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At times we all need assistance. Whether you're looking for the best place to register your company or a physical office to open an offshore company anywhere in the world, or simply want to know the meaning of an offshore company, this is a great place to start. Browse commonly asked questions on offshore company formation below.
Do you have more questions? Read the answers to our most frequently asked questions below.
Is your question not listed? Contact us.

Additional Services Related Questions

What is a nominee director?

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The nominee director service may be used where a client doesn’t wish to be personally appointed or has to meet local requirements. The name of the director will appear in the corporate documents, in any business contract and sometimes in the jurisdiction's business register.

Upon appointment of a nominee director, a Nominee Service Agreement will be signed between the client and the nominee. It will guarantee the client that the nominee can only act or sign documents upon the client's request and with the client's prior approval. Professional directors introduced by SFM work with the highest level of integrity and confidentiality.

Please note that nominees conduct independent due diligence reviews before accepting an appointment on a company.

What is a nominee shareholder?

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The nominee shareholder is appointed in order to detain shares on behalf of the owner of the company. The name of the shareholder will appear in the corporate documents, and sometimes in the jurisdiction's business register.

Upon appointment of a nominee shareholder, a Nominee Service Agreement (declaration of trust) will be signed between the client and the nominee.
Nominee shareholders introduced by SFM work with the highest level of integrity and confidentiality.

Please note that nominees conduct independent due diligence reviews before accepting an appointment on a company.

Will a nominee director sign contracts, invoices, etc.?

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A nominee director may sign contracts (or other commercial documents) on behalf of a company if needed and provided that 1) the nominee director reviewed and consents to the signature of the said contract, and 2) to a fee per hour for the time needed to review and process the same. However, if you are not appointed as a director, you may still have full power to manage the company and its bank account as an attorney-in-fact via a power of attorney granted by the nominee director.

What is the Virtual Office?

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The Virtual Office allows your company to have an address in Geneva, London or Hong Kong and to receive mail there, which, in some cases, can lend more credibility to your company.

We offer three different types of Virtual Office:
  • Standard Virtual Office
    The Standard Virtual Office allows you to have a company address in Geneva, London or Hong Kong (with the mention "c/o") and to receive mail there.

    Thus, the address would read :
    "Company Name" c/o SFM
    Rue de Jargonnant 2
    1207 Geneva, Switzerland

    With or without a virtual office, your company will still have its registered address in the country of incorporation.
  • Virtual Office Premium
    The Virtual Office Premium allows you to have a company address in Geneva, London or Hong Kong and to receive mail there. The Virtual Office Premium includes the company name on the post box.

    Thus, the address would read :
    "Company Name"
    Rue de Jargonnant 2
    1207 Geneva, Switzerland

    With or without a virtual office, your company will still have its registered address in the country of incorporation.
  • Full Virtual Office
    The Full Virtual Office allows you to have a company address in Geneva, London or Hong Kong and to receive phone calls and faxes. The Full Virtual Office includes the company name on the post box, its own phone and fax number, telephone answering in the name of your company by a secretary and call forwarding.

    Thus, the address would read :
    "Company Name"
    Rue de Jargonnant 2
    1207 Geneva, Switzerland
    Tel : +41 22 …
    Fax : +41 22 …

    With or without a virtual office, your company will still have its registered address in the country of incorporation. Check out our virtual office services here

What does "creation of company logo" mean?

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Upon selection of this option, we will design and suggest five logos for your company. These logos can be designed according to the company's activity or without any theme in particular. You can choose one logo among the ones suggested. The logo will be sent to you in different formats and will be placed on the company’s letterhead and business cards prepared by us.

What does "creation of company stamp/seal" mean?

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Upon selection of this option, we will send you a stamp or seal bearing the company's name and address, as well as its logo, if this option was also selected.

What is the notarisation?

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The notarization is the official fraud-deterrent process conducted by a notary public commissioned by a public authority to help deter fraud. It is often a three-part process that includes vetting, certifying and record-keeping. Notarizations are sometimes referred to as "notarial acts." By notarizing a document by a duly commissioned and impartial notary public, this gives the assurance that a document is authentic, that its signature is genuine, and that its signer acted without duress or intimidation, and intended the terms of the document to be in full force and effect.

What is Apostille?

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An apostille is an international certification affixed either to the original legal document or to a notarized copy of the original legal document that allows to confirm the authenticity the signature, capacity and seal of the said document’s emitter. It is obtained and used in the countries part to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (“Hague Apostille Convention”). It eases the acceptance by authorities or regulated operators like banks of documents originating from another member State. For the full list of countries part of the Hague Apostille Convention, please check the following link : https://www.hagueapostille.co.uk/hague-members

Apostilles are affixed by competent authorities designated by each member State. For instance, in the United Kingdom (“UK”), the apostille is affixed by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office which is also known as the legalization office which can create confusion with the legalization procedure.

What is Legalization?

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The legalization is an alternate authentication procedure applicable mostly when the Hague Apostille Convention is not applicable. The procedure may vary from one country to another. Usually it implies that the document will be legalized by an authority of the originating country, such as the Foreign Ministry in some countries, which own authentication will then be legalized by the Embassy or Consulate of the receiving country. The representation’s certification may in turn be certified by Foreign Ministry. In practice, this means that the document must be certified several times – international legalization process may possibly consists in a sequence of 4 or more consecutive legalizations – by different authorities before the legalization may have a full legal effect in the country where the document ought to be used. This is the case, for instance, in the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) or Canada as these countries are not part of the Hague Apostille Convention.

Can I transfer my current company to another jurisdiction?

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Defining Company Migration, continuation and re-domiciliation


The process of Company Migration, sometimes referred to as Re-domiciliation or Continuation, refers to de-registering a company in one jurisdiction and re-registering in another jurisdiction.

As the name suggests, continuation has the advantage of continuity : while it is amending its registered address, the company doesn’t cease to exist; there is no interruption or disruption to business, and the company keeps its original date of incorporation. In a nutshell, the company continues to exist but has simply migrated to another jurisdiction!

Why do that ? simply because the original reasons why a company was incorporated in a particular jurisdiction might no longer be valid, and another jurisdiction may present advantages that the original jurisdiction does not.

It is clearly easier for a company to apply to continue in another jurisdiction than to wind-up the said company and transfer each individual asset, corporate contract or item of property to a new company.

The process is actually quite easy. Assuming that both jurisdictions allow the continuation procedure, the company would have to submit documents such as a special resolution confirming the company’s intention to migrate, the articles of continuation, a director’s solvency statement and a registered agent consent letter. Other documents may be required depending on the complexity of the case, but generally, the whole process can be completed in about 10 days.

Should you wish to re-domicile your company, please contact SFM. We have over 15 years of experience in this field.
Disclaimer: SFM Corporate Services and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Materials provided by SFM Corporate Services and www.sfm.com have been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, or accounting advisor with regard to your own tax, legal, or accounting scenario. Nothing on this webpage shall be construed as a contractual commitment or as a warranty. Services conditions are governed by the applicable terms and conditions.

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