The Seychelles group of islands in the Indian Ocean comprises over one hundred named islands, most being situated between four and five degrees south of the equator. The largest island is Mahé.
The Seychelles has a population of around 80,000, descended primarily from French settlers, Africans, British sailors and traders from India, China and the Middle East.
Discovery of the Islands is credited to the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama. The first French settlement was established on
In 1814 the Seychelles, along with Mauritius, were ceded to Great Britain under the terms of the Treaty of Paris. It was only in 1960 that the first gradual constitutional reforms were introduced.
The Seychelles had two main political parties during the 1960’s, the Seychelles People’s Progressive Front (SPPF) and the Seychelles Democratic Party (SDP). The two parties formed a Coalition Government in 1975 with Sir James Mancham, leader of the SDP, as President and Mr. France Albert Rene, leader of the SPPF as Prime Minister.
In 1977, Mr Rene was installed as President of the Republic. Multi-party elections took place in 1992, and presidential elections were held later in the year with Mr Rene retaining his Presidency, heading the executive arm of Government.
The legislative side of Government is headed by a National Assembly of directly elected Members. Seychelles is an independent republic within the British Commonwealth.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND ECONOMY
The Seychelles economy is primarily tourism and fishing based. Industrial fishing is on the increase and revenue is generated from production and the issue of licences to foreign tuna fishing vessels.
The rapidly expanding financial sector, linked to the establishment of the Seychelles International Business Authority and a suite of progressive laws facilitating the establishment of offshore structures and encouraging inward investment, is now a significant element of the economy. Take up in the Free Trade Zone is promising.
The Port of Victoria's quay has two deep-water berths extending some 370 metres, and there is adequate space for container handling. The port is well equipped with modern cargo handling equipment and has more than 6,000 square metres of covered storage space. In addition to this, up to six large ocean-going vessels can be accommodated in the outer harbour at any one time.
An ever-increasing number of international banks and insurance companies have established either branches or subsidiaries whom, together with local management, accounting and legal firms provide clients with support.
Other contributions to the economy come from the export of coconuts (copra) and cinnamon. The export of Seychelles copra (cocanuts) has increased greatly because of its high quality.
The Seychelles International Airport with its 3 km runway, and modern passenger and cargo facilities, is one of the finest in the Indian Ocean region. In addition to the national flag carrier, Air Seychelles, the airport is served by five other airlines, British Airways, Emirates Airlines, Air France, Lufthansa (Condor), Kenya Airways and Aeroflot. Regular scheduled services are to London, Paris, Frankfurt, Zurich, Rome, Madrid, Dubai, Bahrain, Nairobi, Singapore, Johannesburg, Reunion and Mauritius.
National and international telecommunications are provided by Cable and Wireless (Seychelles) Limited, part of Cable and Wireless PLC, London. The company has installed a special standard "A" earth station in Victoria and standard "D" earth stations on the other islands to give the Seychelles a state of the art telecommunications network.
The official languages are English, French and Creole. English is the main language of business.
There is no exchange control.
TYPE OF LAW
Based on English Common Law and French Civil Law.
PRINCIPAL CORPORATE LEGISLATION
The International Business Companies Act 1994.
TYPE OF COMPANY FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT
International Business Companies.
PROCEDURE TO INCORPORATE
Filing of Memorandum of Incorporation at the Registry. The Articles of Association can be filed either at the same time or within 30 days of incorporation.
RESTRICTIONS ON TRADING
Cannot trade within the Seychelles or own real estate there. Cannot undertake the business of banking, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, asset management (other than the company's own assets) or any other activity that would suggest an association with the banking and insurance industries. A Seychelles IBC cannot provide registered office facilities in the Seychelles, or sell its shares to the public.
POWERS OF COMPANY
A Seychelles incorporated Company has the same powers as a natural person.
LANGUAGE OF LEGISLATION AND CORPORATE DOCUMENTS
English or French. If any other language is used it must be accompanied by a translation in either English or French.
REGISTERED OFFICE REQUIRED
Yes, must be maintained in the Seychelles at the office of a licensed management company.
SHELF COMPANIES AVAILABLE
TIME TO INCORPORATE
Same day, but allow five days for delivery of documentation.
Anything identical or similar to a company already incorporated. Anything that implies patronage of the Seychelles, or any other government, insurance, royal, imperial or any other name that may imply that a company intends to undertake a licensable or undesirable activity.
LANGUAGE OF NAME
The name can be in any language, but must be accompanied by a translation into an official language.
SUFFIXES TO DENOTE LIMITED LIABILITY
Limited, Corporation, Incorporated, Sociètè Anonyme or their abbreviations. Other suffixes such as BV, GmbH, SARL may also be used.
DISCLOSURE OF BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP TO AUTHORITIES
AUTHORISED AND ISSUED SHARE CAPITAL
Seychelles IBCs are normally incorporated with an authorised share capital of US€ 5,000 with par value. This being the maximum for the minimum licence fees. The authorised share capital may be expressed in any currency. The minimum issued capital is either 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 International Company is exempted from local taxation.
For an Authorised Capital:
FINANCIAL STATEMENT REQUIREMENTS
There is no requirement to file financial statements, but a company must keep records to reflect its financial position.
The minimum number of directors is one, who may be natural persons or bodies corporate. They may be of any nationality and need not be resident in the Seychelles.
A Seychelles IBC need not appoint a company secretary, although it is customary to do so. The secretary may be a natural person or body corporate, be of any nationality and need not be resident in the Seychelles.
The minimum number of shareholders is one.
OTHER FACILITIES AVAILABLE IN THE SEYCHELLES:
In addition to a modern suite of corporate legislation the Seychelles benefits from a range of other facilities including:
An Industrial Trade Zone for manufacturing and service companies, benefiting from zero taxation, streamlined application procedures and the ready availability of work and resident permits.