas are addressed promptly. Moving forward, the FSA confirmed that it will implement plans to realize the strategic potential of the IBFC to serve the needs of domestic and regional businesses, complemented by a continuous strengthening of its regulatory and supervisory framework to meet international standards and best practices.

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Malta reduce taxes for both local citizens and foreign investors

Malta’s Minister of Finance, Economy and Investment Tonio Fenech has announced numerous tax measures in the territory’s budget for 2012, many of which reduce the tax burden on islanders and enhance the island’s appeal to international investors.

Among the latest changes, royalties income derived from copyright-protected books, film scripts, music and art will now be tax exempt in Malta. The announcement follows the decision in the 2010 Budget that royalties on patents would receive an exemption.

To further promote Malta as a hub for innovation and product development, the 15% personal income tax scheme – aimed at attracting skilled persons engaged in certain fields to Malta – is to be extended to include international professionals specializing in the development of digital games.

In addition, Maltese companies which commission educational digital games will be given a tax credit up to a maximum of EUR 15,000 (USD 20,000).

The government has also announced significant tax cuts for parents with the introduction of a new ‘parent computation’ in addition to the current single and joint computation. This will apply to taxpayers who are a parent of at least one child under the age of 18 (or 21 if the child is in tertiary education) and entitle claimants to a 0% income tax rate on the first EUR 9,300 of income. A taxpayer newly transferring to parental computation and with an income of EUR 21,200 would for instance see a reduction in income tax payable of EUR 420 per annum compared to the single computation system, according to Fenech.

In addition, tax allowances for parents sending their children to private, fee-paying schools will be significantly increased.

Other measures include the introduction of a new car scrapple scheme, worth 15.25% of the value of the new car when trading in an older model, with the benefit capped at EUR 2,000. Registration taxes for older vehicles will be hiked from January 1, 2012.

Tax concessions are also to be introduced for property owners for the restoration of certain buildings.

Excise duty on cigarettes and tobacco will increase by 5.8% and 8.5%, respectively, and tax on bunker fuel and cement is also due to rise.

The government also intends in the new year to merge the Inland Revenue Department and value-added tax department, and to hold a VAT amnesty to allow taxpayers to regularize their tax affairs.

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