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St Kitts & Nevis International Business Corporations, Wealth Management and Citizenship by Investment
St Kitts & Nevis as a Financial Centre
St Kitts & Nevis is a modern, forward-thinking financial centre located within the Eastern Caribbean. It has a unique history of legislative and fiscal independence and is at the forefront in providing practical solutions to an increasingly mobile and international client base.
Nevis has developed a number of attractive options, over the years, to meet corporate and individual needs, allowing clients to organise their affairs in an efficient and confidential manner.
International Business Corporations
Incorporation and Maintenance of Nevis International Companies
- St Kitts & Nevis structures can be established within 24 hours.
- Sole directors are permissible, with no obligation to appoint officers.
- Company names can be reserved instantly and free of charge, for up to 10 days.
- As the Registry is smaller than in many comparable jurisdictions, there is a much wider selection of names available.
- Certificates of ‘Incumbency and Good Standing’ can be issued with Apostille, within 48 hours.
- Companies can be incorporated to conduct any lawful business.
- The directors and officers can be located anywhere in the world and can be a person or legal entity.
- Authorised share capital can be denominated in any recognised currency.
- The procedures for Nevis IBCs to amend their articles of incorporation, merge, or consolidate with foreign corporations or other Nevis corporations, are relatively simple.
- It is easy to redomicile foreign entities into and out of Nevis and ‘emergency redomicile’, is available for foreign entities, if required.
- St Kitts & Nevis has a number of consulates overseas, including one in Dubai. This makes legalisation of company documents in these locations easier and significantly less expensive than for other
- Nevis Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs), can easily be converted into IBCs.
- There is no obligation to file annual returns or financial statements.
Tax Changes Introduced at the End of 2020
In late 2020, the St Kitts & Nevis Inland Revenue Department (IRD) issued guidance notes regarding the treatment of international companies in relation to federal tax.
- Where a company is managed and controlled outside the Federation, for example in Europe, and the company does not have a permanent establishment in St Kitts & Nevis (just a registered office and registered agent), the company is classified as ‘non-resident’, and is only subject to tax on income arising in St Kitts & Nevis.
All companies must complete a simplified annual tax declaration, in which they state whether there are local connections or whether the company should be considered non-resident, and will not therefore be subject to tax in Nevis.
It is anticipated that these guidelines will formally become law during 2021.
- Nevis has no public or Government registers for directors, shareholders or beneficial owners. All information is maintained at the registered office, of the company, by the registered agent.
- Corporate records can be kept anywhere in the world, but must be readily available to the registered agent, if required.
Opportunities to Use Nevis structures in a Tax Neutral and Confidential Manner
A number of different structures are available:
- Private Trustee Company (PTC)
Nevis remains a popular jurisdiction for PTCs, for both Nevis International Exempt Trusts, and as trustees of trusts created under the laws of other jurisdictions.
- Officer Companies and Nominee
The use of a Nevis company to act as a ‘Corporate Officer’ or as a ‘Nominee’ is possible, and as these have ‘non-income status’, they are not adversely affected by recent tax changes.
- Limited Liability Companies as Unlimited Partners
Nevis LLCs are well placed to act as the unlimited partner in a Limited Partnership. They do not suffer significant tax leakage, even in light of recent tax changes, as the profit participation of the unlimited partner can be set at a lower level than that of the limited partner.
Nevis Multi-Form Foundations (MFF’s)
Nevis MFFs are very flexible and can take on the identity of a foundation/a trust/a company or a partnership.
- They have their own legal personality, are tax exempt and can operate with a high level of commerciality. In addition, there are special asset protection rules, within the relevant Ordinance, which deter frivolous law suits.
Foreign and/or domestic corporations and/or trusts can be converted to a foundation and the ‘form’ of the foundation can be changed to another ‘form’, so that, for example, a Trust Foundation can be converted to a Partnership Foundation.
Nevis foundations and trusts can be used to own Nevis IBCs and/or LLCs. Nevis MFFs and trusts are both exempt from corporate tax.
There are many uses for Nevis foundations, including; support for education, succession planning, asset protection, and the provision of confidentiality to help protect the security of junior members of a family.
Nevis International Exempt Trusts
The jurisdiction of Nevis is a very good location for a trust, where the benefits include:
- Forced heirships are not recognised.
- Rules disallowing ‘perpetuity’ do not apply, unless otherwise provided for, and therefore a trust can have an unlimited duration.
- Foreign judgements are not enforceable and would need to be re-presented in Nevis, where applicable.
- In certain circumstances, several separate trusts can be combined into one trust, or a single trust can be divided into several trusts.
Citizenship By Investment
Dixcart Nevis, is a very experienced provider of Citizenship by Investment services and has successfully helped many families through the process to achieve citizenship. This programme enables successful applicants to hold a St Kitts & Nevis passport.
A major advantage of St Kitts & Nevis citizenship is that it guarantees receipt of a St Kitts & Nevis passport, with full Schengen travel rights throughout Europe.
There are three routes to citizenship (2 relate to real estate, and 1 one relates to a ‘one off donation’). Depending on the origin of the applicant and the quality of the application, a ‘Fast Track’ can be selected, with approval, in principle, being achieved in between 45 and 90 days.
Key Characteristics and Benefits of a St Kitts & Nevis Passport
- Applicants do not need to travel to St Kitts & Nevis for the application and there are no annual residency rules to maintain the passport.
- A single application can include children up to a maximum age of 30 and parents with a minimum age of 55, as well as unmarried, dependent siblings up to the age of 30.
- Passport holders enjoy full Schengen privileges and can travel to approximately 156 countries worldwide, either on a visa free, or visa on entry basis.
- If holders of the passport choose to move to St Kitts & Nevis there is no personal income tax, no gift tax, no death duties, no estate tax, no inheritance tax and no capital gains tax on worldwide income.
- The passport allows the holder to reside in other Caribbean Community countries (Caricom) if they wish to do so. There are 15 Caricom member states.