Jersey Companies may undertake any lawful activity. Typically they are used for such purposes as:
- Investing in property, securities and other assets
- Acting as a group holding company
- Holding and exploiting patents and copyrights
- Facilitating the collection of commissions and consultancy fees
- Employing an internationally based work force
There are, however, strict regulations governing the undertaking by Jersey companies of certain sensitive activities, including the provision of regulated financial services.
The Companies (Jersey) Law 1991 (as amended) (“the Law”)
The Law, which has been updated considerably in recent years, has been simplified in order to provide increased flexibility with the intention of further encouraging the use of Jersey companies worldwide.
- The Law allows companies incorporated in Jersey to have one share in issue (bearer shares are not permitted)
- Shares are invariably held in trust by nominees to the order of the beneficial owner(s) of the company
- The beneficial owner’s details (which must be supplied to the Jersey Financial Services Commission) are kept on a confidential register, and are not a matter of public record
- A Jersey company requires a minimum of one director (who may be resident in Jersey or elsewhere) and a secretary
- Corporate directors and corporate secretaries are allowed
- Under the Law, there is no doctrine of “ultra vires”, companies enjoying the same powers as a natural person to pursue their activities
- A standard table of Articles of Association is available
Taxation of companies in Jersey
- Until 3 June 2008 Jersey registered companies owned by non-residents of Jersey could apply to be exempt from tax in Jersey, paying a flat rate fee of £600 per annum, provided professional certification is given by 31 March in each year that the company is beneficially owned by persons who are not resident in Jersey.
- With effect from 3 June 2008 the States of Jersey have implemented a zero/ten tax regime, whereby financial services entities owned by Jersey residents pay a special corporate income tax at 10% with Jersey Registered Companies owned by non-Jersey residents being zero rated.
Limited Life Companies
Jersey companies may be incorporated with a limited or set period of existence. On incorporation, the company’s “lifespan” is defined by specifying a liquidation date in the Articles of Association, or by specifying the occurrence of a particular event. Such companies are granted favourable treatment by a number of revenue authorities in that they are regarded in the same manner as a partnership (as opposed to a corporation).