Re-domiciliation – is it anything but fraud – help please!

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I got sent a link to a web site saying the following:

As you approach using an offshore company in your business, you may realize that a better option as to your particular case is not available to you because of substantial set-up and maintenance costs. A solution might be to incorporate your first company in a cheaper jurisdiction with fewer benefits and later switch to a better option when it becomes worth of it economically. How can you legally change your offshore company's domicile to another jurisdiction?

Re-domiciliation

When you are ready to move your offshore legal entity to another jurisdiction, you may apply to redomiciliation. Redomiciliation is an instrument of transferring a company to another country as if it has been incorporated under the laws of that country. For example, a foreign company incorporated under the laws of any country other than Malaysia may apply to be registered as being continued in Labuan.

Many low-tax jurisdictions provide for redomiciliation both in and from the jurisdiction. Generally, companies wishing to change their domicile are to get approval from the company's directors and shareholders and from the authorities of both jurisdictions. The latter is normally easy if the company has paid its fees due to the register and the registered agent and keeps in good legal standing.

Some countries, e.g. Panama, allow for redomiciliation of foreign corporations regardless of provisions in this respect in the country of origin. However, if you plan to move your company to another jurisdiction, make sure in advance that laws of both jurisdictions provide for redomiciliation, or that your new jurisdiction of choice accepts foreign companies unilaterally.

The English isn't great: ignore that. The issue is this: do you believe anything said here? Is redomiciliation really a case of 'moving up the scale of offshore administrations'? Or could it be something much more pernicious - the opportunity for a company to flee from one jurisdiction to another, lock, stock and barrel,. the moment a hint of any enquiry arises, meaning that those making the enquiry then have to start all over again in another place? In that case is it just a mechanism that facilitates fraud?

No one will be surprised to know that I incline to the latter opinion.

And no one will also be surprised to know that I see this as example of another dangerous development in our world - which is that of the corporation that floats free of responsibility to any place. Once that happens regulating the company becomes virtually impossible because there is no sanction to impose.

But I may be wrong. There are those (I've noticed) who like to say I am. So, for those who'd like to persuade me that I am I make these requests:

1) Which countries allow redomiciliation, and when did they begin to do so?

2) How many cases are there, by jurisdiction, a year?

3) Where do the companies move from, and to?

4) What are the costs?

5) Why do companies say they move?

6) What happens to the records in the country from which the company moves - are they simply expunged, or can they still be subject to an enquiry?

7) And why if this is so useful is its use largely restricted to the tax haven world?

Let's deal with some facts for a change. Any takers? I am keen to know the answers to these questions. Please feel free to answer off line - I will note quote you - richard.murphy@taxresearch.org.uk

Thanks.