Companies in Bermuda

Over 75% of the Fortune 500 companies have a presence in Bermuda and a number of major corporations have established offices in Bermuda.

Part of the attraction of Bermuda for corporations is its well developed corporate law and the expertise available to major corporations through its well developed infrastructure. Bermuda has well established and long standing law firms some of whom have over 400 personnel. These firms have considerable expertise in particular in areas of insurance, funds and investment services, structured financing transactions and intellectual property.

The principal act governing companies in Bermuda is the Bermuda Companies Act 1981 as amended. This act and other acts governing corporations in Bermuda can be found at www.bermudalaws.bm.

Main Features of Bermuda Exempted Companies

Bermuda exempted companies are companies formed in Bermuda that are exempt from the requirement that they be beneficially owned and managed by 60% Bermudians.

  • Bermuda companies are exempt from tax on profits, income and capital gains, estate taxes and death duties.
  • An assurance can be applied for, an invariably obtained, that exempts the company from taxation, even if tax legislation is enacted, until March 2035.
  • The minimum share capital for Bermuda company is BD$1 or the equivalent in any other currency. For insurance companies that write insurance for their own accounts the minimum share capital requirement is BD$120,000.
  • Bearer shares are not permitted.
  • Annual General Meeting: Bermuda companies are no longer required to hold an Annual General Meeting.
  • Registered office: Must be in Bermuda and, with a few exceptions, the company’s share register and register of directors and officers must be available in Bermuda for inspection by the general public.
  • A company must keep proper records of its accounts. The Companies Act 1981 contemplates that audited financial statements will be presented to the shareholders at each Annual General Meeting but the audit can be deferred for such period as the general public.