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Saint Kitts: Law of Offshore

Table of Statutes

This page was last updated on 12 Sept 2018.

This is a non-exhaustive list of the main St. Kitts and Nevis statutes affecting offshore and non-resident business. The statutes are listed in alphabetical order – click on one for a fuller description of the statute, the legal regime it forms part of and in some cases the text of the law.

Banking Act 1991
Captive Insurance Companies Act 2006
Citizenship Act 1984

Companies Act, 1996 (St. Kitts and Nevis)
Confidential Relationships Act of St Christopher & Nevis, 1985
Financial Services (Regulations) Order, 1997 (St. Kitts and Nevis)
Fiscal Incentives Act 1974

Foundation Act 2003
Hotel Aids Ordinance

Income Tax Ordinance (St. Kitts and Nevis)
Limited Partnerships Act 1996 (St. Kitts and Nevis)
Merchant Shipping Act 2002

Trusts Act 1996 (St. Kitts and Nevis)

Under the Financial Services Order 1997, which imposed a licensing and supervisory regime for all offshore financial services businesses, the National Assembly established a financial services department headed by a director general, whose responsibilities include monitoring the financial sector and examining the affairs or business of any authorized person to make sure of compliance with the law and determining whether the person being investigated is in a sound financial position and carrying on business in a satisfactory manner. The department's hierarchy is: (1) the Office of Superintendents, with superintendents for deposit-taking and investments, insurance and assurance, and trust and corporate business; and (2) the Office of Registrars, composed of registrars for companies, limited partnerships and trusts.

The law also sets minimum financial resources required by applicants to engage in deposit-taking, insurance and assurance, trust business, investment business, corporate, and holding companies. The minimums do not apply if a lawyer or accountant applies for permission to carry on corporate business. ‘Finance business’ is defined in the Order as being:

  • deposit-taking business (e.g. bankers, financiers, etc.)
  • investment business (e.g. stockbrokers, operators of collective investment schemes, etc.)
  • insurance business (e.g. insurers)
  • assurance business (e.g. insurance agents, insurance brokers, insurance managers, etc.)
  • trust business (e.g. professional trustees, protectors, etc.)
  • corporate business (e.g. nominee shareholders, professional directors, etc.).
Domestic businesses are however specifically excluded from the Order and must be licensed under the Banking Act or Insurance Act. The Multiform Ordinance allows among other features for the transformation of a trust into a foundation and for consolidation of entities.

 

 

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