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How to incorporate in the Seychelles: company formation, tax rates, cfc rules, advantages, popular sectors and types of incorporations.


Company incorporation in Seychelles

Situated in the Indian Ocean, Seychelles offers a strategic location for business ventures, serving as a gateway to African and Asian markets.

When one mentions Seychelles, pristine beaches and azure waters might come to mind. However, beyond its paradisiacal facade, Seychelles is fast becoming an enticing hub for global businesses. With its robust economic policies, stable political landscape, and pro-business environment, Seychelles has attracted entrepreneurs and investors from all over the world. The archipelago, comprised of 115 islands, provides a myriad of opportunities in various sectors, particularly in finance and offshore services.

Country Seychelles
Language Creole (89.1%)
English (5.1%)
French (4.8%)
Time in Seychelles GMT+4
Population 98,000 (2021) (Source: World Bank)
Currency Seychellois Rupee (₨, SCR)
Religion Christianity (predominantly)
Tax regime Progressive individual income tax rate which can range up to 15%. The corporate tax rate is typically at 25%
VAT 15%
Average salary Monthly salary of 2021 was approximately $1,200
Types of incorporations International Business Company (IBC)
Protected Cell Company (PCC)
Special License Company (CSL)
Limited Partnership
Sole Proprietorship

Seychelles is fast emerging as a desirable destination for business incorporation, thanks to its strategic geographical location, favorable tax regime, and efficient business infrastructure. The fiscal options provided by the local government cater primarily to offshore companies, making it particularly appealing for entrepreneurs looking to optimize their tax structures.


Incorporating a company in Seychelles offers a slew of benefits that have attracted entrepreneurs and investors from all over the world. Seychelles has established itself as a reputable jurisdiction for international business, providing a business-friendly environment combined with a solid regulatory framework. The island nation’s unique combination of fiscal benefits, strategic location, and reliable infrastructure makes it a preferred choice for many. Let’s delve deeper into some of the most significant advantages:

Advantages Details
Strategic Location Seychelles serves as a bridge between African and Asian markets, providing easy access to both continents.
Favorable Tax Regime The country offers competitive tax rates and several incentives, especially for offshore businesses, allowing companies to optimize their global tax strategy.
Efficient Business Infrastructure Seychelles boasts a modern infrastructure in terms of banking, communication, and legal services, facilitating smooth business operations.
Robust Legal Framework The country’s legal system, influenced by both English Common Law and French Civil Law, offers clarity and predictability for businesses.
Political Stability With its stable political climate, Seychelles offers a secure environment for investors, ensuring continuity and reliability.
Confidentiality Seychelles ensures protection of corporate and individual financial information, giving companies peace of mind regarding their privacy.


While Seychelles presents numerous opportunities for businesses, it’s crucial to also consider potential challenges that come with setting up a company in the archipelago. Being informed about these challenges can assist entrepreneurs in making well-informed decisions and strategizing accordingly. Here are some disadvantages to be aware of:

Disadvantages Details
Limited Local Market Due to its relatively small population, the local market can be restrictive for certain businesses looking to cater primarily to the local audience.
Perceived as Offshore Haven The reputation as an offshore jurisdiction might lead to increased scrutiny from foreign tax authorities and potential skepticism from global partners.
Dependency on Imports The island nation relies heavily on imports for various goods, which can translate into higher operational costs for businesses.
Geographical Isolation While Seychelles is strategically located, its physical remoteness can sometimes pose logistical challenges, especially for businesses dependent on frequent shipping.

Most popular sectors to set up a company in Seychelles

Financial services, particularly offshore banking and investment, are dominant sectors in Seychelles. Tourism, real estate, and fishing also play significant roles in the economy. As the government continues to invest in infrastructure and offers incentives, these sectors continue to see growth.

Fiscal system in Seychelles

Seychelles offers a competitive fiscal environment, making it attractive for international businesses.


Seychelles’ tax system is designed to bolster its economy and make it attractive for both local and foreign investors. The corporate tax rate stands at a flat 25%, with various deductions and incentives available, especially for offshore businesses. Personal income tax is progressive, ranging from 0% to 15%. The government has also signed numerous Double Tax Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) with countries worldwide, ensuring that income generated in Seychelles is not double-taxed.

VAT in Seychelles

Value Added Tax (VAT) in Seychelles is levied at a standard rate of 15%. It applies to the supply of goods and services and is also imposed on imports. Certain items, such as basic food commodities and medical supplies, are exempt from VAT.

CFC Rules

As of my last update in 2021, Seychelles did not have specific Controlled Foreign Company (CFC) rules. However, it’s crucial to consult recent regulatory updates or seek legal counsel on this matter to ensure compliance.


Local director

Companies in Seychelles are not required to have a local director. They have the freedom to appoint directors from any nationality.

Local secretary

There is no mandatory requirement for companies in Seychelles to appoint a local secretary. However, companies are free to do so if they wish.

Annual return

Companies in Seychelles are required to file an annual return. This is a straightforward process, primarily serving to update the Registrar of Companies on the company’s current status and any changes in its structure.

Audited accounts

International Business Companies (IBC) in Seychelles do not require their accounts to be audited. However, they are obligated to maintain financial records that reflect the company’s financial position accurately.

Company types in Seychelles

International Business Company (IBC)

Type Designations Minimum Share Capital Taxes
IBC Ltd, Corp., Inc., S.A., etc. No minimum required Exempt from local taxes

An International Business Company (IBC) in Seychelles is a versatile corporate entity established under the International Business Companies Act. These companies are primarily designed for offshore operations and are a preferred choice for entrepreneurs and businesses seeking confidentiality, tax relief, and ease of operation in international trade, investment, and other activities.

IBCs are suitable for international investors, traders, and online businesses. They are often chosen due to their simple and fast incorporation process, minimal compliance requirements, and high degree of privacy. The structure offers strong asset protection, no tax liability on international earnings, and no foreign exchange controls. Moreover, the confidentiality of shareholders and directors is maintained as their details are not made public. There’s also no requirement to file annual returns or financial statements with the Seychelles authorities, which reduces administrative burdens.

Seychelles IBCs benefit from a range of advantages including zero taxation on international income, no minimum capital requirement, no foreign exchange controls, and the ability to conduct multiple types of business activities. The confidentiality provisions and ease of administration make IBCs an attractive option for conducting international business.

Protected Cell Company (PCC)

Type Designations Minimum Share Capital Taxes
PCC PCC No minimum required Subject to local taxes, specific concessions may apply

Protected Cell Companies (PCCs) in Seychelles are innovative corporate entities that allow the segregation of assets into separate cells within a single company. Each cell is independent and segregated, meaning the assets and liabilities of one cell are not affected by those of another. This structure is established under the Protected Cell Companies Act.

PCCs are ideal for businesses involved in insurance, mutual funds, or any entity looking to manage risk by segregating different lines of activity within the same company. They provide a means for these businesses to protect assets, as liabilities linked to one cell do not impact the assets of other cells or the core company.

The structure of a PCC is particularly advantageous in offering legal separation of assets and liabilities between cells, operational flexibility, and efficiency in terms of cost and administration. They allow for internal “ring-fencing” of assets, which provides significant asset protection and can help in the effective management of diverse business ventures under a single corporate umbrella.

Special License Company (CSL)

Type Designations Minimum Share Capital Taxes
CSL (Special License) No minimum required Subject to Seychelles’ corporate tax with concessions

A Special License Company (CSL) in Seychelles is a corporate entity that enjoys special tax and business benefits not typically available to other types of companies. It’s governed by the Companies (Special Licenses) Act and is designed for specific business activities that want to leverage Seychelles’ network of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs).

CSLs are suited for businesses that require a physical presence in Seychelles and wish to engage in permitted activities like international trade, investment, asset management, and intellectual property holdings. This type of company is ideal for those who want to benefit from Seychelles’ corporate tax concessions while also gaining the ability to repatriate profits and capital.

Advantages of a CSL include access to Seychelles’ growing network of DTAAs, which can reduce withholding taxes on payments from countries with which Seychelles has a treaty. A CSL is also subject to a preferential tax rate, and there is no withholding tax on dividends, interest, and royalties paid to non-residents. Furthermore, there’s no stamp duty on property transfers, shares, and other securities relating to a CSL.

Limited Partnership

Type Designations Minimum Share Capital Taxes
Limited Partnership LP No minimum required Depends on business activity and structure

In Seychelles, a Limited Partnership (LP) is a business structure that consists of at least one general partner with unlimited liability and one or more limited partners with liability limited to their contribution. The LP is governed by the Limited Partnerships Act. It combines the benefits of a corporation’s limited liability with the operational flexibility and tax regime of a partnership.

Limited Partnerships are commonly used for investment ventures, where the general partner manages the business and the limited partners contribute capital and share in the profits but do not participate in day-to-day operations. This structure is attractive for investors seeking to pool resources while protecting themselves from business liabilities.

The main advantage of an LP is the limited liability protection for limited partners, shielding personal assets from the business’s debts and obligations. The structure also offers flexibility in management and profit distribution. Profits pass through directly to partners and are only taxed at the individual level, avoiding double taxation. It’s also worth noting that the partnership agreement can be tailored to specific business needs, providing significant operational flexibility.


Type Designations Minimum Capital Taxes
Trust N/A No minimum required Subject to specific trust regulations

Trusts in Seychelles are established under the Seychelles International Trusts Act and serve as an arrangement whereby trustees are legally obligated to hold and manage assets for the benefit of designated parties (beneficiaries). Trusts are often used for asset protection, estate planning, and wealth management.

Individuals and corporations looking for effective ways to protect their assets, ensure privacy in wealth management, and plan for succession find trusts an attractive option. This type of entity is not for conducting active business but rather for holding and managing personal wealth, investments, or property.

Advantages of a Seychelles trust include robust asset protection, potential tax planning benefits, and a high degree of confidentiality and privacy. The jurisdiction ensures that the settlor’s wishes are closely followed, providing peace of mind regarding the management of one’s assets. Moreover, Seychelles’ legal framework for trusts provides strong protection against creditors and legal judgments, adding an extra layer of security for assets held within a trust.

Sole Proprietorship

Type Designations Minimum Capital Taxes
Sole Proprietorship N/A No minimum required Subject to personal income tax rates

A Sole Proprietorship in Seychelles is the simplest form of business entity, owned and operated by one individual, and there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business. It’s the easiest type of business to establish and run, making it popular among individual self-contractors, consultants, and small business owners.

Individuals who wish to have full control of their business, with the ability to make all decisions and keep all profits, often opt for a sole proprietorship. This type of entity is ideal for someone starting a low-risk business or wanting to test a business idea before formalizing a more complex business structure.

While sole proprietorships offer the advantage of being easy to form and operate, with no corporate tax payments or corporate filing requirements, they do have downsides. The primary disadvantage is the unlimited personal liability of the owner. If the business incurs debt or faces legal action, the owner’s personal assets are at risk. Additionally, raising capital can be challenging, as sole proprietors cannot sell stock and lenders may be hesitant to finance them.

Common questions

What makes Seychelles a preferred choice for offshore company incorporation?

Seychelles has become a popular jurisdiction for offshore incorporation due to a combination of factors. These include a stable political environment, robust legal infrastructure, tax advantages, a pro-business environment, confidentiality provisions, and straightforward company setup processes. The absence of exchange controls and the freedom to operate in any global currency further enhance its attractiveness for international entrepreneurs.

Are the identities of shareholders and directors public in Seychelles?

No, the identities of shareholders and directors remain confidential in Seychelles. The country emphasizes privacy and asset protection, ensuring that such details are not available in the public domain. This feature is particularly appealing to investors seeking discretion in their business operations.

How quickly can I incorporate a company in Seychelles?

The process of incorporating a company in Seychelles is swift, often taking just a few days once all required documentation is submitted. The efficiency of the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA) and a streamlined process contribute to this rapid turnaround.

Is there a requirement for annual financial audits?

For International Business Companies (IBCs) in Seychelles, there is no mandatory requirement to undergo annual financial audits. However, it’s recommended that companies maintain accurate records and accounts for internal purposes, even though they are not obligated to submit these for review.

Can a foreigner be a sole director and shareholder of a Seychelles company?

Yes, foreigners are allowed to be both the sole director and the sole shareholder of an International Business Company (IBC) in Seychelles. This flexibility is one of the reasons why Seychelles is favored by international entrepreneurs.

What are the tax implications for IBCs in Seychelles?

International Business Companies (IBCs) incorporated in Seychelles benefit from a tax-exempt status, meaning they do not pay any local taxes, including corporate tax, capital gains tax, and inheritance tax. However, it’s essential for companies to be aware of tax regulations in their home countries or where they conduct significant business, as there might be tax implications outside of Seychelles.

What kind of legal system does Seychelles follow?

Seychelles has a mixed legal system that incorporates both English common law and French civil law. This system offers a blend of predictability and flexibility, allowing for contractual freedom while maintaining robust investor protections.

What's the importance of Seychelles' Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs)?

Seychelles has signed several DTAAs with various countries. These agreements are designed to prevent businesses from being taxed in two jurisdictions for the same income. For international businesses, these agreements can significantly reduce the tax burden and avoid the complexities of navigating conflicting tax regulations in different countries.

Are there any currency controls in Seychelles?

No, Seychelles does not impose any currency controls. Businesses and individuals can freely move their funds in and out of the country without any restrictions. This provision adds another layer of flexibility for international businesses operating in multiple currencies.

How strong is the banking infrastructure in Seychelles for international businesses?

Seychelles boasts a robust and sophisticated banking infrastructure. The country’s banks offer a multitude of services tailored to the needs of international businesses, including multi-currency accounts, online banking, and a high level of confidentiality.

How does Seychelles ensure the confidentiality of businesses?

Seychelles takes the confidentiality of businesses very seriously. The country has stringent laws that protect the identities of shareholders and directors, ensuring they’re not made publicly available. Additionally, the Seychelles Financial Services Authority maintains rigorous protocols to safeguard business information.

How does the political climate in Seychelles affect businesses?

Seychelles enjoys a stable political climate, which is a significant factor in its appeal as an offshore jurisdiction. Political stability often translates to business continuity, reduced risks, and predictability in regulatory frameworks—all essential elements for businesses looking for a safe and reliable environment for their operations.

Is there a minimum capital requirement for incorporation in Seychelles?

For the popular International Business Company (IBC) setup, there is no prescribed minimum capital requirement. This flexibility allows businesses of all sizes, from startups to established entities, to incorporate in Seychelles without being burdened by high capital demands.

What kind of support does the Seychelles government offer to international businesses?

The Seychelles government has been proactive in promoting the country as a premier offshore destination. Through the Seychelles Investment Board (SIB) and the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA), the government offers various incentives, streamlined processes, and support mechanisms to attract and assist international businesses in their endeavors in the country.

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