Company Types in the Cayman Islands

Company Types in the Cayman Islands

Under the Cayman Companies Law, the Cayman Islands host a variety of company structures, tailored for both local and international business operations. Here's a concise guide to these company types:

  1. Resident Company: These companies are allowed to conduct business within the Cayman Islands. They require at least one shareholder and one director, are mandated to hold annual general meetings, and must file annual returns. Their members' register is publicly accessible.

  2. Non-Resident Company: These companies, designated for business outside the Cayman Islands, must apply for non-resident status. They maintain similar registration and reporting requirements as resident companies but cannot engage in local business activities unless they convert to another company type.

  3. Exempt Company: Preferred by foreign investors, exempt companies can secure a tax exemption certificate for up to 20 years, renewable and conducive for businesses operating primarily outside the Cayman Islands. They require at least one shareholder and one director but are not obligated to hold annual general meetings, and their members' register is not public.

  4. Limited Duration Company (LDC): This type of exempt company is characterized by having a limited lifespan of less than 30 years and requires at least two shareholders. The LDC's articles of association can stipulate that its dissolution be triggered by specified events and may restrict share transfers to unanimous shareholder approval.

  5. Segregated Portfolio Company (SPC): An SPC operates similarly to an exempt company but must file additional returns concerning changes in its segregated portfolios.

  6. Special Economic Zone Company: This designation allows a company to operate within a designated economic zone in the Cayman Islands, offering various operational benefits.

  7. Overseas Company: Also known as a foreign company, this entity has been incorporated outside the Cayman Islands but conducts business locally. It must register with the Cayman Registrar shortly after commencing local operations.

  8. Limited Liability Company (LLC): An LLC in the Cayman Islands has a separate legal identity and offers protection to its members from personal liability for company debts. It requires an initial registration statement and annual filings.

  9. Unlimited Company: These companies may or may not have a share capital, but all members have unlimited liability for the company's debts and obligations.

  10. Foundation Company: This entity is suited for various lawful purposes, including philanthropic activities, and can be established with or without share capital. It operates much like a trust but with the flexibility of a company.

  11. Associations Not for Profit: Formed for promoting non-commercial objectives like commerce, art, or charity, these associations cannot distribute profits to members and are not required to make their membership public.

Each type of company in the Cayman Islands is designed to meet specific business needs, offering a range of benefits from tax exemptions to operational flexibility. Whether looking to form a new entity or convert an existing one, understanding these options can help in choosing the right structure for business activities.

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