Offshore incorporations continue to grow

The Cayman Islands saw a 17 percent increase in new company registrations in 2014 over the previous year, according to a report released today by offshore law and fiduciary firm Appleby.

In 2014, 11,010 new companies registered in Cayman, noted the firm’s latest ‘On the Register’ report, which provides insight and data on company incorporations in eight offshore financial centers. With 1,500 more companies than in the previous year, Cayman stood out among offshore centers in terms of the percentage of new incorporations.

“Cayman was one of the hot spots for new incorporation activity in 2014,” said Richard McMillan, managing director of Appleby Trust (Cayman) Ltd. “With the increase in new registrations, the total Cayman registry is now poised to break through the 100,000 barrier for the first time in its history, with a total at year-end of 99,459 companies.”

Incorporations of exempted companies, entities where the proposed activities are to be carried out mainly outside the Cayman Islands, made up 91 percent of all new companies added to the register. Foreign companies, those incorporated outside the Cayman Islands but registered in Cayman, represent 5 percent of the total. The report found the annual number of foreign company registrations now shows 14 years of uninterrupted growth, with 592 foreign companies registered in Cayman last year.

In all offshore jurisdictions covered by the report, 93,159 new offshore companies were incorporated in 2014, slightly less than in the previous, as the level of new incorporations decreased only in the BVI and Isle of Man by 5 percent and 10 percent respectively. But despite slowing growth figures, the BVI is still the leader in the absolute number of new incorporations with 50,834 during 2014.

Mauritius is the fastest growing offshore jurisdiction for new incorporations with a 20 percent increase over the previous year.

“There are 672,500 companies now registered across the offshore jurisdictions in which we operate, some 45,000 more than there were five years ago in the immediate aftermath of the global recession,” said Farah Ballands, partner and global head of Fiduciary & Administration Services at Appleby. “Most offshore jurisdictions have had a good year, reporting increases to the total number of active companies on their registers of between 1 percent and 4 percent.”

Cayman also registered a record number of new partnerships last year, statistics released by the Cayman Islands General Registry show. The 2,893 new partnerships represented a 22.17 percent increase over 2013 and brought the number of active partnerships on the register to a record 15,528.

The report covers the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Mauritius and the Seychelles, as well as selected onshore countries.

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