Anguilla is part of the Leeward Islands chain of islands in the Caribbean. Although Anguilla is still a British Overseas Territory the economy of Anguilla is self-sustaining and revenue is generated mainly through tourism and the offshore financial sector. In an effort to ensure a thriving economy, specifically in financial services, the local Government of Anguilla has legislated in favor of an Anguilla offshore sector. The main facilitators and administrators of these financial services is the Anguilla Financial Services Commission, under the local government. This commission and the government collaborate to promote investment ventures in Anguilla and market the island as a top offshore jurisdiction and tax haven.

The Anguilla Local Companies Act (ABC) of 2000 pertains to an Anguilla company that can conduct business locally and any other jurisdiction outside of Anguilla as long as the laws of Anguilla and that of the outside jurisdiction deem the actions of the Anguilla company as legal. Companies registered as an Anguilla Business Companies (ABC) can only carry out the business activities they are licensed within the Articles of Incorporation. Other Anguilla companies for doing business will only be licensed for special types of businesses like reinsurance, banking and brokerage.

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The following types of Anguilla company can be incorporated under the Anguilla Business Companies Act of 2000: Anguilla companies limited by shares, companies limited by guarantee, companies limited by both shares and guarantee, and, non- profit companies.
The guidelines for Anguilla company formation for an Anguilla Business Company (a local company) are listed below.

  • The owner or owners of the company must be at least eighteen years old.
  • Companies or individuals who have filed for bankruptcy are prohibited from registering a company in Anguilla or being owners in an ABC.

When registering a company a completed Articles of Incorporation is the main document required. This document must include:

  • the proposed name of the Anguilla company
  • the address and mailing address of the Anguilla company
  • the share assignments and details; limited by shares, by guarantee or limited by shares and guarantee, the number of shares and the classes of shares the company is authorized to issue,
  • the number of directors of the Anguilla company
  • the document must also state whether the Anguilla company is operating a non- profit business.
  • local Anguilla company must include the following words or the appropriate abbreviation in the company’s name: Limited, Corporation or Incorporation.
  • private Anguilla companies must use the following words or abbreviations in the company’s name; Sendirian Berhad (Sdn Bhd), Sociedad Anomina (S.A), Belsoten Vennootschap (B.V), and Gessellschaft mit beschrankter Halftung (GmbH).
  • If the requirements of the Article of Incorporation are met the Registrar of Companies issues a Certificate of Incorporation.

    I The local Anguilla company act considers shares to be personal estate which can be transferred and can take different forms but local Anguilla companies are not allowed to issue bearer shares or bearer share certificates. Shareholders in ABCs or Anguilla local companies who registered one type of share have equal voting rights, equal share dividends and equal share in the distribution of the additional assets of the company. Shareholders at companies with different categories of shares have rights, restrictions and privileges attached to each type of share and shares can be paid in cash, services or properties. A local Anguilla company must have at least one director.

    An Anguilla Business Company must each year hold an annual general meeting (AGM). The meeting is to be held no later than fifteen (15) months after the date of the previous AGM. Shareholders should receive notice of the meeting, time and venue no less than seven (7) days before the meeting. The by-laws of an Anguilla company should state the venue in or outside of Anguilla where the meetings should be held.

    Accounting and financial records of an Anguilla ABC must be and include records of sales, purchases, assets, and liabilities; and failure to meet reporting requirements is regarded as an offence. The director(s) of the Anguilla Company must approve of the financial records and sign the financial statement of the company. Any shareholder, agent or legal representative wishing to inspect the financial statement must do so during working hours.

    Foreign business companies can register under division 3 of this act to conduct business in Anguilla. These Anguilla companies must have a registered agent and must be able to produce a certified copy of their articles of association or any document which defines their constitution. Certified translations in English are accepted. The act also makes provisions for the registration of non-profit companies in Anguilla.

    A zero tax policy applies to local Anguilla companies therefore all local companies incorporated in Anguilla are exempted from all form of income tax and business tax. These Anguilla companies are also exempted from stamp duty on transactions carried out. Incorporating a company in Anguilla is rather easy and the benefits are many. One of the main advantages of an ABC over that of other jurisdictions’ “local” companies is that an Anguilla ABC is exempted from many filing and reporting requirements of a public company, and an ABC can be designed to function with a trust (once created under the Trust Act). An Anguilla Company (ABD) can be used as an IBC once the necessary requirements are met.