Cayman (or the Cayman Islands) is a British Overseas territory, comprising of three islands namely, Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. The territory is located south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica. The island has a population of approximately 58,000 people (2014 estimate), with most of the European or African descent.
The Cayman Island follows the common law system of the United Kingdom (with the Queen being head of State). However, they do pass some of their own legislation.
The finance sector along with tourism and real estates are the major industries, with the former contributing nearly 55% to the total GDP, both directly and indirectly. With a competitive tax system, including no income tax or corporate tax on capital earned from outside the territory, Cayman remains a popular offshore tax haven.
It boasts the fifth largest offshore financial centre in the world, with a stable political and economic environment. The island is committed to providing international standards of the regulatory framework to control money laundering and other financial crimes.
There are more than 94,000 companies registered in Cayman, along with about 260 banks and nearly 80,000 companies (BBC). The finance sector is well-developed and diversified, broadly comprising of trust and fund management, wealth management, accountancy, insurance, private banking, hedge funds, vessels and aircraft registry, stock exchange, securities and compliance.
Apart from the finance sector, the Cayman islands are renowned for having some of the world’s best coral reefs and for its natural scenery and pristine beaches fringed with palm trees and luxury resorts.
The island is famous for offering excellent water sports opportunities like scuba diving, snorkelling; and for those who fancy the company of friendly stingrays, there is the Stingray city, a popular tourist attraction in Grand Cayman.
Why choose Cayman
For long, Cayman has remained a major international financial and banking centre. Its tax-free status and pro-business environment attract foreign investors and highly-skilled professionals globally. Its finance sector is supported by modern infrastructure, latest technology and robust regulatory regime. Although the island is small in size, Cayman’s strategic location and easy accessibility add to its advantage. It is well-connected by air to the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, and there are regular inter-island flights, providing seamless connectivity between the islands. Caymanians enjoy a considerably high-standard of living, with competitive salaries and tax-free regime. The island has a significant proportion of expat population and boasts a diverse socio-cultural scene. There are public and private healthcare providers, offering comprehensive service with affordable fees. As such the island enjoys a clean and healthy environment with no particular health concerns, but health insurance is compulsory for residents. Free education is provided up to the age of 16. The Island enjoys a tropical climate with pleasant weather throughout the year. The weather is favourable for a variety of water and land sports. It offers plenty of unique recreational opportunities such as swimming with stingrays, interacting with turtles, feeding brown sharks and game fishing. Combined with the white sand, clear blue water and warm sun, Cayman Islands provide the perfect Caribbean life.
Requirements to set up a company
Setting up a company in the Cayman Islands follows a relatively straightforward procedure. Irrespective of the business structure, all companies must be registered with the Registrar of Companies.
There are four commonly preferred business structures: sole trader, establish a company, branch office and partnership.
With the establishment of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs), the Cayman government has further simplified the registration process and provided a significant boost to foreign investment. SEZs provide several benefits such as tax neutrality, reduced customs and employment fees and liberal visa rules.
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Legal requirements for setting up a business
Requirements for employees wishing to relocate
Owing to the small population, companies usually bring foreign workers into the island. However, strict regulations exist to ensure that locals are given first preference by employers.
A valid work permit is required to relocate to Cayman. The length of the work permit has now been increased from seven to nine years maximum term limit. Those who have completed an aggregate of eight years of residence can apply for Permanent Residence.
For more information, please visit the following websites.
Work Permits and Roll-over policy
Entry of spouse and dependents