Samoa Offshore Trusts for Asset Protection

14 Mar

Offshore trust in Samoa: protect assets

We regularly report here on exotic – and less exotic – offshore locations worldwide. However, some of the “exotics” are more familiar and well-known in international entrepreneurship. This is likely to be different from our subject of contemplation today. Or can you immediately name a company or investor who does business through Samoa?

Some facts about Samoa

Samoa, which gained independence from New Zealand in 1962, consists essentially of two of the largest islands in Polynesia. The population is something of over 190,000 inhabitants. Even though Samoa used to be under German administration in its past before the First World War, the language of commerce and business is English. The legal system is based, as so often in offshore locations, on the UK common law system.

But why Samoa?

With short and straightforward flight paths Samoa can hardly attract European entrepreneurs. Flights arrive regularly via Honolulu or even New Zealand or Australia. 
For the company form of the International Company (“IC”) offers some of the “standard benefits” of many offshore locations: 
Possible, for example 
– Tax exemption for International Companies – 
– Company meetings can be carried out from anywhere in the world (which could make the difficult journey for many companies relatively relegated). 
– low and graduated company fees in case of advance payments for several years 
– Require only one shareholder and one managing director to found the IC 
– the names of the members of the IC are not entered in public. 
Unless the “offshore standard”. Then Samoa keeps under certain conditions but a special feature for IC founders ready: 
The International Company Law of Samoa allows a particularly wide range of options for asset protection for Samoa ICs. Thereafter, when a “certain event” occurs, shares in the company may automatically be transferred to specified persons. Such a “specific event” may be, for example, a judgment or a court order against the Samoa International Company. A designated person who then transfers the assets of the IC may, for example, be a family member. It may, therefore, be possible that judicial titles against the Samoa IC will ultimately go nowhere. For the individual design options and requirements in this regard, it is best to have your legal advisor sufficiently familiar with the subject matter.

Our view

In our opinion, Samoa is probably not as well established as the other offshore locations presented here. This may lead to problems in dealing with banks and the provision of credit. On the other hand, the possibilities of Offshore Asset Protection Trusts are particularly pronounced.

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