General information about Gibraltar
- Gibraltar is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom that is situated in the south of Iberian Peninsula. The official language is English. The currency is Gibraltar Pound, pound sterling is also widespread.
- The legislation of Gibraltar is based on English common law.
- Gibraltar is a EU member as a part of the United Kingdom.
- The main trade partners of Gibraltar are the United Kingdom and Morocco.
Advantages of the jurisdiction
- Gibraltar applies taxation on a territorial basis. This means that only income of a company received in the territory of Gibraltar or derived from sources in Gibraltar is subject to corporate taxation.
- Gibraltar is one of the EU jurisdictions of that does not apply Value Added Tax (VAT).
- There is no withholding tax for dividends, interest and royalty payments.
- There are no currency control and controlled foreign companies rules.
Legal forms of business in Gibraltar
- Sole trader;
- Limited liability partnership;
- Private company limited by shares (LTD);
- Non-profit organizations.
Features of Gibraltar companies
- Name. The use of the words association, royal, imperial, trust, trustee, bank, assurance, group, Europe, international, in the name of the entity needs a special approval of Companies House (registrar of companies of Gibraltar).
- Set of incorporation documents. After the approval of its name the entity must file the following documents in order to proceed with incorporation:
– Memorandum and Articles of Association;
– Declaration of compliance;
– Notice of Registered Office address;
– Notice of initial share capital.
- Residence. Legal entity is deemed to be resident in Gibraltar if it is managed and controlled from the territory of Gibraltar.
- Shareholders. Any legal entity must have at least 1 shareholder in its structure. Both natural persons and legal entities resident in any country may be shareholders. Details of shareholders are to be entered into the registers and are publicly available. The maximum number of shareholders of a private company is 50.
- Directors and secretaries. Any legal entity must have at least 1 director and 1 secretary in its structure. Both natural persons and legal entities resident in any country may be director and secretary. Details of directors and secretaries are to be entered into the registers and are publicly available. One person or entity cannot be a sole director and secretary at the same time.
- Address. Company must maintain a registered office address within Gibraltar.
- Shares. Any company must allot at least 1 share. The payment of share capital can be made by money or by other valuable assets. The sum payable for the share capital is to be established by Memorandum and Articles of Association.
- Annual general meetings as a general rule must be held once a year not later than 15 months after the date of the preceding general meeting. Private companies may dispense from practice of annual general meetings by a decision taken at a general meeting.
- Redomiciliation is also allowed in Gibraltar. This means that companies registered in other jurisdictions may transfer their domicile to Gibraltar. Gibraltar companies may be redomiciled to jurisdictions listed by Companies House. The companies from such jurisdictions may be redomiciled to Gibraltar as well.
- The number of accounting documents to be filed with Companies House varies for micro companies, small, medium-sized and large companies.
- Micro companies and small companies must file only abridged balance sheet.
- Medium-sized companies are obliged to file balance sheet, abridged profit and loss account, notes, director’s report and auditor’s report.
- Large companies are obliged to file balance sheet, profit and loss account, notes, director’s report and auditor’s report.
- The size of company is defined by correspondence to at least two of the three following parameters:
|Net annual turnover (GBP)||Balance sheet total (GBP)||Number of employees|
|Micro companies||Does not exceed 632 000||Does not exceed 316 000||Does not exceed 10|
|Small companies||Does not exceed 10 200 000||Does not exceed 5 100 000||Does not exceed 50|
|Medium-sized companies||Does not exceed 36 000 000||Does not exceed 18 000 000||Does not exceed 250|
|Large companies||Exceeds 36 000 000||Exceeds 18 000 000||Exceeds 250|
- The tax year is 1 July to 30 June.
- Tax return must be filed with competent tax authority (Income Tax Office) within 9 months after the end of tax year.
- All companies incorporated in Gibraltar have Company Profile formed by Companies House and published on its official website that is available for any person. It must include the following information:
1. Registration Number.
2. Name of Company.
3. Incorporation Date.
4. Date on which the last Annual Return was filed.
5. Year-end date of last Accounts filed.
6. Registered Office address.
7. Status of the Company i.e. whether it is in liquidation, pending striking-off or has been struck-off.
8. Details of Share Capital.
9. Details of Shareholders.
10. Details of Directors.
11. Details of Secretary.
12. Details of any Charges registered against the Company.
- Information about beneficial owners of companies is disclosed only to registered agents and banks for purposes of account opening and is not publicly available.
Taxation in Gibraltar
- The taxation is based on a territorial principle. Income tax applies only to income received from activity on a territory of Gibraltar or derived from Gibraltar sources. Other income is not subject to corporate taxation.
- The standard income tax rate is 10 %. Utility companies and companies that abuse a dominant position are subject to taxation at 20 %.
- Capital gains and investment income from listed securities are not subject to corporate taxation.
- Trading losses may be carried forward, but carryback is not permitted.
- If a company pays income tax, the advance payments in the amount of 50 % of previous year’s tax must be made before 28 February of the next year. The rest amount of tax must be paid in 9 months after the end of the tax year.
- There is no withholding tax on payments of dividends, interest and royalties.
- There is no VAT or similar taxes.
- Besides the income tax, legal entities must pay stamp duty and social security for employees.
Tax treaties of Gibraltar
Currently Gibraltar does not have any double tax avoidance agreements concluded with any states (territories).
At the same time, Gibraltar has a significant number of tax information exchange agreements (TIEA) that regulate exchange of information by request: 27 jurisdictions have bound themselves to exchange such information with Gibraltar in accordance with TIEA conditions.
Gibraltar is a signatory of MCAA (Multilateral competent Authority Agreement on Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in accordance with Common Reporting Standard) and has entered into the practical phase of the exchange with some jurisdictions in September 2017.
According to information of OECD website as on July 2018 Gibraltar committed to send the financial account information on automatic basis to the competent authorities of 62 jurisdictions, and competent authorities of 78 jurisdictions intend to send such information to Gibraltar.