We come from heavily overtaxed Canada, so "offshore banking" and "offshore companies" and "offshore investing" and "tax havens" are topics that are dear to our hearts, and turn us green with envy.
Note from Ken, Nori's dad
Nori let me write the financial pages of her site. It's a topic that captivated me soon after I understood how Anguilla manages its own affairs.
I hope this information is useful for you. This page is not advice, just the results of my research. Please do not base any decisions upon this -- financial advice is not my profession. If you want solid, professional advice...
Nori provides a form below Malcolm Hope-Ross, a wonderful gentleman who has become friends of our family in Anguilla. They are solid professional in this field.
Forming offshore companies is something I wish I knew about years ago. My wife Janice and I were professional toy designers. We licensed 23 toy and game inventions to large toy companies around the world. I only wish I had met Malcolm Hope-Ross in Anguilla 20 years ago.
Of course, it wasn't so easy then.
In Canada, "financial services" means that we hire accountants to figure out whether we get to keep any of our money that we made last year!
We are heavily taxed and government is wasteful (recent example... a supposed $2 million dollar self-financing government gun registry has now cost taxpayers $1 billion - and guess what - the bad guys still have guns!.
So, while we discovered Anguilla due to a weird coincidence of a great little book (A Trip to the Beach by the Blanchards) and a friend who had just secured a long-term rental on a villa on Barnes Bay's beautiful beach, I became very interested in Anguilla's political and financial model, and its tax haven status, very quickly. Bottom line...
I far prefer a government that can only spend what it collects, does not ask you to fill out income or corporate tax forms and only asks you to pay tax on what you consume! It creates a society that tends to be self reliant and innovative. Nori showed you a picture (elsewhere on this site) of a house that I consider to be a symbol of Anguillians themselves...
That rebar pointing up to the sky is a symbol of two key traits...
No one develops dependence on government here, and this country has moved dramatically ahead since adapting this financial model 15 years ago. No big government. Forming an offshore company is free of red tape, endless tax forms and onerous annual maintenance -- what a joy. Whereas you would find abject poverty throughout this island thirty years ago, you will not find it anywhere now.
Anguilla has the best of both worlds (not to mention the best weather in the Caribbean!). As a British colony, it does not have to have its own standing army, and the British handle most external treaties and relationships. So there's no need for "big government" to control your life down here.
When I say "tax-free haven," the emphasis is on "free." Because that's what you are... free.
Naturally, this lack of direct taxation has also led to the formation of an offshore financial services industry. The Anguilla government, recognizing the strength of its financial model, promotes the growth of what is now a sophisticated second industry (after tourism)... so the word is spreading about Anguilla's offshore company and banking business.
A tax haven with sophisticated financial services makes a nice fit with tourism. Most tourists (like us!) readily appreciate the benefits of a tax-free environment, compared to their overtaxed situation.
Like most things in Anguilla, the financial services industry (offshore banking, offshore privacy, investments, trusts, asset protection, etc.) has been carefully developed. Since they started fairly recently, the government has prudently built a system from the ground up, borrowing and assembling from the best of other prominent tax havens. The result?
Modern and well-thought-through legislation, under a British system of law. And, unlike the Caymans, Bahamas, Bermuda, etc., the value-for-dollar is extremely high... same high quality of service. And here's the best part...
Like the beaches, the Anguillian financial services industry is still only known to a small number (and you don't have to be a zillionaire like in Bermuda!). Service is honest, excellent, friendly and at a reasonable price.
This is especially true of the offshore company registry. Where you might expect to find a rather laid back, low-tech incorporation procedure, you find a cutting edge system for forming offshore companies. Anguilla has one of the most modern registries in the world, with a fully computerized database that is accessible on line by the local agents. They can check the availability of an offshore company name, form an offshore company and file all necessary forms from their office computers.
Of course, like all offshore jurisdictions you do need a local agent, creating some jobs in Anguilla from the industry (makes sense to me -- this is a sharp modern way to move a small country into the third millennium, tourism and financial services). Unlike most of the other territories, you do not have the interminable delays while waiting to get your new offshore company.
The economic and social stability of an essentially self-governing country, backed by the British government which retains responsibility for foreign affairs and defense, appeals and reassures. Why? Because funds are secure. There are no foreign exchange restrictions -- so it's easy to get the funds out when you want them (in whatever currency you want). And excellent telecommunications and easy air access are two more plusses.
Up til a few years ago, only the most sophisticated companies and high Net worth individuals could create and take advantage of offshore companies.
Now, even you and I can do it... and we can do it in the smallest and nicest of Caribbean islands.
The more I looked into Anguilla and its financial services industries, the more interested I became.
I studied other popular tax havens... Aruba, Bahamas, Bermuda, Belize, Caymans, etc., etc. And here's the bottom line...
Anguilla is the perfect Caribbean island for a vacation... for an offshore bank account... and for forming offshore companies.
Who should think seriously about using these offshore financial services? Consider Anguilla as an offshore financial haven for the following situations...
If you need some professional advice, please do not consider my thoughts on this page to be that. Instead, our friend Malcolm Hope-Ross is a highly competent, offshore financial services professional.
Malcolm, his family, and our family have formed a friendship over the years. He has even kindly lent us his seaside villa in a squeeze.
Here's a pic of Malcolm (far left) and his family, together with Nori's mother, Janice, all having a great time at the Straw Hat. (I'm taking the photo!).
If you're looking for professional advice, contact Malcolm by using the form below.
Nori does not put e-mail addresses on this site anymore (to foil spambots). But you can reach Malcolm through this form...