Samoa, which changed its name from Western Samoa in July 1997, is a group of 9 islands situated in the South Pacific, east of the International Date Line. At various stages, it has been administered by Britain, Germany and New Zealand. Samoa, where English is the language of government and commence, became independent in 1962 and retains a parliamentary form of government. Since independence, it has developed into a politically stable nation.
LAW AND TAXATION
Samoa’s offshore corporate legislation as originally introduced in the late 1980s and was based on Cook Islands legislation but now includes numerous enhancements, making it more user-friendly to suit the requirements of the Asian market. Of particular note are the following:
(1) Chinese character names (and other foreign languages) are permitted, in addition to English names on the Certificates of Incorporation, in a properly supervised manner;
(2) Documents may be filed in any language with English translation and declaration of true translation. We have developed a Chinese language M&A to make Samoan companies even more appealing to Chinese language jurisdictions;
(3) Companies may pay their licence fees for 5, 10 or 20 years in advance and substantial discounts are offered to companies that have elected to take up this offer;
(4) In order to attract business from more expensive jurisdictions in difficult economic times, Samoa has, in August 1998, introduced a new legislation that enables the easy migration of companies in a convenient and effective manner. The government fee for re-domiciling is USD 100. Samoa has also reduced the annual licence fees for these companies (no matter what the authorized capital is) and announced a special offer for re-domiciled companies at only USD 100.
Provision has been made to allow the filing of documents and maintenance of accounts by electronic means.
Chinese names are permitted and can be included on a company’s Certificate of Incorporation.
All companies must have a minimum of one director, one shareholder and a secretary. Corporate directors are permitted. Bearer shares are also allowed and shall be held by the trustee company whose office provides the registered office for the company. All companies must have a Registered Office and a Resident Agent in Samoa which must be a licenced trust company. There are requirements for Samoan companies to prepare Registers of Directors, Secretaries and Members and for these to be kept at the Registered Office. The register of members or a copy of the register shall be maintained at the Registered Office within 6 months of the date of incorporation. The shareholders may waive the requirements for audited accounts. Any person who files an instrument or statement of charges with the Registrar must lodge a copy of the filed instrument or statement with the Company’s Registered Office within 7 days of it being filled or request that the Registrar gives notice of the lodgement of the instrument or statement to the Registered Office. Where the instrument or statement is not lodged with the Registrar, it shall be voided against a liquidator and any creditor of the company.
The local infrastructure in Samoa is presently very sound and improving continually. A number of leading accounting firms have offices in Samoa and there are numerous legal practices. At present there are three retail banks in Samoa. Another important feature is the presence of a Chinese Embassy which is particularly helpful when legalizing or apostilling documents required for transactions and business in mainland China.
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“KanterAsia (堅得亞洲)” offers a series of “New Company Formation (Hong Kong & Offshore) Services”, viz,
1) Hong Kong business licence application
2) New company formation in Hong Kong
3) New company formation in British Virgin Islands
4) New company formation in Cayman Islands
5) New company formation in Samoa
6) New Company formation in Mauritius
7) New company formation in Singapore
8) Nominee shareholder & nominee director services
9) Assisting offshore company to open bank accounts in Hong Kong
10) Assisting Hong Kong incorporated company to open bank accounts in Hong Kong
11) Asset Management Company Registration
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