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The Independent State of Samoa is commonly known as Samoa. It is a democratic country with a parliament. The two main islands are Upolu and Savai’i. The entire island group includes American Samoa. The capitol city is Apia. English is its second language.
Western Samoa was admitted to the United Nations in 1976. Samoa is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Samoan corporations are regulated by the International Companies Act. This Act allows for a business legal system that is both flexible and modern when compared to some other offshore jurisdictions. In addition, the Samoan legal system is based upon English common law, making much of its legislation similar to the British Commonwealth and its former colonies. Other corporate legislation that dictates both the formation and operation of corporations in Samoa includes:
• Trustee Companies Act 1987
• International Trusts Act 1987 • Offshore Banking Act 1987 • International Insurance Act 1988
There are many benefits for Samoa corporations including:
• No Taxation: Samoa offshore corporations are not taxed. However, U.S. citizens and those residing in other countries which tax worldwide income are required to disclose all income to their taxation authorities.
• Stable Government and Economy: There have never been civil wars or major political unrest and their economy has been stable for many years.
• No Blacklists: Samoa has never appeared on either the OECD or FATF blacklists.
• Privacy: Complete corporate confidentiality is guaranteed in this jurisdiction. Nominee directors and shareholders are permitted.
• Incorporate in any Language: Samoa allows their corporations to form using any language, making the incorporation process much easier for foreign investors.
• No Reporting Requirements: The Samoan government does not require any annual reporting or auditing requirements, giving offshore corporations much leeway in the way of reporting and paying taxes.
• English is popular: English is spoken in Samoa and all legal documents can be prepared in English.
• British Common Laws: Samoa’s legal system is based on British Common Law making it easier to adapt to their laws.
Samoa corporations must pick a unique name that does not resemble any already existing corporate name.
Offshore corporations in Samoa must have a name ending with one of the following: Corporation, Incorporated, Societe Anonyme or their abbreviations: Corp, Inc, SA.
The following words, and their associated activities, cannot be used for offshore corporations: Bank, Assurance, Building Society, Chartered, Cooperative, Chamber of Commerce, Insurance, Imperial, Royal, and Municipal.
Office Address and Local Agent
Samoa corporations are required to have a local registered agent and a local office for process service requests and official notices.
Samoa corporations must have at least one shareholder. A shareholder can be a private individual or a corporation.
Directors and Officer
Samoa corporations are required to have a minimum of one director and one secretary. Directors and secretaries can be either private individuals or corporations.
The authorized capital required for a Samoa corporation is $1 million USD.
Samoa offshore corporations have total tax exemption. Offshore corporations are not required to file tax returns.
In addition, Samoa has never participated in double taxation treaties, meaning incorporating in Samoa allows for extra protection against fiscal inquiries from outside sources.
Samoa corporation’s annual renewals cost between $1000 and $1,800 USD.
The law in Samoa guarantees privacy and secrecy for beneficial owners, meaning that corporate information stays confidential. Providing any information about shareholders, officers, or operations of international offshore companies is against the law in Samoa.
Accounting and Audit Requirements
Samoa corporations are not required to file annual tax returns or any financial records. While businesses do not need to submit records, corporations are required to keep accounts of their financial activities and business transactions.
Annual General Meeting
Samoa corporations must hold an annual general meeting with both the directors and shareholders.
Time Required for Incorporation
Completing the incorporation process in Samoa takes about two days. Corporate documents are usually returned from the Registrar within seven business days. However, the length of time it takes to incorporate depends on the corporation’s success with name registration, and their attentiveness to detail when completing corporate documentation.
Shelf companies are available in Samoa for faster incorporation.
Samoa corporations enjoy several benefits including: no taxes, no reporting requirements, a stable government and economy, corporate privacy, and English being commonly used.