Hon. Allyson-Maynard Gibson, M.P.
Minister of Financial Services and Investments
In remarks to Parliamentarians during current debate on the International Business Companies (Amendment) Act 2003, Minister Maynard-Gibson said the IBC is an important product which must be offered as a part of a comprehensive range of products and services to prospective investors. Described as a versatile corporate entity, “tailor-made for the needs of international business” – the IBC boasts the attractive features of limited liability, minimal legal restrictions, ease of administration, and speed of incorporation.
The Bahamian IBC is widely considered a legitimate vehicle for international business and is fully compliant with international best practices. The corporate entity works well in conjunction with trusts and asset protection structures, and remains the vehicle of choice for fund incorporations. A Bahamian-incorporated IBC allows a client to operate many aspects of a business with ease and confidentiality, with the additional benefit of tax neutrality. With the tabling of the bill to amend the IBC Act 2000, further improvements are anticipated. One provision, for example, makes it clear that the Registrar of Insurance Companies can in fact license an IBC as an insurance company under the External Insurance Act. Clause 18 of the Bill seeks to insert a new Schedule to the IBC Act, prescribing an order for compliance and a declaration of compliance.
IBCs continue to represent an important component of The Bahamas Financial Services industry. In Bahamas Government revenue, IBC fees account for approximately $14 million annually, comprising annual maintenance fees, incorporation fees and fees for other ancillary services; in particular, the issuance of certificates of good standing. Additionally, substantial private sector revenues accrue from incorporation and maintenance fees.
The Bahamas International Business Companies Act represents modern company legislation and according to industry sources *“contains the most advanced and innovative company and investor oriented provisions in company management and administration”* available today.