4 July, 2024

Setup and Register Business in the Cayman Islands

business setup in cayman island

The Cayman Islands provides a well-regulated and widely respected offshore business setting that is tax-neutral, vibrant, and adaptable, with close to 120,000 active registered companies.

The thriving surroundings stem from multiple factors. The Cayman Islands has a strong regulatory system, an advanced legal system rooted in English law, and many top-notch corporate service providers. These factors attract various businesses, ranging from film and finance to tech development, making it a desirable location for incorporation.

By utilizing the advantages of the Special Economic Zone, a range of industries are gaining benefits, while the enhanced legislation in Cayman is increasing the trust of international clients and improving the jurisdiction’s reputation.

To access a checklist of the necessities for establishing a Trade and Business License, and obtain more thorough information, visit the checklist provided by the Department of Commerce and Investment (DCI). To start or renew a Trade and Business Licensing process, use the online application and renewal portal provided by the Department of Commerce and Investment.


How to Register Company in Cayman Islands?

Obtaining company registration in the Cayman Islands is a straightforward procedure when utilizing RadiantBiz’s help. Our team of professionals is committed to ensuring a smooth experience during the registration process. Our main objective is to ensure that your Cayman company is prepared for operation within the agreed-upon time frame set during the engagement process.

The Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory with self-governing status, is famous for its robust financial services industry. Despite the region’s dependence on tourism, the government’s focus on developing the financial services sector has greatly lessened this reliance. Currently, the Cayman Islands has become the fifth-largest banking hub globally, boasting over 100,000 registered companies, which exceeds the number of residents.


Step-by-Step Guide to Registering a Company in the Cayman Islands

Step 1: Choosing a Company Structure

Our team of committed consultants will evaluate the objectives and operations of your company in order to suggest the most appropriate entity for your business. This suggestion will consider the nature of business operations, tax responsibilities, and the citizenship of your shareholders and managers. You will be provided with guidance on the ideal paid-up share capital, business framework, applicable laws, and required permits before establishing the company. Normally, we suggest setting up a exempt company for the majority of clients.


Step 2: Reservation of Company Name

Prior to officially registering your business, RadiantBiz will perform a search with the Cayman Islands Registrar of Companies to secure your desired company name through the General Registry.


Step 3: Preparation of Supporting Documents

You must provide us with the required KYC papers, which should include the names of directors and proof of identification. RadiantBiz will proceed to create and certify the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association. We will also create articles of incorporation, a business plan, and any necessary documents based on your business activity and structure. Regulated industries must also obtain approval from the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority.


Step 4: Filing for Registration

Incorporation necessitates having a registered agent and office. RadiantBiz will offer these services and submit the registration forms and certificates to the General Registry. After being approved, you will be given your Cayman Islands company registration number, and we will send the Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum and Articles of Association, along with other documents, to the address you choose.


Step 5: Applying for Other Licenses

Our consultants will submit applications for approval with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) for industries like banking and insurance that are regulated. We can help you obtain a license under the local Trade and Business Licensing Law from the Department of Commerce and Investment when setting up an exempt company with ongoing trade activities.


Step 6: Corporate Bank Account Opening

RadiantBiz will help in establishing a corporate bank account with a well-known partner bank in the Cayman Islands. The usual timeframe for the procedure is around four weeks, with directors and shareholders not required to make any travel arrangements. If you need to travel, someone will go with you or we will discuss other options like phone meetings or exemptions. After the account is created, we will send the internet banking token and access codes to your chosen address via courier.


Step 7: Financial Reporting and Taxation Obligations

Our consultants will make sure that all essential services are set up for your company to operate successfully. Businesses are required to annually submit a return to the Registrar of Companies, which includes details such as member and director names and addresses, as well as paid-up capital amounts. A yearly fee of CI$800 is required for company licensing, and we will send you reminders each year regarding these fees to make sure you stay compliant.


Documentation Required:

  • Certificate of formation and any Name Change Certificate (if necessary)
  • Certificate verifying that an entity has been operational for more than a year.
  • Document detailing the regulations and rules for a company
  • Directory of Executives and Managers
  • List of people who own shares in a company.
  • Personal paperwork required for all approved signers.
  • Identity verification for at least two executives
  • Personal paperwork required for every voting/stakeholding shareholder holding at least 10% of shares.


Legal Requirements for Starting a Business in the Cayman Islands

Establishing a business in the Cayman Islands is possible as a sole trader, a partnership, or a limited company. Foreign businesses can also choose to establish a branch in the Cayman Islands in order to conduct operations within the country.

Sole Trader

For individuals starting a business as a sole trader in the Cayman Islands, consult our comprehensive manual for business owners to grasp the necessary requirements and procedures.


Companies & Partnerships

For information on the different business partnership structures in the Cayman Islands, consult our extensive guide on setting up business partnerships.


Companies & LLCs

Foreign companies can choose to open a branch in the Cayman Islands if they prefer not to set up a subsidiary there.

Foundation Companies

The Cayman Islands provides support to its successful business community through foundation companies that have the option to have no shareholders and solidify their goals.

Cayman Islands Branches

  • Foreign companies that:
  • Set up a commercial location.
  • Start operating in the Cayman Islands (including offshore operations), or Suggest investing in property in the Cayman Islands.

need to register as a “foreign company” (which is essentially registering a branch) according to Part IX of the Companies Law.

Intellectual Property Legislation

The government of the Cayman Islands has updated intellectual property laws to improve the protection of rights for individuals in creative and business pursuits. Legislation that strengthens copyright, trademark, patent, and design rights enhances the framework for local commerce.

Funds & Investment Business

To find in-depth details about funds and business investments in the Cayman Islands, check out our investment guide. You might also consider looking at the Cayman Resident’s section for the most recent data on investment funds.

Cayman Enterprise City (CEC)

CEC, an acclaimed development endeavor, comprises three special economic zones with the goal of luring knowledge-based and technology-focused companies to establish a physical presence in the Cayman Islands.

Cayman Islands Department of Commerce & Investment (DCI)

The Department of Commerce & Investment (DCI) in the Cayman Islands is in charge of issuing and overseeing licenses for the majority of businesses in the region. This involves managing and providing:

  • Trade & Business Licences
  • Local Company (Control) Licences
  • Tobacco Permits
  • Liquor Licenses
  • Music & Dancing Licenses
  • Public Film Exhibition Premises Licences
  • Special Economic Zone Company Licences

Furthermore, DCI is responsible for issuing Cinema licenses, enforcing Second Hand Dealers compliance, and handling Intellectual Property issues. They also offer assistance and help with the registration Process for Designated Non-Financial Business and Professions (DNFBP). 

Support for Small Businesses

The Cayman Islands Government helps businesses by lowering Trade & Business Licensing fees for small and micro enterprises. In order to be considered a micro business, individuals can hire a maximum of four more workers and should not surpass an annual total income of CI$250,000. Small businesses can have a maximum of 12 employees and must not surpass an annual gross revenue of CI$750,000.