Dart’s Chris Duggan, Left, And Ogier’s Cline Glidden
Chris Duggan (CD): Thank you for joining us for this conversation, Cline. We are interested in learning more, from the legal standpoint, on the process of corporate relocation to the Cayman Islands. Can you explain what is involved with getting a business license in Cayman?
Cline Glidden (CG): Thanks, Chris. It depends if you are setting up as a local company or an exempt company. If you are a local company – meaning your company is doing business in Cayman – then there is a requirement to have 60% Caymanian ownership and control, or you can seek an exemption for this requirement, known as a Local Companies Control License (LCCL.) For exempt companies that do business From the Cayman Islands but not Within Cayman, such as an investment fund, then this is not required.
CD: How long would a new business expect this to take?
CG: For a regular business license, about four weeks. If an LCCL is required, it will be longer.
CD: Cayman is a highly regulated offshore financial services centre. Does this pose issues for new businesses establishing a bank account here?
CG: As you’ve mentioned, the jurisdiction is well-regulated and banks are very risk-averse; therefore, they require there to be clear nexus with the island for any new accounts. New businesses typically need to set up the company, get licensed by government and then open a bank account.
CD: What is the proper sequence of events for this work and who can typically help a client do this?
CG: For corporate accounts, the sequence would be the incorporation and establishment of the company, then obtaining all the necessary licenses and fulfilling the bank requirements.
CD: Cline, you have helped a number of companies set up in Cayman. What are common challenges you see with the process that can be overcome with advance planning before they relocate or establish in Cayman?
CG: Choosing an advisor with the requisite local legal services expertise and experience very early in the process to provide the necessary advice and direction to the unique requirements involved in establishing a business in Cayman.
Examples are the Caymanian ownership and control requirement for local businesses – most people consider the ownership component and become comfortable with that relatively easily, but the control aspect can create more challenges.
CD: For most companies, remaining connected with the rest of the world is critical to their success. Can you talk about the telecommunications in Cayman and also data security services?
CG: Cayman has grown and benefitted by having a robust infrastructure which includes reliable electricity services, telecommunications and air transport, which is continuously being expanded and upgraded. Cayman has recently implemented the Data Protection Law which regulates the future processing of all personal data using internationally recognised privacy principles.
CD: Thank you for your time, Cline.