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LINKS IN THIS SECTION

- Offshore Company Formation
- Accountancy Services
- Legal Services

RELATED SECTIONS

- Taxation of Offshore E-commerce
- Regulation of Offshore E-commerce
- Offshore E-commerce Facilities
- Offshore E-commerce Applications

At one time, the financial infrastructure of tax havens, as they were then called, lagged far behind the level of sophistication of the tax-minimising schemes for which they were used. This problem was compounded by poor telecommunications and inadequate legal infrastructure.

Facilities can still be well below par in some of the more backward jurisdictions, but there is strong competition among the better and more popular jurisdictions which has led to a much improved level of services. This is definitely a point to check when selecting an offshore jurisdiction, and it is not necessarily easy to get objective advice. See the Lowtax.net Jurisdictions section for information on the facilities available in different centres; and you might consider talking to an adviser in a high-tax country who makes regular use of your chosen jurisdiction for advice on this point.

The key financial institution for an offshore e-commerce operation is of course a bank, although if you are considering a listing then you will be interested in the relatively few offshore jurisdictions that have stock exchanges, and the associated brokerages, registrars and custodians. There are stock exchanges in the Bahamas, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Channel Islands, Cyprus, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Hong Kong and Switzerland.

There is wide variety in the level and scale of banking operations in offshore jurisdictions. At one extreme lies the Cayman Islands, with 340 banks (2006) including branches of virtually every major bank in the world, while at the other extreme some jurisdictions defend their domestic banking sectors and restrict foreign banking quite severely.

The need is for a bank that will be easily able to receive transfers from all over the world and account for them accurately, and will be able to provide normal commercial services to your local operation possibly including payroll support. The local offices of major Western commercial banks may qualify, or they may not, depending on their reasons for being there. Some will be no more than representative offices, some will be specialised trade-support offices, while some (perhaps few) will offer a full range of services.

Local banks will no doubt offer full service, but will not themselves be offshore (check withholding tax issues), may work in a foreign language, and may not have the same level of IT and communications support offered by a Western bank. So careful shopping around is in order.

However, some of the more advanced international banks now offer such good Internet-based services that there may be no need to look for local banking facilities.

OFFSHORE PROFESSIONAL AND FINANCIAL SERVICES

- Offshore Company Formation - Forming an offshore company for E-commerce purposes.
- Accountancy Services - Professional services for offshore tax optimisation.
- Legal Services - Specialist legal services for offshore E-commerce.


 

STRATEGIC PARTNERS
  Lowtax.net
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  LawAndTax-News.com
  OffshoreTrustsGuide.com
  TreatyPro.com
  Global Incorpoation Guide [GIG]

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