As a major offshore jurisdiction with tens of thousands of offshore enterprises already installed, the Bahamas is poised to become a centre of e-commerce activity.
By locating websites in the Bahamas to carry out functions previously based in high-tax jurisdictions such as sales and marketing, treasury management, supply of financial services, and most of all, the supply of digital goods such as music, video, training, software etc, companies can take advantage of lower tax rates for many aspects of their business.
In many higher tax countries, the distribution of goods from a warehousing facility does not constitute the carrying on of a trade or business in that jurisdiction, so that even for physical goods, in many cases it will be possible to avoid a permanent establishment (taxable presence) altogether in many high-tax jurisdictions where trading activities currently take place.
For more information on this please read the OECD’s commentary on the creation of Permanent Establishments in E-Commerce registration.
In the Bahamas, our Government has paid great attention to financial regulation, and especially in response to attacks from the OECD and FATF in 2000 has created a world-standard regulatory structure to avoid money-laundering and other criminal activity.
Nearly 100,000 International Business Companies have been formed in the Bahamas, many of them as holding companies for investment or trading activities in other countries. There are no corporation or income taxes in the Bahamas, making it a very effective financial base. Like all low- or no-tax financial centres however, it is vulnerable to ‘Controlled Foreign Corporation’ legislation if the Bahamian company is majority-owned by a parent company in a high-tax country.
The Bahamas are one of the most popular jurisdictions in the offshore financial community because of our flexible IBC legislation, good secrecy, good reputation, and high-quality professional services.