International Insurance

St. Lucia offshore insurance companies operate in three main ways. Firstly, as Class A offshore insurances for providing general insurance business, Class B offshore insurances for long term insurance business and Class C offshore insurance for the provision of both general and long term insurance business. Applicants for Class A or Class C licenses may be issued with a Sub class 1 license if the company is involved in captive insurance business or a Sub class 2 license as long as the company is not a captive insurance and carries on general insurance business.

An interesting online service includes Citizenship-by-Investment which is provided by authorised service providers. A second citizenship can be necessary and helpful in many ways. Second citizenships increase safety, makes it possible to own a home and property overseas and earn passive income through rent and other business ventures while away. Dual citizenship can also be useful in terms of retirement planning and asset protection. Estate and succession planning can be enhanced with well planned investments and advice. To get dual citizenship all requirements must be satisfied. Although application requirements are strict, licensed agents do their best to ensure that citizenship applicants get the necessary support they need and are guided step by step. Double nationality is held by many people whether they get it through permanent residency after which they become eligible to apply for citizenship or via these investment programs in St. Kitts and Dominica.

St. Lucia offshore companies must not be made up of less than two directors and capital requirements range between US $50,000 and US $100,000.

International Partnerships

Offshore general and limited partnerships are available for registration in St. Lucia. Either one of these offshore partnerships may be established as an entity with unlimited or limited duration depending on the partners’ interests. St. Lucia offshore partnerships are to provide their services based on the activities they are authorized to carry out as trading, service or professional companies.

This said, general and limited offshore partnerships in St. Lucia are not authorized to engage in offshore banking business, reinsurance, insurance and brokerage with anyone who resides in St. Lucia and without being issued the respective licenses. A registered agent and registered office are, however, basic requirements. Interests must not be held by any St. Lucia offshore partnership in real property locally, except to the extent where property or office premises are leased for corresponding with partners located overseas and keeping and preparing books and records.

International Trusts

A St. Lucia offshore trust can be established as Protective, Charitable and Non Charitable Trusts, also known as Purpose Trusts. The requirements for each type of offshore trust registered in St. Lucia vary as each type of trust is formed and used for different reasons. For instance, St. Lucia offshore protective trusts are limited to a lifespan not exceeding 120 years while both charitable and non charitable trusts are not restricted to any specific lifespan. Laws that do not apply to St. Lucia offshore trusts include the Statute of Elizabeth, community of property laws and forced heirship, while foreign judgments and the laws of foreign jurisdictions are inapplicable to the property protected under a St. Lucia offshore trust.

International Business Companies

St. Lucia offshore companies are presented with two possibilities. One, the option of maintaining full tax exempt status, and two, the option of paying 1% income tax on profits and gains. In either option, all offshore companies remain exempt from withholding tax, capital gains tax and stamp duties. Only St. Lucia offshore companies that elect the 1% option are required to file annual audits and statements, meaning that regular offshore companies have no filing requirements.

Irrespective of the tax status a St. Lucia offshore company elects, all offshore entities benefit from the same flexible legal structure and director requirements which are across the board, as w ell as a fixed annual renewal fee which applies for all offshore companies. Fully tax free and 1% St. Lucia offshore companies are not subject to exchange controls, do not have to convene meetings at any specific location, may use nominee shareholders and directors and must be represented by a registered agent in St. Lucia and have a registered address for legal and business use.

International Banks

International banking licenses come under two categories: Class A and Class B. A Class A license is issued for the purpose of carrying out banking business with third parties, while Class B licenses are issued only for carrying out business with the persons with whom banking will be carried out and as named by the applicant.

St. Lucia international banks are first incorporated as international business companies (IBCs). Under this arrangement, an offshore bank must appoint a registered agent and have a registered office just as an IBC would. When incorporating an IBC for the purpose of carrying out offshore banking, the Minister’s approval for incorporating an IBC must be sought by presenting a preliminary application. Standard requirements established for a St. Lucia offshore bank include the filing of yearly audited financial statements and capital conditions which must be satisfied.

Under capitalisation requirements stipulated for St. Lucia offshore banks, Class A licensees are to issue a capital of no less than US $1 million which must be totally paid up, and, Class B licensees must issue a capital of no less than US $250,000 which, too, is required to be totally paid up. A minimum deposit of US $100,000 is required from both types of St. Lucia offshore banking licensees.

A St. Lucia offshore banking licensee must have no less than two directors, one of whom must be locally based. Unlike international business companies whose directors are permitted to be corporate entities, a St. Lucia offshore bank is only allowed to appoint natural persons as its directors.