How to network in the offshore services space?

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Sols

Staff member
Mentor Group Gold
You could Google “corporate service provider” :rolleyes:
Yes and no.

Results depend on what Google serves you but usually, you'll at most get Vistra and Sovereign on the first page and the others at best start shows up on the second or third page. Scattered in between are regulators, resellers, industry news, and content-filler websites.

The list is a selection of providers I find to be influential, popular, and/or have had good experiences with.

I have had experience with 5 of the service providers mentioned. It was good with one, neutral with another, and awful with the other 3.
I'm not at all surprised.
 

JohnnyDoe

Mentor Group Gold
Yes and no.

Results depend on what Google serves you but usually, you'll at most get Vistra and Sovereign on the first page and the others at best start shows up on the second or third page. Scattered in between are regulators, resellers, industry news, and content-filler websites.
It depends on the keyword, but I remember a time when ocra was constantly at the top. That’s why I started to deal with them. Probably they grew too big. You could sense it in their office in Onchan.
 

GPT

Active Member
Talking about gold standard in the industry. It’s something that changes over time. I remember the days where sovereign was the gold standard. Their methods were one of a kind until about 10 years (perhaps already longer) when almost overnight they went from hero to zero to now being usable for specific jurisdictions/ services only.

The key is to stay up to date. And the offshore industry changes all the time. These changes lead to specialisms as it’s next to impossible to stay up to date on everything also for the large players.
 
Results depend on what Google serves you but usually, you'll at most get Vistra and Sovereign on the first page and the others at best start shows up on the second or third page. Scattered in between are regulators, resellers, industry news, and content-filler websites.
My experience so far tells me Sols is correct. I, maybe, knew of 4-5 of these providers from my Google term searches. One of the things I found so frustrating was trying to retrieve good information on Google. Apart from Google searches, I've learnt mostly by reading books and searching through legal secondary source databases like HeinOnline and Legal Source. Some old (and probably outdated), but still very interesting material can be found there.
 

GPT

Active Member
My experience so far tells me Sols is correct. I, maybe, knew of 4-5 of these providers from my Google term searches. One of the things I found so frustrating was trying to retrieve good information on Google. Apart from Google searches, I've learnt mostly by reading books and searching through legal secondary source databases like HeinOnline and Legal Source. Some old (and probably outdated), but still very interesting material can be found there.
There is a reason why google doesn’t show you what you want to know.

That info is filtered out. The powers that be don’t want you to learn about this and putting it to use. Mostly what you read online is negative.

You being a lawyer; I think the tax planning / structuring part is touched upon but not really taught nor encouraged. You only learn this profession when you end up in it.

Once you are in this industry you can go really far but only if you can connect the dots.
 
There is a reason why google doesn’t show you what you want to know.

That info is filtered out. The powers that be don’t want you to learn about this and putting it to use. Mostly what you read online is negative.

You being a lawyer; I think the tax planning / structuring part is touched upon but not really taught nor encouraged. You only learn this profession when you end up in it.

Once you are in this industry you can go really far but only if you can connect the dots.
I agree with you one hundred percent.

When I took the tax planning course at my law school, tax planning (as I understand it from my time on OCT) wasn't even taught.
 
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JohnnyDoe

Mentor Group Gold
Todays tax planning is different, as a lawyer you can't even think about all what is mentioned on OCT since it would put you in legal problems. That is, that makes OCT an unique place to learn what the 1% don't want you to know.
Well said. A lawyer is prohibited from following or advising to follow many of the solution mentioned here.
 
Todays tax planning is different, as a lawyer you can't even think about all what is mentioned on OCT since it would put you in legal problems. That is, that makes OCT an unique place to learn what the 1% don't want you to know.
That is true, but shouldn't a lawyer at least know about such strategies to advise clients who have used these techniques and are curious about the legal issues they might face? You should see the look on the faces of some of my professors when I spoke with them about offshore lol. It's like they immediately assume you want to evade tax or launder money lol. It's a no-go zone that they do not want to talk about. Asset protection is treated similarly. The only time offshore is spoken about is when the client is a large MNE.

It is strictly incorrect for me to say that this content is not taught in law school. These concepts are taught in International Taxation (IT) (if one's law school offers this class of course, which many do not - so I am told). The problem is that IT is completely focused on large MNE's and not ordinary entrepreneurs like the posters on OCT. As such, students who take IT will learn about how lawyers go about structuring cross-border transactions to minimize taxation for supersized MNEs. Its basically in the application of these concepts to common entrepreneurs that OCT becomes helpful. This makes your comment on the 1% pertinent indeed.

Well said. A lawyer is prohibited from following or advising to follow many of the solution mentioned here.
Not necessarily true. Most of the talk on this forum involves changing your residency and properly structuring the ownership chains of your company such that taxation is avoided (sometimes completely). I take this to be the 'nomadic lifestyle.' In terms of my knowledge, such strategies (if properly done) are not illegal. I think the problem is that changing your residency in a core OECD country is not an easy and pleasant task. And then there are countries that tax based on citizenship, like the USA. Which makes it even harder to get out of the grip of the state, as most are loathe to renounce their citizenship.
 
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Golden Fleece

Entrepreneur
Todays tax planning is different, as a lawyer you can't even think about all what is mentioned on OCT since it would put you in legal problems. That is, that makes OCT an unique place to learn what the 1% don't want you to know.
Americans who move offshore and create a business offshore can legally reduce their effective tax burden from roughly 35% to 40% (up to 50%, if you live in a high tax jurisdiction such as NYC) to 10% to 15%.

In fact, for those who make less than about $110k, using the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) you can legally eliminate all income taxes.

So, it really depends on the target market. For example, catering to Americans is a huge market. And because the tax laws change far more frequently in this age of political instability, you have a captive market.

As a U.S. offshore tax consultant, the ideal professional designations would be both lawyer and CPA.
 

JohnnyDoe

Mentor Group Gold
Not necessarily true. Most of the talk on this forum involves changing your residency and properly structuring the ownership chains of your company such that taxation is avoided (sometimes completely). I take this to be the 'nomadic lifestyle.' In terms of my knowledge, such strategies (if properly done) are not illegal. I think the problem is that changing your residency in a core OECD country is not an easy and pleasant task. And then there are countries that tax based on citizenship, like the USA. Which makes it even harder to get out of the grip of the state, as most are loathe to renounce their citizenship.
in a few years your candor will fade away, don’t worry ;)
 

aage

Offshore Agent
Mentor Group Gold
When I speak to my well known lawyer for years he has no comment on most what I suggest. What he tells me is that I should find 7 hours job and stay on the right side of the law.

You ask for troubles when you do something that certain instances have difficult to penetrate.
 
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