It is possible to re-domicile a company between most Common Law jurisdictions and a few others.
Much in the way that a company can change its registered office/registered agent within the same jurisdiction, it can also “move” to a new jurisdiction. Corporate re-domiciliation is the process by which a company moves its ‘domicile’ (or place of incorporation) from one jurisdiction to another by changing the country under whose laws it is registered or incorporated, whilst maintaining the same legal identity. The ease with which re-domiciliation may take place has increased in recent years.
Not all countries allow re-domiciliation. Those that do, tend to be Commonwealth “common Law” (as opposed to Civil law jurisdictions). Notable exceptions are Austria, Hungary, Latvia, Luxembourg, & Liechtenstein which are civil law but do permit re-domiciliation and conversely UK, Singapore, Hong Kong which are common law but do not generally allow re-domiciliation in or out.
For example, Dominica recently brought in a corporate tax prompting many clients to
re-domicile to a more tax-friendly jurisdiction.
e.g. Since the introduction of a public record of ownership in the BVI, some clients have
re-domiciled to preserve privacy.
Several countries, particularly in the EU, effectively blacklist certain jurisdictions requiring a move to a non-blacklisted country.
To access specific capital markets in a certain jurisdiction, e.g. captive insurance companies are often based in Bermuda.
Some jurisdictions are ‘blacklisted’ by banks which will not provide services to companies registered in those jurisdictions.
To find out more about re-domiciliation, including to and from which counties is possible, the procedures and more detailed examples, you may be interested in our ‘Guide to Re-domiciliation’ e-book, just $15.
The advantages are subjective and often involve balancing the additional costs of re-domiciling against the inconvenience (and costs) of not doing so.
As an example, a client formed a Caribbean company some years ago. He’s been providing consultancy services to a couple of large European companies and bought a property using this company. Following changes in tax laws concerning offshore jurisdictions, the client needed to re-domicile his company. He successfully re-domiciled his company to a European jurisdiction which was acceptable to contract partners.
On re-domiciling, the client did incur various costs, but the company was able to continue its legal existence with effect from the original incorporation date, and the property remained in the same legal ownership.
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