Accounting Services

Accounting Services

In most jurisdictions there is a requirement under local company legislation that directors should prepare accounts and present them to the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting. However, where there is no tax to be assessed on the profits of the company, there is rarely a requirement to present the accounts to any government authority or file them on the public register. Even if the accounts do not need auditing it is good business practice for them to be prepared in accordance with the relevant companies law so that all shareholders and directors have access to – and can be seen to have access to – relevant financial information upon which proper business decisions can be made. Sovereign provides a highly competitive accounts service package that ensures companies avoid penalties by complying with this requirement.

Aviation, including Aircraft Registration

Aviation, including Aircraft Registration

The Guernsey Aircraft Registry was launched in December 2013. The Registry is run as a public-private partnership between the Bailiwick’s Department of Commerce and Employment and Dutch company SGI Aviation. SGI Aviation have established a Guernsey based company – SGI Aviation (Guernsey) Limited to carry out day to day running of the registry with oversight powers and ultimate responsibility resting with Guernsey’s Director of Civil Aviation. The registry is branded as “2-REG, Channel Islands Aircraft Registry” (CIAR) to reflect the “2-“ registration prefix allocated to the CIAR.

Sovereign Trust (Channel Islands) Limited works in conjunction with the aviation division of the Sovereign Group, Gibraltar-based Sovereign Aviation Services (SAS), to provide solutions to clients who wish to register and hold their aircraft within a structure. Combining the experience acquired over 20 years in the field of aircraft registration and offshore company management, SAS offers a complete range of professional and highly tailored services to aircraft owners and operators worldwide.

Bank Accounts

Sovereign is able provide introductions to a number of banks in Guernsey and elsewhere in the world with which we have long-term relationships. Sovereign can also assist with account opening procedures.

Insurance Services

Insurance is one of the most effective ways to manage risks and protect your assets, and is a vital part of the wealth management process. Gibraltar-based Sovereign Insurance Services (SIS) provides a full range of insurance broking services – from home, contents, travel, accident and life cover through to more complex products such as “key man”, professional indemnity and kidnap and ransom cover – at the most competitive pricing levels available in the international insurance markets. SIS is licensed by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission to act as an insurance intermediary for general insurance business within the European Economic Area (EEA) but also has strategic partnership arrangements with a series of underwriters and brokers throughout the international insurance community so as to be able to meet a client’s insurance requirements anywhere in the world.

Setting up a Company

It is relatively straightforward to set up or purchase a company but it is important to understand how to structure the ownership of that company, how it should be administered and how to organize its commercial arrangements. Every case is different and a high level of expertise is required to ensure that the corporate structure is effective and fully compliant. Once we have understood your personal and business requirements, Sovereign is in a unique position, through its global network of offices, to give guidance on a suitable structures available to meet those needs.

Marine, including Yacht Registration

Marine, including Yacht Registration

Guernsey is a Category 2 British register which means that it is restricted to pleasure yachts of not more than 150 tons gross and other commercial vessels as specified, operating within local waters. There would be no VAT exposure for a Guernsey company purchasing/holding a yacht from outside the EU for use outside the EU. The Guernsey Register is administered by the States of Guernsey Registry of British Ships.

Gibraltar-based Sovereign Marine Services (SMS) is the marine division of the Sovereign Group. It was formed in 2000 to provide marine corporate and administration services to yacht owners, as well as to maritime law firms, yacht managers and brokers and other professional firms involved in the yachting industry. Initially established to register vessels under the British Red Ensign, SMS is now registering, administering and managing yachts – both pleasure and commercial – on a worldwide basis.

Nominee Shareholder Services

A minimum of one shareholder is required and corporate shareholders are permitted. Bearer shares are not permitted and details of the beneficial owner of a company must be communicated to the Guernsey Registry as part of the incorporation process. A share register must be maintained at the registered office address of the company and must be available for inspection by any member of the public. Details of shareholders are also maintained on the public file at the Company Registry but anonymity can be preserved by the use of nominee shareholders. Documents can be sent electronically from the company to shareholders where agreed by the shareholder.

Overseas Property Ownership

Sovereign assists many of its clients with the acquisition of real estate worldwide. We advise on tax and structuring and can manage the transaction process and financing arrangements. With our regional knowledge of property ownership laws and regulations, along with our tax planning expertise, we can help you reduce any potential exposure. Most people who own or intend to own property abroad will not be fully conversant with local legal procedures or taxes – stamp duties, municipal and wealth taxes – and may not fully recognise the longer term implications in terms of potential exposures to capital gains tax, inheritance tax or forced heirship rules. Substantial benefits may be derived through the use of corporate, trust or foundation structures to address these issues.

Payroll Services

By outsourcing your payroll you can free up your valuable time and resources to concentrate on the important business of running your company. Sovereign can provide a comprehensive yet flexible outsourced payroll service tailored to each of our client’s specific requirements.

Pensions Services

Guernsey is an established centre of excellence for the establishment, administration and management of international retirement benefit plans. It has a modern and principles-based regulatory regime, underpinned by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC), which conforms fully to international standards.

Guernsey offers specialist pensions services and a full range of retirement benefit solutions. Some plans are designed for globally mobile employees who may build up pension rights while working in a number of jurisdictions. Other types of plans provide individuals and companies with a solution in locations where little or no pension legislation exists or pension providers are limited. Read more

Professional Directors

A minimum of one director is required for a Guernsey company and corporate directors are permitted. Details of directors must be kept at the registered office and appear on the public file kept at the Company Registry. The directors must file an Annual Validation Return with the Company Registry by 31 January each year. The Annual Validation gives details of the current directors and registered agent, the share capital of the company and confirms that the register of members is up to date. To ensure that a Guernsey company is not deemed tax resident in any other country it is advisable that the majority of the board of directors is based in Guernsey. Sovereign can provide professional director and management services.

Trademark and Intellectual Property Services

The intellectual property (IP) associated with a business name or system can be one of its most valuable assets – but only if it is properly protected. Any business that wishes to establish a national or international identity should take steps to protect the use of its name, logo or other IP, such as patent rights, formulae/processes, designs, trademarks, franchises, licence agreements, “know-how” and copyrights. The introduction of economic substance legislation has heightened the requirement to seek specialist advice before establishing a structure holding intellectual property rights.

Guernsey launched the world’s first image rights legislation and image rights register in late 2012 and remains the only the jurisdiction to do so. The law has opened up a new chapter in asset protection and exploitation management and has seen a steady stream of registrations with the island’s Intellectual Property Office.

Traditionally, the main way to protect the intellectual property in a personality has been through trademark rights. While there are other related IP rights that come into play, such as copyright and design rights, trademarks are the most relevant. However, they only go so far in protecting the rights of the modern celebrity and sports star, whose interests are wider ranging than ever before. Guernsey’s image rights legislation addresses the needs of the modern marketplace by allowing a personality to formally register not only images but also other characteristics of themselves.

The rationale is that individuals should have control over their image and how it is used, but they should also have the capacity to earn a livelihood from that image. Guernsey offers an environment with the financial infrastructure and expertise necessary where this can become a reality. Sovereign has been assisting clients to protect valuable intellectual property rights for over 20 years and can assist with the registration of image rights on the Guernsey Registry.

Get in Touch

Please contact us if you have any questions or queries and your local representative will be in touch with you as soon as possible.