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Offshore 2018

The offshore world may have come in for some scrutiny recently, and this is something that we see from time to time, so it’s not a new event. You might say it is old news. However, property investors and those looking for alternative citizenship are still looking for the best places to go, so we’d like to share what the experts are predicting for 2018.

Of course, offshore havens are prone to changes in regulation and legislation and this can alter the landscape when you’re looking for the best place to set up a bank account, register a company or become a resident. One person tells you one place, another recommends another and even the financial experts disagree.

To some extent it depends on your circumstances and needs, but the following are considered of interest for this year, and all happen to be in the beautiful Caribbean.

Dominican Republic

This is a newcomer to the offshore market, therefore fewer people are using it. But, the country’s government is making strong progress with establishing it in the offshore sector. And, whereas Panama, which is a well-established offshore destination, is closed to European investors, the Dominican Republic is hoping to be open for European business. If you want to become a resident, there is a Fast Track programme that asks for an investment of US$200,000, or proof that you have a monthly income of US$1,500. After two years as a resident you can apply for citizenship. The DR is hoping to add EU countries to the list of destinations where a DR passport allows you to travel visa-free. It is also worth noting that DR banks are more open to overseas clients and will lend to foreigners for real estate purchases.

St. Kitts and Nevis

These two Caribbean islands specialise in two specific offshore products. St. Kitts offers an economic citizenship program that makes a second passport possible in less than a year. It does cost a minimum of US$250,000 plus legal fees, but a passport from here is highly valued, compared to one from the Dominican Republic. Nevis specialises in offshore entities, such as LLCs, trusts and corporations. These can be used for asset protection, and in Nevis the layers of protection are virtually impenetrable. Both islands are very tax efficient.

Cayman Islands

The elder statesman of offshore jurisdictions still retains its appeal. With more than 200 banks, many of them well known international brands, plus a plethora of other companies associated with the offshore market, it offers the most choice for investing in offshore financial investments, such as international stocks, bonds and mutual funds. It’s a ‘no-go area’ for Americans, due to SEC regulations, but anyone else can avail themselves of what is on offer here.

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