Offshore Company Formation: 5 ways to do it legally

Already weighed your options, you finally decided to set up an offshore company. Now the real problem begins.

Googling for information, you're presented with millions of pages containing information on how to set up an offshore company. Not stopping there, you will get info – including ads – from companies that claim to offer international corporate services fast, easy and cheap.

Indeed, it's a real problem. Looking for a solution, you'll soon discover that you are now having more questions than answers in your mind.

How do you know which information you can trust? How do you know which companies to trust? How do you know whether setting up an offshore company is legal or not?

Via this article, we attempt to do our best in explaining the ways to set up an offshore company – legally.

You intent matters

Offshore company formation is perfectly legal – your intent might not. This statement is not meant to offend you, but the fact is, as legal as offshore company setup is, the features and benefits of going offshore can be abused. It's all coming back to your intent: What is your purpose of setting up an offshore company?

Asset protection should be your number one reason for going offshore. The company should be purposed for asset protection and tax benefits – not tax evasion and hiding your money.

You can read this to learn how to set up a fully operational offshore company. But for more information on how to do it legally, here are five ways to consider:

1. DIY everything

It's possible to DIY your offshore company formation setup. The best thing about setting up an offshore company on your own is the fact that you eliminate the intermediary fees.

However, there is one major caveat: You need to have extensive knowledge in offshore laws and regulations. Moreover, due to the confidentiality nature of the offshore company (and banking) finding information – the right information, – is quite challenging.

2. Ask your bank

Did you know that some major banks have their own offshore departments? Barclays, for instance, offers a holistic offshore service, ranging from wealth management to offshore corporate services.

One of the major perks of using your bank's service is the expertise and network they have when it comes to offshore company formation. However, be aware of the affiliations they have with a particular set of offshore jurisdictions, which makes it difficult to know whether they offer the best jurisdiction for you, or the best according to their best interest (e.g. More fees for the bank.)

3. Consult with a wealth manager

A wealth manager with International coverage can be one of the best, legal way to help you set up an offshore company. Usually working for a wealth management firm or lead her own company, she can offer you in-depth outlook about the company formation, as well as in-depth knowledge of the wealth management and other financial services she has the access to.

The wealth management's full-fledged wealth management services for clients can be a pro and con for you. You need to understand what you need and take the products that you really need.

4. Find a lawyer with experience in International laws

A lawyer with experience in offshore laws and regulations is probably the way to go for you, especially when you want to make sure that you are starting on the right foot, legally.

One potential problem that a lawyer can present you is on the ways to manage your assets, which is what banks' and wealth management firms' forte.

5. Find a trusted international corporate service provider

Considered as an intermediary, an international corporate service can be your best solution due to one, major reason: Their business is all about making sure that everything required in offshore company formation is met. There is no hidden agenda, e.g. Upselling financial products to you.

Moreover, trusted service provider can give you a bird's eye look at everything offshore, allowing you to tap into their knowledge in offshore laws and regulations, asset management services, and insights on the whole industry.

One major con comes from the trust department: With hundreds – even thousands – of service providers out there, how do you know which are the legitimate ones? You can read our guide on how to find a trusted offshore service provider.

Choices, choices, choices

As you can see, there are ways to make sure that you start off with the right information and well-informed decision.

With that said, you can get started with contacting us, and we assure you that you will get objective information on everything you need to know about setting up a company offshore.

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