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Company Formation Services in Guernsey

Company Formation Services in Guernsey

The process for company formation in Guernsey is performed with the help of a licensed corporate service provider. Our team has the required licenses and experience to assist investors who are ready to open a company here.

Guernsey offshore company formation is attractive due to the low incorporation and management costs and the ability to choose a business form that will provide limited liability. Additionally, companies can be exempt from taxation.

Our company formation experts can provide the needed assistance that is mandatory for incorporation in this jurisdiction. With our help, investors will enjoy low Guernsey company formation costs, as well as a fast procedure that will allow them to commence the intended business operations in a timely manner.

The main conditions for company formation in Guernsey

Opening a company in Guernsey is a straightforward process, however, it can only take place with the assistance of a corporate service provider that has a relevant fiduciary license.

 Quick Facts  
Types of companies   Company Limited by Guarantee, Company Limited by Shares, Mixed Liability Company, Unlimited Liability Company.

 Minimum share capital 

No minimum authorised capital. 

Minimum number of shareholders 

 Number of directors  1
Local director required  

If the director is not a resident, a resident agent is mandatory. 

 Mandatory steps for company formation

Registration with the Guernsey Registry (performed through a Corporate Service Provider such as our experts) and the payment of the incorporation fees + Government fees. 

Residency requirements for foreign company owners

Not applicable. 

Time frame for the incorporation (approx.) 

 At least 1 day.

 Corporate tax rate

0%, 10%, 20% depending on the types of activities. 

Dividend tax rate   No withholding tax on dividends.
 VAT Rate

There is no VAT in Guernsey. 

 Number of Double Taxation Treaties )

Approx. 14 double taxation agreements for corporations. 

Annual accounting/filing requirements 

Annual financial statements preparation, with no strict filing requirements. 

Special licenses 

Applicable in certain sectors (i.e., fishing, gambling, food businesses, liquor, tobacco, waste disposal, etc.) 

Tax exemptions or incentives  The 0% standard corporate tax for most types of activities is a significant tax benefit. 

Our team can assist investors who wish to commence this process and observe the relevant provisions of the Financial Services Commission in terms of fiduciary duty towards clients.

The main requirements investors need to be prepared for when commending the process for company formation in Guernsey are the following:

  • the company will have at least 1 director; there are no applicable nationality restrictions;
  • all Guernsey companies will have a registered address here; virtual office services can be available;
  • the company will have an appointed registered agent who is a corporate service provider (subject to certain conditions);
  • the founders will prepare and duly register the articles of association, the documents that include all of the relevant information about the business;
  • the company will have an original name and observe the regulations for prohibited words.

As far as the company directors are concerned, the requirement to have a resident agent can also be fulfilled by a Guernsey resident director, if the company appoints one. Therefore, the company can have 2 directors, one of whom is a resident.

Our Guernsey company formation agents can give you complete information on the Companies Law 2008, as well as provide you with additional details about the conditions set forth above.

Assistance for Guernsey offshore company formation

Working with a team of certified professionals is not only helpful but also mandatory In Guernsey.

Our team can help those interested open a company by following the relevant procedures. Moreover, we also provide assistance for those interested in corporate compliance, in addition to company formation in Guernsey.

The services provided by our team after the incorporation phase can include obtaining proper licenses as well as following through with the requirements for the annual validation fees.

Some of the Guernsey company formation costs will include the following:

  • renting or purchasing suitable office space or requesting virtual office services;
  • the £100 fee for the standard 24-hour incorporation;
  • an alternative £350 fee for the fast-track incorporation within 2 hours;
  • £25 for the company name reservation;
  • the special, £750 fee for the 15-minute company incorporation, only available in limited cases.

With a standard incorporation of 24-hours, the Guernsey company formation costs can amount to £125 only for the fees payable to the Registry for Limited Companies. The other costs differ according to the chosen service provider.

Investors interested in company formation in Guernsey can also receive guidance from our team regarding the requirements for the company name. Some of the most important conditions are summarized below:

  1. the name will include a mandatory component that will highlight the type of company, such as the words “limited” or “protected cell”;
  2. the name cannot be similar to another one registered in Guernsey as it cannot be confused with an existing, registered one;
  3. only companies that engage in certain specific activities can use words such as “fund” or “insurance”;
  4. the name cannot be the same as that of a company that was registered in Guernsey in the 10 years prior to the proposed registration.

Corporate and international compliance in Guernsey

Companies in Guernsey are subject to minimum incorporation requirements, however, they do need to observe the few rules related to corporate management. One of the most important is to assign a local resident agent, which also applies when setting up a business in Jersey. This can be a Guernsey director who is also a resident in the Bailiwick (whether a foreign national or not), or a locally incorporated corporate service provider (a popular choice among many business owners).

As far as the laws in force observable by companies are concerned, these are focused on international compliance for anti-money laundering and combating terrorist financing.

Some of the most important rules and laws to follow by Guernsey companies include the following:

  • the Anti Money Laundering (AML) rules, as well as the ones in place for Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT);
  • proper identification of the beneficial owners of the company;
  • the regulation of the companies that offer trust and company services, commonly referred to as company service providers, or CSPs;
  • meeting the regular inspections by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (this is applicable to CSPs);
  • not being able to use bearer shares (this is not permitted for Guernsey companies);
  • meeting the requirements for international charities that gather and distribute funds outside of Guernsey.

In addition to the laws and rules applicable to companies, trusts in Guernsey are also subject to certain transparency requirements and, as such, trustees are subject to legal requirements. In broad terms, the Bailiwick focuses on meeting the international requirements for the transparency of legal arrangements for structures that do not have legal personality (such as trusts formed via a trust deed).

Our local team of experts can give you complete details on the laws applicable to Guernsey companies, as well as to trusts.

Advantages for investors who open a company in Guernsey

The easy process for company formation in Guernsey is a top reason why investors choose to open a company in this British Crown Dependency. Our team highlights the main advantages for investors who opt to set up their business close in this favourable location:

  • minimum incorporation requirements: the general conditions for registration are straightforward, the company does need a registered office, however, the one director does not need to be a Guernsey resident, making it suitable for companies that are focused on remote work;
  • a local agent: the fact that the company needs a resident agent can be seen as an advantage of having a local specialist at all times to oversee the business; in practice, this role can be fulfilled by a services provider (given the fact that the director is oftentimes not a resident and a condition for the registered agent is to be a resident);
  • no restrictions on capital repatriation: moving or repatriating capital is not subject to restrictions, therefore, companies have a high level of flexibility when it comes to leaving their investment capital in Guernsey or relocating it as needed;
  • lack of taxes: as previously mentioned, most companies set up in Guernsey can benefit from tax exemptions; this is also available to those who set up a company in Jersey, the larger Bailiwick.

With such a wide range of advantages for company formation in Guernsey, investors only need to request the services provided by a local team of experts, such as our own, to start the incorporation process.   

If you are interested in other matters, such as how to immigrate to Jersey (the largest of the Channel Islands), our team will answer your questions on how you can make your relocation as straightforward as possible.

Our local company formation experts also assist those who wish to set up a trust in Jersey. A trust has many uses, both at a commercial level and a personal level when it is used for private wealth management purposes. A Jersey trust allows for confidentiality and anonymity and this jurisdiction offers a particularly attractive regime for trusts. Our team can give you more details.

Contact us if you are interested in company formation in Guernsey. Our team provides licensed, professional services and assists investors from around the world.