Companies Overview for Isle of Man

There are a number of different types of companies available in the Isle of Man including public and private companies limited by shares, companies limited by guarantee and unlimited liability companies. In addition, hybrid companies limited by guarantee but which also have a share capital, as well as limited liability companies, can be formed.

Traditionally, Isle of Man companies were incorporated under the Companies Acts 1931 to 2004. The companies Act 2006 introduced a new corporate structure, colloquially known as the ‘New Manx Vehicle’ or NMV. For more information on the Companies Act 2006, please see our briefing note. In addition, companies may be incorporated under the Limited Liability Companies Act 1996.

Activities

A company incorporated in the Isle of Man can undertake a wide variety of activities including investment and property holding, general trading, personnel and consultancy services and international invoicing operations.

Ownership

The issued share capital of the company may be held in the names of nominees if required. Evidence of ownership is then given by confidential no trustee declarations, signed by the nominees in favour of the beneficial owners. The company is required to file an annual return with the registrar of companies. For ‘1931 Act’ companies this contains details of the share capital and holders of the issued shares, together with the names of the directors and secretary of the company only. Details of the local directors and any nominee shareholders appear on this document. In such cases, the interests of the beneficial owners are not disclosed.

For ‘2006 Act’ companies, there is a lesser filing requirement. The Annual Return for such companies will include details of the registered office, registered agent and directors. There is no requirement to lodge details of shareholders. Nonetheless, we still recommend the use of our nominee company which may offer other benefits to the beneficial owner.

 

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