As we head into the later part of 2022 it is becoming patently clear that offshoring your business and assets is a smart move. After undertaking some research, many people conclude that they should form their operating company on the island of Nevis. Inevitably, the next question is as to the Nevis LLC Cost and establishment procedures.
In short, the price of a standard LLC setup in Nevis is approximately US$1,540 with nominee members included and the annual renewal fee is US$900.
Why Nevis as a Jurisdiction?
The islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis are an interesting offshore jurisdiction as the local laws have been designed to protect the interests of bank account holders and company owners. Their geographic location, close to the U.S, has meant that they have been a natural choice for Americans seeking to establish a liability shield.
Given the rising levels of legal action against entrepreneurs, many have sought to base their major business holdings away from prying eyes and the arms of aggressive attorneys. The primary benefit to a Nevis holding company or LLC structure is that the costs of taking legal action against one is exceedingly high.
In fact, before anyone can file a lawsuit against your company, they are required to lodge a US$100,000 bond with the Ministry of Finance to cover costs in the event they lose. Subsequently, plaintiffs have to place, at risk, a significant amount of money before they can even commence and action and this is also, generally, not able to be funded by their own attorneys on contingency.
Ultimately, creditors and other litigants look to settle early, or even cease action, when they discover a Nevis company/entity in the chain of ownership. It’s often just too costly and difficult for them to successfully act against.
Nevis – What About Privacy?
Firstly, privacy should be incredibly important to you as we are rapidly entering a phase of active data collection. This collection is not just being undertaken by governments and tax authorities, but the plethora of data leaks is now being used by credits and litigants to find your personal information.
Nevis provides no publicly searchable register of directors/shareholders/members/managers, and this means that your newly formed LLC will not publicly be connected to you. However, for additional protection it is always recommended to use nominee directors/managers such that your name will not appear on any public documents.
As far as the safety aspect of the nominee arrangement goes, you should obtain a declaration of trust from the nominee which spells out their responsibilities to you. Additionally, an undated letter of resignation can be given that gives you the power to dismiss them immediately. Finally, a power of attorney is normally issued which gives you full power to open/transact/close all accounts and business as if you were the actual nominee.
Nevis Companies – A Taxation Perspective
One of the other major benefits to basing your operations or holding company on the island is that there is no taxation regime to deal with. At least, there is no tax levied as long as your income is sourced offshore and not derived domestically in Nevis.
Subsequently, a Nevis structure can be highly tax efficient especially when it is paired with an offshore trust. Not only does this provide an, almost, bullet proof asset protection structure but it can also bring with it highly efficient tax benefits.
Additionally, Nevis sports no inheritance, estate, gift, duty, or capital gains taxes of any form.
The Actual Nevis LLC Cost of Formation
Now that you have some of the background information regarding the benefits of incorporating in Nevis let’s take a look at the general cost breakdowns.
A standard formation typically involves the following costs and inclusions: US$1,540 with annual renewal fees of around US$900.
- First Year Government Filing Fees
- Registered Office Fee
- Registered Agent
- Nominee Member (Including undated resignation letter)
- Certificate of Formation
- Operating Agreement
- Power of Attorney (from member)
- Declaration on Trust
- Apostilled set of corporate documents
The above list includes a standard set of offshore corporate documents and also provides a nominee member and a power of attorney. Subsequently, it gives you everything you need to actually open a bank account and securely start operating your LLC.
For those of you seeking to open an LLC without the use of nominees the price would be typically reduced to US$1,040.
Ultimately, Nevis is not a particularly expensive location to undertake formation within but provides excellent privacy and legal protection. In short, your bang for your buck is great with packages such as these.
Banking in Nevis
A bank account is essential for your newly formed LLC to actually become operational. Subsequently, you will need to choose whether you bank domestically in Nevis or seek an offshore account in another jurisdiction.
There are 5 license banks based in Nevis:
- Bank of Nevis Ltd
- BON Bank Ltd
- Republic Bank (EC) Limited
- St. Kitts & Nevis Development Bank
- St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank Limited
The reality is that the primary bank for offshore accounts is the Bank of Nevis. Since COVID, remote account opening is now becoming more common again around the world and the Bank of Nevis is following the trend.
Subsequently, with the help of your agent, you should have no problems sourcing an account for your LLC. You will need to provide the standard identity and proof of address records, and these should be apostilled for the banks purposes.
The initial minimum deposit for a Nevis bank account is likely to be above the US$10k level and accounts are available in a range of currencies. Additionally, they also provide debit and credit cards and, as expected, full remote online internet banking.
Ultimately, it is relatively simple to open a domestic account for your newly formed company.
Nevis LLC Cost – Key Takeaways
The island of Nevis is a highly sought-after asset protection jurisdiction that brings with it significant privacy and taxation benefits. Formation of an LLC can be undertaken in as little as a week and at a minor cost of US$1,540.
Finally, banking is available to Nevis based entities through a variety of onshore and offshore options. However, it will very much depend upon your company’s risk profile and the sort of business that you expect to transact.