Investment & Offshore

Aruba is fast developing as an international financial services center. Favorable provisions in the form of special tax concessions for investment companies exist. Some possibilities are Finance Companies, Offshore Banking Companies, Royalty Companies, Investment and Holding Companies. Another interesting possibility is the AVV or Aruba Exempt Company.

A business license is required for an incorporated company and non-residents always needs a business license for starting a business on the island. The granting of a license depends on the kind of business that will be established, an important factor being whether the business contributes to an enlargement of the economic basis of Aruba and if it is capital-intensive.

Before starting your own business other authorities may have to be contacted to obtain licenses and for you to become familiar with procedures and regulations.

Business license application requirements differ depending on the type of businesses with some having special requisites such as restaurants, beer houses or café, car rental, bus tours and water sport related companies.

There are certain guidelines which need to be taken into consideration when forming a company and it is important to be familiar with these.

Important addresses

Department of Economic Affairs, Commerce & Industry

L.G. Smith Boulevard 160
Oranjestad, Aruba
Phone +297 582 1181
Fax +297 583 4494

Central Agency for General and Legal Affairs

Vondellaan 19-C
Oranjestad, Aruba
Phone +297 583 5002
Fax +297 583 1772

Ministry of Justice

L.G. Smith Boulevard 76
Oranjestad, Aruba
Phone +297 582 4900
Fax +297 582 5388

High Commissioner

Aruba Financial Center Schotlandstraat 49, Suite 4,
Eagle, Aruba
Phone +297 583 8687
Fax +297 583 4665

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Aruba Exempt Company

AVV

The Aruba Exempt Company (AVV) is a concept introduced by Aruba in 1988. The purpose of the introduction of the AVV has been to increase the possibilities of the offshore companies in Aruba. The AVV is not intended for residents of Aruba. The most important feature of the AVV is its complete exemption from all taxes. Instead, a registration fee of approximately AWG. 500 (US$ 280) is charged each year. The capital of an AVV may be divided by the designation of stock shares. Registered shares as well as bearer shares are allowed, and preference shares may also be issued. Non-voting shares may be issued, provided that at least one voting share has been issued.

The minimum authorized capital for an AVV is Afl. 10,000 (US$ 5,600). The AVV cannot participate in the economy of Aruba, therefore no transactions with onshore companies or residents are allowed. An AVV is not allowed to be active as a credit institution or credit association. The AVV is established by the execution of a notarial deed, and as a rule can be incorporated within one day. One shareholder is sufficient. The incorporator does not have to participate in the share capital.

The AVV is exempt from several obligations. Annual financial statements are not required, AVV is exempt from currency restrictions. The Articles of Association of the Aruba Exempt Company can determine where the general meetings of the shareholders will be held. These may take place anywhere in the world.

Individuals, as well as legal entities, may be designated as directors of an AVV. The individual may not be a resident of Aruba, while the legal entity may solely be a company established under the laws of Aruba, of which the purpose-clause includes the administration of an AVV. The AVV must be represented permanently by at least one Aruban company (usually a trust office) acting as local registered agent.

The general tax exemption, in combination with the many practical possibilities, allows the AVV to be of great value in the offshore sector. On the other hand, the tax exemption of the AVV can lead to fiscal complications. With regard to AVV's, the trust offices provide a wide range of corporate management and professional services. The trust offices also look after the interests of the share holders, stock holders, or other creditors of the AVV. They also mediate by establishing a business or act as founder of the AVV.

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