Create an offshore company in Gibraltar

Updated on Saturday 04th July 2020

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Gibraltar has had a booming economy during the last years which has attracted a serious number of foreign investors interested in company formation in Gibraltar. Its thriving economy is dominated by the financial services, the shipping and tourism and during the last years by the e-gaming industries.

Gibraltar’s economy has also proved to be strong during the Euro crisis demonstrating a consistent growth in the Gross Domestic Product. If until now the small territory was perceived as an extension of the United Kingdom because of their resembling legislation, Gibraltar has recently amended its Companies Law which now offers many more benefits to foreign entrepreneurs coming here.

The small territory, which is often referred to as The Rock, provides numerous tax incentives for those opening a company in Gibraltar, but also for foreign citizens looking for employment. Gibraltar is one the European territories with the most skilled and diversified workforces.

How to open a company in Gibraltar

One of the most important aspects to be kept in mind is that Gibraltar does not impose a minimum share capital to those opening a limited liability company. Foreign investors have an array of business entities to choose from for company formation in Gibraltar. These are:

  • the afore mentioned limited liability company which can be private or public,
  • companies limited by guarantee which can be with or a without share capital,
  • unlimited companies which can also be with or without a share capital,
  • general and limited partnerships, both types of structures requiring at least two members,
  • protected cell companies, which are usually employed by enterprisers in the financial industry,
  • sole proprietorships which is the simplest business form in Gibraltar and implies a few requirements.

Foreign companies can establish branch offices or representative offices in Gibraltar.

The Companies Act requires all companies to have a registered office in order to be allowed to conduct business operations in Gibraltar. Companies must also have at least one shareholder, one director and a company secretary. Our company incorporation agents in Gibraltar will help you register a business with the Companies House.

We invite you to watch a video about how you can open a company in Gibraltar:

Documents to be submitted for company registration in Gibraltar

In order to register a business in Gibraltar foreign investors will need the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association. The current Companies Act provide for simplified and shorter incorporation documents in order to ease the procedure. The founders will also be required to submit their passports and also details about the company’s director or directors and secretary. The registration takes a few days and once it is completed the founders will receive a Certificate of Incorporation.

Post-registration requirements

Once the company is registered with the Companies House it will also be required to open a bank account and register for taxation purposes. The Gibraltar company will be required to submit audited accounts on an annual basis.
 

The main characteristics of a limited liability company

The limited liability company in Gibraltar is one of the preferred types of companies as it is suitable for small and medium sized businesses. Investors seeking to open a business in Gibraltar will have to go through a series of mandatory steps and procedures.


The limited liability company is a legal entity that can be limited by guarantees, by share capital or by both. This type of business is preferred by investors who do not want to open a branch that will be tied to the parent company outside of Gibraltar. The limited liability company is independent and, in a way, more assuring for customers who want to do business with it because it is a Gibraltar company and not an extension of a foreign-owned business. Another characteristic is that this type of business can have one or more shareholders. Their liability will be limited to the amount invested in the share capital.

Any limited liability company in Gibraltar must comply with the existing accounting, audit, regulatory and tax requirements. If you have any questions regarding these aspects, our company formation agents in Gibraltar can give you detailed information.

Registering a limited liability company

Any limited liability company must draw up and file the memorandum and articles of association with the Trade Register. These documents need to be signed by the company’s members and a registration fee must also be submitted. Depending on the type of commercial activity they perform, some companies may need to apply for additional business permits and licenses. Some examples of activities that require a license to operate are: building contracting, catering or manufacturing.
 

Licensing of companies in Gibraltar

After company formation in Gibraltar, the investor must also apply for a business or a manufacturing license. It is important to know that the business or the trade license covers most types of activities. However, there are also special licenses which must be obtained for transportation companies or restaurants in Gibraltar. Our company registration consultants in Gibraltar can offer more information on the special licenses available for businesses.

Obligations after company incorporation in Gibraltar

Once the company has been registered, it will be required to register in order to receive a tax number. Also, the managers of the company must submit the audited accounts with the Companies Register within 13 months from the financial year end. Companies with revenue below 4.8 million GBP per year are not required to file audited financial statements. Nominee shareholders and directors are allowed in Gibraltar.

Taxation of companies in Gibraltar

Companies registered in Gibraltar are subject to the Income Tax Act. The taxes a company will pay are limited to the income generated in the country. One of the reasons Gibraltar is so attractive to foreign investors is the low corporate tax of 10%. Not only that, but newly registered companies can also claim the taxes they paid during the first year of activity. Among the tax incentives Gibraltar offers to companies are also the dividend tax exemption, while interests and royalties are subject to low taxes.

When it comes to the taxation of subsidiaries and branch offices of foreign companies, they will be subject to the same tax rate as local companies. An interesting fact about company incorporation in Gibraltar is that there is no VAT. Also, Gibraltar does not levy any capital gains tax.

The most common questions about opening a company in Gibraltar

In the last several years, Gibraltar has gained a reputation as a very appealing financial and e-gaming hub in Europe. However, foreign investors also set up companies in other industries in Gibraltar. They also have many questions related to registering companies in the Rock, among the most usual being:

  1. How easy is it to open a company in Gibraltar?

It is very easy to open a company in Gibraltar, as the authorities here have simplified the company registration process in the last few years for the purpose of attracting more foreign investors.

  1. What is the minimum amount of money required to start a business in Gibraltar?

      The new Company Law does not impose any minimum share capital for registering a company in Gibraltar, however foreign investors must consider the business start-up costs which imply the notary and registration fees, as well as the business licensing fees.

  1. What types of business licenses do I need when opening a company in Gibraltar?

      There are three main categories of licenses one will need to open a company in Gibraltar:

  • the general business license which is issued for most economic activities;
  • the light manufacturing license which is necessary for manufacturing and import/export activities;
  • the transport license which is issued by the Department of Transport in Gibraltar.

Our company registration consultants in Gibraltar can offer information on these licenses.

  1. Can I register a non-resident company in Gibraltar?

      Yes, investors can register non-resident companies in Gibraltar.

  1. What is the corporate tax in Gibraltar.

      Local companies are subject to a 10% rate on their corporate earnings.


What are Gibraltar’s attributes for becoming a mini Silicon Valley?


Gibraltar is currently one of the best countries to do business in, according to foreign investors who come here because of the favorable taxation system, but also to the legislation and workforce which suit their requirements. Speaking of the workforce, experts gathered at the Startup Grind meeting for enterprisers say that this could be the key to Gibraltar becoming a mini Silicon Valley. Investors interested in starting a company in the British territory can rely on our company formation services in Gibraltar.

According to the data gathered by the organizers of the event, Gibraltar allows everyone who moves here to “become global since day one”, due to the small territory’s location at the intersection of Europe with Africa. The same principle applies to businessmen coming to open companies in Gibraltar.

Gibraltar also one of the most diverse labor forces in the world, made up of people from all corners of the world. However, compared to the US where the real Silicon Valley is, Gibraltar has a great advantage: the simplified company setup procedure which was very appreciated by US investors.

Our Gibraltar company formation advisors can assist entrepreneurs interested in doing business here.

Gibraltar is already the financial and online gaming Silicon Valley of Europe

And this fact goes back a few years now, as Gibraltar set new trends at European level when it comes to online gaming and financial transactions.

Gibraltar now has one of the best regulated gaming industries in the European Union and the results can be seen in the large number of international casinos relocating their operations here in the last 4 years.

When it comes to the financial industry, Gibraltar has once more one of the most severe legislations in the European Union which is what put the British territory on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED)’s white list of jurisdictions which adopted the anti-money laundering regulations recommended by the organization.

Considering the country accepts nominee shareholders and directors you can request these types of services to our company formation agents in Gibraltar. You can also contact us for details about additional services and fees. We can also put you in touch with our partners in UAE if you consider opening a company in Dubai

Meet us in Gibraltar

Call us now at (+44) 203-287 0408 to set up an appointment with our lawyers who are handling company formation procedures in Gibraltar. Alternatively you can incorporate your company without traveling to Gibraltar.

As a our client, you will benefit from the joint expertize of local lawyers and international consultants. Together we will be able to offer you the specialized help you require for your business start-up in Gibraltar.

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Francesco Dagnino, Partner of
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www.LawyersItaly.eu

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