Opening bank accounts is becoming increasingly onerous. Many banks will not open accounts for offshore companies. Others will only open accounts for companies that have been introduced to them by a recognised and licensed service provider on their “approved list”.
All banks now undertake increased due diligence not just when opening accounts but also when operating them. Different banks require markedly different documentation. Even different branches of the same bank frequently have different procedures. The required documentation is generally voluminous and complicated and many documents require not just certification by the company secretary but notarisation in the jurisdiction of incorporation.
In short, it is increasingly difficult for clients to attend to account opening procedures on their own. It is therefore strongly recommended that Sovereign is asked to assist with a bank introduction and with the preparation and submission of the necessary paperwork. Of course, clients are free to choose their own banks but generally the account will be opened far more quickly, cheaply and efficiently if banks known to, and recommended by, Sovereign are used.
Accounting & Auditing
Companies incorporated in onshore jurisdictions will generally have to prepare and file accounts. Often these accounts must also be audited. In most offshore 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.
In all jurisdictions in which Sovereign operates, we either have in-house accounting services or can recommend a range of accountancy firms that we work with closely.