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What should the size of the company's registered capital be? How can or should it be paid up?

When analysing this requirement, the effects of the two types of legal systems (continental and British-American) on the different territories can be observed.

  • In countries where legislation is based upon British roots, the system of requirements is much more flexible. This is particularly true of the offshore zones situated in the Caribbean Sea region. For instance, in the Bahamas, the standard registered capital of the company is USD 5,000. In respect of the laws of that territory, this is the so-called nominee registered capital which need not be made available for the company through payment to a special bank account. The same applies to the British Virgin Islands where the standard registered capital is USD 10,000 but the payment thereof is not compulsory either. This means that these companies can be formally set up with a few thousand dollars' worth of capital without actually possessing a single cent on foundation.

  • In the countries of the second group (as a consequence of the effect of continental law) both the rate and the method of payment of the registered capital are defined precisely. This is the case, for instance, in Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Hungary where the registered capital must not only be subscribed by the owners but is also required to be paid into a special bank account of the company, and any non-cash contribution is required to be made available for the company.
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