One of the fastest growing areas of financial services in the Bahamas has been the mutual funds industry. The Bahamas has a full complement of globally-recognized fund administrators as well as a wide range of domestic niche players.

Key Features

  • Unrestricted Investment Fund Administrator – has the authority to license and oversee the operations of an unlimited number of Investment Funds. In order to be licensed as an unrestricted mutual fund administrator, a minimum capital of $500,000 (or $150,000 plus liability insurance coverage of $350,000) is required unless waived by the Commission if it is satisfied otherwise as to the financial viability of the applicant. Additionally, the applicant for an unrestricted licence must have a place which will be its principal office in the Bahamas and two individuals as resident agents in the Bahamas and any subsequent changes thereto must be approved in advance by the Commission.
  • Restricted Investment Fund Administrator – can provide Investment Fund Administrator services only to the Investment Funds licensed or registered by the Commission. A restricted licence holder does not have the authority to independently license an investment fund; licensing must be from the Commission. A restricted licence may be granted authorising the holder to administer specified regulated mutual funds. The applicant must have a registered office in the Bahamas.
  • Exemptions may be granted by the Commission if it is satisfied that the applicant would otherwise be granted a restricted licence and will not be administering more than one fund. A prescribed annual exemption fee is payable.
  • Upon starting to provide the principal office for a regulated fund, the administrator shall immediately provide the Commission with the prescribed details and pay the prescribed fee in respect of the fund.

Legal Requirements

Requirements

Description

General

  • Corporate  vehicle permitted

Bahamas Company

  • Shelf company availability

Yes

  • License application fee

USD 190

  • Annual license fee

USD 200

  • Representative license fee

USD 100

  • Physical office in Vanuatu

No

Share capital or equivalent

  • Minimum paid up capital

USD 2,000

Directors

  • Minimum number

2

  • Corporate directorship allowed

Yes

  • Local director required

No

Shareholders

  • Minimum number

2

  • Corporate shareholder allowed

Yes

  • Local shareholder required

No

Company secretary

  • Required

Yes

An application for a Mutual Fund Administrator’s Licence shall be made to the Commission in the prescribed form accompanied by the prescribed application fee. The Commission must be satisfied that the applicant has sufficient expertise, is of sound reputation and will administer the mutual funds in a proper manner.

Licensed administrators shall not provide a principal office to a regulated fund unless satisfied that the promoters are of sound reputation, that the administration of the fund will be carried out by persons with sufficient expertise and of sound reputation and that the business of the fund will be carried out in a proper manner.

Licensed mutual fund administrators shall be audited annually by an auditor approved by the Commission and shall submit their audited accounts to the Commission within four months of the end of the fiscal year unless an extension has been received.

Tax Treatment

The Bahamas has no income taxes, withholding taxes, capital transfer taxes, wealth taxes or gift and inheritance taxes.

Duration to Set Up

Around 1 to 2 months

 

Distinctive Benefits of Licence

Finely tuned regulatory regime that provides confidence in the quality of supervision while ensuring that the demands of the investment community can be met.

Local fund administrators with an unrestricted licence (“authorised administrator”) have the ability to license professional and SMART investment funds independently of the regulator.

The Valsen Advantage

  • End to end comprehensive service
  • Speedy and efficient service
  • Expert advice on structuring options
  • Dedicated ongoing compliance support
  • Extensive network pool of service providers