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Executive Summary
The Cayman Islands are located in the Caribbean Sea and comprise Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, South of Cuba and North-West of Jamaica. Gorge Town is the capital of the Cayman Islands, which are a British overseas territory. Area of the Cayman Islands covers 260 sq km.

The Cayman Islands are one of few of non-self governing territories. However, a Legislative Assembly is elected by the population every four years, in order to conduct domestic affairs. It consists of fifteen seats, five of which are assigned to constitute a Cabinet, headed by the Governor, who is appointed by the British Government.

Population of the Cayman Islands enjoys the highest standard of living among other states in the Caribbean region. The Cayman Islands are an important international financial centre with a good reputation of banking business and hedge funds. The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority is responsible for supervising and regulating financial industry and its participants within the jurisdiction. Tourism is the major source of income, and almost all the tourists visit the island of Grand Cayman when they come to the country.

The Cayman Islands Dollar (KYD) is the national currency.

Geography
The Cayman Islands are an important link between Cuba and Central America. There are no fresh water resources on the territory of the country. Low-lying base surrounded by coral reefs and rocks is a characteristic landscape. The Bluff is the highest point of the Cayman Islands which raises at 43 m above the sea level.

The climate of the Cayman Islands is tropical marine with warm and rainy summers and relatively cool and dry winters. Hurricanes may occur in the period from July to November.

Map, Flag and Coat of Arm


Types of Company

Ordinary Resident Company
This type of company is appropriate for conducting a local business. Bearer shares are not allowed. The register of members must be held in the registered office, which is open to a public inspection. An AGM must be held. The name of the company ends with Ltd or Limited.

Ordinary Non-Resident Company
Similar rules as those applied to resident companies govern ordinary non-resident companies, with the exception that such a company’s business must be conducted outside the Cayman Islands. Together with an exempt company, these types of companies are usually chosen for offshore business purposes. A certificate of a non-residence status is issued by the financial authority and information on such a company’s shareholders must be provided. Financial accounts must be kept, but they need not be audited. Ordinary non-resident companies can be converted to exempt companies.

Exempt Company
An exempt company’s name does not end with Ltd or Limited words, as do ordinary non-resident companies’ names. Other differences from that type of company include the following: an exempt company may issue bearer shares, it need not hold shareholders’ meeting in the Cayman Islands, a list of shareholders need not be kept and submitted to the authorities on the annual basis, a certificate of Tax Exemption may be obtained. This type of company is often chosen for the purposes of collective investments.

Limited Duration Exempt Company
This type of company is different from an exempt company by the following traits: a limited duration of a company up to 30 years must be stated in the Memorandum of Association, there should always be at least two members, company’s management may be conducted by shareholders directly or a board of directors may be appointed for these purposes. The name of the company must include LDC, which means Limited Duration Company.

Foreign Company
Companies which are incorporated outside the Cayman Islands, but which wish to establish their presence within the jurisdiction, may register there as foreign companies. A company’s representative, a Cayman resident, must be appointed to act on behalf of the company. In addition, a copy of the company incorporation documents must be submitted in the English language, as well as the names and addresses of its directors. A company may redomicile from or to the Cayman Islands following precisely described procedures.

Limited Partnership

At least one general partner and a minimum of one limited partner form a limited partnership. A general partner is fully liable for a partnership’s obligations, while the responsibility of a limited partner is limited to the contribution made. In order to register a limited partnership, information on all the partners must be filed with the Registrar of Limited Partnerships.

Exempted Limited Partnership
A partnership may obtain an exempt status if it does not conduct business with public in the Cayman Islands. Tax Exemption certificated is issued for a period up to 50 years. Information on names of partners and their contributions to the partnership need not be submitted with the Registrar.

Trust
Trust legislation of the jurisdiction is based on English trust law. Only a company that has obtained a trust license must offer trust services on the Cayman Islands. Trusts need not be registered. However, those trusts which want to obtain an exempt status must be registered with the Registrar of Trusts.

Taxation


Personal
Individuals are not liable to income and other types of direct taxes in the Cayman Islands. The only taxes that are due to be paid are import duties at varying rates depending on a transaction, and stamp duties, the rate of which may raise up to 7.5% on real estate transfers and 1.5% on mortgages which exceed a certain value.

Corporate
There are no direct taxes applicable to companies of the Cayman Islands; rates of import duties and stamp duties vary depending on each particular transaction. However, a 10% government tax is applied on tourist accommodations, as well as each tourist must pay a small fee upon arrival.

 
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