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Executive Summary
Overlooking a Strait of Gibraltar, being located at the Southernmost point of the Iberian Peninsula, Gibraltar is a self-governing British overseas territory, which covers a total area of approximately 6.8 sq km. It boarders with Spain to the North, and due to its geographical position, Gibraltar has always had a strategic significance to the British Armed Forces and other political objectives. However, Spain is insisting on achieving a shared sovereignty status, to which the major part of Gibraltar’s inhabitants opposes

Gibraltar, the largest city, is the capital of the territory. English is the official language; Spanish is widely used in Gibraltar as well. Gibraltar became a part of the EU together with the UK in 1973. The Queen of the UK is the head of Gibraltar, who appoints and is represented by a governor. His role is mainly ceremonial, and he is not involved in solving and managing day-to day activities within Gibraltar. The UK is responsible for international affairs and defense of Gibraltar. A unicameral parliament is a legislative body, while government elected for a four-year term is an executive authority. Local inhabitants participate in the European Parliament elections as a part of the UK.

In the early 1980s the British naval dockyard was contributing 60% to the economy of Gibraltar, which in the last twenty years has decreased to approximately 7%. The economy of Gibraltar is now based on services, mainly financial industry and tourism. For import and export purposes Gibraltar mainly cooperates with major countries of the EU and Russia. Many shop chains and international banks have established their presence and operational offices in Gibraltar.

The Gibraltar Pound (GIP) is the national currency, which is a legal tender together with the Bank of England banknotes.

Geography
Being one of the most densely populated territories of the world, there is a constantly increasing demand for land reclamation, as only one tenth of Gibraltar’s area currently is a reclaimed land. Limestone constitutes the Rock, which raises at 426 metres above the sea level. Gibraltar’s flora and fauna is rich with diverse species. Olives and pines are the most common species of trees within the territory, while Gibraltar candytuft is the only place in Europe where this plant is found. The only wild monkeys found in Europe are frequently encountered in Gibraltar, even in the city. An old  legend states that if monkeys ever leave the territory of Gibraltar, so will the British. Other frequently encountered mammals are rabbits, bats and foxes; whales and dolphins are seen in the Bay of Gibraltar from time to time.

Pleasant mild winters and warm summers are characteristic to Gibraltar with its Mediterranean climate. The average summer temperature is approximately 23 degrees C, and the average winter temperature decreases to around 13 degrees C.

Map, Flag and Coat of Arm


Types of Company

Private Company Limited by Shares

This is the most widely used type of company. No more than 50 members can be registered in such a company.

Public Company Limited by Shares
This company may have more than 50 shareholders, and shares of this company may be offered to general public.

Company Limited by Guarantee
This type of company is appropriate for non-profit and charitable purposes.

Hybrid Company
A company which is limited by guarantee and has a share capital is called a hybrid company, which is appropriate in specific cases that must be analyzed on the individual basis.

Branch
A foreign company can register its branch in Gibraltar, which is then treated as a local company.

Holding company
Local legislation and taxation regime of Gibraltar make the jurisdiction attractive for incorporating a holding company there.

Taxation

Personal
Tax status of an individual is determined by his residence or non-residence rather than by his nationality. Residents are private persons who have accommodation within Gibraltar and are present in the jurisdiction during the year. They are generally taxed on their worldwide income. Gibraltar has adopted a “High Net-Worth Individual Status” to create a more favourable environment to wealthy individuals who are liable to pay a limited tax in a year. Expatriate executives or people with specialist skills may also obtain a favourable taxation scheme.

Income tax is payable on gains or profits made by employment, trade, business, dividends, interests, pensions, charges, maintenance, rents, royalties, premiums, and other types of income. However, no income tax needs to be paid on income earned in foreign countries which is not remitted to Gibraltar. Dividends which derive from investments quoted on stock exchanges or interests paid by financial institutions including banks licensed in Gibraltar are not taxed. Income tax has a progressive nature, depending on the amount of income gained during the year.

Diverse Social Insurance schemes are offered to people employed in different market segments to insure them against industrial casualties.

Corporate
Companies which are residents in Gibraltar follow its taxation regime and requirements. The resident status of a company is determined by the following factors: a company’s management is conducted in Gibraltar; a company which carries a business in Gibraltar, but the control of which is exercised from outside the jurisdiction by persons resident in Gibraltar. A non-resident company is a corporate entity incorporated in Gibraltar, owned by non-residents, the control and management of which is executed by non-resident directors. A non-resident company is liable to pay tax only on income derived from activities conducted on the territory of Gibraltar or remitted to the jurisdiction.

No capital gains nor sales taxes are charged in Gibraltar. Moreover, Gibraltar is a popular shopping centre, as all goods and services are offered free of VAT. Stamp duties are charged on certain transactions at different rates, and there is a property tax. Corporation tax is the main tax applicable to companies, and there are also withholding taxes. Dividends paid by one Gibraltar company to another Gibraltar corporate entity plus dividends and interests paid by a company to a non-resident entity are no longer taxed starting from 2005.

 
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