The number of Cayman-registered companies hit an all-time high last month, with 106,291 companies active on the registry as of Sept. 30.
According to recently released statistics from the General Registry, the number of companies has grown steadily since the end of last year, from 99,327 at Dec. 31 to 103,759 at the end of June, to its current level as of the end of last month.
The number of companies here exceeded 100,000 by March, the first time it has broken the six-figure level since the number of active companies reached a then-record 102,369 in September 2016 – that was shortly before taking a dip when around 8,500 were struck off the registry.
There have been about 1,400 new formations per month this year, which has the territory on path to set a record incorporations rate. The territory saw 13,046 companies register here last year, which was roughly a 17 percent increase over 2016 and the most since at least 2007.
Cayman is not the only offshore jurisdiction to see an uptick in company formations this year. Incorporations in the British Virgin Islands – the leading offshore jurisdiction for incorporations – hit a nearly three-year high in the first quarter of 2018, with 9,798 new companies forming there, according to recently released statistics from the BVI Financial Services Commission.
The Q1 performance was the BVI’s best quarter for company incorporations since the third quarter of 2015, when 11,951 new companies formed.
It also marks the first substantial uptick in company incorporations since the territory’s reputation suffered from the April 2016 reports on the Panama Papers – a trove of leaked documents allegedly showing BVI-registered companies being used for illegal activity.
Along with the uptick in new formations, the BVI also saw a major increase in its total number of active companies, from 389,459 in Q4 of 2014 to 432,529 in Q1 of this year (the number of total companies can increase more than new incorporations when previously dormant companies reactivate).
However, the long-term trend has Cayman’s company-formation sector growing, while the BVI’s has been shrinking. Whereas the BVI has seen its number of registered companies decline by nearly half – from around 800,000 in the mid-2000s to 432,529 as of the first quarter of 2018 – Cayman has seen an increase from 83,532 in 2006 to around 106,000.