A little known group of islands located in the Pacific Ocean near Australia, Vanuatu is one of the hidden gems of the Pacific Ocean. The country has not seen complete commercialization as many of the other Pacific islands which make it an ideal holiday destination for any traveler seeking solace and tranquillity. The island has a peaceful and stable government which makes it highly attractive for travel and investment.
Forex License in Vanuatu
The Government of Vanuatu has recognized financial services as one of the prime areas which can bring in more investment to the country. This had led to the promulgation of detailed and flexible regulations in the country which provide the much need legislative assurance for foreign investors who flock the country. With zero income tax, withholding tax and Capital Gains Tax, Vanuatu is the ideal destination for financial investment and for use as a business base. The financial services sector in the country is regulated by a uniform regulator called the Vanuatu Financial Service Commission reducing regulatory hassles.
Of late, Vanuatu has also emerged as a preferred Licensing destination for Forex Business Licenses owing to the fast and relatively low cost for the licenses. The entire licensing process can be divided into three main parts:
- Incorporation of the company
- Opening bank accounts
- Obtaining the securities license and Financial Intelligence Unit Registration.
Incorporation of the Company
The most preferred company form for a Forex License is the Vanuatu International Company. The Vanuatu International Company is formed under the International Companies Act and has important qualities of confidentiality and tax-free status.
The main features of these companies are:
- The shareholders can be one or more natural or legal persons and do not need to reside in Vanuatu.
- One or more managers may be selected for the company and they need not reside in Vanuatu.
- Resident directors and agents can be appointed in Vanuatu on the payment of a small fee as specified in law.
The registration of a company can take place within a very short time period normally around 3-4 months and after registration, we can immediately proceed to the next steps.
Opening bank account in Vanuatu
After the formation of a company, the next important step is the opening of a bank account in Vanuatu for conducting business. The bank accounts can be opened in two prominent banks:
- National Bank of Vanuatu which provided a low account opening and maintenance fee with a Debit Card.
- Pacific Private Bank which does not provide a Debit Card and is more expensive in terms of fees and charges.
The documents for KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements for the banks are as follows:
- Name of the Shareholder(s)
- Address of the Shareholder(s)
- Name of the Director(s)
- Address of the Director(s)
- Number of shares to be issued
- The initial value of the shares to be issued
- The currency of the share capital
- The currency of the bank account to be opened (if relevant)
- Name of the signatory(ies) on the bank account (if relevant)
The following details of the company are also required:
- A notarized copy of the passport of the shareholder(s) / director(s)
- A recent extract of criminal record (less than 3 months) of the shareholder(s) and of the director(s) – translated and notarized in English if necessary
- Proof of address of the shareholder(s) and director(s) – Translated in English
- A non-photo ID of the signatory(ies) of the bank account
The account opening duration depends on a case to case basis, but it is relatively on par with global standards.
Obtaining a Security License
The penultimate but probably the most important step is obtaining a Security License which is necessary for Foreign Exchange trading in Vanuatu. The licenses are granted by the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission and are governed by the Dealers In Securities (Licensing) Act [CAP 70] and Amendments.
The applicant can be made both by a natural person and a legal person and the applications have to be accompanied by the following documents:
- Notarized Copy of Passport of the applicant;
- Police Clearance and notarized translation where necessary; and
- An outline of the business plan.
- A bank reference letter showing the proof of source of funds to pay the Capital
- The statement which shows in detail the exact activity which will be carried out under the license and information on the products which will be provided by the applicant
The actual documentary requirements may vary from case to case and depending on the number of directors and key personnel.
The Dealers in Securities (Licensing) Amendment Act No 11 of 2017 has prescribed fresh requirements to comply with the latest global anti-money laundering guidelines. More information about the latest amendments can be found here
Registration with the Financial Intelligence Unit
The Financial Intelligence Unit is the new organization entrusted with ensuring compliance with Anti Money Laundering rules. Registration and compliance with AML rules are mandatory and the following documents have to be submitted:
- An AML&CTF Registration Form.
- An AML&CTF Compliance Officer Appointment Form.
- A compliance report.
- An anti-money laundering manual
A compliance officer also has to be appointed and regular submissions may be required. The registration process in simple and we can complete it on your behalf.
Assistance for a Vanuatu Forex License
Forex Trading is a new and untapped business area and Vanuatu is the ideal destination to start a registered forex business. The low cost of the licenses along with confidentiality and business-friendly registration process makes it your preferred business jurisdiction. Empire has a team of experts who can guide you through all the stages of licensing while you can focus on your business. The Forex Licensing Experts at Empire will assist you at every step and possess the necessary on-ground experience. You can reach the experts at Empire through phone at +60350331665, by our website www.empireglobal.partners and or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer clear written contract agreements clearly mentioning the applicable charges including the refund policy, in the unlikely event that the application is unsuccessful.
Vanuatu Financial Services Commission – https://www.vfsc.vu/