The Western Samoa offshore legislation incorporates some of the most modern features of offshore corporate legislation. It is designed to attract a high quality international clientele whilst providing maximum flexibility, efficient service, and a minimum of formality, all at an acceptable cost. Entities operating under the offshore legislation are exempted from all Western Samoan income taxes, stamp duties, withholding taxes, and any other form of taxation. They are also exempted from exchange controls. All offshore entities are governed by stringent secrecy legislation.
An international company can be incorporated within 24 hours. There are no minimum capital requirements, shares may be of no par value, and issued to bearer. One director must be appointed but need not be resident. Companies may be incorporated in languages other than English. An international company is not required to file annual financial statements, hold an annual general meeting, lodge an annual return, nor prepare audited accounts. Directors and shareholder meetings may be held anywhere in the world and can be held by telephone, fax or other electronic means.
U.S. Style LLC Companies:
Western Samoa's US style limited liability company legislation is modelled on the Wyoming Limited Liability Company Act. It is designed to ensure that the Western Samoa LLC entity will be interpreted by the US Internal Revenue Service as a pass through entity for income tax purposes. The LLC can be the most effective entity for investment into the USA and similarly for outward investment by US investors.
"Creditor Controlled" Companies:
The legislation enables an international company to operate without issued share capital whilst providing a mechanism for control over such company to be exercised pursuant to the terms of a secured debenture. The use of creditor controlled international companies is especially appropriate for residents of countries which adopt controlled foreign corporation ("CFC") legislation.
The Western Samoa offshore insurance legislation provides an attractive but supervised environment for the establishment and operation of international insurance activities including captive insurance companies. Reasonable minimum capitalisation levels are applicable.
The Offshore Banking Act 1987 provides for and regulates the conduct of offshore banking activities in Western Samoa. The jurisdiction offers a respected offshore banking environment in which licensed banks may operate without excessive regulation. The legislation incorporates a three-tier licensing system through the issue of A class licences and two categories of B class licence. Appropriate minimum capitalisation levels are applicable.
International Trusts (including Superannuation, Pension, and Provident Funds):
The law applicable to international trusts registered in Western Samoa is English common law and equity. Registration of an international trust is simple. There is no requirement to file the trust deed with the Registrar.
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