TBA & Associates

Incorporating in Cook Islands

Key corporate features

  • Type of company – International
  • Political stability – Good
  • Common or civil law – Common
  • Disclosure of beneficial owner – No
  • Migration of domicile permitted – Yes
  • Tax on offshore profits – Nil
  • Language of name – Latin or other alphabets
Corporate requirements
  • Minimum number of Shareholders / Members – One
  • Minimum number of Directors / Managers – One
  • Corporate Directors / Managers permitted – Yes
  • Company Secretary required – Yes
  • Usual Authorised Capital – US$5,000
Annual requirements
  • Annual return – Yes
  • Submit accounts – No (by resolution)
Local requirements
  • Registered Office/Agent – Yes
  • Company Secretary – Yes
  • Local Directors – No
  • Local meetings – No
  • Government register of Directors / Managers – Yes
  • Government register of Shareholders / Members – No
Recurring government costs
  • Minimum Annual Tax/License fee – US$300
  • Annual Return Filing fee – Nil
  • Requirement to file annual return – Yes

Trust Companies

A company is not permitted to carry on business in the Cook Islands as a trustee company unless it is registered pursuant to the provisions of the Cook Islands Trustee Companies Act 1981-1982.

Carrying on business as a trustee is widely defined and includes acting as trustee, executor or administrator.

The control of the registration of trustee companies lies with the Cook Islands Financial Supervisory Commission, which looks at the suitability of the applicant and the experience of this associated with the applicant. Minimum capitalisation requirements also apply.

General information

The Cook Islands comprises a group of 15 islands located in the South Pacific between Tahiti in the east and Samoa and Tonga in the west. The main island of Rarotonga is 3,000 km northeast of Auckland, New Zealand. The Cook Islands consists of two main groups, a southern group of nine “high” islands which are of volcanic origin and the northern group which comprises of six atolls. The majority of the population lives in the southern group.


Total population of the Island group is approximately 19,000. The indigenous population is Polynesian but English is spoken by most of the community.

Political structure

Great Britain proclaimed a Protectorate over the Cook Islands in 1888 and in 1901; the Islands were ceded to New Zealand. The Cook Islands became fully self-governing in 1965 under the Cook Islands Constitution Act 1964. Since obtaining self-government, the Cook Islanders have retained New Zealand citizenship. The Government has reaffirmed continuing support and encouragement for the development of Rarotonga as a financial centre.

There are two main political parties: the Democratic Alliance Party and the Cook Islands Party, which between them hold all seats in Parliament. Both parties support the Cook Islands status as an offshore financial centre. Executive authority is vested in Her Majesty the Queen. The Queen’s Representative is appointed upon the advice of the Cook Islands Government. Executive Government lies with a cabinet comprising the Prime Minister and nine other Ministers appointed by the Prime Minister. The Cook Islands has growing international stature and is a member of the South Pacific Forum, the Asian Development Bank and the Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

Infrastructure and Economy

The Cook Islands economy is primarily tourism based however there has been a substantial expansion in the offshore industry with the advent of innovative and progressive legislation to facilitate the establishment of a variety of offshore structures including international business companies, offshore banks, offshore insurance companies and wealth preservation trusts.

Air New Zealand operates various flights through Rarotonga to Auckland, Tahiti, Hawaii, Los Angeles and Fiji, which provide direct access to the United Kingdom, USA, South East Asia, Australia as well as Europe. Rarotonga has a satellite international telephone and facsimile system. Direct dialing to Rarotonga is available from most countries. Internet and e-mail access is also freely available.

Company information


The official language is English however Cook Islands Maori is spoken widely.


New Zealand Dollar.

Exchange control

Only in relation to certain dealings in New Zealand Dollars. There are no local restrictions on the movement of funds to or from the Cook Islands in other currencies and funds may be held and business transacted in the Cook Islands in any currency.

Type of law

Based on English Common Law.

Corporate legislation

The International Companies Act 1981-1982. Limited Liability Company Act 2008.

Type of company for international trade and investment

International Business Companies, which may be limited by share or by guarantee, or which may be no liability, unlimited companies and mutual companies.

Procedure to incorporate

Filing of Memorandum of Incorporation with the Registrar of International Companies by a licensed trustee.

Language of legislation and corporate documents


Restrictions on trading

Cannot trade within the Cook Islands or undertake the business of banking or insurance unless licensed under the Offshore Banking Act or the Offshore Insurance Act.

Powers of the company

A Cook Islands International company has the same powers as a natural person.

Shelf companies available

Yes, list upon request.

Time to incorporate

Three days.

Name restrictions

Anything identical to or similar to a company already incorporated.

Language of name

The name can be in any language but must be accompanied by a translation in English.

Suffixes to denote Limited Liability

Limited or Ltd.

Disclosure of beneficial ownership to government authorities



Issued share capital

There are no minimum requirements.

Classes of shares permitted

Preference shares, redeemable shares, shares with or without voting rights and shares of no par value.


International entities including International Companies are exempt from taxation. A fee of US$300 is payable on the registration of the company and US$300 annually thereafter.

Financial statements

All companies must lodge annual returns accompanied by audited accounts however this latter requirement can be dispensed with by company resolution.


The minimum number of directors is one. Directors may be either a body corporate or a natural person. They may of any nationality and need not be resident in the Cook Islands.

Company secretary

A Cook Islands resident secretary must be appointed.


The minimum number of shareholders is one.
Should you require additional information, request a quotation or clarify any related matter, please contact one of our consultants who will be happy to assist with your enquiries.

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Packages and Prices!


Year 1 Incorporation and service fees.
Optional Services (Bank Account opening, Nominee services, Certification of documents, amongst others).
Annual Renewal service fees for year 2 and subsequent years, to keep your company in good standing and full Compliant at all times.

Our company licensing services

— What we do and do not do

Our company is EXCLUSIVELY engaged in assisting worldwide clients, either individuals or corporate entities, to get duly and properly licensed with local Regulators and Financial Authorities to get respective official licenses to legally carry out their cryptocurrency or financial related business activities.

TBA & Associates Tax Business Advisors does not provide or carry out any sort of Cryptocurrency or Financial services!

Disclaimer: While TBA & Associates strives to make the information on this website as timely and accurate as possible, the information itself is for reference purposes only. You should not substitute the information provided in this article for competent legal advice. Feel free to contact TBA Customer Services for advice on your specific cases.

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