Aruba Company and Aruba Foundation

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General Introductory and Offshore Tax Information

On January 1, 2003, Aruba established new legislation which ushered a ‘New Fiscal Regime’ geared towards complying with transparency and information exchange rules and guidelines introduced by the OECD.

The new fiscal regime abolished the incorporation of the Naamloze Venootschap. All offshore business entities that had been formed prior to the new regime were phased out during 2007-2008, while by 2005 Vrijestelde Vennootschap or Aruba Exempt Company (AEC) was restructured in accordance with OECD standards including the filing of audited financial statements and transparency.

In January 2006, the AEC was granted three possibilities. One, to continue conducting business as a regular taxpaying corporation, two, to maintain its status as an exempt entity if is operated as a financing or holding company whose foreign subsidies are liable to a minimum 17.5% tax on profits and 95% on dividends; but, investment and real estate business undertaken by the AEC would be tax exempt, and three, to function as a pass-through entity whose shareholders are liable to tax on income earned from the company’s accrued income which is paid directly to the shareholders. Aruba Exempt Companies are required to file yearly financial statements and provide the details of their shareholders to the Aruban local tax authorities. Information on the business companies that can be incorporated in Aruba is provided below.

Aruba Business Companies:

  • Aruba Exempt Corporation (AEC)
  • Aruba Imputation Payment Company (IPC)
  • Aruba Limited Liability Companies
  • Aruba Foundations
  • Aruba Partnerships

Aruba Exampt Corporation (AEC)

Main Features:

  • Aruba Exempt Companies are regulated under the Commercial Code of Aruba
  • Over a period of time most offshore companies in Aruba became structured like the AEC.
  • As an offshore company, the Aruba Exempt Company lost its tax exempt status and had to comply to the new tax regime of 2003 in many ways in accordance with the OECD’s policies.
  • Despite the foregoing, the Aruba Exempt Company is an effective tool for tax planning and can maintain its tax free status if it engages in ‘qualified’ business activities.
  • Qualifying exempt business activities for an exempt company are financing such as lending and cash management, intellectual property licensing for trade name, image, patent and copy rights, holding and portfolio investment activities.
  • Only one subscriber needed to incorporate an AEC
  • There must be at least one managing director to run the affairs of the AEC
  • Third parties must at all times hold a minimum of one share with full voting rights
  • A legal representative must be appointed in Aruba to act as agent. Only a company with a trust license may act a legal representative of an AEC
  • Special licenses are required for carrying out certain types of businesses
  • Liable to taxes based on the type of AEC chosen by the investor
  • Exempt from tax for portfolio investment business, intellectual property licensing, financing and holding
  • The shareholders of an exempt company are responsible for bearing the company’s tax burden if it is incorporated as a pass-through company (as explained in introductory paragraph)

Aruba Imputation Payment Company (IPC)

Main Features:

  • Capable of carrying out business either onshore or offshore
  • Generally involved in insurance services, music and film making, holding companies, leasing and aviation
  • Liable to a standard 35% income tax
  • Shareholders of are entitled to an imputation payment of 33/65 of qualifying dividends
  • Both the imputation and dividend payment liable to 10% dividend tax
  • Quoted companies liable to 5% dividend tax on imputation and dividend
  • May possibly be liable to a 11.8% or 6.9% double tax burden depending on the company involved

Aruba Free Zone

Main Features:

  • Exemption from foreign exchange controls
  • Zero duties on both exported and imported goods
  • Zero turnover tax over the turnover earned from activities taking place within the free zone
  • 2% tax on total profits made

Activities:

  • Assembling, repackaging, processing of semi-products and labeling
  • Retail sales
  • Importation, exportation and storage of final products
  • Consulting, medical, logistic and internet-billing services
  • No financial services offered at free zone

Aruba Limited Liability Companies

Types of Aruba Limited Liability Companies:

  • Naamloze Venootschap (NV)
  • Vennootschap met Beperkte Aansprakelijkheid (VBA)

Naamloze Venootschap (NV)

Main Features:

  • In Aruba comes in the form of a Naamloze Venootschap which all offshore corporations are required to use
  • Has authorized share capital of at least 25,000 florins
  • 20% of the share capital required to be issued
  • Must be incorporated with at least two (2) subscribers
  • May be used by both non-residents and residents
  • Is considered onshore or offshore depending on residency (abroad or local) of owners
  • Subject to filing application for a director’s licence if director is non-resident
  • Subject to filing accounts to relevant authority
  • Must receive a certificate from the chamber of commerce and disclose personal details of beneficial owner (s) for bank account opening
  • Subject to stamp duty upon incorporation
  • Subject to foreign exchange controls
  • Subject to paying annual licence renewal fees, which are calculated depending on the share capital
  • Subject to clearance fees for name from the Ministry of Justice and entry on the commercial registry

Vennootschap met Beperkte Aansprakelijkheid (VBA)

Law:

Aruba Limited Liability Ordinance Ordinance 2009

Main Features:

  • Identified in English as an LLC
  • No established minimum capital requirement
  • Incorporated by a Civil Notary in the public trade Registry
  • Minimum of one subscriber upon incorporation
  • May opt to issue shares or not to
  • Shares may be stated in any recognized currency
  • Required to file an annual financial statement with the Chamber of Commerce
  • Required to have at least one managing director in Aruba
  • Required to have a legal representative that is not a managing director
  • Where all directors are non-residents, a corporation in Aruba must be appointed as the company’s representative
  • Annual financial statements to be filed 8 days prior to end of financial year

Aruba Foundations

Law:

Foundations Ordinance 1988

Main Features:

For formation purposes the following information are required to be filed

  • The foundation’s address
  • Its abbreviated and statutory name
  • The objectives of the foundation
  • Original copy of the foundation’s bylaws and amendments (where applicable), and original deed of incorporation

Aruba Partnerships

Law:

Commercial Code of Aruba

Types of Aruba Partnerships:

  • General Partnership
  • Sole Partnerships
  • Limited Partnership

Aruba General Partnerships

Law:

Commercial Code of Aruba

Main Features:

  • Identified as the Vennootshcap Onda Firma in Aruba
  • Similar to partnership formed in legal systems based on Common Law
  • Personal details of each partner is recorded at the Registry
  • Every partner is responsible for the partnership’s obligations and liabilities
  • Not subject to filing requirement
  • Not subject to filing audits

Sole Partnerships Law:

  • Commercial Code of Aruba Main Features:
  • Commonly used by entrepreneurs who are newly getting into business
  • Commonly used for low risk small undertakings

Limited Partnerships Law:

Commercial Code of Aruba

Main Features:

  • Identified as the Commanditaire Vennootschap in Aruba
  • Share most features in common with the General Partnership
  • At least one partner with unlimited liability involved in management
  • The liability of at least one partner
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