St. Kitts Companies and St. Kitts Foundations

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General Introductory and Offshore Tax Information

St. Kitts offshore business entities are widely utilized by investors and high net individuals. Known as the first jurisdiction with a citizenship program for investors, St. Kitts has made its name as a soundly regulated and well administered offshore jurisdiction. Together with sister island Nevis, St. Kitts has successfully built a wealth of offshore legislation so as to put out new modernized corporate laws and regulatory mechanisms in response to an ever evolving financial and investment world.

Among offshore business entities incorporated in St. Kitts are offshore trusts, foundations, offshore banks and offshore insurance companies. In face of the challenges that offshore jurisdictions confront, St. Kitts perseveres in ensuring that St. Kitts remains consistent with international demands while offering stakeholders quality services and offshore business entities.

One feature that St. Kitts possesses is a zero tax policy for offshore companies. St. Kitts offshore companies and business entities are therefore not taxed and enjoy a tax exempt status from all local direct taxes such as tax on income, tax on profits (often referred to as company or corporate tax depending on the jurisdiction) withholding tax on interests and dividends, stamp duty and transfer tax. Other taxes such as inheritance tax, death tax, gift tax and capital gains tax which can truly be burdensome on one’s finances also do not exist. St. Kitts offshore companies are exempt from exchange controls so as to facilitate the international transactions and affairs of these companies. St. Kitts offshore companies and entities are usually only subject to annual fees that are payable to the Government. For offshore banks and insurance companies, these fees would be identified as license fees required for renewing insurance and bank licenses which are valid for only one year. Offshore companies pay these fees for maintenance purposes so as to enable offshore companies to remain in good standing.

Saint Kitts Offshore Business Entities:

  • St. Kitts International Trust
  • St. Kitts Offshore Foundation
  • St. Kitts Offshore Company
  • St. Kitts Offshore Limited Partnership
  • St. Kitts Insurance Company

Saint Kitts International Trust

Main Features:

  • Legislation- The Trust Act 1996
  • The Act is comprehensive and regulates all trusts established in St. Kitts; offshore trusts are identified as Exempt Trusts under the Act
  • Established upon filing an attestation with the Registrar
  • The attestation of a St. Kitts offshore trust states the trust’s name; the type of trust (unit trust, spendthrift etc.); the particulars of the trustee- name and address if individual and name, address and particulars of registered agent if a corporate body
  • A legal entity or natural person is allowed to be the trustee of a St. Kitts offshore trust
  • Registration procedure includes assigning of a registration number and issuing of certificate of registration, signed and sealed by Registrar
  • A resident trustee is required for all St. Kitts offshore trusts
  • Trustees are not responsible for any breaches which occurred before his appointment as trustee
  • No less than two (2) trustees, except if only one trustee was appointed originally or if a body corporate is the only trustee

Saint Kitts Exempt Trust

  • Generic term used to refers to any St. Kitts trust which has been exempted from taxes provided that all necessary conditions are met for exempt status. All offshore trusts are exempt trusts.

Saint Kitts Offshore Charitable Trust

  • Established only by issuing a written instrument
  • Offshore trust established specifically for charitable purposes

Saint Kitts Offshore Spendthrift or Protective Trust

  • Established only by issuing a written instrument
  • Offshore trust established specifically to protect against spendthrift tendencies

Saint Kitts Offshore Unit Trust

  • Established only by issuing a written instrument
  • A type of collective investment established under a trust deed

Saint Kitts Common Trust

  • Regular trust established for any general purposes as described above in ‘main features’
  • Can be established by word of mouth, in writing or other manner accepted in compliance with the Trusts Act

Saint Kitts Offshore Foundation

Main Features:

  • Regulation — Foundations Act 2003
  • The Act governs both offshore and ordinary (domestic) foundations. Offshore foundations are formerly identified as Exempt Foundations under the Act.
  • The main formation documents of a St. Kitts offshore foundation are the articles of association which is filed with the Registrar and the certificate of establishment which is issued to formalize the entity’s registration
  • All St. Kitts offshore foundations must have a founder, guardian, councilors and appointed beneficiaries
  • Offshore foundations constitute a separate legal entity
  • St. Kitts offshore foundations are given the powers to manage, invest, administer and disburse assets as provided for in the articles
  • The foundation council is similar to a board of directors and is responsible for managing the affairs of the foundation. The council can consist of one or more individuals
  • The foundation must appoint a secretary to do business on its behalf from within St. Kitts
  • A registered agent for offshore foundation must be appointed for service of process
  • Once registered a St Kitts foundation has all the rights of a legal person or body
  • All St. Kitts offshore foundations are protected by the laws of St Kitts and are not subject to legislation of foreign countries, therefore making St Kitts foundations good mediums fort asset protection
  • An offshore foundation can be used to hold any type of asset
  • A meeting of the foundation’s councilors must be held each year

Saint Kitts Offshore Company

Main Features:

  • Legislation — The Companies Act 1996-22
  • The Act governs and defines both domestic (resident) and offshore (non-resident) companies. St. Kitts offshore companies are identified to as Exempt Companies.
  • The main formation documents of a St. Kitts company include the memorandum and articles of association which are filed with the Registrar and the certificate of incorporation which issued to the beneficial owners of the company upon registration
  • The memorandum and articles of a St. Kitts offshore company states whether the company is ordinary or exempt or public or private
  • The certificate of incorporation of a St. Kitts offshore company states the company’s registration number, name, date of incorporation and status
  • The memorandum of an offshore company can be tailored to set a duration, whereas a limited guarantee company may increase or reduce the number of members in the company
  • Offshore companies must prepare and maintain a register of members; registers state the class of members, date of membership and shares owned; etc.
  • A registered office must be designated in St. Kitts
  • Minimum of one director and one secretary; a sole director is unable to be both director and secretary of a St. Kitts offshore company
  • No requirement to file annual audits with the authorities in St. Kitts, but all accounts and audits must be maintained and be accurate
  • Meeting must be held annually, and for offshore companies can take place at any location deemed convenient by the members

Saint Kitts Offshore Limited Partnership

Main Features:

  • Regulation — St. Kitts Limited Partnership Act 1996-24
  • Has at least one general partner and one limited partner
  • Both natural persons and corporate entities may take up the positions of general and limited partners
  • St. Kitts offshore limited partnerships are registered once the ‘declaration’ has been filed with the Registrar
  • The declaration of a St. Kitts offshore limited partnership states the partnership’s name, it duration, the details (address and name) of each partner, the address of the main or registered office
  • Along with the declaration, a statement must be handed in stating the status of the partnership (ordinary or exempt), the nature of the business activities to be undertaken and all other relevant details
  • Registration becomes official by issuing a certificate of registration under the hand and seal of the Registrar
  • An office for service or registered agent must be designated in St. Kitts

Saint Kitts Captive Insurance Company

Main Features:

  • Regulation — St Kitts Captive Insurance Companies Act 2006
  • The Act is a comprehensive legislation for both domestic and offshore captive insurance companies in St. Kitts
  • With the exception of an offshore association captive insurance company such as a mutual or stock insurer, any entity regulated under the Companies Act of 1996 may take the form of a St. Kitts Captive Insurance Company
  • St. Kitts offshore captives can have no less than 2 directors or 2 managers
  • St. Kitts offshore captives engaged in underwriting insurance risks are required to have at least one resident director or manager
  • A registered office and registered agent must be maintained in St. Kitts
  • Names must be unique
  • With the exception of offshore small captives, offshore pure St. Kitts captive insurance companies are required to have a paid-in capital and surplus of XCD607,000 at the time of licensing, which must be unimpaired and maintained; the licensing capitalization requirement for St. Kitts offshore association captive insurance companies is set at XCD810,000 which must be unimpaired, paid-in and maintained; and for St. Kitts offshore group captive insurance companies — XCD1,080,000
  • Such capitalization requirements may be altered by the registrar for captives and segregate account companies depending on the nature, class and volume of the insurance business
  • Captive insurance companies are subject to filing annual certified financial statements for life assurance and long-term insurance business undertaken
  • Small captives are exempt from filing requirements
  • Offshore captive insurance companies may setup segregated accounts, which do not constitute separate legal entities from the main company

Saint Kitts Group Captive Insurance Company

  • Only permitted to insure the risks of its owners, parent company and associated persons
  • Only one-third of all insurance business must be related to risks of unaffiliated persons

Saint Kitts Association Captive Insurance Company

  • Restricted to insurance business involving the risks affiliated companies and associated organizations

Saint Kitts Pure Captive Insurance Company

  • Restricted to insuring risks involving affiliated companies, its parent company and controlled unaffiliated business

Saint Kitts Small Captive Insurance Company

  • St. Kitts captive insurance company whose yearly net or direct written premiums are lower than XCD4,050,000
  • Capitalization Requirements: Pure Small Captives — XCD54,000; Small Association Captive Insurance Company- XCD67,000; Small Group Captive Insurance Company — XCD81,000
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