Entrepreneurs – are you starting up or ready to take your startup to the next milestones? Then you might want to start thinking about incorporating your business. There are many benefits of getting incorporated, especially when your business is becoming more mature.
If you are currently considering offshore company formation (why?) then you might want to read on, as our friends at ICO Services will share with you the best offshore company jurisdictions when it comes to boosting your brand reputation and trust.
Offshore company formation for reputation and trust: Why?
Forget tax havens, stable jurisdictions, and other typical benefits of setting up an offshore company for a moment: There is one more reason why you might want to set up an offshore company, especially if your business is a web-based business: Reputation and trust.
Let me ask you a question: When you are visiting a company website, what is the first thing you want to do? I’m sure you want to know these two things, initially: (1) What is the company all about; and (2) Who in the world are these guys?
I don’t know what about you, but if I want to learn about who’s who of a company, I’ll go straight to the ‘About’ AND the contact info page.
And guess what: It’s my habit to look where is the company headquartered. If it says some places I’m not comfortable with, I trust the company less.
But what if the company is incorporated in, say, Hong Kong or UK? The perceived reputation is enhanced, even though your actual physical location is not in Hong Kong or UK.
And that’s, my friend, one underrated benefit of getting incorporated offshore.
Enough about the ‘why’ – now enter the ‘which’ question: So, which offshore company jurisdictions are the best for your business reputation, as well as any other benefits, such as economic and political stability, beneficial tax regulations and so on? Here are 3 of them:
1. Hong Kong
Hong Kong is known as Asia’s most reputable financial centers. It’s not generally perceived as a tax haven, and a stable political environment and excellent financial and banking sectors mean that your company’s assets are in good hands.
As an offshore jurisdiction, Hong Kong-based companies enjoy the ability to do business anywhere in the world and enjoy tax exemption from all local taxes while doing so.
2. United Kingdom
One of the strongest economy in Europe, UK offers what many jurisdictions don’t: Great reputation, stable jurisdiction, low tax rate (20%) and flexibility in company structure.
What’s more, there is no minimum capital requirement for forming a company in UK. Perhaps the biggest upside of setting up a company in the UK is the tax treaties: UK is among the best in the world in term of tax treaty network (with 110 bilateral treaties), which means you can enjoy tax benefits when doing business in the network, outside the UK.
3. Ras Al Khaimah (RAK)
As one of the emirates in United Arab Emirates (UAE), RAK enjoys the same stability and reputation as Dubai and other UAE’s large cities and emirates.
Here’s what may interest you: Did you know that when you get incorporated in RAK, you will have a registered address in Dubai? As one of the economy powerhouses in the region, Dubai is a world-famous destination for business and leisure; your RAK-incorporated company will also enjoy such reputation.
Other great benefits include local taxes exemption, flexibility in company structure and no minimal capital requirement.
Here’s one more benefit that might interest you: Setting up a company in RAK means that you have the ability to own real estate properties in UAE.
While the Carribean jurisdictions are quite popular due to the low costs of company formation, paying extras for a more reputable offshore jurisdiction is a better business strategy, in my opinion.
Not only the favorable political stability and business/taxes regulations, Hong Kong, UK or RAK can also offer you more unique benefits, such as enhanced brand reputation and trust.
We all know that your clients and prospects’ first impression is governed largely by the location of your headquarter, so you can expect a boost on your reputation when your company if headquartered in, say, the UK, even though your physical location is actually in, say, a remote island in South East Asia.