Full reports on Gibraltar companies including details of company share capital, company shareholders, directors and secretaries, and charges.
One of the top financial centres in the world
Gibraltar is one of most dynamic and important offshore centres in the world, with a Companies Act based in the English law. As Gibraltar is a self-governing territory, there are different taxation laws than the UK. This low-tax scheme and many other benefits such as start-up incentives, the possibility of obtain a licence for financial services (regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission) and its strategic location made the number of incorporated Gibraltarian companies grow every year.
Strategic location for trading
Although Gibraltar is a member of the EU, the Port of Gibraltar (Gibraltar Harbour) is outside the European Customs Union, so it’s a good place to distribute goods to Africa and southern Europe countries such as Spain, Portugal and Italy, without Value Added Tax (VAT), Common Agricultural Policy and Common Customs Tariff. Tobacco, alcohol, motor vehicles and fuel are exempts of import duty (there are other goods with rates of 0%, 6% and 12%)
E-commerce, online gaming and gambling and other economy highlights
Many online gambling companies are incorporated in Gibraltar, because of the interesting tax law, the government promotion of Gibraltar as a top E-Business centre and very well developed technological infrastructure. The tax for the gambling corporations with online operations in Gibraltar is 10%. These companies employ many people in Gibraltar, helping to keep the unemployment rate very low: 2.5% of the approx. 12,700 people of labour force (30,000 residents total). Online companies in general feel comfortable in Gibraltar because of its good communications with undersea cables (some of them among the longest in the world). Other important sectors of the economy Gibraltar include shipping, bunkering, tourism, ship repairing, finance and tobacco. The three main export markets for Gibraltar are the United Kingdom, Spain and Germany.
There is a zero capital gains tax in Gibraltar, no VAT on goods or services and no stamp duty (up to 200,000 GBP). Regarding artwork, the import duty for all goods of this category (paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints, etc…) is 0%, which is making Gibraltar a new European Union centre for art trading. The government wants to make it an attractive destination for trading high-value art.
How companies in Gibraltar are structured
Companies in Gibraltar pay tax on income that is generated in Gibraltar or derived from Gibraltar, so both resident and non-resident companies benefit from this low tax regulation. A non-resident company must not remit income to Gibraltar and not trade there; the directors must not reside in Gibraltar, and the annual meetings must be celebrated elsewhere but in Gibraltar. The types of companies in Gibraltar are similar to those found in the UK, with some differences. They are incorporated under the Gibraltar Companies Act of 1930, and the most common type is Private Company Limited by Shares (approx. 98% of total companies in Gibraltar). Other types of legal entities include Public Companies Limited by Shares, Limited Partnerships, General Partnerships, Sole Proprietorships, Holding Companies, Foundations, Trusts, Private Limited Companies by Guarantee (non-profit companies), and Branch of Overseas Companies. As an alternative to a Private Company Limited by Guarantee, there is also a Company Limited by Guarantee having a share capital which is a mix between the two. A company with more than 50 members must be a Public Company. Banks and Insurance Companies are special companies regulated by the Gibraltar FSC and they are incorporated under special Ordinances.
Audit requirements for Companies in Gibraltar depending on the size
A company is considered small if the net turnover is less than 6.5 million GBP, total assets under 3.26 million GBP, and few than 50 employees. Medium companies have a turnover between 6.5 and 25.90 million GBP, total assets between 3.26 and 12.90 million GBP, and 50 to 250 employees, while large companies are those with a turnover in excess of 25.90 million GBP, assets over 12.90 million GBP and more than 250 employees.
The Audit requirements for small companies include filing of a balance sheet only. Medium companies have to file full annual accounts but the Profit & Loss account may be abridged. Large companies have to file full annual accounts.
The authorised share capital of a company is stated in the Memorandum of Association. The usual amount for shared capital is 2,000 GBP comprising 2,000 shares of 1 GBP each. The names of the subscribers (minimum 7 for a public company) appear listed in the Articles of association and the Memorandum. All companies in Gibraltar (whether they are resident or non-resident) must file an Annual Return and Annual Accounts every year. The Annual Return contains the details of shareholders and directors, and the Annual accounts contain different information depending on the size of the company. There are no Consolidated Accounts in Gibraltar, every company or subsidiary must file its own accounts.
Incorporating a company in Gibraltar
Many companies in Gibraltar are incorporated using the services of third party companies. These companies often provide services of nominee directors and secretaries. A private company limited by shares must have one director and can have no secretary. Even if the company is incorporated in Gibraltar, if the directors are residents outside Gibraltar, the country where they reside would consider them to be subject on tax income. Because of this, nominee director services are widely used in Gibraltar. Virtual offices are used as well, with full services including office address, mail handling services and telephone answering. Shared offices are available as well, and both virtual and physical spaces can have premium locations such as Main Street. Although the surface of Gibraltar is small, there are plenty of high quality office spaces and warehouses (for example to take advantage of the 0% import duty on artwork). If the company is involved in buying or selling products, it requires a trade license even when acting as a wholesaler. In general, any commercial activity requires a license issued by Department of Enterprise & Development. The license is also needed for a Customs Code in order to import goods.