The Cayman Islands consists of a group of three islands in the Caribbean. The main island, Grand Cayman, is situated approximately 1,150 kilometres south of Florida. The three islands have a total area of 260 sq. km, with Grand Cayman having an area of 200 sq km.
The Cayman Islands has a tropical climate providing mild, dry winters with temperatures between 65°F and 75°F and warm summers with temperatures between 75°F and 85°F. Rainfall is light between the months of November to April which is the winter season.
The population of the three islands is approximately 30,000, the majority of which reside on Grand Cayman.
The Cayman Islands are a British colony and therefore the United Kingdom Parliament at Westminster retains the right to legislate. The islands have a Governor who is appointed by the Queen who heads the Cayman Islands Government and is responsible for the civil service, defence, law and order and external affairs. There is a Legislative Assembly consisting of 12 elected members plus the Financial Secretary, the Attorney General and the Administrative Secretary, which may make laws with the consent of the Crown.
An Executive Council, consisting of three official members appointed by the Governor and five members elected by the Legislative Assembly, formulates policy and advises the Governor.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND ECONOMY
The economy of the Islands is strong, enjoying full employment with most of the revenue being derived from the financial services sector and tourism. There are excellent telephone, fax and telex facilities with direct dialling to and from the rest of the world. Cayman Airways, Northwest Airlines and American Airlines serve the Islands. Miami is one hour away by air and the Island has direct air links with New York, Atlanta, Tampa, Houston and Jamaica. The islands are a popular cruise-ship stop.
The official and spoken language is English.
TYPE OF LAW
Common Law based on English Common Law.
PRINCIPAL CORPORATE LEGISLATION
The Company Law of the Cayman Islands is based on the English Companies Act of 1948 and can be found in the Cayman Islands Companies Law of 1960, as amended.
TYPE OF COMPANY FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT
PROCEDURE TO INCORPORATE
For Exempt Companies by submission of the Memorandum and Articles of Association and registration fee to the Registrar of Companies, together with a sworn statement declaring that the business activities of the proposed company will be undertaken mainly outside the Cayman Islands. The names and addresses of the proposed first directors must be disclosed to the Registrar.
RESTRICTIONS ON TRADING
Cannot trade within the Cayman Islands, own real estate in the Cayman Islands. Cannot undertake the business of banking, insurance business or mutual fund business unless licensed. Cannot solicit funds from the public.
POWERS OF COMPANY
A Cayman Islands Exempt company has all the powers of a natural person.
LANGUAGE OF LEGISLATION AND CORPORATE DOCUMENTS
REGISTERED OFFICE REQUIRED
Yes, must be maintained in the Cayman Islands.
SHELF COMPANIES AVAILABLE
TIME TO INCORPORATE
Bank, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, trust, municipal, charter, co-operative, their foreign language equivalents or any name that, in the opinion of the Registrar, would suggest a connection with a Royal family or Government authority.
LANGUAGE OF NAME
Names can be expressed in any language using the Latin alphabet, if the Registrar of Company receives a translation thereof. The corporate documents will however be in English.
NAMES REQUIRING CONSENT OR A LICENCE
Bank, building society, savings, loans, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, asset management, trust, trustees or their foreign language equivalent.
SUFFIXES TO DENOTE LIMITED LIABILITY
There is no requirement to utilise a suffix to denote limited liability, although normally companies are incorporated to include the suffixes Limited, Incorporated, Corporation or their abbreviations.
DISCLOSURE OF BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP TO AUTHORITIES
AUTHORISED AND ISSUED SHARE CAPITAL
The minimum is US€ 1, but it is normal to incorporate with an authorised share capital of US€ 50,000; divided in to 50,000 common voting shares of US€ 1, this being the maximum for the minimum capital duty payable to the Registrar of Companies.
The minimum issued share capital is one share of no par value or one share of part value.
CLASSES OF SHARES PERMITTED
Registered shares of par or no par value, bearer shares, preference shares, redeemable shares and voting or non-voting shares.
BEARER SHARES PERMITTED
There is no form of taxation in the Cayman Islands relating to individuals, corporations or trusts.
DOUBLE TAXATION AGREEMENTS
The Cayman Islands has no double tax agreements.
For exempt companies with a share capital not exceeding US€ 50,000
For exempt companies with a share capital greater than US€ 50,000 but not exceeding US€ 2 million
For exempt companies with a share capital exceeding US€ 2 million
FINANCIAL STATEMENT REQUIREMENTS
There is no requirement to file accounts for Exempt companies.
The minimum number of directors is one. The directors may be natural persons or bodies corporate. The directors may be of any nationality, and need not be resident in the Cayman Islands.
The Cayman Islands Companies Ordinance does not make any specific reference to a requirement for a company secretary. However, it is customary to appoint one, who may be either a natural person or a body corporate.
The minimum number of shareholders is one.