Politically stable, although in 2008 the economy faced crisis. As a part of the IMF Fund Facility (approved in 2010), a comprehensive reform of the tax system was launched.
The Legal system originated from French Civil Law, but most modern criminal and business legislation is closer to Common law practice.
Business is conducted in French and English.
There is an adequate level of secrecy in professional transactions, but the Court can order disclosure under a number of international agreements. The Anti-Money Laundering Act 1996 allows the Central Bank to overturn suspect transactions.
The Seychelles has good air and sea transport links and modern telecommunications.
Seychelles Rupee (in mid-2012, USD1 was worth SCR13)
All payments are to be made in rupees unless payment in foreign currency is stipulated in written law or agreed by the parties by contract or otherwise. Exchange rates are being published by the Central Bank on a daily basis.
Incorporation and annual costs are relatively low in view of the advantages of IBC’s.
The Seychelles has a territorial base of taxation. No capital gains tax; interest, dividends and other payments received from abroad are not taxed.
VAT will be introduced from January 1, 2013, which will replace the current GST A Seychelles International Business Company (IBC) is not subject to any tax on its income; it is also exempt from any tax duties.
The Annual Renewal (Governmental) fee is set at USD 100.00, but it is subject to 7.5% tax. The fee level is fixed for the life of the company.
− No minimum paid-up capital required
− Minimum issued share capital is US$1
− Capital may be defined in any currency or in kind
− Share capital is unlimited
− Bearer or registered shares, and any of these may be designated as voting shares, non-voting shares, no par value shares, unnumbered, common or preferred shares, redeemable shares and shares that entitle participation only in certain assets
− Registered Agent must keep a record of the names and address of all individuals – holders of bearer share certificates
− A copy of the share register must be kept in the Seychelles (all IBCs must comply by 1 January 2013)
− Minimum one shareholder
− Nominee (corporate) shareholders permitted
− Disclosure of beneficial owners to the registered agent (confidential due diligence)
− Anywhere in the world; shareholder meetings by telephone permitted
− Minimum one Director
− Directors need not be resident in the Seychelles
− Legal entities as Directors permitted
− A copy of the register of directors and officers must be kept in the Seychelles
− Meetings of the Board of Directors may take place anywhere; resolutions by telephone permitted
− The Memorandum and Articles of Association are the only documents to be held in public record
− Their actual choice is very wide, including abbreviations in many European languages (AG, GmbH, OY, S.A., Corp, Inc, Ltd etc.
− Not required
− Accounts must be kept
− Filing and auditing of accounts are not required
− No taxes payable except for the Government Fee (USD 100,00 (applies to all IBCs regardless their authorized capital)
− Redomiciliation of a company into or out of the Seychelles is possible
− Dissolution and liquidation (either voluntary or at the Court’s order) are possible
− An IBC may be struck off the Companies Registry for non-payment of the annual IBC renewal fees
− A Charter of Foundation signed by one or more founders should be filed with the Registry
− Regulations may be adopted, no filing requirement for them
− A fee of USD200 is payable to the Registry on establishment of a Seychelles foundation
− Annual renewal fee is USD200
− Should be of a value not less than USD1. The initial assets may be endowed after registration of a foundation
− A foundation may own assets worldwide. However, the assets may not include any Seychelles real estate or other Seychelles property
− Foundation assets are the property of the foundation only, that is, neither the founder nor the beneficiaries have any ownership interest in foundation assets
− May be a natural person or a corporate entity
− May be a foundation beneficiary but not the sole beneficiary
− Nominee founders are permissible
− A founder may reserve, in the charter or regulations, to the founder or for other persons, various rights – such as the right to approve investment activities of the foundation, appoint or remove councilors, protectors, beneficiaries
− Foundation is managed by its Council, which is responsible for the administration and distribution of assets, as well as for the carrying out the foundation’s objects
− Minimum one Councilor (natural or corporate entity)
− It is not mandatory to name the councilors in the Charter
− Protector is optional
− May be natural or legal person
− Keeping accounts is required
− Filing and auditing of accounts are not necessary
− No annual returns
− Continuation of foreign foundations in Seychelles and continuation of Seychelles foundations overseas is possible
− Two existing foundations may consolidate into a new foundation
− Existing of provisions protecting dispositions to foundation from creditors of the founder
− 2 year statute of limitations for creditors’ claims coupled with a high onus of proof
− Specific exclusion of foreign forced-heirship laws
− Provision may be made for the foundation to retain title to assets conditionally distributed to beneficiaries
− Beneficiaries’ right to information may be restricted
− Provision may be made to disentitle a beneficiary who challenges asset transfers to or distributions by a foundation