There has been considerable growth in the number of listings based on an Isle of Man incorporated company vehicle. Indeed, it appears the Isle of Man is the offshore jurisdiction of choice for AIM listings, particularly for Eastern European, Indian, Russian and Chinese businesses.
Why use an Isle of Man Company?
- The Isle of Man is a sophisticated and well-regulated international finance centre. The Isle of Man is a self-governing Dependency of the British Crown. It is geographically part of the British Isles but is not part of the UK or the EU.
- Follows London time, which puts it in a convenient time zone and is English speaking.
- Is within easy striking distance of the major cities in the UK. In most cases it is possible to travel to the Island, attend meetings there and return the same day.
- The Isle of Man has a well-established and well-regulated infrastructure for the provision of corporate administration services.
Isle of Man Law
The Isle of Man is a common law jurisdiction and its company law is based on UK principles. Accordingly, City bankers and lawyers will find Isle of Man companies, documentation, practices and procedures familiar. In particular, the procedures for company borrowing and the registration of charges are similar to those prevailing in the UK.
Isle of Man Tax Law
An Isle of Man company listed on AIM should not be subject to UK tax as long as it is managed and controlled outside the UK. Needless to say, UK tax advice should be obtained in this respect.
With effect from 6 April 2006, the Isle of Man introduced a standard zero per cent rate of income tax/corporation tax for companies (except in relation to certain profits arising from banking, or from land and property in the Isle of Man).
Under this regime, the Isle of Man continues as a tax neutral jurisdiction facilitating efficient international tax planning; however, the “ring-fencing” of international and local tax bases associated with tax exempt regimes has been eliminated in compliance with current international requirements in relation to tax competition.
- There is no capital gains tax in the Isle of Man.
- No stamp duty is payable on the transfer of shares.
- The Isle of Man is subject to the same VAT regime as the UK.
- Closed-ended investment companies are not regarded as regulated entities for the purposes of Isle of Man financial services regulation and, in particular, collective investment fund (mutual fund) regulation.
- No prior Isle of Man regulatory approval is required to list an Isle of Man company on AIM.