The Turks and Caicos Islands are a group of twenty tropical Islands
situated in the North Atlantic Ocean, south-east off the archipelago of The Bahamas. The
total landmass extends to some 430 sq km.
Six of the Islands are inhabited, Grand Turk, South Caicos, Middle Caicos,
North Caicos, Providenciales and Salt Cay.
The Islands were first discovered by the Spanish in 1512, and remained
uninhabited until British settlers from Bermuda established a salt panning industry in
1678. Eventually the British secured the Islands in 1766 against French and Spanish
The population of the Turks and Caicos Islands is approximately 19,000, of
which nearly 80% are of African descent.
Until 1962 The Turks and Caicos Islands were a dependency of Jamaica. Then
they were annexed by the Bahamas, and in 1973 became a British Crown protectorate, with HM
Queen Elizabeth II acting as Head of State. A Governor represents the Queen. The
Government system consists of a single house. The Legislative Council has twenty seats, of
which thirteen are elected by universal suffrage every four years and ex-officio members.
The Executive Council consists of a Chief Minister, four ministers appointed by the
Governor and three ex-officio members, including the Governor.
In 1986, the Constitution was amended by the enactment of The Interim
Amendment Order 1986, which granted special powers to the Governor. These included:
The power to summon the Executive Council.
The power to suspend the Speaker of the Legislative Council.
Internal security and police forces.
Appointment, suspension and dismissal of public officers.
Control of public finances.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND ECONOMY
The Economy is based on tourism and fishing which includes Crayfish and
Conch (flesh and shell). The only farming undertaken is subsistence farming of corn,
cassava, citrus and beans. Most other produce and non-food products are imported. Tourism
has now become an important source of foreign exchange.
In 1982, the Turks and Caicos Islands introduced the Companies Ordinance,
which was the foundation of the Islands Finance Centre.
The Islands enjoy modern telecommunication systems, and there are frequent
flights to neighbouring Islands and to the United States of America.
The official and spoken language is English, although French Creole is
TYPE OF LAW
Common Law. Based on English Common Law and some old Bahamian and Jamaican
PRINCIPAL CORPORATE LEGISLATION
The Companies Ordinance 1981, the Companies (Amendment) Ordinance 1989,
the Company (Amendment) Act No. 2 1992 and the Trusts Ordinance 1990.
TYPE OF COMPANY FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT
Since the enactment of the Companies Amendment Act No. 2 of 1992, the
Exempt Company is the most commonly used body corporate for international trade and
Exempt Companies are exempted from all forms of taxation for a period of
twenty years from the date of incorporation.
PROCEDURE TO INCORPORATE
By submission to the Companies Registry of the Memorandum and Articles of
Association signed by the Subscribers.
The Memorandum and Articles of Association should contain:
The proposed name of the company.
The proposed registered office address.
The objects of the company.
A declaration that the liability of the members is limited.
A declaration confirming that the activities of the company will be
undertaken outside the Turks and Caicos Islands.
After incorporation, the company should ensure that the location of the
registered office is published in the Gazette.
RESTRICTIONS ON TRADING
Cannot trade within the Turks and Caicos Islands, and may not own real
estate there. Cannot undertake the business of banking, insurance, assurance, reinsurance,
fund management, collective investment schemes, the rendering of investment advice or any
other activity, which may suggest an association with the banking and insurance
industries. Cannot solicit funds from the public or offer its shares for sale to the
POWERS OF COMPANY
A Company incorporated in the Turks and Caicos Islands has all the powers
of a natural person.
LANGUAGE OF LEGISLATION AND CORPORATE DOCUMENTS
The language of the legislation is English. The corporate documents have
to be in English, but may be accompanied by a foreign language translation, and which may
be filed at the Registry. The name of the company may also be translated in to Chinese
characters, which can be printed on to the Certificate of Incorporation.
REGISTERED OFFICE REQUIRED
Yes, must be maintained in the Turks and Caicos Islands at the address of
a licensed management company.
shelf COMPANIES AVAILABLE
TIME TO INCORPORATE
Any name that is similar or identical to an existing name. Any name that
in the opinion of the Registrar is considered undesirable or obscene. Any name that
suggests royal or government patronage.
LANGUAGE OF NAME
Can be in any language using the Latin alphabet or Chinese a translation
using the Latin alphabet.
NAMES REQUIRING CONSENT OR A LICENCE
Bank, building society, savings, loans, insurance, assurance, reinsurance,
fund management, investment funds, friendly society, trust, trustee, guarantee, indemnity,
underwriters, co-operative, Commonwealth or their foreign language equivalents.
SUFFIXES TO DENOTE LIMITED LIABILITY
Limited, Corporation, Incorporated or their abbreviations. Can also be
incorporated without a suffix denoting limited liability.
DISCLOSURE OF BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP TO AUTHORITIES
SHARE CAPITAL, TAXATION, LICENCE FEES AND
AUTHORISED AND ISSUED SHARE CAPITAL
It is normal to incorporate an Exempt Company with an authorised share
capital of US$ 5,000; divided in to 5,000 common voting shares of US$ 1 each, this being
the maximum capital for the minimum duty payable at the time of incorporation.
Thereafter if the authorised share capital exceeds US$ 5,000, the capital
duty is increased by 1% of any increase up to US$ 50,000, by 0.5% of any increase
over US$ 50,000 and by 0.1% of any amount over and above US$ 100,000.
The minimum issued capital is one share of no par value or one share of
The Turks and Caicos Islands has no direct taxation in the form of income
tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax or gift tax.
DOUBLE TAXATION AGREEMENTS
US$ 300 per annum.
FINANCIAL STATEMENT REQUIREMENTS
No requirement for filing, but financial records should be kept to reflect
the financial position of the company.
STRUCTURE OF MANAGEMENT
The minimum number of directors is one. The directors may be natural
persons or bodies corporate, be of any nationality and need not resident in the Turks and
All companies incorporated in the Turks and Caicos Islands are required to
appoint a company secretary. The company secretary may be a natural person or body
corporate, be of any nationality and need not resident in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The minimum number of shareholders is one.