Chinese character names can be used in addition to English names which can be included in the company’s Certificate of Incorporation. Dual language “Certificates of Good Standing” (i.e. English with translation into any foreign language, including Chinese), can be issued. These multi language capabilities are in direct response to market demand to minimize the cost and delay caused when translations are required because a company is trading in non English jurisdictions. Companies may pay their license fees for 5, 10 or 20 years in advance to enjoy considerable administrative and financial advantages.
Apart from the annual government license fee, there is no corporation tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax or any other form of tax levied on an international company conducting business outside of Samoa.
There is no requirement to file annual financial statements or to lodge an annual return, and the shareholders may agree not to appoint an auditor.
All Samoan companies must have a Registered Office and a Registered Agent in Samoa, which we are able to provide. A minimum of one director and one shareholder (who can also be the director) is required. Corporate directors /shareholders are permitted, and there are no residency requirements.
There are no details of directors/shareholders appearing on the public record, but a register of directors/shareholders must be kept at the company’s registered office in Samoa.
A Secretary, which may be a corporate entity is also required, however there are no residency requirements for the company secretary.
This new independent body is administered by a board of directors and managed by a chief executive officer. The authority assumes the responsibilities of a one stop regulatory shop which is in accordance with accepted international standards for banking, insurance and corporate service provider regulation.
Samoa’s International Finance Centre legislation currently comprises:
- Samoa Trustee Companies Act 1987
- Samoa International Companies Act 1987
- Samoa International Trusts Act 1987
- Samoa International Insurance Act 1988
- Samoa International Partnership & Limited Partnership Act 1998
- Samoa Segregated Fund International Companies Act 2000
- Samoa International Authority Act 2005
- Samoa International Banking Act 2005
- International Mutual Funds Act 2008
- Electronic Transactions Act 2008
- Samoa Special Purpose International Companies Act 2012
Strong confidentiality provisions apply in the International Finance regime requiring Government officials as well as trustee company employees to observe secrecy. These provisions are backed by penal sanctions. The International Finance Centre registries are not open for general public search although the Registrar is empowered to allow searches of and provide copies of the memorandum and articles of association of an international company if so requested. The Registrar administers these confidentiality provisions strictly.
Samoa’s anti-money laundering regime was established in 2000 and currently comprises the Money Laundering Prevention Act 2007, the Proceeds of Crime Act 2007, the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 2007 and the Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism Act 2002.