Barbados offshore banking license
- Obtaining a Barbados offshore banking license is an easy and hassle-free process with Tetra Consultants’ assistance. Our team will provide a full-service package of Barbados company registration, corporate bank account opening, hiring of local qualified employees and directors, sourcing local offices, and license applications. Our team of consultants has ample experience in this field and we will be able to advise accurately.
- There are many reasons why Barbados is regarded as a prime location for international banking activities. For several years, international banking and financial houses have been drawn to Barbados due to its attractive tax incentives, special exemptions, guarantees on future taxation, high quality of professional services, and reputation of Barbados as a reputable Offshore Banking Center.
What are the advantages of obtaining a Barbados offshore banking license?
- No capital gain tax and withholding tax on interest, dividends, royalties, or fees
- Low tax and availability of tax exemptions
- Income tax concessions for employees that qualify
- Freedom from exchange control regulations.
- Statutory confidentiality provisions for customers of the bank.
- Provisions for inward and outward re-domiciliation.
- Access to the country’s vast tax treaty network.
- Income tax concessions for specially qualified employees.
What are the activities allowed for a Barbados offshore banking license?
The Barbados banking laws have categorized many activities as offshore banking to facilitate a wide range of investments. These categories include
- The receiving of foreign funds through the acceptance of foreign money deposits payable upon demand or after a fixed period of time or upon the receipt of the notice;
- The sale or placement of foreign bonds, certificate notes or other debt obligations or foreign securities, or any other similar activity involving foreign money or securities, which either in whole or in part use foreign funds for the purposes of loans;
- The acceptance in trust of money in foreign currency, foreign personal or movable property, or real or immovable property from persons outside Barbados who are not resident in Barbados to be administered, managed, invested, or otherwise dealt with for the benefit of persons resident outside Barbados.
What are the eligibility criteria for obtaining a Barbados offshore banking license?
In order to qualify for an international banking license, a company must:
- Be a qualified foreign bank or be incorporated in Barbados.
- Restrict its activities to international banking from within Barbados.
- Have at least one director who is a resident citizen of Barbados.
- Have at least one shareholder of any nationality.
- Have paid up capital of at least US$2,000,000 if it accepts third-party deposits, or US$500,000 if it does not accept third-party deposits.
- Maintain a reserve fund to which 25% of net profits before dividends are transferred annually until the reserve fund equals the paid-up capital.
- Pay an initial registration/license fee.
What is the regulatory requirement for obtaining a Barbados offshore banking license?
- International Banks must file tax returns and financial statements in the same manner as local companies. Those with year-ends prior to September 30th must file by the following March 15, and all others by the following June 15th. Taxes must be prepaid.
- A company that intends to operate as an International Bank or offshore bank is required to have a minimum paid-up capital of US$2,000,000 in case it accepts third-party deposits or US$500,000 in case it does not accept third-party deposits.
- A company planning to provide offshore banking services from Barbados must have a place of business in the nation. Accordingly, you are required to have a local office registered under the name of your entity to be used to maintain the official registers and documents of the company.
- Accordingly, minutes of all meetings and resolutions of directors are required to be maintained at the registered office in Barbados.
- A company providing offshore banking services in Barbados must have at least one shareholder irrespective of nationality.
- And, at least one director who must be a resident citizen of Barbados.
Accounting and auditing
- International Banks are required to file audited financial statements with the Central Bank within four months of the year-end, and also to make quarterly financial returns.
- Adequate accounting books and records must be maintained in Barbados, and a qualified local auditor appointed if the gross assets or revenue of the IBC exceed US$500,000. Accounting and auditing standards are prescribed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados
What is the process of obtaining a Barbados offshore banking license?
Step 1: Submission of tentative license application
- The practice has developed in recent times to first make a tentative application (this applies only to an eligible company) whereby the intended licensee submits a proposal to the Barbados Minister of Finance for a license and the Minister upon considering the application may indicate whether or not a subsequent full application based on the proposal would be favorably treated. This procedure has been instituted to save companies time and expense which could be incurred on being denied a license after complying with all the rigorous formalities.
- Tetra Consultants will assist you with the preparation of a tentative application for obtaining a Barbados offshore banking license. Any application for an offshore banking license must show that the applicant is either an eligible company or a foreign bank and must give the names and addresses of its directors, the particulars of the offshore banking business to be undertaken in Barbados, the names of any shareholders who are resident in Barbados as well as provide such other financial information as the Minister of Finance may through the appropriate government agency requirements. The application is to be accompanied by a certified copy of the memorandum and articles of association of the applicant.
Step 2: Registration of Barbados entity
- Before Tetra Consultants can register company in Barbados, we will assist you by providing a local registered office address and a local company secretary who would act as a liaison between you and the governmental authorities for filing of documents.
- Based on the documents provided, Tetra Consultants will draft and notarize the Memorandum and Articles of Association, business plan, and other incorporation documents.
- After preparing the required documents, Tetra Consultants will register your Barbados company through the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office.
Step 3: Meeting local economic substance requirements
- Since the Barbados banking regulations require you to have at least a resident director and local office in order to have economic substance, Tetra Consultants will assist you to meet them. Our team will assist with the recruitment of local qualified employees to join the team.
- Tetra Consultants’ HR team will conduct the shortlisting and initial interviews with the candidates. Thereafter, you can shortlist the final list of candidates to determine who is most suitable to join the team. Once the candidate is chosen, Tetra Consultants will assist to prepare an employment contract with the terms and conditions that are agreed upon.
- Our team will also shortlist a list of physical offices and send them to you. We will include important considerations such as monthly rental, location, size, etc so you can better decide which is most suitable for you. Once the office is chosen, Tetra Consultants will prepare the lease agreement to be signed between you and the landlord.
Step 4: Corporate bank account opening
- After registration, Tetra Consultants will assist you in opening a corporate bank account. Our team has established partnerships with multiple reputable International and local banks in Barbados. Some of the Barbados banks we have worked with include RBC Royal Bank, First Citizens Bank, and Republic Bank. We will present your business to each relationship manager and compliance team. By engaging our services, you can leverage our full portfolio of banking partners.
- Typically, a corporate bank account opening will take roughly 4 weeks. In most cases, the directors and shareholders are not required to travel. However, if travel is required, we will have a representative accompany you to the bank meeting. Alternatively, our team will negotiate with the banks to conduct a conference call instead or request a waiver.
Step 5: Preparation of license application and documents
- Tetra Consultants’ legal team will prepare the required documents for the license application. These documents will include the business plan, AML/CFT policy, and insurance policy depending on the local requirements.
- Once the documents are prepared, Tetra Consultants will send over the drafts for your review. Thereafter upon confirmation, we will send them to you for e-signature and prepare for license application.
Step 6: License application
- Once the above is completed, Tetra Consultants will submit the application to the local regulator. Depending on the jurisdiction, you may be required to attend an interview with the regulator prior to license approval. In this case, Tetra Consultants will prepare you for the interview and assist with the follow-up actions required by regulatory authorities.
- All going well, your firm will receive the banking license and will be required to start business operations within the stipulated time frame in order to maintain the license.
Step 7: Fulfilling financial obligations
- After the registration of your business is completed, Tetra Consultants will continue to ensure your business’s compliance with government policies.
- We will assist you in making timely payments of taxes and filing annual tax returns.
- Moreover, in case of any changes in the company’s structure, we will inform the relevant authorities on your behalf.
What are the documents required to acquire a Barbados offshore banking license?
The general set of documents and information required to obtain a Barbados offshore banking license include but are not limited to:
- The name of the proposed bank;
- The proposed date for the commencement of business;
- The proposed address of the place of business;
- The name and address of the agent in Barbados who is or may be engaged with the formation of the company;
- The approval of name reservation by the registrar of companies;
- A draft of the bank’s articles of incorporation or articles of organization for entities organized under the Societies With Restricted Liability Act;
- A profile of every shareholder at the date of commencement of business; the number of shares, of all kinds, and the amount payable thereon; and the particulars of any loans with conversion or voting privileges that are to be allotted to each shareholder;
- A current financial statement of any person who, directly or indirectly, will possess or control 5 percent or more of the voting power or 10 percent or more of the non-voting shares of the proposed bank;
- A complete corporate chart showing the relationship of the proposed bank to other affiliated companies, subsidiaries, and partnerships, wherever resident;
- A confidential statement of acknowledgement prepared by every individual shareholder and every person who is proposed to be appointed at the date of commencement of business as a director or executive officer;
- An outline of the business of the proposed bank and its general objectives, as well as the needs of the clients it intends to serve from Barbados, including copies of proposed policies on matters such as investments, loans, and asset or liability management;
- A projected financial statement containing a balance sheet income statement and capital adequacy calculations prepared in the usual way for banks for the first three years of operation of the proposed bank, and outlining the method of assumptions that are used;
- The prospects of the proposed bank as an employer with information as to the number of persons likely to be employed in management and staff positions at the end of the three years, and the anticipated requirements for specially qualified personnel who are not resident in Barbados;
- The particulars of any pending application in Barbados or any other jurisdiction by the principals of the proposed bank, or by any affiliates, associates, or other related companies; and
- A letter certifying the accuracy of the submitted information.
How long does it take to acquire a Barbados offshore banking license?
- Prior to the start of an engagement, Tetra Consultants will send you a project plan with the timelines stipulated for company registration, preparation of documents as well as license application. This is to ensure that all parties are clear on the upcoming project.
How much does it cost to obtain a banking license?
- The total engagement fee depends on the services you need from Tetra Consultants. We provide you with multiple services ranging from company registration to obtaining an offshore banking license. The total fee that will be charged is inclusive of the company registration fee, license fee, and any additional cost that may arise.
- We will discuss with you the total engagement fee in detail before we begin the registration process so that you have a better understanding of what you are paying for. Tetra Consultants strives to be transparent with the engagement fees prior to the start of any engagements. All these terms and conditions will be stated clearly in our appointment letter.
- Tetra Consultants will assist you with the comprehensive set of services to obtain an offshore banking license which will include the evaluation of different jurisdictions in which the bank may be established, a compilation of necessary background information to submit an application for a bank license, assisting in the formation of a corporation that will apply for a bank license.
- Additionally, Tetra Consultants will be providing advisory services to our international clients in connection with full-fledged assistance in preparation and assistance for the submission of license applications, providing professional help once the license has been obtained with respect to any yearly compliances.
- Tetra Consultants will assist you with communications with the local Central Bank, regulatory authorities, and government officials throughout the whole course of the engagement.
- In addition, Tetra Consultants can also assist with attaining other offshore financial licenses depending on your long-term business goals.
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