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Taxation in Gibraltar
 
 
 

General

Gibraltar law allows for the formation of many types of business entity, such as: Private Company Limited by Shares, Private Company Limited by Guarantee, Non-resident Limited Company, Public Company Limited by Shares, Gibraltar Branch of Foreign Company, General Partnership, Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership (LLP,) Sole Proprietorship and Trust. Gibraltar is no more an offshore centre since 30 June 2006, no new exempt company certificates are being issued from that date. The Gibraltar Companies Ordinance is based on the Companies Act 1929 of the United Kingdom. Amendments have been made from time to time in keeping with the development of Gibraltar as a finance centre. All limited companies (except those which are non-profit making) are required to file accounts at Companies House in respect of each financial year commencing 1 April 2000. This requirement follows the provisions of the EU fourth and seventh company law directives. Each company is required to submit an annual return to the Registrar of Companies which contains details of the shareholders, directors and the capital of the company. The information available at the Registry is open to public inspection.

The majority of incorporations for tax-optimisation purposes in Gibraltar take the form of a Private Company Limited by Shares. Trusts are another popular option in Gibraltar and can be used as a stand alone entity or in conjunction with an international business company. Gibraltar has become popular jurisdiction for the offshore companies' incorporation due to its English-based legal system. The Gibraltar legislation was based on the UK model. In addition, full-ranged, high-tech and international banking services empower Gibraltar as an ideal jurisdiction, so that Gibraltar has been experiencing a fast growth in the formation of offshore companies. Foreign companies enjoy a flexible corporate structure making Gibraltar a dynamic leader globally in the offshore company formation.

Forms of Business Organisation

Private Company Limited by Shares

A Limited Company is incorporated under the Gibraltar Companies Ordinance 1930 which is based on the English Companies Act 1929. The basic rules are as follows:

• a private company limited by shares is required to have at least two members, who can be individuals or companies; one shareholder can be a nominee company holding a share on trust for the other shareholder; the maximum number of members is 50; the Memorandum and Articles of Incorporation state that the company is private, restrict the transfer of shares, and prohibit public offerings of the shares;

• annual returns must be made to the Registrar, and details of the shareholders and capital structure are held on the public files;

• only one director is required; secretaries are not mandatory, and they may be corporate;

• there must be a registered office in Gibraltar where the statutory books are kept;

• there is no requirement for accounts to be filed; tax-resident companies however have to submit accounts to the tax authorities;

• a Gibraltar company can be incorporated within 7 working days and ready made companies are available for immediate use;

• there is a 0.5% duty on authorised share capital (minimum duty GIP10);

• there is an annual tax of GIP225 (at the time of writing) payable by a limited company.


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