Bermuda: Types of Company
If a company incorporated outside Bermuda intends to open a branch or actively trade within Bermuda, it must first obtain a permit issued by the Minister of Finance. Whether an overseas company requires a permit is frequently a question of fact to be determined in the light of those activities which are intended to be carried on by or on behalf of the company in or from Bermuda. An overseas company is not normally considered to be trading within Bermuda unless it occupies premises there.
The application procedure takes up to 10 days and involves an application to the Minister accompanied by fairly extensive information about the company, its owners, and the proposed trade.
A permit company usually carries on its business in the same way and is subject to the same rules as an exempt company. Bermuda representatives must be appointed and the Registrar must be notified of the relevant particulars. A permit company must keep adequate records although they do not need to be filed except in the case of a permit company which is registered as an insurer.
A permit company pays an annual fee of USD1,995 (at the time of writing) or, for insurance and finance companies, and open-ended mutual fund businesses, USD4,125. If a permit is issued after the 31st October in any year, the fee payable for that year is reduced by 50%.
Like an exempt company, a permit company may apply for exemption from future taxation for a period ending not later than the 26th March, 2035.