Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands and is situated off the north-west coast of France, near to the Cherbourg Peninsular. Jersey is approximately one hundred and sixty km south of England, but only 20 km from France. The Island measures 16 km by 10 and has a total land area of 117 sq. km. The environment is essentially rural with attractive coastlines offering many facilities to visitors.
The population of Jersey is approximately 82,000 and effective immigration controls exist to restrict future growth.
The Island of Jersey, together with the other Channel Islands, originally formed part of the Duchy of Normandy and their present constitution dates back to 1066 when William, Duke of Normandy became King of England.
The Channel Islands have, since that time, remained possessions of the English Crown, as distinct from colonial and overseas dependencies of the United Kingdom. Accordingly, the constitutional relationship between the Channel Islands and the United Kingdom is unique, whereby the respective legislative assemblies have the exclusive right to legislate on matters of domestic concern to the Islands (including taxation), whilst the United Kingdom is responsible for the Island's external affairs. This relationship has arisen over a period of time through custom and not through specific constitutional charter; in recent years, however, it has been subject to considerable scrutiny as a result of which it now appears to be more firmly established than before. The Charters granted by successive Sovereigns, together with the gradual growth of the right to self-government, have resulted in the prerogative of the Island’s Parliament, the States of Jersey, to promulgate laws and regulations to govern the Island’s internal affairs, including revenue and taxation matters.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND ECONOMY
Whilst the financial services sector provides Jersey’s main source of income, the tourist industry continues to be important. There are various other less significant sources of income, including agriculture and fishing.
Air services from Jersey are excellent with services to London being particularly frequent. There are also flights to many European centres, including Paris and Amsterdam. Jersey relies upon sea transportation for the importation of the majority of the goods and materials.
Jersey enjoys excellent telecommunications with the rest of the world as it uses the United Kingdom’s digital network.
English is used in all aspects of the financial and commercial activities of the Island. However, French remains the official language of the Royal Court of Jersey but is used only on ceremonial occasions and concerning transactions involving Jersey real property.
The Jersey Pound is on par with the UK Pound. The Island issues its own notes and coinage which are freely interchangeable with the UK Pound.
TYPE OF LAW
Largely based on English Common Law, with many French features.
PRINCIPAL CORPORATE LEGISLATION
Companies Jersey Law, 1991, as amended.
TYPE OF COMPANY FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT
PROCEDURE TO INCORPORATE
By submission of the Memorandum and Articles of Association to the Financial Services Department, together with notification of the Registered Office address, the names, nationalities and addresses of the directors and shareholders, character references relating to the beneficial owners and a full description of the proposed company’s trading and/or investment activities.
RESTRICTIONS ON TRADING
A Jersey Exempt Company cannot trade within Jersey or undertake the business of banking, deposit taking, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, asset management (other than its own assets) or any other activity associated with the banking, finance and insurance industries.
POWERS OF COMPANY
A Jersey Company has all the powers of a natural person.
LANGUAGE OF LEGISLATION AND CORPORATE DOCUMENTS
REGISTERED OFFICE REQUIRED
Yes. Must be maintained in Jersey.
NAME APPROVAL REQUIRED
Yes, by formal request to the financial services department.
SHELF COMPANIES AVAILABLE
No, due to disclosure requirement of beneficial ownership and trading activities.
TIME SCALE TO INCORPORATE
Usually, five working days after submission of application to incorporate a company. Can also be incorporated in two hours as long as the applicant meets certain criteria, the name is approved and an additional payment of £ 40 is paid to the Financial Services Department.
A name that is similar to or identical to an existing company or registered entity. Names of well-known multi-national companies, without prior written consent. Names that imply illegal activities. Names that imply royal or government patronage, either local or foreign.
NAMES REQUIRING CONSENT OR A LICENCE
The following names or their derivatives: Jersey, bank, building society, savings, loans, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, building society, Chamber of Commerce, council, co-operative, trust, trustees, finance, international or their foreign language equivalent.
LANGUAGE OF NAME
The name of a Jersey registered company can be in any language using the Latin alphabet as long as the authorities are advised of the meaning on the name application form. The name application will then be granted, or otherwise, under the current guidelines regarding the use of certain words.
SUFFIXES TO DENOTE LIMITED LIABILITY
A company with limited liability must end its name with Limited or Ltd or with the French equivalent Sociètè avec Responsabilité Limitee or SARL.
DISCLOSURE OF BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP TO AUTHORITIES
Yes, before incorporation. If beneficial ownership changes the Financial Services Commission has to be informed immediately.
AUTHORISED SHARE CAPITAL
The normal authorised share capital is £ 10,000 or its foreign currency equivalent, although authorised capital may be nominal e.g. £ 2.
MINIMUM ISSUED CAPITAL
Equal to the value of the shares issued to the subscribers, normally two shares of £ 1 paid or its foreign currency equivalent. All issued shares must be paid in full in cash.
CLASSES OF SHARES PERMITTED
Registered shares, preference shares, redeemable shares, non-redeemable shares and shares with or without voting rights.
BEARER SHARES PERMITTED
Exempt Companies are exempted from all forms of Jersey taxation. Resident Jersey companies pay income tax at a rate of 20% on world-wide income.
DOUBLE TAXATION AGREEMENTS
Yes, with United Kingdom and Guernsey, but they only apply to resident individuals and companies.
Exempt companies pay an annual tax exemption fee of £ 600.
FINANCIAL STATEMENT REQUIREMENTS
Required for Resident Companies, not for Exempt, although the Financial Services Department reserves the right to call for accounts at any time.
The minimum number of directors is one; they must be natural persons. If a company has a sole director, the sole director cannot be the company secretary. The director may be of any nationality and need not be resident in Jersey.
A company secretary is required who can be a natural person or body corporate. Can be of any nationality and need not be resident in Jersey.
The minimum number of shareholders is normally two. However, if the company is to be a wholly owned subsidiary then only one shareholder is required.