Shares issued by an IBC (see below) that remain private to everyone except the holder or bearer. Bearer shares may be bought, sold or exchanged in secret.
Refers to the true owner of an entity or asset who does not nominally own the asset or entity itself.
An international business corporation (IBC) is an offshore company formed as a tax-free company that is not permitted to engage in business within the jurisdiction in which it is incorporated. Assets are held under a corporate name, which helps protect the owners’ privacy. Over 1 million IBCs have been formed worldwide.
An individual or entity that owns an asset nominally, but will not act unless instructed to do so by the beneficial owner. Many offshore locations offer nominee services whereby they provide a nominee to act as owner of an asset.
Refers to a jurisdiction that offers financial secrecy laws to attract investment from outside its borders. Used as a verb, offshoring describes the relocation of business processes from one country to another.
A conventional trust – whereby property is managed by one person for the benefit of another – that is formed in an offshore jurisdiction.
A personal investment corporation (PIC) is used in the banking industry to refer to an IBC. It is synonymous to an IBC.
Laws common to offshore locations that forbid financial institutions and advisors from divulging information about clients. A minimum penalty of one year imprisonment and a US$10,000 fine for any person divulging information is common in offshore locations.
A company that has engaged in no day-to-day activity, but was put on a “shelf” to age and to create an appearance of corporate longevity. Once a shelf company is purchased, bank and brokerage accounts may be set up in the name of the company.
A special purpose vehicle (SPV) is typically a subsidiary company whose operations are limited to the acquisition and financing of specific assets.
A country that provides a no-tax or low-tax environment. Tax havens also typically offer protection of personal financial information. The US National Bureau of Economic Research has said roughly 15% of countries are tax havens.