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General

Turks & Caicos Islands' emergence as a major corporate domicile dates from the enactment of the Companies Ordinance 1981. The legislation was regarded as highly innovative and has been duplicated by other jurisdictions. The Ordinance continues to be amended to meet the changing demands of the international business community.

An existing overseas company may transfer its domicile to Turks & Caicos Islands where the laws of the overseas country do not prohibit such a transfer. A Turks & Caicos Islands company can transfer its domicile to an overseas country where the overseas country laws allow for such a transfer. Once a company is redomiciled to the Islands it is deemed to have been incorporated there under the 1981 Companies Ordinance.

The companies registry offers same day clearance of names, same day registration and extremely competitive registration rates. All names of companies require the prior approval of the Financial Services Commission to ensure that no name gives the impression of providing a public financial service without due licensing.

The law on ultra vires need not apply to Turks & Caicos Islands companies since there is no requirement under the Ordinance for a company to have an objects clause in its Memorandum. The legal consequence of this provision is that if no objects are specified then the company has power to carry on any business not prohibited by law.

There is no distinction between a private and public company under the law. However the shares of an exempted company cannot be offered to the public unless a prospectus is approved by the registrar of companies.

Forms of Business Organisation

Ordinary Resident Company

An ordinary resident company is often chosen for the purpose of conducting a business activity in Turks & Caicos Islands or owning a property there. At the end of the company name the word “Limited” or “Ltd” must be present. Annual returns must be filed, providing all the information on a company’s shareholders and directors. Incorporation fees depend on the authorised capital of a company.

Exempt Company

The business of an exempt company (also known as the International Business Company) must be carried outside the territory of the jurisdiction. This type of company is exempted from taxes and enjoys a major level of confidentiality. Different types of shares may be issued, including bearer shares and shares of no par value. Only one shareholder and one director may own/ administer a company. Shareholders, directors and secretaries may be resident or non-resident. Solely the information on a registered office and the Articles of Association are publicly available, all the other information is confidential. Accounts of this type of company need not be audited and filed. The only annual submission concerns the compliance of the exempt company requirements. Capital may be registered in any currency.

Limited Life Company

A limited life company unites characteristic traits of a company and partnership. The standard duration of the company must be limited to 50 years, while extension to 150 years is available on several occasions. Generally, a company is no longer existent upon occurrence of specifically outlined events. This structure may be managed by members or by managers. Members may have different levels of liability upon a company’s dissolution, which needs to be specified. A company’s name must end with “LLC” or “Limited Life Company”.


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