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Open a Bank Account in Cayman Islands

Updated on Friday 31st May 2019

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Open-a-Bank-Account-in-Cayman-Islands.jpgSetting up a Cayman Islands company is a simple process and many foreign investors choose to set up a company here. Opening a business bank account is a subsequent step after the formation of the legal entity and individuals and entrepreneurs can choose between the various bank branches that offer their services.
 
In order to open a bank account in the Cayman Islands for a legal entity, registered either in the Islands or in another location, the applicant will need to provide relevant documentation. 
 
The Cayman Islands offer not only different business advantages, most notably the lack of tax for locally registered companies, but also a high level of banking safety and professional services. The concept of banking secrecy is not necessarily the one understood by many who refer to the Cayman Islands as a tax haven. The Islands have signed a number of bilateral agreements for the automatic exchange of financial information and this is relevant to citizens for signatory states who open a non-resident bank account. The reporting obligations do not apply in case of countries that have not signed this type of bilateral agreement. 
 

How to open a business bank account

 
The steps briefly described below apply to most business owners who open a bank account in the Cayman Islands:
 
  1. find a bank: there are several available options in the Cayman Islands and you can choose based on fees, the number of branches and ATM, special offers and others.
  2. ask for special requirements: some banks may require special documents from the home country that also has an apostille; one of our agents can help you during this step. 
  3. prepare the company documents: these will include the certificate of incorporation, the articles, and memorandum of association and the financial statements, business plan, annual report, auditor’s reports, etc.
  4. prepare the beneficial owner’s documents: passport copies and information about the residential address.
  5. references: in some cases, professional references from previous banks or from an accounting or law firm may be required.
 
When the business of the company takes place in the Cayman Islands, a copy of the Trade and Business License will be required. A certificate of good standing will also be required for companies that are older than one year. The bank may require that the company documents are certified by a notary public.
 
Bank accounts can be opened by e-mail in most cases. The company directors can be involved in the process, however, one of our agents who specialize in Cayman Islands incorporation can handle this step as part of opening a company. Non-residents who wish to open a bank account for personal purposes apart from the one used for their registered business in the Islands can talk about this matter with one of our banking specialists.
 
Bank commissions in the Cayman Islands will include those related to the maintenance of the account, fees for wire transfers, those for issuing a debit or credit card and different other fees. The account can be opened in any international currency. A minimum deposit can be required.
 

Advantages of having a bank account in the Cayman Islands

 
The Cayman Islands offer significant advantages in terms of company formation and taxation. The Cayman Islands exempted company is the preferred business form and the one that has the most notable advantages for foreign investors.
 
Some of the advantages of opening a bank account in the Cayman Islands include the following:
 
  • Completely legal: opening a bank account in the Cayman Islands is legal and it is not associated with an unlawful business.
  • Low costs: the costs for the maintenance of the bank account are low, however, they do depend on the chosen bank branch,
  • Financial services availability: account holders have access to a large number of financial services and can open foreign currency accounts.
  • Banking anonymity: this is granted to citizens of countries that have not signed a bilateral agreement with the Cayman Islands.
 
The Cayman Islands is part of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of the United States (which reports the activity to the Internal Revenue Service) and also a signatory in a number of bilateral treaties for the exchange of financial information. This means that although the country does retain important tax advantages, however, individuals who open bank accounts are to be regulated as per the treaties in force.
 
One of our specialists in Cayman Islands incorporation can give investors more details on the process of opening a business bank account and the requirements for locally registered and non-resident companies.
 

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