Offshore company formation in Marshall Islands

General features

British Naval Captain John William Marshall gave his name to the area now known as the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) which is located in the Pacific Ocean, and is part of the larger island group of Micronesia, comprised of many individual atolls and islets lying north of the Equator. The population of over 60,000 is spread over 70 square miles of small coral islands, where the largest and most populous atoll is Majuro, which acts as the islands capital.

At different stages in their history, the Marshall Islands were a colony of Spain until 1885, a colony of Germany from 1917, and a colony of Japan until 1944. After 1945 the islands had the status of a territory ruled by the United States of America.

In 1986, independence as a sovereign nation was attained under a Compact of Free Association with the United States. As a result of this the local currency is the US dollar, with English and Marshallese being the islands two most widely spoken languages.

Currently, the Marshall Islands is a democratic and independent state, which has had no legal reform in the last 12 months. The foundation of the legal system in the Marshall Islands partially derives from the legislation of Delaware State, which ensures friendliness and flexibility of the legal infrastructure towards the business community, making it a suitable choice for international corporations, Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies in various capacities.

The Republic of the Marshall Islands maintains a politically stable, democratically elected parliamentary system of government, consisting of two legislative chambers which elect the President from among their members for a four-year term. The jurisdiction has one of the biggest ships registers so would be the perfect location for companies that are planning to own and manage yachts and ships.

Corporate information

General information

  • Total area – 181 sq. km
  • Population – 70,000
  • Political status – Republic
  • Capital – Majuro
  • Official language – English, Marshall
  • Official currency – USA Dollar (USD)
  • Time zone – GMT +12

Company type

Non-resident Domestic Corporation.

Directores / Officers

Marshall Islands non-resident companies require a minimum of 1 Director, who may be a natural person or a corporate body from any legal jurisdiction. Each Marshall Islands company must keep information on its Directors with the Registered Agent.


Marshall Islands non-resident companies require a minimum of 1 shareholder, who may be a natural person or a corporate body from any legal jurisdiction. Each Marshall Islands company must keep information on its shareholders with the Registered Agent.


Marshall Islands non-resident companies require a minimum of 1 Secretary, who may be a natural person or a corporate body from any legal jurisdiction. Each Marshall Islands company must keep information on its Secretary with the Registered Agent.

Authorised and issued share capital

Standard authorised capital = USD 50,000. There is no statutory requirement for capital to be fully or partly paid on incorporation.

Company names

The name of a Marshall Islands non-resident company must end with the words “Incorporated”, “Corporation”, “Limited”, or suffixes such as “Inc.”, “Corp.”, “Ltd.”, “S.A.”, “GmbH”, etc. Company names containing restricted words such as “Bank”, “Insurance”, “Trust”, “Assurance”, “Imperial”, “Royal” etc. will not be permitted unless an appropriate national operating license has been obtained by the company.

Beneficial ownership information

Information with regard to ultimate beneficial ownership must be disclosed to the Registered Agent of the company and is held by the agent on a confidential basis.

Filing of annual return

There is no requirement to file an Annual Return.

Filing of financial statements

There is no requirement to file financial statements in the Marshall Islands for non-resident companies.

Corporate taxation

Marshall Islands non-resident companies are not subject to corporation tax in the Marshall Islands.

Tax treaties

Marshall Islands has not entered into any Double Tax treaties with other countries.

Restrictions on Marshalls Islands companies

Prohibit from carrying on any business with persons residing in Marshall Islands. Prohibit from carrying on business of or undertaking any activity that is associated with the banking or insurance industries.

Key benefits

Why incorporate a Marshall Islands offshore company?

A Marshall Islands company formation is a very flexible, tax-free structure, with few restrictions on the business that the company can engage in.

A Marshall Islands company cannot trade within the Marshall Islands. They cannot undertake the business of banking, trust services, insurance, assurance or reinsurance.

Among other advantages, a Marshall Islands company does not have the tainted ‘tax haven’ reputation that is associated with many other offshore jurisdictions.

Known as a highly versatile jurisdiction for conducting international business, incorporating a corporation, LLCs and partnerships in Marshall Islands offers the following benefits:

Exceptionally fast incorporation time of only one business day.
All LLCs partnerships and corporations registered by non-residents and receiving its income outside the jurisdiction are statutorily exempt from taxation.
No currency exchange control and capital can be expressed in any currency.
Extremely low share capital required for incorporation of only $1 USD.
Require a minimum of one Shareholder, one Director and one Secretary.
They can be the same person.
No requirement for residency of Directors or Shareholders, who can be of any nationality and located anywhere in the world.
No requirement for filing of company financial accounts or audit in the Marshall Islands.
High level of confidentiality and in terms of potential risk of information disclosure to foreign Governments, the Marshall Islands is probably one of the most secure and confidential offshore jurisdictions.
A visit to Marshall Islands is not required to form your company.
Competitively priced and inexpensive to administer.
Simple maintenance: no annual filings.
Migration of domicile permitted both into and out of the jurisdiction.

Main uses of a Marshall Islands offshore company

Tax planning – Offshore tax

A Marshall Islands company formation may be used to legitimately minimize tax by properly structuring financial and business affairs.

Professional services

A person working overseas may be able to limit his tax burden by receiving, into the country in which he is working, a fixed level of remuneration and accumulate the balance in an offshore company. Similarly, designers, authors, consultants and entertainers may assign or contract with an offshore company the right to receive fees due under a contract for services.

Inheritance planning

People who travel the world and expatriates often find that their connections with foreign countries create uncertainties and undesirable consequences for their wealth on their death. The transfer of wealth to an offshore company (again, there are no MI trusts) can avoid these difficulties, the wealth is protected in a stable environment well away from the unwanted attentions of the tax and inheritance laws of foreign jurisdictions.

Where a person is domiciled outside a territory and owns assets located in that territory (e.g., property), then such assets may be protected against inheritance tax and higher rates of taxation by holding the assets through an offshore investment company.

Confidentiality offshore companies can offer you complete privacy. If the company shares are held by a Trust, the ownership is legally vested in the trustee, thus gaining the potential for even greater tax planning advantages.

Estate planning

You can set up family and protective Trusts (possibly as an alternative to a Will) with an offshore company for accumulation of investment income and long-term benefits for beneficiaries without high income, inheritance or capital gains taxes.

Conduct business with low or no corporate taxes

Certain countries such as Marshall Islands allow the formation of international companies with no tax or reporting responsibilities. This means you save money not only from zero corporate tax, but also from reduced compliance and other regulatory costs. Asset Protection.

High net worth individuals gain privacy and save on professional fees by using offshore companies as Personal Holding Companies. These entities may be suitable for inheritance planning and reducing the costs and time delays in probate.

You can protect your assets by setting up an offshore company in combination with a Trust. Choosing the right country to incorporate an offshore company can help you avoid unnecessary and high taxes that would otherwise be payable if the assets were held directly. It can also help protect assets from creditors, adverse claimants and other parties; or help you secure against future claims such as bankruptcy, judgment creditors and other litigants.

Investment companies

The offshore company is investing in property, stocks and shares, commodities and other assets, while providing anonymity and tax savings. Funds accumulated can be invested or deposited throughout the world, although the funds may be subject to the tax regimes of the countries in which the investments are located. There are countries with tax free bonds or bank deposits where interest is paid gross.

Shipping companies ships or yachts may be owned by an offshore company and registered in an offshore jurisdiction which can prove cheaper and more tax efficient method of ownership.

Overseas property

Simplification of transfer of properties held in several countries: if you own properties in several different countries, you will understand that the sale or probate of properties can get complex and expensive. If an offshore company collectively holds these properties title, the ownership can be transferred by company shares rather than transferring the actual properties.

Many of the difficulties and expenses associated with investment in overseas property, such as holiday villas, may be avoided through the use of an offshore company to hold the title of the property. Sales of the property at a future date can be dealt with quickly and easily by the sale of the company shares to the purchaser. This also saves legal fees and overseas transfer and value added taxes levied by certain foreign countries. It can also be used to successfully avoid capital gains and inheritance taxes.

Exployment companies

Payroll costs and travel expenses may be reduced by paying employees working overseas from your offshore base. This may also provide tax relief and social security saving benefits for the employees.

Single purpose trustee

Where the client creates his/her corporate trustee for a family trust, it ensures more effective control during the client’s lifetime and savings on third party trustee fees. A Marshall Islands company can serve as the corporate trustee of a trust formed in another jurisdiction.

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