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What requirements does the country of registration prescribe in respect of the directors and shareholders of an offshore company?

There are some offshore zones where there are no restrictions of any kind concerning either the directors or the shareholders. These include, for example, the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands and Belize. Companies may be set up here with the participation of a single director and a single shareholder of any nationality who may even be one and the same person. Other offshore locations do prescribe certain restrictions in respect of the directors and shareholders of ventures. These restrictions may be divided into two main groups:

  • Quantity restrictions . This means that the minimum number of directors or shareholders is defined. For instance, in the case of Panama, a company must have at least three directors.

  • Nationality restrictions . This is a provision expressly applying to the directors, the main purpose of which is to create jobs for the citizens of a given country. For instance, in the case of companies registered in Liechtenstein, at least one of the directors must be a resident of Liechtenstein.
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