Chesterfield (London) 
207 Old Marylebone Road
Tel: +44 (0) 203 771 3853
Fax: +44 (0) 203 771 3856

Typical Bahamas Structures

There are various different types of structures to consider when establishing your offshore company. Examples of ones available in the Bahamas are listed below.

Sole Proprietorship

This generally means that you are running your business as an individual, although you are allowed staff. The advantages of this are that you can keep all the business profits after the tax has been paid on them and any decisions will be instant. However, a distinct disadvantage of Sole Proprietorship companies is that there is no limited liability, this means that you will be responsible for any losses that the company makes, also the business will discontinue in the event of the owners retirement or death.

Joint Ventures

There are no registration or incorporation requirements for joint ventures in the Bahamas. These are very specific in purpose and are only used for investment. A competent professional should be used to draw up the paperwork who is familiar with the rules in the Bahamas.


The business partners share responsibility for the company. Profits of the company are shared between the partners and each partner. Again this does not have limited liability and therefore you will be responsible for any losses and debts of the company. Perhaps more importantly you may also be responsible for any debts that have incurred due to your partner(s) and so it is important that you have trust in the person(s) that you are doing business with. There are various different partnerships available in the Bahamas.
- General Partnership
- Limited Liability Partnership
- Exempted Limited Partnership
- Undisclosed Partners

Limited Liability Companies

A limited company is run by the directors. Directors details are open to the public in the Bahamas, but it is usual for Chesterfield to be directors on Bahamas companies giving the client an extra layer of protection and allowing Chesterfield to handle all the required filing. The main advantage to a Limited company is that it does have limited liability, this means that the wealth of the company is separate from the wealth of the owner and they will not be accountable for the company’s debts unless any wrong doing can be proven. This is the most popular choice of company when deciding to incorporate in the Bahamas. There are generally two types when choosing a limited liability company.
- Private company limited by shares – this is by far the most popular choice
- Company limited by Guarantee

There are various different uses for a limited liability company which is why it is so popular as many of the other options available are usually more suited to a specific purpose. An example of the one of the most popular uses for this type of company is a Holding company. This is where a Bahamas Holding Company is established to hold shares in one of more other companies. The Holding company will then receive dividends paid by those subsidiaries. It can also hold assets such as property. One of the reasons that Bahamas offshore companies are so popular for this use is its low tax regime.

Unlimited Liability Companies

This is a public company and is similar to a private company limited by shares although there is a compulsory annual audit and there must be at least three directors. The nature of the shareholder’s liability will be detailed in the memorandum and articles of association.

Bahamian Foundation

This is a hybrid between a trust and a company structure and is becoming increasingly popular. It is generally used for estate and tax planning and is very useful for avoiding things like forced heir-ship laws;
f you would like to know more about the different structures in the Bahamas and how they might benefit your business please follow the link below or call us on our offices
Telephone Number: 44 20 7097 1385

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