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The Bahamas

The Bahamas (officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas) consists of many islands located in the Caribbean Sea. It became independent from the United Kingdom in 1973. Now the Bahamas is a country with constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as a head of the state, represented by the Governor-General. The law system closely follows British Common Law. 

  • Official language — English.
  • Currency — Dollar (1 B$/BSD = 1 USD).
  • Main sources of the Bahamas income – tourism services (most tourists arrive from the USA), banking services sector (there are branches and representative offices of more than 350 banks), registration of offshore companies. Bahamian offshore companies are in higher demand in the USA than among Russian business (but we suppose that the tendency takes place only because of very close location of the Bahamas to the territory of the USA).
  • Main act of legislation for registration of an international company in the Bahamas — The International Business Companies Act, 2000.   

The Bahamas is one of popular Caribbean offshore countries often used as a place for registration of air vehicles. Registration of air vehicle in the offshore vessel Register allows to reduce taxation legally (starting with paying the customs duty for the vehicle importation), and also to keep the information about the beneficiary confidential. Air vehicle can be registered only under the name of the country's resident that generates a need of setting up a local company which will own the air vehicle.

Registration of a large trade ship in the Register of the Bahamas is also advantageous. The agreement between the USA and the Bahamas permits ships registered in the Bahamas to arrive and to leave American ports free of charge. The main condition is that more than 50 % of shares of such shipping companies must be owned by non-residents of the Bahamas.  

Necessary information you need to know planning to register a company in the Bahamas:

  • Registered type of company — International Business Company (IBC).
  • Registered address / Agent — company must have a registered address in the Bahamas and a registered licenced Agent. Agent presents a company to all state departments.
  • Minimum number of directors and shareholders allowed — one. It can be either a natural person of any nationality and residence or a legal entity.
  • Information about directors — open.
  • Information about shareholders — closed for public access, but the agent keeps the registers of directors and shareholders.
  • Accountancy — company must keep its financial statements but there is no requirement to give any account or perform annual audit of the company.
  • Taxation — there are no direct taxes. Company must pay only fixed annual state fee.
  • Bearer shares — not allowed.
  • Banking — the country is included  into the 2nd group of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation direction (Appendix 1 to the Bank of the Russian Federation instruction dated on the 7th of August 2003 № 1317-У) and the «grey list» of OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) according to the summary of Q20 sammit on 2nd April 2009.
  • Authorized capital — there is no requirement for the sum of the authorized capital and terms of its payment, but the amount of authorized capital influences the registration fee for a new company and annual duty. Standard fee is paid if a company’s  authorized capital is up to 50,000 $.
  • Recommended authorized capital — 50,000 $.


 Standard package of the documents:


  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Appointment of First Director
  • Memorandum & Articles of Association
  • Notarized and Apostilled set of copies of the documents
  • The company's seal