Western Samoa is an excellent jurisdiction in which to open a company. The International Companies Act of Western Samoa was passed in 1987, so they have been in the business for many years and have experience.
Western Samoa is however, still a relatively unknown offshore jurisdiction, and is not viewed with as much suspicion as some of the more well known tax havens such as the Cayman Islands, etc.
Total exemption from taxes is granted to “International Companies” incorporated under the 1987 Act as well as to “International Trusts” registered under the International Trusts Act, 1987.
The International Companies Act stipulates that entities operating under the offshore legislation are exempted from all taxes, any direct or indirect levy and exchange or currency controls as long as the company is in business i.e. into perpetuity. In our opinion, Western Samoa has the best legislation regarding offshore companies, tax liabilities and asset protection that is currently available.
Western Samoa is not party to any mutual assistance, gateway, or information exchange agreements unlike some of the British Dependent Territories. While taking a hard line on money laundering and fraud, Samoa has legislated to protect the confidentiality of its International Companies. In addition to common law protection, it is a legislated criminal offence to divulge any information regarding the shareholders, officers or operations of a Samoan International Company.
The attractions of Western Samoa as an offshore finance centre can be summarised as:
- a long history of social and political stability;
- economic stability;
- modern offshore legislation providing maximum flexibility;
- excellent asset protection;
- exemption from all taxes and duties;
- an established domestic banking system with proven international connections;
- a well developed economic and commercial infrastructure;
- competitive cost structure.