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Offshore News & Articles

What are the Advantages of Bearer Shares?

A bearer share is an equity security that is owned by whoever holds the physical stock certificate. Bearer share corporations do not register the owner of the stock or track transfers of share ownership. The company distributes dividends when a physical coupon is presented.

Bearer Share Corporations in Panama

Panama is a jurisdiction that allows the issuing of bearer shares and also manages this in a flexible manner which allows you to take full advantage of various benefits.

Advantages of Bearer Shares

Bearer shares allow investors to keep their identities secret. Shares can be purchased without any record with the company or the country's registry of who actually owns the shares.

Asset Protection - Bearer shares protect your assets from others who may try to claim compensation from you. For instance, a former spouse or creditor may try to obtain more of your wealth but bearer shares will act as a safeguard in this situation. Bearer shares offer a very high level of privacy while protecting your assets.

Speed and Simplicity - Bearer shares make it very easy to transfer ownership as all that is required is a physical transfer of the share certificate. This keeps things very simple and avoids red tape.

Cost Savings - Bearer shares help to save both time and money. There is no need for any legal processing to transfer ownership. There is no need to go through any notarization or registration. There is also no need to pay tax on transfer of shares as the transfer will not be documented.

Common Uses of Bearer Shares

Bearers shares are commonly used in offshore corporations to hold property such as yachts and aircraft or real estate. Another common use is managing a family business. If a family business utilizes bearer shares, there is no confusion if the sole owner of shares dies. The descendants of the deceased can simply submit the share certificates to be automatically recognized as the new owners.

To find out how you could use bearer shares in your own offshore corporation, contact us now by filling in our contact form or via phone, email or fax.

Advantages of Buying a Shelf Company

Shelf companies are corporations that were created and then left inactive for a period of time. Many business owners use shelf companies for a variety of reasons, some of which are described below.

Instant - Without any need to wait for a few business days to pass while you fill out paperwork, your shelf company is a company that is ready when you are. Incorporation has already taken place and once ownership is transferred to you, you are set to do business. You don't even have to spend time thinking about a name for the corporation - it already has one.

Higher Customer and Investor Confidence - Would you be more likely to trust a company that had clearly been formed a week before your transaction or one that has already been established for some time? Many clients and investors tend to hesitate before doing business with brand new companies in favour of companies that have been around for longer. When you are the owner of a shelf corporation that has been established for a few years, you get the advantage of using time to your advantage. The fact that a company has been established for a longer time makes customers and investors more willing to do business.

Bidding on Government Contracts - Some governments will only allow companies that have been in business for a few years to bid on potentially very lucrative contracts. Owning a shelf company even for a brief period of time allows you to bid on behalf of a company that has been in existence for a longer period of time.

To discuss your needs or set up your very own shelf company, all you need to do is fill in our contact forms our get in touch via phone, email or fax.

How Can a Foundation Help to Protect My Assets?

A foundation is the ideal product to have to protect your assets. It is a structure that offers various tax, privacy and asset protection benefits.

Tax and privacy advantages

Foundations have no tax obligations on foreign derived income, capital gains tax, interest or inheritance tax.

In the modern world, individuals' privacy is also of paramount importance. Foundations provide an unparalleled level of privacy. When a foundation is formed, the assets in a foundation are no longer the property of the settlor. The foundation exists to serve the beneficiaries who may be changed at any time. Information regarding beneficiaries is not registered on any public record.

Asset protection advantages

The foundation offers secure protection of the settlors' assets. As the assets become property of the foundation, they are insulated from any claims against the founder, including judgments for divorce, lawsuits and other liabilities.

Common uses of foundations

The most common purposes of a foundation are to hold and protect assets. Assets such as shares, bonds and real estate can be owned by a foundation and protected from creditors' claims and political instability.

Immediate family members are usually named as beneficiaries so that family wealth is insulated from external factors such as politics and the economy. Foundations offer a high degree of privacy and anonymity as there is no requirement to disclose beneficiaries or file annual returns or statements.

The foundation is not permitted to engage in business activity, but it can own a corporation that engages in business. The foundation is also allowed to own bank accounts, brokerage accounts and real estate. Trademarks and patents can also belong to a foundation. Business activities conducted outside the jurisdiction of the foundation itself are also completely exempt from taxation.

Great! Where do I start?

If you would like to form a foundation, all you need to provide us with to start the process is a notarized copy of your passport and a proof of address. We are available to answer any queries you might have and outline the rest of the process. Your foundation should be established in 3 business days or less.

If you would like more information about foundations or would like to discuss your specific needs, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by filling in our contact form or via phone, email or fax.

Advantages of Registering a Ship in Panama

Panama is one of the best places to register your ship. The fact that the country has the largest ship registry in the world is testament to this.

Panama offers extremely competitive vessel registration costs compared to other jurisdictions. The maritime service in Panama exempts all activities of vessels from income tax or other types of tax. Profit made from transfer or sale of vessels are also exempt from tax.

Apart from the more obvious fiscal advantages, Panama also offers economic and administrative advantages to foreigners who register their ships in this country.

Ownership - The Panamanian ship register allows registration of vessels under a Panamanian corporation. This will give protection and anonymous ownership to the vessel. This can be combined with a complete asset protection kit (click here) to ensure that your vessel's income and ownership remains safe and anonymously protected.

Nationality - Regardless of nationality, any natural or legal person may register vessels under the Panamanian flag.

Different Types of Vessels - Panamanian law allows registration of any type of vessel, including passenger ships and cargo, private yachts, tenders, etc.

Unrivaled Support - The Panama Maritime Court works 24 hours a day to handle any maritime dispute that may arise.

No Tonnage Requirements - Panama has no minimum tonnage requirements.

No Need for Inspection - When owners decide to transfer a ship to Panama, the vessels do not need to be inspected. Owners simply need to submit the security certificate and tonnage passport.

Dual Registration - Vessels registered in Panama but under charter to a company incorporate elsewhere may be simultaneously registered in both countries.

Provisional Registration - Vessels that are under construction may also apply for provisional registration in Panama.

Advantages for Yachts, Boats and Sailing Vessels - Yachts are subject to a sole enrollment charge of $1,500. However, if the yacht is owned by a Panamanian natural person, Panamanian company or Panama foundation, this charge is lowered to $1,000.

To get started registering your vessels in Panama or discussing asset protection in Panama, simply fill out our contact form or get in touch via phone, email or fax.

Here's Why 2014 is Panama's Year

Panama has been in the spotlight already for a few years as one of the best places in the world to move to, invest, retire and do business. The country offers a great environment for entrepreneurs, investors and retirees alike along with its offering of perfect weather and beautiful beaches. While these are all things that are beneficial to the country's profile, this year could be the one to really push Panama to center stage.

Economic Progress

Panama's per capita GDP has more than doubled in the past ten years as the fastest growing economy in Latin America blossomed. The economy continues to grow strongly on the basis of the expansion of the Panama Canal and other large public infrastructure projects. Panama has also been unhurt by the recession which took the entire Western world by storm, thanks mainly to the banking system's more conservative lending rules and high liquidity ratios. 2014 looks like it will bring more of the same with projections of GDP growth of 7-10%.


Panama has presidential elections scheduled for this year. Campaigning has picked up pace as Panama gears up for its biggest ever election. Current President Ricardo Martinelli is constitutionally barred from participating and candidates from opposing parties such as Juan Carlos Navarro from the Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD) and Juan Carlos Varela from the Partido Panameñista have gained popularity.

Major topics of debate so far have included the GDP, improving education and getting to grips with social problems such as crime. As Panama leads Latin America in terms of growth, the Panamanian public also asks for more. These elections and the policy changes implemented thereafter will be crucial for the future of Panama.

Best Place to Retire to in 2014

The fact that Panama has again topped the world rankings for places to retire is already attracting great attention to the country. Foreigners are increasingly considering Panama as the place to relocate to and enjoy retirement. Panama's Pensionado retiree visa program offers an incredible range of benefits to retirees and adds to the already long list of benefits Panama has to offer to foreigners. As global interest in Panama peaks this year, we expect foreigners to increasingly move to Panama this year.

100 Years of the Panama Canal

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal, a wonder of the world that has significantly facilitated global trade by providing a route between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. A major expansion plan for the canal that will greatly increase its capabilities will be completed next year. While there have been disputes between the parties involved in the expansion project, it will continue and reach completion in 2015 as planned. This anticipated increase in the canal's contribution to the economy will also fuel celebrations in the country as the 100th anniversary approaches in August 2014.

Panama has already been featured as one of the best countries to visit in 2014 for tourists. At the moment, the country gives almost anyone a very good reason to carefully consider it as not just a holiday destination, but as a life choice as well.

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