Saint Kitts: Offshore Legal and Tax Regimes
Regulation of Trusts
LLike all offshore finance businesses in the Federation, trust management companies need authorisation under the Financial Services (Regulations) Order, 1997. Under the Order, applicants wishing to establish a trust business handling both unrestricted and restricted business must have net assets of EC$540,000 (US$200,000) or its equivalent in other currencies, reduced to EC$54,000 (US$20,000) for restricted business.
The St. Kitts and Nevis Trusts Act 1996 was a replacement for the 1961 Trustee Ordinance modelled after the 1925 English Trusts Act, and also contains modern asset protection provisions.
Nevis trusts are formed under the Nevis International Exempt Trust Ordinance of 1994, as amended to September 2000. The Trust Ordinance includes special provisions to enhance the use of Nevis as a preferred jurisdiction for the establishment of asset protection trusts.
Nevis trusts are exempt from all forms of taxation and exchange controls provided that transactions take place only with non-residents. The trustee may be either a trust company licensed to do business in Nevis or a company incorporated under the Corporation Ordinance (i.e. an international business company). There is no registration requirement other than for the trust's name, name of the trustee and the registered office address.
A bond of US$25,000 is required before an action or proceeding against trust property may begin.