The Bahamas are located 50 miles of the east coast of Florida. They consist of 700 islands with most of the inhabitants residing in Nassau and Freeport. The Bahamas are an independent member of the British Commonwealth and a major financial center in their own right. The Bahamas has modern and flexible legislation which allows the operation of companies formed under the International Business Act of 1989 in the way most desired by the beneficial owner. It is a very short distance from the U.S.A. and a popular tourist destination. Government fees are only: US$100 capital duty and US$100 annual fee for a minimal capitalized company and it is possible to form companies within 48 hours. Bearer and no par value share are permitted and one director, who may also be the secretary may run the corporation from any location. A registered office and agent in the Bahamas must maintain minimal records, copies of the register of memoers and directors together with an impression of the seal, at the registered office. There is no public register. No annual return or accounts needs to be filed and there are no exchange controls which apply to International Business Companies. There are no double tax treaties. The Bahamas welcomes applications for both unrestricted and restricted banking licenses. The minimum capitalization for an unrestricted is US$1,000,000. This type of license can be obtained by private individuals but only if they are able to show that they have substantial high net worth. Restricted licenses are more readily granted to financial institutions. A restricted license enables the holder to provide banking and/or trust services only to a specified class of associated individuals or companies who would normally be named in the license or in a schedule attached to the license. The minimum paid up capital is only US$100,000. Fees for obtaining a restricted license would be in the order of US$35,000. Both type of banks must maintain reserves in cash, or near cash, equal to 20-35% of deposits.
(Courtesy of the Baltic Banking Group).
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