Bank Account Opening: General Guidelines

Information which should be considered when opening bank account for the offshore company:

1. Any reputable offshore bank will require a very detailed and business information from the owners and controllers of the offshore bank account. It is still often possible to open an account without personal visit of the company owner to the bank (especially if all the procedure is made through an approved intermediary), nevertheless the banks will require to know their clients in very substantial details. This is simply required by the laws that regulate banking industry.

2. The main information that should be provided to the bank is the name of actual beneficial owner of the offshore company. All beneficial owners, as well as everyone who will be granted account signatory rights, will have to be properly identified and will have to provide certain set of documents: certified passport copy, copy of a second ID with photo, a bankers and/or professional reference, detailed business description and a cashflow forecast. These documentary requirements may vary, depending on different circumstances.

3. The standard set of documents for IBC, properly certified by notary and legalised by apostille, will usually correspond to all the requirements of most banks. However, as it was already mentioned, the most important aspect for opening bank account for an offshore company is that of the actual owners and controllers of the company, company's business and manner of operation.

4. Notwithstanding the strict requirements of the banks when opening offshore account, banking secrecy remains one of the basic advantages of BVI. Banking secrecy can guarantee that information about the client, while being known to the bank, is strongly protected by the law, and there may be severe financial and criminal penalty for its disclosure. Confidential information on banks' client may only be devulged under a proper criminal investigation carried out in BVI by local police authorities. No foreign party or government can simply receive banking information, unless by the BVI court order.

5. For many clients it may seem more practical to open offshore bank account in a country where actual business of the company is conducted, or where beneficial owners of the company are actually located. Many offshore company owners operate the companies directly by themselves and open offshore accounts independently, in a location and with bankers they already know and rely upon. However, this may strongly diminish the owners' personal tax circumstances and add some amount of undesired scrutiny.

6. Non-resident companies may choose to open their bank accounts in another offshore financial centre or in a country that is known as a “financial centre”. Some widely known financial centres are UK, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria, Cayman Islands, Isle of Man, Channel Islands. Please note that through our affiliate branches we may assist with bank account opening for your offshore company in some of the European financial centres.

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