The natural interaction between the Internet and offshore stems from the fact that both naturally manage to avoid tax. Businesses which can operate on the Internet without, so to speak, touching ground in a high-tax jurisdiction will naturally migrate to offshore jurisdictions; while businesses that already have offshore existence will find it highly convenient to be able to use the Internet to trade with their high-tax customers without having to make a landing in their countries.
By locating websites in offshore jurisdictions to carry out functions previously based in high-tax jurisdictions such as sales and marketing, treasury management, supply of financial services, and most of all, the supply of digital goods such as music, video, training, software etc, businesses can take advantage of low rates of taxation for increasingly substantial parts of their operation.
In many countries, the distribution of goods from a warehousing facility does not constitute the carrying on of a trade or business in that jurisdiction, so that even for physical goods, in many cases, it will be possible to avoid a permanent establishment (taxable presence) altogether in many high-tax jurisdictions where trading activities currently take place.
As a rapidly-developing jurisdiction with modern legislation and attractive tax regimes, the Seychelles certainly has the opportunity to become a centre of e-commerce activity.
For information about the impact of e-commerce on a number of the main offshore activities which take place in the Seychelles, click on a link below to go to our specialist E-commerce site Offshore-e-com.com
To see an analysis of the current state of legal and tax issues surrounding offshore e-commerce, click here.