Also more commonly known now as a Registered Financial Services Providers (FSP for short), these can offer banking, investment and brokerage services to both private individuals and corporations worldwide, with no limitations on the number of customers, amounts on deposit or number of currencies.
New Zealand, having repealed its banking law in 1995, did not replace it with anything new and therefore the normal barriers to entry that exist in other countries simply are not there.
Once upon a time these companies could simply operate as offshore companies with no special legal status, other than the freedom to offer such services but today the only viable option is to register onto New Zealand’s Financial Services Provider Registry. Although there is still no paid-in capital requirement for spot forex broker/dealing, custodial services, payment processing and e-money services, it does require a long review process by the New Zealand Financial Markets Authority.
We are experienced to go through with a special structure set up.
This will make the review process go much faster and also provide you with a back up licence option as well as the ability to offer securities related business which otherwise requires special licencing in New Zealand.
New Zealand requires a local physical office operation and a local director / manager. But this is still the lowest cost option by far to establish a financial services operation in an advanced English speaking country at the top of almost all lists in regards to lack of corruption, respectability and lifestyle options.
An International Brokerage and Clearing House License, which allows the license holder to engage in activities such as:
There are many options out there for this, some being quite expensive with local qualified director and office requirements.
Belize requires a $100,000 paid in capital amount for a full securities or forex trading licence but still has no local office or local director requirement. However, licence approval can take 6 months or more similar to most other jurisdictions such as BVI, Mauritius or Cyprus. Vanuatu is the only exception to this. Belize also offers a lower cost financial advisory licence which only requires a $25,000 paid in capital amount.
This is still the lowest cost entry point in Europe for an EU based securities or forex dealer licence with paid-in capital requirement only slightly higher than Belize. For sure it requires a local office and local director but compared to most other European jurisdictions the barriers to entry are far less onerous.
As mentioned above in the section on payment and e-money services, this full spectrum financial licence which does not require any physical presence, local director or paid in capital can be obtained within 30 to 45 days after submission of all required documents. It is the only financial licence available anywhere that we are aware of that allows one to offer anything from securities and dealing and advisory services along with investment funds and issuing and underwriting your own securities offerings as well as payment and e-money services.
A Vintage Swiss Trust Company is an interesting non-regulated (or ‘self-regulated’ as the Swiss like to state) alternative to a bank and can perform many similar services so long as it does not refer to itself as a bank.
Through a conversion process, an ordinary aged dormant Swiss shell company that once was in business is transformed into a credible looking trust and financial services company. The main selling points are age (up to 80 years!) and Switzerland.
In Swiss law there is no actual legal definition of a trust company and though the original company may have been in a completely unrelated business, this does not detract from how such a company may be skilfully used, capitalising on the aura that a Swiss financial entity can still project.
They can be moulded into a ‘flagship’ type of corporate entity and along with Swiss administration and banking can attract all sorts of business opportunities that might be much harder to come by.
Of course none of this comes cheap and apart from the paid-in capital requirement (CHF 50,000 or 100,000 depending on age) the acquisition can cost can be anywhere from US$50,000 to $250,000 with the ‘ideal’ age being pre-1985 due to certain advantages that can be grandfathered in under older corporate laws.
A local Swiss director and administration is required, although no special licencing is required for managing accounts of up to twenty third parties with licencing readily available for higher account volumes.
A Panama Financial Services Company is a popular and is the least expensive offshore financial services company option out there. This is an unregulated licenced option suitable for:
Once what was the most popular and least expensive offshore financial services company option out there. This is an unregulated licenced option suitable for:
It earns its status from the Ministry of Commerce which issues the equivalent of a local business licence and tax registration document. It requires a local virtual office as a physical place of business which the local municipality inspector will visit to assess the (modest) local monthly tax dues. However, it is more difficult these days to open a bank account anywhere as most banks require a regulated licence issued by a recognised supervisory agency.
A better option these days for a money services business based in Panama would be a proper regulated licence which requires $50,000 paid-in capital, a small local physical office and a minimum of two employees - specifically a "cashier" and a suitably qualified bookkeeper who would act as the local office manager. The licence is relatively easy and quick to obtain but can be easily withdrawn if only a few days late in submitting the required monthly report. For the same cost there are a couple of popular contenders that do not require any physical office or paid in capital:
This is a payment services and e-money licence which is granted by the Central Bank of Georgia within 30 to 45 days once a company has been formed. There is no paid in capital requirement and the running costs are low. Moreover, such companies enjoy a tax-free status on foreign derived income and the local banking options are high quality and quick and easy to open. Also Georgia has never been on any offshore blacklist which makes opening a bank account in other jurisdictions a lot easier. It was also not required to join the OECD's Common Reporting Standard initiative. This country has attracted a number of well known payment and e-money service providers and the lack of bureaucratic red-tape is a big draw. Personal presence will be required to open a local bank account. The red-tape is mercifully low and a very low cost virtual office presence to meet the minimum statutory requirements can be operated on a turn key basis by our local law firm in Tlibisi.
This is another option for e-money and payment services as well as for forex / securities and investment related business as well. This is the Vanuatu Securities Dealer Licence and there is a very wide definition of what is considered a "security" there which covers almost any type of financial service outside of a being a licenced bank or insurance company. There is no paid in capital beyond the approx $2,000 government up front fee and there are no requirements to maintain a physical office in the jurisdiction. Bank accounts can be opened in Vanuatu fairly easy but will take more work elsewhere. Assistance can be offered in this area.
The best option for an EU based e-money or small payment institution licence with passporting rights into any EU jurisdiction. The requirements and red tape are far less onerous than the UK's FCA equivalents.
The company has the following features:
The company has the following features: