Seychelles is a cluster of islands northeast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean that is rapidly becoming one of the financial hubs of Africa.
Its economy has grown by leaps and bounds in the last twenty years, and it seems well-positioned to continue to do so.
Part of that growth is a result of conscious and effective efforts by the government to encourage foreign investment.
In particular, Seychelle’s strong privacy laws, territorial tax system, logistically simple laws involving registration and incorporation, and a variety of other factors have resulted in Seychelles becoming an increasingly popular country for companies to incorporate in.
Today, we’ll review the advantages of starting a company in Seychelles.
Shhh – It’s a Secret
Seychelles takes its privacy laws very seriously.
Corporate privacy is protected by law; the public has virtually no right to know anything about your company other than its original director.
Obviously, if you were so inclined, the director could be a figurehead in place for a single day or even hours – just long enough to satisfy these legal requirements.
These privacy laws are not limited to sheltering companies from invasive citizens and the press, either.
Seychelles generally lacks the infrastructure to share corporate data with foreign companies because it doesn’t keep records of this information.
In essence, without a colossal effort, it couldn’t share additional information even if it wanted to.
While there are legitimate reasons to have such information in the public domain, there are also perfectly understandable reasons not to.
For example, if the owner of a company is publicly unpopular for reasons unrelated to his business, there is no particular reason that he should expose his company and minority shareholders to risk by informing the public of his affiliation.
A Territorial Tax System
This tax term sounds more complicated than it is.
In essence, a territorial tax system is one where the host country doesn’t tax you on profits that you make elsewhere.
For example, if you start or incorporate your company in Seychelles, you don’t have to worry about being taxed on profits that you make in the United States or Europe (by Seychelles; the U.S. and Europe have their own tax codes).
There are also virtually no capital gains or interest taxes which can make life simpler (and more profitable) in a variety of ways.
Anyone looking at starting a business should be aware that doing so can involve a lot of red tape.
In China, for example, the government has established so much red tape that foreign companies have little choice but to partner with a local Chinese company and share their technology, trade secrets, and profits.
While this makes sense for the Chinese economic growth model, Seychelles actually takes the opposite approach.
The amount of red tape and government requirements to start a company are very limited.
A single person can start a company and serve as both the director and shareholder.
In fact, the government of Seychelles created the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA) specifically to facilitate offshoring and other international business needs.
Additionally, English is one of the official languages which makes it easier for Americans and Europeans to operate.
A key aspect of logistics is infrastructure, and despite its size, Seychelles excels in this area.
It has fiber optic cables connecting it to Eastern Africa, and its public utilities are top-notch.
It’s also located in a logistically ideal time zone (GMT+4), and it has a variety of double-taxation avoidance treaties.
A common concern when looking to invest or operate within Africa are regarding the quality of its infrastructure and its political and economic stability.
None of these are particularly valid concerns when it comes to Seychelles.
Seychelles boast modern banking facilities, political and economic stability, internet banking, etcetera.
Although you’re required to have at least one Seychelles bank account, you don’t have to open this account in person.
This isn’t a temporary pandemic-related rule, either – this is the norm in Seychelle.
Additionally, the government provides a surprising amount of business support, and local legal, tax and logistics firms are relatively inexpensive to hire.
Although the population of Seychelles is small, Seychelles enjoys the highest per capita gross domestic product (GDP) in Africa at over $17,000 per capita.
For comparison, that’s slightly higher than the per capita GDP of Hungary and only slightly lower than that of Greece.
If you’re looking to break into the African market but are averse to political and economic risk, Seychelles is a great place to look into.
Location, Location, Location
Part of Seychelles’ success is due to its location; it’s ideally situated to have access to Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Of course, this means that it’s relatively far away from North and South America – but you can’t be everywhere at once.
On top of that, Seychelles is gorgeous.
It’s actually a popular tourist destination, and that popularity is growing.
Additionally, Seychelles is not considered to be in the threat zone for cyclones or other major natural disasters.
About half of the area of Seychelles has been designated as one form of a national park or another and it’s home to a variety of rare and unique species.
It’s worth noting that although the waters of Seychelles are beautiful, they can be extremely windy.
In conclusion, there are plenty of reasons to start your company in Seychelle.
Even if you’ve already started your company, it may make sense to consider incorporating it in Seychelle.
From favorable privacy laws to an ideal location to logistics, Seychelles is a great place to start, register, or incorporate a business.
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