The island of Nevis is where NTL started way back in 1994. Part of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, the island of Nevis has its own financial services sector, separate from that of neighbouring St Kitts.
We like Nevis precisely because it’s a relatively unknown jurisdiction with a reputation for good regulation – it has successfuly avoided many of the scandals that have tarnished other IFCs.
The Federation, whilst remaining part of the British Commonwealth undre Queen Elizabeth I, gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1983. Its status as a sovereign state, not under direct control from London, is increasingly important to our clients who are moving here from British Dependent Territories like BVI, Cayman and TCI.
Nevis also has experience dealing with the US market. Its LLCs are particularly familiar for clients looking to do business with USA financial institutions, while American asset protection lawyers in the know generally agree that Nevis is one of the two jurisdictions in the world offering the strongest level of statutory asset protection.
- Political stability coupled with the Government’s policy of maintaining the International Financial Sector.
- Well regulated, compliant jurisdiction with adequate safeguards.
- There are no personal or corporate taxes levied on income derived from outside Nevis.
- It is mandatory to prepare accounts, but there are no filing or audit requirements.
- No exchange control with free repatriation of profits and capital.
- Familiar corporate structure and good reputation make it easy to open bank accounts in Nevis and worldwide.
Nevis Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)
An LLC formed under the Nevis Limited Liability Company Ordinance is a legal entity with separate rights and liabilities, distinct from its managers or members. Therefore, the LLC shall be liable for its own debts, obligations and liabilities. The LLC may be managed either by its members or by third parties.
Key features and benefits
- LLC is transparent (disregarded) for tax purposes.
- Substantial flexibility within operating agreement with an emphasis on freedom and enforceability of contract. LLCs are more adaptable to the needs of small businesses. They are ideal for carrying on an active business or holding assets.
- No public record requirement of members or managers, owners or directors.
- Records may be maintained anywhere in the world.
- No requirement for typical corporate formalities like meetings, minute books.
- Assets transferred to an LLC become property of the LLC and are no longer under control of the member, meaning that the manager assumes a role similar to that of a trustee, but without many of the restrictions of a trust. For example, the LLC may conduct an active business.
- An LLC can easily be structured so as to divide control and membership interests. Assets of the LLC controlled by a Nevisian manager, wherever in the world they are situated, are subject to exclusive jurisdiction of the Nevis courts. A foreign court order is not valid and forced repatriation of assets is not possible.
- Unlike shares in a corporation, a creditor cannot seize a membership interest in an LLC. Creditors are restricted to a charging order that does not create membership rights or give any control over the business. A fair value exchange of assets for an LLC membership interest is statutorily protected against future claims of fraudulent conveyance.
The Nevis LLC is our clients’ preferred vehicle for both business and asset protection purposes given it completely avoids any tax complications by being tax transparent, and it offers greater flexibility and asset protection than a corporation, while being more readily understood worldwide than a trust.
An LLC may be combined with other structures or with other LLCs for more complex planning solutions. Its simplicity and corporate personality makes international banks and financial services providers very comfortable with the LLC, thus facilitating account opening and full due diligence procedures in the shortest possible time.
Nevis Business Corporation (IBC)
The Nevis Business Corporation Ordinance was Nevis’ first international financial services legislation, passed in 1984. It was drawn up by US lawyers and based on the Delaware Corporation law model. It is Nevis’ version of the typical IBC or International Business Corporation and it has stood the test of time by offering flexibility and benefits to those seeking a traditional share-based corporate structure for their business or holding operations.
Corporations are recognised and understood worldwide as being separate legal persons with rights and liabilities separate from those of their shareholders. Nevis also offers statutory confidentiality, broad powers and a fast and efficient registration process.
Key benefits of the Nevis Business Corporation (Nevis IBC)
- Complete powers to engage in any legitimate business worldwide, subject only to certain limitations on local business in Nevis.
- Name may be registered in any language, with your choice of suffix such as Inc, S.A., Limited, BV, SARL, KFT, etc. The name must; however, be written in the Latin/English alphabet.
- Any person or company from any jurisdiction may incorporate a Nevis IBC. Corporate directors and single subscriber companies are permitted.
- Complete exemption from Nevis taxes.
- Details of management and ownership remain private.
- Redomiciliation permitted into and out of Nevis, including emergency redomiciliation.
- Certification of documents under the Hague Convention.
NTL’s excellent relationships with international banks mean that subject to full compliance with our strict know-your-customer procedures, it may be possible to form an IBC and open a bank account within 1-2 days. Kindly note that NTL no longer incorporates Nevis companies which plan to issue bearer shares.
Nevis Multiform Foundation
The Nevis Multiform Foundation Ordinance, passed in 2004, created a new and innovative Nevis corporate entity based on the civil law ‘Foundation’ that is well known in jurisdictions such as Liechtenstein and Panama. While many Foundations are formed for charitable purposes, continental European families have been using Private Foundations for asset and succession protection since well before the second world war. A Foundation may provide an easier asset management tool particularly where assets or residence are located in civil law countries.
They key difference between a Foundation and a Trust is that a Foundation, like a company or LLC, has its own separate and distinct legal personality, whereas a Trust operates under the legal personality of its trustee. A trust is frequently misunderstood and the very flexibility of a trust can lead to misunderstandings which may be solved by the use of a Foundation.
The Multiform Foundation is a hybrid vehicle without owners managed by a supervisory board on behalf of its beneficiaries and according to a defined constitution. The Nevis Foundation is ‘multi-form’ because it may take the form of an ordinary charitable foundation, a private interest foundation, a trust, a company, a partnership or a tax-resident foundation and it may change its form during its lifetime.
Key features of Nevis Multiform Foundations
- Provision for existing foreign and domestic business entities to continue, transfer, convert, consolidate or merge into a Multiform Foundation.
- For administrative purposes it may take the form of a trust, a company, a LLC or a partnership.
- This form may be changed at any time without affecting existence, rights or obligations.
- By-laws are filed with register and may be certified, apostilled, etc, but are not subject to public inspection.
- A multiform foundation may choose to be governed by foreign law either completely or in part.
- The name of the Foundation must end with the word ‘Foundation’ or the abbreviation ‘FDN.’
- There is no requirement for beneficiaries to be named.
- The Foundation is tax-exempt by default, but it may elect to become tax-resident of Nevis and pay taxes at a maximum rate of 1% in order to qualify for treaty benefits if desired.
- Any legal action against the Foundation must be brought exclusively in Nevis and any proceedings apart from criminal proceedings will be held in private.
- Statute of limitations of one year for fraudulent conveyance claims. Statute of Elizabeth is excluded from Multiform Foundations by the governing law.
- Use of the Foundation as a self-owned structure may avoid CFC legislation in other jurisdictions.