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Gibraltar Companies

Gibraltar is located at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea and shares a Northern border with Spain.  It is a British Overseas Territory although there is still a minor dispute that continues today with Spain over the sovereignty.  Although Britain through talks with Spain has agreed to enter into a shared sovereignty to resolve this dispute, this is not the wish of the Gibraltarians who have repeatedly rejected this choosing instead to remain under British sovereignty.  The British government are committed to respecting the wishes of the people and have adopted the policy not to engage in further talks with Spain concerning the sovereignty of Gibraltar without the consent of the people of Gibraltar first.

Gibraltar has a common law legal system which is very similar to the UK system.  Its official currency is sterling although the Euro is also widely used.  The official languages are English and Spanish.  Many of the professionals that work in Gibraltar are English university trained.

Gibraltar has almost complete internal democratic self-government and is the only British offshore centre that is part of the European Union, although it is outside the EU Customs area with no obligation to harmonise V.A.T making it a popular shopping destination as all goods and services are VAT free.  It is also exempt from the Common Customs Tariff and the Common Agricultural Policy, but is subject to the EU Savings Tax Directive.

Gibraltar has always played an important role for the Royal Navy although today its economy is largely based on tourism, financial services and shipping.  The Strait of Gibraltar is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.  Internet gaming became very big there in the early 2000’s with many operators relocating due to the well regulated jurisdiction and favourable corporate tax regime.  However, this corporate tax regime for non-resident controlled companies was phased out by January 2011 and replaced by a set corporate tax rate of just 10%.  The various acts and divisions set up by Gibraltar to develop the financial sectors has led to them having one of the highest accounting and banks per capita in the world.

Corporate advantages

Gibraltar has numerous advantages and incentives when looking to incorporate an offshore company.  Like all British Isles it enjoys a reputation of stability as well as being a respected offshore jurisdiction, however unlike the other British Isles it also has the added attraction of being part of the EU.  The location and infrastructure are also both appealing qualities.  As normal when considering establishing an offshore company, people tend to look at low tax territories of which Gibraltar is very competitive. – to find out more about the corporate advantages of a Gibraltar offshore company please follow this link

Gibraltar is in the unique position of whilst being a member of the EU is not part of the Customs Union so is not obliged to charge VAT, hence why there is no VAT in Gibraltar, which is a somewhat attractive advantage when doing business there.  There is however import and stamp duty – to learn more about Gibraltar VAT and other taxes please follow this link

Registry and Laws

The Companies House in Gibraltar is responsible for incorporating and dissolving companies.  Every Gibraltar company must have a registered office in Gibraltar at which the statutory documents of the company are kept.
The following types of companies are available in Gibraltar;
- Limited by shares.  This can be either a private company where the minimum number of shareholders is one or a public company where the minimum number of shareholders is seven.
- Limited by guarantee, with or without share capital
- Unlimited, with or without share capital

To find out more about the registry and laws in Gibraltar please follow this link

Banking in Gibraltar

Gibraltar enjoys a reputation as being a reputable and strong finance centre.  Most banks in Gibraltar are either subsidiaries or branches of major UK or Europe banks.   These operate very similar to UK banks and are usually English and Spanish speaking. – to find out more about banking in Gibraltar please follow this link

Typical Structures in Gibraltar

Gibraltar is a relatively simple jurisdiction having the non-resident company which can be used for a variety of purposes which benefit from the favourable rules and tax regulations touched upon above.  Being a member of the EU it is part of the UCITS legislation introduced by the EU to provide unity for fund investment in Europe and so a good choice for persons looking for the ideal jurisdiction when looking to trade in investment in Europe. – to find out more about typical structures in Gibraltar please follow this link
Gibraltar is a common law jurisdiction with its Trust law being based on the Trust law of England & Wales and therefore trusts are recognised and given full legal effect in Gibraltar.  Gibraltar has strong legislation protecting both assets and confidentiality as well as numerous tax benefits to establishing a Trust there – to find out more about Gibraltar Trusts please follow this link

Gibraltar’s Intellectual Property

In today’s business environment it is important to have adequate IP laws.  Applications for trademarks for Gibraltar are registered in the UK under the Trade Marks Act 1994 and are extended to have effect in Gibraltar.  As Gibraltar is a member of the EU it also comes under the Council Regulation (EU) No40/94 on the community trademark where it is possible to obtain a single trademark registration which is effective throughout the territory of the EU. – to find out more about Gibraltar Intellectual Property please follow this link

Residency in Gibraltar

Residency in Gibraltar falls into four categories, after which there are various employment and wealth restrictions. To find out more about residency in Gibraltar please follow this link

Chesterfield and Gibraltar

Chesterfield have years of experience when it comes to both setting up a Gibraltar company and administering them.  We are familiar with all the laws, paperwork and structures involved and are in an excellent position to give you the sound advice required when considering incorporating a Gibraltar Offshore company.

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