Introduction To Offshore e-Commerce – Bahamas Business Guide

Business Guide

To date, companies have tended to focus on marketing and selling as
the most likely business functions to locate offshore, but there is no
reason why procurement, administration, payroll and other corporate
functions should not be based offshore.

Since physical distribution can be outsourced, and in some
countries doesn’t even amount to a taxable presence, the use of
offshore is by no means limited to digitally-downloadable products.
Still, there is no doubt that the greatest cost and tax savings are
available to those companies whose products can be delivered
electronically, as in the following list:

Retail businesses dealing in intangibles or intellectual property, such as software or music

Electronic publishing enterprises

Online reservations

Telecommunications services

Language translation services

Education and Internet-based training

Online gift certificates

Online brokerages and other financial services, including insurance

Legal services

Software and other technical support

Research and online information services

Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

Metamediaries and access portals

Corporate services

Data warehouse centres for processing and storing data

Database management services

Certification and verification services for business and consumer documents

Hubs for secure transactions and communications

Supply chain management centres

Communications and billing hubs for fibre optic and satellite systems

Network monitoring facilities and services

This section of the E-commerce Fact-File concentrates on four of
the main business sectors in which offshore e-commerce or e-business
development is most likely to take place. See also Case Studies of
offshore e-commerce in each of these sectors, and for practical
guidance on how to set up offshore e-commerce operations, see our
E-commerce Business Guide.

On a technical level, the requirements of an offshore e-commerce
operation are no different from those onshore. Essentially they amount
to a server, which can be your own or hosted, adequate communications
facilities, and the various software elements needed to make a sales
offer, take orders and payment for them, and link into other company
systems for despatch, procurement or production, inventory, accounting
and administration.

Not all offshore jurisdictions have state-of-the-art technical and
communications infrastructure, and this is particularly relevant to
offshore e-commerce operations, which must be able to rely on secure
and flexible technical facilities. Skilled staff may also be in short
supply. See our Location section for an extended analysis of how to
select a suitable jurisdiction for offshore e-commerce.