Following the introduction of a public register of persons with significant control for the British companies and LLP (from April 2016), as well as for the Scottish partnerships (since June 2017), some British dependent territories, under pressure from the UK itself, have created similar registers / databases. However, these centralized registers will be closed, and the access to data from them will be available only to the British competent authorities and only upon request. This decision has become a compromise after many years of negotiations and frictions, since the overseas territories, although partially subject to the law of Great Britain, are still self-regulatory. On the one hand, access to these closed registers / databases will enable the UK law enforcement agencies to monitor tax evasion, as well as terrorists and criminals hiding behind the anonymous companies. On the other hand, this will put an end to the requirements for the introduction of open registers of beneficiaries in the countries partially controlled by Great Britain. Among such states are the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, the Isle of Man, Bermuda, Guernsey, Jersey, and others. As the British Virgin Islands (hereinafter - the BVI) are the most popular with our clients among offshore jurisdictions, we will consider legislative changes in connection with the agreements reached with the UK.

So, after the exchange of official communications between the governments of the BVI and the UK on June 12, 2017 the Law on Beneficial Ownership Secure Search System (hereinafter - BOSS) was adopted, and from June 30, 2017, it came into force. In accordance with this law, at the moment, the work is in progress on creating a central database (server) on the BVI, which will contain all the information and supporting documents about the beneficial owners of all corporate entities and legal entities registered in this jurisdiction. This database will be used to facilitate the effective transmission of information on the ultimate beneficial owners by the competent BVI authorities at the request of an authorized law enforcement agency of the United Kingdom.

The beneficial owner in the BOSS Act is defined as a natural person who ultimately owns or controls directly or indirectly 25% or more shares or voting rights of a legal entity. It should be noted, that, however, there is a threshold of 25% or more for the purposes of the BOSS legislation for claiming a report on a beneficial owner, in other BVI legislation, on combating terrorism and money laundering, it is set of more than 10%. This means that the registration agent can request information about all persons who control more than 10% of the company’s shares. The information about the trustee or other person who controls these legal relationships is subject to disclosure, as well as information about the founder or another person with whom a nominal agreement is concluded.

The BOSS Act allows each Registered Agent to create its own databases for storing information about the ultimate beneficial owners of legal entities, which, in turn, will be available to officials of one of the following authorized competent authorities:

  • Financial Investigation Agency;
  • Financial Services Commission;
  • International Tax Office;
  • Chamber of Attorney General.

The BOSS Act requires to provide the following information for each beneficial owner:

  • name;
  • address of residence,
  • date of Birth,
  • citizenship.

The requirements for storing information in BOSS are also listed in the Law. The requirements for the relevance of data in BOSS are also established. The companies are required to notify the registered agent of any changes in the beneficial ownership or the information about the beneficial owners provided by law for filing, within 15 days from the receipt of information about such changes, indicating the date of these changes. After this, the registered agent must take all necessary steps to update the BOSS system within 15 days after receiving the notice of the changes.

Strict penalties are imposed on both companies and registered agents for non-compliance with these requirements. Strict punishment for registration agents (fine or imprisonment) is also provided for provision of knowingly false information concerning a corporate legal entity, since this is considered a crime. In conclusion, we note that the BVI has concluded a number of agreements on the exchange of tax information with other countries. In addition, information on beneficial owners has always been available to competent authorities that have submitted a proper request to the relevant BVI body. And this means that BVI, like other offshore jurisdictions, are moving towards transparency with long strides, and the offshore companies are gradually losing their anonymity.


What is important to know when choosing a foreign bank in 2018

Recently, an increasing number of citizens, concerned about their future, the future of their family or business, face the issue whether it is possible to open an account in a foreign bank and what is required for this? Which bank to choose for this: European, offshore bank, etc.? Historically, (and sometimes it is quite justified) the trust to a foreign bank is higher than to local institutions, and obtaining, for example, a loan is possible on more favorable terms than in Ukrainian banks, moreover, many people wish to keep the confidentiality of their actual income.

Regardless of whether you want to open a foreign bank account online in offshore or onshore jurisdictions, a number of aspects need to be considered and analyzed when choosing a bank. That is why the company Finance Business Service works with more than 100 banks around the world. We ask only really necessary questions in the process of selecting banks for our clients.

The current situation in the banking shows that financial institutions are increasingly facing problems of unexpected loss of correspondent accounts in US dollars. In general, the US is only a part of the global pressure on the international banking sector, we should not forget about the OECD program on automatic information exchange, and about the guidance of the BEPS. The complexity of automatic exchange for international banks is not only in the risk of losing a significant number of customers, but also in understanding what and whom to provide as part of the exchange. Tension in the banking sector is clearly traced through the complication of the procedure of opening accounts and building of long-term cooperation, directly influenced by the financial regulators of international banks.

In such a situation, real risk diversification is possible only if you have a spare foreign bank account. It is worth mentioning the risks of owning a bank account in only one country. The vivid examples are the hacker attacks on financial institutions of different countries, the volatile policy of central banks, often aimed at reducing the number of financial institutions in the country, etc. The main criteria for choosing a bank

  1. Before choosing the most suitable bank for opening an account, first of all, you should determine the goals that you need to achieve using this account. They can be very diverse:
    • Saving of personal funds;
    • Private investment of private funds;
    • Earnings on the Internet or online commerce;
    • Sale of goods and services to foreign partners, etc.

    If the purpose of opening an account is a standard commercial activity with a large number of incoming and outgoing payments, then the most important criteria for choosing a bank will be the speed of the transfers carried out by the bank and the convenience of managing the account; in particular - the availability of a remote account management system (Internet bank), as well as the average cost of one transaction. It is also important to clarify whether the bank is working with the list of currencies you need. In the case when the main task of opening an account is to keep the financial resources already earned by the entrepreneur, usually attention is given to the bank’s reliability rating. The interest on the deposit will be relatively low in the banks of high reliability category (“AA” and higher), which is due to the conservative investment policy of the banks of this group. If an entrepreneur raises the issue to make his free funds, untapped in the main business, continue to “work”, creating additional income, then one should consider the option of opening an account in one of the investment banks that place client’s funds professionally in international stock markets, getting relatively high interest income.

  2. Is it necessary to visit a bank to open an account? Many customers prefer to open an account without going to the bank. Opening of accounts is possible remotely, subject to certain requirements of the bank. In addition, in some cases, you should be prepared for the possible need to meet with a representative of the bank in Kyiv or in one of the regional offices of the bank, for example, in Europe (depending on the bank).
  3. Tariffs, cost of service, availability of necessary bank products When analyzing tariff rates, it is necessary to pay attention to the availability of additional bank commissions, for example, for considering a package of documents for opening an account, etc. At the same time, it is important to clarify the fate of these resources, if the bank refuses to open an account - as the tariffs of banks may specify that these commissions are not returned. The banks of Europe (Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Austria, etc.), being respectable and reliable - mainly refer to savings banks. Tariffs for their services are much more expensive than in commercial banks with a priority rate for conducting banking operations. The availability of certain bank products may sometimes become a key factor when choosing a bank. Some banks offer cards that do not contain the owner's name, some cards require special transfer from the account, others are attached directly to the account, etc. Brokerage accounts will be necessary for transactions with securities, FOREX-accounts - for the operations in foreign currency markets.
  4. Do you want to give minimum information about yourself and your business to the bank? The general trends in the world financial system are such that now almost all banks request a lot of detailed information about the business and its ultimate beneficiaries. Banks are forced to comply with the requirements imposed on them by law, otherwise they can incur catastrophic amounts of fines, remain without a license ... The list goes on. Be very careful if your counselor / lawyer recommends working with the bank, arguing that “this bank does not ask anything”. There is a big risk that then you will look for the specialists to return your money earned for years of hard work.
  5. Bank secrecy. If this is one of the main criteria for you and your business, then, on choosing a bank:
    • pay attention to the international agreements of the jurisdiction in which the bank you are interested in is registered, about mutual assistance and the provision of information to other countries;
    • choose a country with high standards of bank secrecy and strict laws regarding the disclosure of bank secrecy (Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc.)
  6. The availability of personnel with the knowledge of the Russian language, Russian-speaking Internet banking, technical support in Russian. This is an important point for many customers.

Conclusions

We wish to think, when preparing to become a client of a foreign bank, a potential client chooses his own bank himself. But the reality is that everything is exactly the opposite in banking for non-residents. The bank always makes a decision to open or not to open a bank account for you as non-resident. And it will not risk the existing customer base, the license, the freedom of the bank’s executives and the Compliance officers, because they are responsible (up to their freedom) to ensure that risky and problematic clients not to be included in the number of bank’s customers. Banks have their own and often quite vague list of characteristics that should be initially inherent to a potential non-resident client.

The company Finance Business Service is ready to help you and take painstaking and extensive work on itself. We suggest answering the questions of a specially designed brief for the professional choice of a foreign bank to open an account. It includes a number of issues, best adapted to the general banking standards and requirements. Based on the answers provided, we analyze and select the most suitable financial institution in accordance with your goals and plans.

Note:

By registering a company abroad with the help of Finance Business Service, you receive special tariffs for the package of services, while the standards of the constituent instruments of the companies registered by us meet the strictest requirements of international banks. Thus, the documents will be ready for immediate submission to the bank you need.

Offshore in Ukraine

The Parliament of Ukraine once again registered the Draft Law on Amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine on April 13, 2016 on introduction of a tax on transactions from offshore jurisdictions number 4413, by N. Korolevskaya and Y. Solod (hereinafter - the "Project number 4413 ").

A memorandum to the Project number 4413 proposeto introduce a tax on transactions from offshore jurisdictions from 1 January 2017. The rate of the tax is set at 15% of the payment amount payable to non-residents that have offshore status.

According to the memorandum to the Anti-offshore law, taxpayers are entities who pay for goods (works, services) to non-residents with offshore status, or perform calculations by such non-residents or their bank accounts (including opened in banks of Ukraine), regardless of whether such payment is made directly or through other residents or non-residents.

To ensure the tax on transactions from offshore jurisdictions the banks will be banned to accept vouchers to perform conversion of funds to non-residents with offshore status without simultaneous offshore tax payment to the state budget of Ukraine.

Initiators stated that these changes will allow to tighten control over tax evasion on the legislation level and withdrawal amounts billions abroad but experience shows that business always ahead and tighten control over trading operations would complicate foreign investment schemes.

Author: Sergey Panov

managing partner Finance Business Service

На сьогоднішній день інтернет тісно увійшов у наше життя, і все більша кількість компаній і підприємців бажають заявити про свій бізнес в інтернеті, організувати можливість прямого продажу товарів і послуг за коштами глобальної мережі. Для реалізації даної потреби потрібно здійснити ряд дій, які зможуть зробити доступним можливість повною мірою проявляти себе в просторі електронної комерції.

Відкриття Merchant-рахунків

Для організації електронної комерції у Вас рано чи пізно виникне необхідність приймати платежі від клієнтів, відправлені за допомогою своїх кредитних або дебетових карток. Так званий «мерчант акаунт» дозволяє приймати платежі клієнтів сплачені кредитними або дебетовими картками за придбані у вас товари або ваші послуги. Мерчант акаунт це умовне поняття припускає договірні відносини між вашим підприємством, банком і центром процесингу кредитних карток згідно з якими надходять від продажів кошти, сплачувані з кредитних карток ваших клієнтів, зараховуються на ваш банківський рахунок.

Банк, або компанія обробляють платежі з кредитних карток, присвоює вашому бізнесу унікальний ідентифікаційний номер, який дозволяє розрізняти Ваш бізнес серед мільйонів інших по всьому світу (Merchant Ідентифікація або ідентифікатор продавця). Цей унікальний номер присутній в кожному платежі з кредитної картки, який здійснюється на вашому веб-сайті. Ідентифікаційний номер для роботи з картками також пов'язується з вашим банківським (поточним) рахунком. Така схема дозволяє автоматично перераховувати суми сплати з карток ваших клієнтів на ваш поточний рахунок у банку.

Вимоги для відкриття «мерчант аккаунт»:

Для відкриття рахунку для роботи з банківськими картками та для отримання подібного ідентифікаційного коду вам необхідно задовольнити багатьом вимогам банку. Так для відкриття мерчант аккаунт вам знадобиться наступне:

  • корпоративний рахунок в банку;
  • комплект ваших корпоративних документів, таких як свідоцтво про реєстрацію, статут, ліцензія на право здійснення діяльності, установчий договір і т.п.
  • наявність веб-сайту;
  • докладні відомості про вашу політику у ставленні до повернення платежів;
  • рекомендації галузевих організацій або банків;
  • копії останніх податкових декларацій (можуть знадобитися в залежності від очікуваного розміру місячного обсягу продажів через ваш мерчант аккаунт);
  • копія вашого посвідчення особи, паспорту і т.п.

Метою надання всіх вищеперелічених документів є ідентифікація особистості, і перевірка законності комерційної діяльності заявника. Банк або спеціалізована процесингова компанія буде враховувати цілий ряд факторів при розгляді Вашої заяви:

  • Кредитне досьє вашої компанії і / або приватне кредитне досьє.
  • Merchant рахунки

  • Тип товарів / послуг, які ви продаєте / надаєте (врахуйте, що набагато складніше відкрити мерчант аккаунт у разі певних видів продуктів і послуг, що характеризуються високим ризиком, таких як азартні ігри в режимі он-лайн, порнографічні сайти, продажу фармацевтичних засобів, алкогольних та тютюнових виробів, передплачені телефонні картки, туристичні агентства та бюро подорожей і т.п., які банк / процесингова компанія розглядає як діяльність з високим ризиком). Завідомо неправдиве уявлення характеру продукту або послуги, яку ви продаєте, при подачі заявки на відкриття Мерчант акаунт може призвести до анулювання вашого мерчант аккаунт.
  • Планований загальний обсяг продажів.
  • Середній розмір однієї продажі.

Як правило, ми рекомендуємо торговцям відкривати мерчант аккаунт, якщо це можливо, безпосередньо з банками, або з процесинговими компаніями, заснованими банками, оскільки банківські ставки зазвичай нижче, і крім того, припинення діяльності банку малоймовірно.

Вартість відкриття та обслуговування мерчант аккаунт.

Вартість відкриття та обслуговування мерчант аккаунт залежить від багатьох описаних вище факторів, таких як оцінюваний рівень ризику ваших операцій і ймовірність отримання вимог про повернення платежів від ваших клієнтів, планований обсяг продажів, жорсткість політики банку здійснює процесинг платежів кредитними картками і т.п.

Крім одноразового платежу за послуги банку з відкриття рахунку, банк буде знімати з Вас комісію за користування Merchant.

В основному банк або процесингова компанія вимагають, щоб ви відкрили резервний рахунок. На цей рахунок зазвичай перераховується певний відсоток від продажів (наприклад, 10% від вашого планованого обсягу продажів за перші шість місяців роботи). Таким чином створюється фонд, який провайдер мерчант акаунт може використовувати, якщо ви вирішите припинити діяльність або ж маєте велике число повернень.

Нижче наведена таблиця комісій та умов по роботі з банками

Індустрія

Процентна ставка

Валюта

Вимога реєстрації в ЄС

Marketing

4-6% USD, Euro, GBP, CAD, AUD, INR, CHF, ADD, NZD Не вимагається

Adult

7-10% USD, Euro, GBP, CAD, AUD, INR, CHF, ADD, NZD Вимагається
Forex 3-5% USD, Euro, GBP, CAD, AUD, INR, CHF, ADD, NZD Не вимагається
Non-US Gaming 4-6% USD, Euro, GBP, CAD, AUD, INR, CHF, ADD, NZD Не вимагається
MLM 4-6% USD, Euro, GBP, CAD, AUD, INR, CHF, ADD, NZD Не вимагається
Ecommerce 3-5% USD, Euro, GBP, CAD, AUD, INR, CHF, ADD, NZD Не вимагається
Pharmacy 5-8% USD, Euro, GBP, CAD, AUD, INR, CHF, ADD, NZD За запитом
Tobacco 5-7% USD, Euro, GBP, CAD, AUD, INR, CHF, ADD, NZD Не вимагається
Travel 4-6% USD, Euro, GBP, CAD, AUD, INR, CHF, ADD, NZD Не вимагається

Таким чином, Офшорний Мерчант Аккаунт дасть можливість вашим клієнтам зручно розплачуватися за допомогою кредитних карток, що стане запорукою процвітання бізнесу. Для клієнта така процедура може здатися дещо ускладненою. Компанія Finance Business Service допоможе вам зрозуміти суть усіх відповідних зборів і порядок дій з рахунком для роботи з картками і подбає про те, щоб ви працювали з надійним банком і заслуговуючим довіри провайдером. Зателефонуйте в нашу компанію, і ми допоможемо Вам у цьому складному питанні.


Автор: Сергей Панов

управляющий партнер Finance Business Service