It is a destination that may not be present on the itinerary of the most seasoned backpacker and when you land here for the first time you really wish it remained the same. Vanuatu is one of the rare tourist destinations of the world which has still not been severely changed by commercialization and an influx of tour operators. An evening of solitude and siesta is still a possibility in Vanuatu and must enjoy privilege before it changes forever. And while you are in Vanuatu do not forget to have the mandatory glass of Kava served on coconut shell, because such an experience is not available anywhere else across the world.

The Government of Vanuatu has however sought to diversify the revenue sources of the island and ensure that it is not dependent on sporadic seasons of tourist influx. It has tried to promote the island as the destination of a financial service by promulgating investor-friendly legislation and establishing an Independent Financial Services Business Regulator called Vanuatu Financial Services Commission.

The Vanuatu Financial Services Commission acts as the single regulator for the formation of corporations and issuance of financial licenses for other services. The licenses are issued in a hassle-free manner increasing their attractiveness for foreign investors.

Forex Licenses in Vanuatu

Obtaining a Forex License from Vanuatu is the most preferred option for any entrepreneur seeking to join this field. Compared to other jurisdictions the process in Vanuatu is hassle-free and requires lesser documentation and verification. The process of obtaining a license is however divided into the following four steps:

Establishing a Company in Vanuatu

The 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. The Articles of Association, Power of Attorneys, and other associated documents can be arranged by Empire on request.

Opening the 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 provided a low account opening and maintenance fee with a Debit Card.
  • Pacific Private Bank 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 the 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 (Licenses) Rules.

The applicant has to be made by a natural person and not a legal person and the applications have to be accompanied by the following documents:

  • notarized copy of the Passport of the applicant;
  • Police Clearance and notarized translation where necessary; and
  • An outline of the business plan.

Recently the Government has also brought new legislation called the Prevention of Fraud Regulations which are meant to protect the interests of investors and need to be mandatory complied with.

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 is simple and we can complete it on your behalf. This is the final step before you can commence your business.

Get me the license from Vanuatu Fast!

A license from Vanuatu is one of the most affordable and fastest methods to commence your Foreign Exchange Business. With an increase in the number of currencies being traded across the globe and a worldwide market, it can be the best investment for the diversification of your financial services business. We at Empire are ready to customize our packages to best suit your needs because we understand that every business has a unique selling point. We are available through our website or by email at

For more information please visit:

Empire: Vanuatu Forex License Page:


Vanuatu Financial Services Commission –

To know more about the country, please visit:

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