How do I know this will work for my business?
- That is exactly what Hansa.net will determine for you. Call or email us.
Does my server have to be in one of the Hansa.net locations?
- There is certainty that a transaction has taken place in the haven if 1) the invitation to treat, 2) the offer to buy, 3) the acceptance, and 4) the transfer of title all occur there. Having your server there helps that case. However we do have situations where volumes or bandwidth dictate other solutions.
Won't my shareholders or others think that I am evading tax?
- It is quite proper to avoid tax but not to evade. A properly constructed plan which follows the rules is as practical as buying tax free municipal bonds. Indeed many governments have actually implemented tax incentives to encourage international business. One example is the USA Foreign Sales Corporation.
How long does it take to set up an international business structure?
- The time and cost to establish international structures will vary with the complexity of the transactions. It is also important that a plan which encompasses the correct structure be originated on a timely basis. Without this, the plan may be meaningless. Attempts to amend or implement a structure after the business has begun may be illegal or prohibitively expensive. Communication with competent international tax counsel early in the planning of any new venture is mandatory. None of this should be confused with the time it takes to incorporate a company which is about one day.
How many people do I need to employ?
- In an "active" business you may only need working board members. If the business is passive (rents, royalties, interest), there are often additional requirements. For example, subsidiaries of Canadian companies may require more than 5 full time equivalent employees. These need not all be residents of the offshore location but might be regional sales respesentatives, etc. located elsewhere.
How do I get started?
Call or email us. It would be helpful if you were to fill out the eleven point Project Review Summary at our Qualifying page.
How do I keep control?
- Only through a proper business structure, e.g. the foreign subsidiary would report to the domestic parent's board but would still take its own decisions. If you shatter the reality of the offshore operating company's "mind, management and control" by demonstrating control from abroad, you may bring the fiscal situs back to your jurisdiction. Alternatively, you could move your personal residence to the optimum jurisdiction and carry on your control from there with impunity.
My Swiss banker says they will never find out that I have a bank account with them.
- It is not your Swiss banker who may go to jail if you have failed to follow the correct filings and disclosure in your country!
How do I find good advice in my community?
- Let us assist you with initial guidance in order to mitigate the research costs of local counsel. But, in all cases we will want you to have thorough and sound domestic legal and accounting advice, and we will assist you in locating same.
What is the best offshore location?
- This can only be answered in light of your specific venture requirements based upon the nature of your business, its operating history (new, old or ongoing), and the residence or tax status of the shareholders/beneficiaries. Zero tax havens may seem most desirable but they may not satisfy any need for tax treaties with other countries.
What is the ideal business application for international stucturing?
- There are many but the best are in industries where information or services such as computer programs are being conveyed through services such as the Internet. Where hardgoods are involved, contract fulfillment centers make the structure more complex but not impossible.
What if I am audited?
- Build this eventuality into your business plan, mindset, and conduct. You will sleep better. You will also focus on the real elements of the business venture. As well, a properly structured international venture is not nearly as expensive as tax litigation.
We have to make all the decisions here at headquarters. Why can't we just have the offshore company sign the paperwork?
- Anything short of real substance in the haven location will simply not work. This is particularly important when abiding by Transfer Pricing rules wherein the actual activities giving rise to the value in the various jurisdictions must be defended in order to allocate profits there.
If I establish a proper international business structure, how much can I expect to improve my after tax profits?
- In Canada, as an example, a shareholder of a Canadian company can improve the 36 cents he might otherwise keep from each dollar of profit...to 63 cents (less the cost of his new structure). For the business that can begin from the outset in a jurisdiction like Anguilla, Bermuda, Bahamas, etc., you can potentially keep the whole dollar. In structures for USA corporations or shareholders the advantage may be a permanent deferral of tax rather than a pure saving of tax.