Nevis is situated at 17 north latitude and 52 west longitude and is located in the Leeward Islands approximately 2,000 km south-east of Miami. Mount Nevis lies in the centre of the 92 sq. km Island and towers 985 metres. Columbus sighted and named the Island on his second voyage in 1493. The climate is nearly perfect and the variation in altitude and soil conditions creates a natural garden of tropical vegetation ranging from rain to near desert.
The population of Nevis is 8,500 with 35,000 residents in the neighbouring island of St. Kitts.
Nevis was a British colony from 1628 until 1983 when it became independent and joined the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. The Federation is an active member of the British Commonwealth. Nevis is a vigorous democracy based upon the British Parliamentary system with an elected local assembly. An independent study has ranked the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis as one of the ten freest nations in the world for seven years running.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND ECONOMY
Excellent communications facilities offer direct dialling from the US, Canada and Europe. World-wide telex, facsimile and telegraph services are operated by Cable and Wireless. Direct air services to North America are provided by BWIA and Air Canada on a scheduled basis. LIAT, WINAIR and American Eagle link Nevis with other Caribbean Islands. From Europe, service is provided by British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France and Iberia via stops in neighbouring Islands.
Nevis does not have a deep-water port; however, it has an important mooring basin for yachts.
The economy has traditionally depended on the growing and processing of sugar cane; decreasing world prices have hurt the industry in recent years. Tourism and export oriented manufacturing have begun to assume larger roles, although they still only represent approximately 7% and 4% respectively of GDP. Growth in the construction and tourism sectors has spurred the economic expansion of the Island. Most food is imported.
English is the official and commercial language of the Island. Nevis enjoys a literacy rate of 96%, one of the highest in the Western Hemisphere.
Eastern Caribbean Dollar, which is fixed to the US Dollar.
TYPE OF LAW
Common Law based on English Common Law.
PRINCIPAL CORPORATE LEGISLATION
Nevis Business Corporation Ordinance 1984.
TYPE OF COMPANY FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT
Offshore Exempt Company (NBCO).
PROCEDURE TO INCORPORATE
By submission of the Articles of Incorporation to the Registrar of Companies, together with the appropriate fee.
RESTRICTIONS ON TRADING
A Nevis company incorporated under the Business Corporation Ordinance 1984 may not trade within Nevis, or own real estate there. A company incorporated under the said Act may not engage in the business of banking, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, collective investment schemes or any other activity that would suggest an association with the banking or Insurance industries.
POWERS OF COMPANY
A company incorporated in Nevis has the same powers as a natural person.
LANGUAGE OF LEGISLATION AND CORPORATE DOCUMENTS
NAME APPROVAL REQUIRED
SHELF COMPANIES AVAILABLE
TIME TO INCORPORATE
Two days, but allow five days for delivery of documentation.
Any name that is identical to or similar to an existing company. Any name that in the opinion of the Registrar is undesirable or suggests an illegal activity or any name that may imply government patronage.
LANGUAGE OF NAME
May be in any language that uses the Latin alphabet. The Registrar may request an English translation if a foreign language name is used.
NAMES REQUIRING CONSENT OR LICENCE
Bank, building society, savings, loans, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, investment fund, municipal, Chamber of Commerce, university or their foreign language equivalent.
SUFFIXES TO DENOTE LIMITED LIABILITY
Limited, Company, Corporation, Incorporated, Sociedad Anonima, Gesellschaft mit beshränkter Haftung or their abbreviations.
DISCLOSURE OF BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP TO AUTHORITIES
AUTHORISED AND ISSUED SHARE CAPITAL
Normally the authorised share capital is either 1,000 no par value shares or US€ 100,000 par value shares. The minimum issued capital is one share of no par value or one share of par value.
CLASSES OF SHARES PERMITTED
Registered shares, bearer shares, preference shares, redeemable shares and shares with or without par value.
BEARER SHARES PERMITTED
A Nevis offshore exempt company is exempt from local taxation.
There is an annual registration fee of US€ 200 payable to the Minister of Finance.
DOUBLE TAXATION AGREEMENTS
Although Nevis does have double tax agreements, a company incorporated under the Nevis Business Corporation Ordinance 1984 cannot obtain any treaty relief through them.
FINANCIAL STATEMENT REQUIREMENTS
Whilst there is no requirement to submit or file audited financial statements, a Nevis company is required to maintain financial records to reflect the financial position of the company.
The minimum number of directors is three if the number of shareholders is three. If fewer than three, the number of directors may be equal to the number of shareholders. The directors may be natural persons or bodies corporate and may be of any nationality and need not be residents of Nevis.
A Nevis exempt company must appoint a company secretary, who may be a natural person or a body corporate may be of any nationality and need not be resident in Nevis.
The minimum number of shareholders is one.