The island of Nevis is where NTL started way back in 1994. Part of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, the island of Nevis has its own financial services sector, separate from that of neighbouring St Kitts. We like Nevis precisely because it’s a relatively unknown jurisdiction with a reputation for good regulation – it has successfuly avoided many of the scandals that have tarnished other IFCs. The Federation, whilst remaining part of the British Commonwealth undre Queen Elizabeth I, gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1983. Its status as a sovereign state, not under direct control from London, is increasingly important to our clients who are moving here from British Dependent Territories like BVI, Cayman and TCI. Nevis also has experience dealing with the US market. Its LLCs are particularly familiar for clients looking to do business with USA financial institutions, while American asset protection lawyers in the know generally agree that Nevis is one of the two jurisdictions in the world offering the strongest level of statutory asset protection.
An LLC formed under the Nevis Limited Liability Company Ordinance is a legal entity with separate rights and liabilities, distinct from its managers or members. Therefore, the LLC shall be liable for its own debts, obligations and liabilities. The LLC may be managed either by its members or by third parties.
The Nevis LLC is our clients’ preferred vehicle for both business and asset protection purposes given it completely avoids any tax complications by being tax transparent, and it offers greater flexibility and asset protection than a corporation, while being more readily understood worldwide than a trust. An LLC may be combined with other structures or with other LLCs for more complex planning solutions. Its simplicity and corporate personality makes international banks and financial services providers very comfortable with the LLC, thus facilitating account opening and full due diligence procedures in the shortest possible time.
The Nevis Business Corporation Ordinance was Nevis’ first international financial services legislation, passed in 1984. It was drawn up by US lawyers and based on the Delaware Corporation law model. It is Nevis’ version of the typical IBC or International Business Corporation and it has stood the test of time by offering flexibility and benefits to those seeking a traditional share-based corporate structure for their business or holding operations. Corporations are recognised and understood worldwide as being separate legal persons with rights and liabilities separate from those of their shareholders. Nevis also offers statutory confidentiality, broad powers and a fast and efficient registration process.
NTL’s excellent relationships with international banks mean that subject to full compliance with our strict know-your-customer procedures, it may be possible to form an IBC and open a bank account within 1-2 days. Kindly note that NTL no longer incorporates Nevis companies which plan to issue bearer shares.
The Nevis Multiform Foundation Ordinance, passed in 2004, created a new and innovative Nevis corporate entity based on the civil law ‘Foundation’ that is well known in jurisdictions such as Liechtenstein and Panama. While many Foundations are formed for charitable purposes, continental European families have been using Private Foundations for asset and succession protection since well before the second world war. A Foundation may provide an easier asset management tool particularly where assets or residence are located in civil law countries. They key difference between a Foundation and a Trust is that a Foundation, like a company or LLC, has its own separate and distinct legal personality, whereas a Trust operates under the legal personality of its trustee. A trust is frequently misunderstood and the very flexibility of a trust can lead to misunderstandings which may be solved by the use of a Foundation. The Multiform Foundation is a hybrid vehicle without owners managed by a supervisory board on behalf of its beneficiaries and according to a defined constitution. The Nevis Foundation is ‘multi-form’ because it may take the form of an ordinary charitable foundation, a private interest foundation, a trust, a company, a partnership or a tax-resident foundation and it may change its form during its lifetime.