Annual Maintenance of Offshore Companies

What are the components of the annual renewal fees?

The annual renewal fees consist of two main parts: (1) mandatory fees, covering the absolute minimum necessary to maintain the company in good standing, and (2) optional fees, for services which enhance and improve the offshore company, but are not mandatory. Usually, the amount of the optional fees depend on the exact configuration of the offshore company and on how much time and effort has been required from the Registered Agent in the course of day-to-day operation of the IBC.

The mandatory fees always include (a) the Government fee (fixed tax), and (b) the Registered Office and Registered Agent fee.

The Government fee is essentially a fixed amount of state duty paid by all offshore companies instead of the income tax. Regardless of the name it`s called (franchise tax, exempt duty, registration fee, etc), the Government fee is quite simply a fixed tax levied by the Government for the privilege of being incorporated "under the flag" of the particular tax haven territory.

The Registered Office and Registered Agent fee is a professional fee. It is paid for the Registered Agent acting as the official intermediary between the owners of the company and the Government. This fee also covers the usage of the Agents` office address as the legal address of the offshore company. This fee also covers the minimum adminstrative services necessary to comply with the requirements of the International Business Companies Act. The law requires that in order to be in good standing every offshore company must have a Registered Office and a Registered Agent, so this service is pretty much obligatory.

The optional fees would be payable for offshore company management services, like (a) third-party (nominee) directorship services; (b) nominee shareholding services; (c) third-party (nominee) account signatory services; (d) "virtual office" services, such as mail and fax forwarding, document remailing and call handling; (e) miscellaneous secretarial, legal and managerial services, billed either on fixed-fee or time-spent basis.

For the sake of simplicity, the annual renewal fees are normally invoiced once a year, shortly before the registration anniversary of the offshore company. The fixed-amount annual renewal fees are payable in advance, for the next following year. In more complicated offshore company management arrangements some fees may be billed on time-spent basis. These are invoiced post factum, either monthly or quarterly.