Vanuatu: Types of Company
Companies formed under the Companies Act may be 'exempted' (from public disclosure requirements) if they do not:
- conduct business in Vanuatu other than in pursuance of their international business;
- offer shares to the public in Vanuatu; or
- own an interest in any non-exempt companies operating in Vanuatu.
Exempted Companies which carry on the businesses of banking, insurance, trusteeship or selling securities must file the same documents as Local Companies and file audited accounts.
Other Exempted Companies need not be audited nor file annual accounts, and the Annual Return is simpler. There is no public file for Exempted Companies.
The Registrar’s Office cannot show documents in respect of any Exempted Company except under a Court Order, or at the written direction of the Exempted Company.
Annual registration fees (at the time of writing) are required ranging from VT 50,000 on authorised capital up to VT 50m, up to VT 250,000 on capital over VT 300m.
Exempted companies are the usual form of choice for offshore financial institutions, since International Companies (see below) cannot hold banking, trust or insurance licenses, although they can hold the shares of Companies Act companies with such licenses. See Offshore Business Sectors for details of the licensing regime for financial institutions.