Country code – BS
Legal basis – Civil law
Legal framework – Foundations Act 2004, Foundations (Amendment) Act, 2007
Regulatory board - Bahamas Financial Services Board
Entity – Private Foundation
Liability - The properties and resources of a Private Foundation constitute an independent patrimony from that of the Founders, the Foundation Council members, Protector, and Beneficiaries.
Endowment of assets – The minimum endowment of assets may not be less than US$10,000, or the equivalent in another currency, in assets or cash.
Founder – The founder is who establish the Foundation, it may be a legal or a natural person. Its details may be publicly disclosed.
Officers - At least one officer may be appointed before the registration of the Foundation, who may be a natural or legal person.
The Officers, in the absence of the Council, are the governing body of the Foundation. Their duties are primarily administrative rather than fiduciary in nature. Officers must exercise reasonable care and skill in the conduct of the affairs of the Foundation, including exercising due care and skill in the management and investment of the Foundation assets, and must act in accordance with the Charter and Articles. Officers can be held personally liable for their gross negligence, willful default or misconduct, fraud or dishonesty.
Foundation Council – The appointment of a Foundation Council is optional. However, where there are no Officers appointed, an appointment of a Council is mandatory. The Council may be formed by two or more natural persons, a legal person and one or more natural persons or a sole legal person. Council members need not be located in The Bahamas.
If there are no Officers of the Foundation other than the Agent, the Council shall perform the duties and may exercise the powers of the Officers.
Protector – The Protector, who oversees the foundation's council, is envisaged in respect of a private foundation but is optional. A corporate body may be the Protector. Protector's details are not publicly disclosed.
Beneficiaries – The beneficiaries of the Foundation have the right to confidentiality. Information cannot be disclosed to a third party without the express or implied consent of a beneficiary.
Beneficiaries' Right to Information - A beneficiary is entitled to receive on request information from the foundation in respect of the fulfillment of the objects of the foundation; To inspect and copy the charter and any amendments, any articles of the foundation and any amendments, any audit report, books of account, any report on the financial position of the foundation and the annual accounts, any minutes of any officers meeting or meetings of foundation council or other supervisory body.
Registered Agent – Each foundation must have a secretary or a foundation agent. The secretary/foundation agent must be resident in the Bahamas. If a foundation agent is not appointed to act, the secretary performs the agent's duties. A Bahamas based service provider must act in the capacity as secretary or agent.
Prior to Registration, the Foundation must have a registered office in The Bahamas, which is to be the address of the Secretary or the Agent.
Foundation Charter - The Charter document of the Foundation must include: the name of the Foundation; name and address of the Founder or, if the Founder is a legal person, the number and place of registration of the legal person and the address in the Bahamas for service of documents on the Founder; the purpose and objects of the Foundation; the endowment of the assets to be the initial assets of the Foundation upon registration and a statement of those assets; the designation of the beneficiary or the identification of a body by which the beneficiary can be ascertained, or a statement that the foundation has been formed to benefit the public at large; a statement as to whether the Foundation has been established for an indefinite period or for a definite period; the name and address in The Bahamas of the Secretary or the Agent; a statement that the Foundation’s total assets are not less than US$10,000 or the equivalent in another currency; the signature of the Founder in the presence of a notary public or the Secretary or, if the Founder is a legal person, the signature of the authorized persons in the presence of a notary public or the Secretary.
Foundation By-laws – The foundation by-laws are optional, and they may state the distribution of assets, identification of the beneficiaries, minimum assets to do distributions, identification of remaining beneficiaries upon a winding up of the foundation and the regulation of the governing bodies of the Foundation
General Meeting – The Foundation is required to hold at least one meeting of the Officers each year. The Founder, members of the Council and any other supervisory person are required to be notified of the annual meeting.
Re-domiciliation – Redomiciliation of foundations from other jurisdictions to the Bahamas is allowed, as well as, migration of Bahamas foundations to other countries.
Mergers - There is no ability for a Bahamian foundation to merge with any other entity.
Charitable/Philanthropic Purposes - Permitted.
Compliance – The Amendment requires the Foundation to keep such financial statements, accounts, and records as the Officers or Council deem necessary to reflect the financial position of the Foundation. Such records shall be kept at the registered office of the Foundation.
- Corporate founder permitted
- Corporate council members permitted
- Protector/Guardian required
- Local regulated person required
- Founder not disclosed in a public registry
- Council members not disclosed in a public registry
- Protector/Guardian not disclosed in a public registry
- Beneficiaries not disclosed in a public registry
- Beneficiaries have right to information
- Merge permitted
- Redomiciliation permitted
- Charitable purposes permitted
- Registered agent required
- Common law Legal basis
- USD 10,000 Initial endowment of assets
- 2 Minimum council members
- US$500 Registration fee
- US$500 Annual government fee
- 2018 AEOI
- Offshore Income Tax Exemption
- Offshore capital gains tax exemption
- Offshore dividends tax exemption
- CFC Rules
- Thin Capitalisation Rules
- Patent Box
- Tax Incentives & Credits
- Property Tax
- Wealth tax
- Estate inheritance tax
- Transfer tax
- Capital duties
- 0% Offshore Income Tax Rate
- 0% Corporate Tax Rate
- 0% Capital Gains Tax Rate
- 0% Dividends Received
- 0% Dividends Withholding Tax Rate
- 0% Interests Withholding Tax Rate
- 0% Royalties Withholding Tax Rate
- 0 Losses carryback (years)
- 0 Losses carryforward (years)
- 0% Personal Income Tax Rate
- 7.5% VAT Rate
- 31 Tax Treaties
The Commonwealth of the Bahamas consists of more than seven hundred islands (of which 24 are inhabited and more than 700 uninhabited), cays and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, is located to the north of Cuba and Dominican Republic, northwest of Turks and Caicos Islands, to the southeast of the state Florida and east of the Florida Keys. Geographically the Bahamas form, along with the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Lucayan Archipelago, also denominated by extension Bahamas.
It has a population of almost 400,000 inhabitants. Its capital and the most populated city is Nassau, located on the island of New Providence. Its official language is English, although the Bahamian Creole is widely spoken. Its official currency is the Bahamian Dollar, pegged to the US Dollar at an exchange rate of 1:1.
The Bahamas is a hereditary constitutional monarchy belonging to the Commonwealth of Nations. The British monarch, as head of state, appoints his/her representative, the Governor General. Executive power is exercised by the Cabinet, headed by the prime minister, an institution that appears in 1955 with the first parliamentary elections in the archipelago.
Legislative power rests on a bicameral parliamentary system. It is composed of sixteen members of the Senate (appointed by the Governor General) and forty members of the House of Representatives, elected directly by the population.
The Bahamas has an economy based on imports, tourism, and banking. Tourism alone accounts for more than 60 percent of GDP and employs directly or indirectly half the workforce of the archipelago.
Financial services are the second most important sector of the economy: about 15% of GDP.
Industry and agriculture contribute about one-tenth of GDP.
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