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tgwm

Offshore Agent
I am currently running a small internet-based business in Switzerland.


I really mean small: the annual profit is now 30k EUR, projected to grow to 60k EUR next year.


I would like to create an offshore company.


My concern for doing that is:


1- privacy protection


2- tax optimization


I could have the privacy protection under Swiss Law, but Switzerland's taxes are too high (approx. 12% on company profits and 25% withholding on dividends).


Please note that no tax evasion/fraud is involved, since I will soon move to a country where I won't be subject to personal income tax (and thus I won't be able to claim back the witholding tax on dividends).


My activities include:


- advertising for prostitutes (think along the lines of eros.com, no direct contact with escorts, everything is online)


- escort agency (i.e. putting clients and providers in contact, getting commission - at no point there is a direct contact with escorts, everything is done online and without any pressures or controls on escorts)


- porn sites (no content production)


All activity is "clean" and 100% legal under Swiss law, no child porn, no drugs or other honorless stuff.


But my current problem is that some of this activity is illegal in neighboring countries, for example France (no problem in Germany or Austria though).


Currently, I conduct my business from Switzerland.


However, if a French judge would open a case on me and if my name was known, they could issue an arrest warrant on pimping charges.


Switzerland would take no action, as my business is legal here, but I could get arrested if I set foot in France.


So I want to setup an offshore company.


What would happen if France asked my offshore host country for assistance in the investigation of pimping charges, asking to reveal all information about the owner of the company?


Requirements for the offshore company:


- above activities must be legal at the domicile of the company so that the host country's legislation will protect me


- total costs must be low (i.e. administrative costs, taxes and banking costs)


- my name does not appear in any external documents (like registry of commerce, tax filings, etc.), this makes a nominee director necessary


- nominee director is available to sign documents I submit per email


- a usable bank account with online banking and Mastercard or Visa Card is attached to the company's account (this is a simple credit card for expenses, not a merchant account)


About the bank, please note that the bank's name will not be used in daily business - it will not be made public.


The account is needed to receive proceeds from online payment processors and direct payments from business partners. So the end client or visitors will not be aware of the bank's name.


I also need the account for paying expenses, such as internet domain names (credit card needed) and hosting fees.


Can anyone suggest a good solution for these requirements?
 

SysOp

System Help
Well, first of all welcome aboard, with the requirements you have you won't be limited by any of the available offshore jurisdictions like Belize, Seychelles not sure with the BVI.


As you also mentioned correctly, you will need some nominee service, looks like you will need both a nominee shareholder and director for the signing of the different documents you may have. Finally for the bank account it is very straight forward you can have a bank account in Cyprus (which many Belize corporations have) or you can go for an Seychelles bank account or even open a Bank account in the Bahamas.


As long as you don't require any payment processing for your website the above will help you to archieve what you are looking for, for payment processing I would simply use CCBill Credit Card, Check, Phone Processing and E-Ticketing for online merchants they are the leader in Adult processing and have also all the infrastructure and Webmaster tools in place you need.


In regards to privacy, it is the same almost anywhere, as long as you don't make anything illigal (have any illigal activity) then it will be very difficult for anyone to trace down the owner ship of an offshore company.
 

tgwm

Offshore Agent
thanks for your reply - I think I am limited in my choice of offshore locations.


Porn is illegal on the seychelles and belize has a ban on prostitution.


As you say "as long as you don't make anything illigal (have any illigal activity) then it will be very difficult for anyone to trace down the owner ship of an offshore company".


The problem is that porn and prostitution are explicitly banned in many offshore jurisdictions, so this exposes me to risks.


Panama is a good jurisdiction for me - are there other good jurisdictions?


What about Cyprus about Porn and prostitution (escort service?).


Is Cyprus in the EU?


What happens if an intolerant EU country asks the Cyprus bank who is the beneficial owner of an account?


I already have online processing for credit cards, what I would need is acceptance of international money orders.
 

SysOp

System Help
Sorry, wasn't aware of that porn is illegal in both the Seychelles and Belize, are you sure this also applies for Adult Websites?


I mean there is a big difference in having an Adult website with model release etc. and escort services or prostitution! But you might be right, have you found any official documentation on this, please share would great to have this info.


I don't see any problems with Cyprus as a county in regards to Adult websites, however most of the banks won't accept any business dealing with Adult that’s the major problem, even though we have seen many adult websites to have an bank account in Cyprus then I believe they have another business for which they opened the account and just also use it for their Adult business..


Cyprus is part of the European Union but have a banking secrecy which will protect you very good the way down the road, that’s why it is used by many online businesses....
 

tgwm

Offshore Agent
I don't know any EU bank that likes to be put into a position where it has to hide behind banking secrecy to deny a request coming from law enforcement of another EU country.


Regarding what's OK and what not in the different jurisdictions, the quickest way is to look into their criminal code. Usually, the laws are easy enough to find, but my spanish and portuguese are a bit weak.


Dominica for example, has a very wide ban on pimping, so that I can't make money even by just publishing ads of prostitutes.


A bank account shouldn't be too difficult, since I already have all the processing I want (I got 3 processors).


The account would just be used to receive the payments from processors, receive money orders, store the profits and pay some bills (domain names) with a debit card.
 

Aikman69

Offshore Agent
Hi!


I dont know if the question is still valid, but my choice would be Panama for the above purposes. As far as I know, prostitution is legal there, and privacy for panama companies is great too.
 

clemens

Corporate Services
Mentor Group Gold
Not sure, but why would some want to use Panama if you can have this way cheaper in Europe, below 4% in processing and no setup fees or monthly fees and you don't need to incorporate if you already have a EU company.


What we did is incorporate in Cyprus because we don't have to pay any tax there, if you won't like Europe, why not look at Mauritius or even CCBILL EU which is the leader in Adult processing, they are expansive, but you can compensate for this by have the right company structure.
 

cangarooo

Offshore Agent
I would suggest as follow:


- setup of your off-shore company in Cyprus;


- setup of your web-server in country with no restrictions or limitation but outside EU;


- setup a bank account related to an e-commerce activity (concretely that's what you're doing. you will receive money mainly via credit cards);


Cyprus Banks, particularly Societe Generale, it's very open about it. Secret and privacy are guaranteed.
 

clemens

Corporate Services
Mentor Group Gold
The only way to have asset protection and processing for an adult business is to move the entire business to an offshore jurisdiction, Cyprus is such one but Panama, St.Kits and Curacao are as well.


The major problem is the credit card processing for an Offshore company, not many processors take on business from the above mentioned jurisdictions, exception is Cyprus and Panama, Cyprus is part of the EU and therefore it is possible to for instant apply with CCBILL EU and a few other European payment processors, Panama has also payment processing available but one will face processing fees as high as 15 - 25% and high setup fees.
 

clemens

Corporate Services
Mentor Group Gold
Have heard that Bermuda is an option one can process with FirstAtlantic payment processor... never tried them but may be worth the try.
 

mlee

Offshore Agent
I already have online processing for credit cards, what I would need is acceptance of international money orders.
A bank account shouldn't be too difficult, since I already have all the processing I want (I got 3 processors).
Hi I'm thinking to open a website for escort advertising service myself and I'm in the same position. I thought about opening a Belize, Panama or Nevis Company. another option would be St. Vincent IBC are quite cheap to incorporate.


I'm still looking forward to the right credit card porcessor, can you share the one you use apart from CCBILL so we can all have a look if they would suit our needs as well? thansk a lot for your help!
 

mlee

Offshore Agent
some updates: I contacted several different incorporators, lawyers and banks and seems they do not want to accept adult business because it is to risky. now I'm wondering how the hundreds of thousands of adult websites are coping with thsi issues expecially


1. which jurisdictions do they use to advertise Escort Services.


2. in which bank do they have the bank account if they declared the type of business to the bank or not (because a lawyer sggested to prepare a differen website for the bank to open the account than work with the other one, still I prefer to do the things clean and open air.


any suggestions from you guys?
 

Admin

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Elite Member
Well if you want it clean you may visit a few banks to explain to them who you are and what business you are into.Not in all countries Escort services is illegal. Some countries could be Netherlands or Denmark. There are as well alternatives.
 

dotbloup

Offshore Agent
BANNED MEMBER
According to the Cyprus criminal code it is forbidden to live on prostitution fully or partly.
Then, the issue is related to a possible audit in Cyprus if you make a lot of money. If the auditors ask for the origin of money. Ok, you can hide behind a payment processor from germany, Switzerland or Netherlands but they can always ask you directly the source of income.
 

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