Niue, which is one of the world’s largest coral islands, is located in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Tonga. The Capital, Alofi, is the administrative and commercial centre of Niue. The island has a total area of approximately 260 sq. km
Under 2,300 people, 90% of which are of Polynesian descent. The other 10% of the population are made up of peoples of European and Tongan descent.
Niue is a self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand. It is fully responsible for its own internal affairs, with New Zealand retaining responsibility for external affairs. Niue is a British Commonwealth Associate Member, and enjoys the protection of the British Crown.
The Niue Assembly comprised 20 members, 14 of which are elected by local constituencies and six by common roll. The Head of Government is the Premier who is elected by the Assembly. The Premier chooses the Cabinet, which consists of the Premier and three other Ministers.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND ECONOMY
Most Niueans work on family plantations. Other sources of employment include the Government, the financial sector, tourism and small industry.
The economy of Niue is heavily dependent on aid from New Zealand. Government expenditure regularly exceeds revenue, with the shortfall made up by grants from New Zealand. The grants are used to pay wages to public employees.
The Agricultural sector consists mainly of subsistence gardening, although some cash crops are grown for export. Industry consists primarily of small factories to process passion fruit, lime oil, honey and coconut cream. The sale of postage stamps to foreign collectors is an important source of revenue.
In recent years, the Island has suffered a serious loss of population caused by the migration of Niueans to New Zealand.
Polynesian, but the official commercial language is English.
The currency of the financial centre is the US€.
TYPE OF LAW
Common Law based on the English system.
PRINCIPAL CORPORATE LEGISLATION
International Business Companies Act, 1994.
TYPE OF COMPANY FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT
International Business Company.
PROCEDURE TO INCORPORATE
Submission by the Registered Agent of Memorandum and Articles of Association to the Companies Registry.
RESTRICTIONS ON TRADING
IBCs cannot trade within Niue or own local real estate. Forbidden and licensable activities include: insurance agency and brokerage, fund management and asset management (other than the management of their own assets). They cannot solicit funds from the public or offer their shares to the public.
POWERS OF COMPANY
An International Business Company has all the powers of a natural person.
LANGUAGE OF LEGISLATION AND CORPORATE DOCUMENTS
The legislation is in English. The corporate documents can be in any language, provided they are accompanied by a certified translation in English.
REGISTERED OFFICE REQUIRED
Yes, must be maintained in Niue at the address of a licensed management company.
NAME APPROVAL REQUIRED
On payment of a small fee, names can be reserved for thirty days. Names can also be reserved for 72 hours free of charge.
SHELF COMPANIES AVAILABLE
TIME TO INCORPORATE
Two days, but allow a further five working days for delivery of the documentation from the Registry.
A name that is identical to an existing company, a name that contains the words: assurance, bank, building society, Chamber of Commerce, chartered, co-operative, imperial, insurance, municipal, royal, trust company or trustee company. A name that is, in the opinion of the Registrar undesirable, or a name that implies patronage of the Royal Family or the Government.
LANGUAGE OF NAME
The name can be in any language, but must be accompanied by a Certified Translation in to English to ensure that the name is not restricted.
SUFFIXES TO DENOTE LIMITED LIABILITY
Limited, Corporation, Incorporated, Sociètè Anonyme, Sociedad Anónima, Company, Limitada, Sociètè par Actions or Aktiengesellschaft or the relevant abbreviations.
DISCLOSURE OF BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP TO AUTHORITIES
AUTHORISED AND ISSUED SHARE CAPITAL
The standard authorised share capital is US€ 10,000 divided in to 10,000 shares of US€ 1. The authorised share capital can be expressed in any currency, or in a mixture of currencies. 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, shares of no par value, preference shares, redeemable shares and shares with or without voting rights.
BEARER SHARES PERMITTED
An IBC is exempted from local taxation.
DOUBLE TAXATION AGREEMENTS
The annual licence fee is US€ 150.
FINANCIAL STATEMENT REQUIREMENTS
There is no requirement to file financial statements. A company is required to keep financial records for the benefit of members.
The minimum number of directors is one, who may be natural persons or bodies corporate, be of any nationality and need not be residents of Niue.
The legislation does not refer to the office of company secretary although it is customary to appoint one to facilitate signing obligations.
The minimum number of shareholders is one.