Bearer share companies have gone the way of the dodo. Here’s the offshore company hack to create a bearer share company like structure to maximize privacy and protection.
First, a word on bearer share companies. Back in the day, bearer share corporations allowed for anonymous ownership of assets and bank accounts. Whoever held the shares owned the offshore company. No public record of ownership was required.
Of course, the U.S. government doesn’t like anonymity… privacy in financial dealings allows U.S. citizens to cut out Uncle when it comes tax time… and the beast must be fed.
The U.S. launched an attack on offshore banking and bearer share companies in 2003 with the Patriot Act and has been hard at work stripping away financial freedom ever since. By 2015, all offshore banks have fallen in line and bearer share companies are no more.
Here’s the offshore company bearer share hack.
Let’s say you’re a law abiding citizen who wants to maximize the privacy and protection of your offshore company. How should you structure your affairs?
In my opinion, the best asset protection structure is the Panama Foundation and the best jurisdiction to incorporate an active business is also Panama. There are exceptions… such as an offshore IRA LLC is best formed in Nevis. But let’s stick with Panama for this post.
- Fyi… even if your country of incorporation allows for bearer shares, no bank will open an account for your offshore company. So, bearer shares are effectively dead in every jurisdiction.
A Panama Foundation requires a founder and a foundation counsel. A Panama corporation requires three officers and three directors.
The Panama Foundation counsel is public record. Directors and Officers of a Panama corporation are also public record. Back in the day, we would work around this by appointing nominees and issuing bearer shares.
With bearer shares are out, the owner must be listed in the company or foundation documents.
The founder and counsel of a Panama Foundation may be either a person or an offshore company. That offshore company may be incorporated in any country.
Likewise, the directors and officers of a Panama corporation may be persons or corporate entities from any jurisdiction.
Now comes the hack: an LLC from Nevis may be formed with one member. The registrar in Nevis doesn’t disclose any information in the public record. Ownership of a Nevis LLC is totally private. These offshore companies make for excellent founders, council members, officers and directors.
In order to create a totally private offshore structure, much like a bearer share company of old, we form a Panama Foundation with the founder and council being Nevis LLCs. Then the Foundation incorporates a Panama corporation with Nevis LLCs as it’s officers and directors.
And you, the beneficial owner of the Nevis LLC, are in complete control of the Panama structure. You are the only signer on the bank accounts and corporate documents… none of the risk associated with turning over your assets to nominees.
And that’s the bearer share offshore company hack. For more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a confidential consultation. We will be happy to form your structure, open bank and brokerage accounts, and keep it in tax compliance.