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Doing Business in Guernsey: A Safe Haven with a Strong Economy

Guernsey has made itself an easy place to do business, specializing in private capital and private client services.

Guernsey has been an international financial center since the 1960s, and today specializes in private capital funds, associated investment structures, and private clients.

It has had considerable success in attracting private equity funds from the U.S., with well over USD 40 billion invested into Guernsey funds by U.S.-based investors.[1] Guernsey’s appeal to both private capital and private clients is based on pro-business policies, well-regulated, and a simple and attractive tax regime.

In our latest webinar, Doing Business Internationally: Guernsey, Alison Parry, global head of Private Clients, Guernsey; Amit Taylor, head of Corporate Services, Guernsey; and Kees Jager, head of Funds, Guernsey, discuss the big advantages of a small island.  

Guernsey: Financial services at its heart

The island of Guernsey has a population of 65,000 and is just over an hour’s flight from London. It’s a self-governing British crown dependency and a stable parliamentary democracy.

Its independence has allowed it to pursue a determinedly pro-business, pro-investment agenda. Guernsey’s financial services now account for 36% of GDP,[2] and the island is home to a wide and deep professional services sector, including over 150 trust and company service providers.[3]

Overseas clients look to Guernsey as a safe haven, with a strong economy, a clear and supportive legal framework, and an advantageous tax regime. Taxes are simple and low. There are no capital gains, sales, or inheritance tax. Guernsey provides tax-neutral structuring for solutions for international corporations and globally dispersed families.

It’s also recognized as a leading center of substance by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the EU, something that is increasingly important to private capital fund managers. The island was an early adopter of international transparency requirements and the common reporting standard (CRS).

Company incorporations can only be conducted by a corporate service provider based in Guernsey, which is processed through The Guernsey Registry’s Online Services Portal, meaning companies and structures can sometimes be set up within 24 hours. Guernsey’s speed to market for new entities is among the fastest in the world.

Guernsey as a funds center

Guernsey has enjoyed significant recent success in attracting fund managers, many from the U.S. One of the chief reasons is the island’s reputation as a safe, stable, and cost-effective stepping stone to Europe.

Its reputation is bolstered by the National Private Placement Regime (NPPR), which allows access to European capital markets. Registering an alternative investment fund (AIF) under the NPPR can be done at a much lower cost than registering an AIFMD-compliant fund in mainland Europe.

Guernsey continues to innovate to attract private capital funds, including recent revisions to its Private Investment Fund (PIF) structure. The PIF, may have a maximum of 50 investors, offers lighter-touch regulation and a 24-hour approval turnaround.

Guernsey for private clients

For high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and families, Guernsey offers reassurance in the clarity of its laws and the robustness of its courts, alongside a range of favorable trust structures.

Grantor trusts are transparent for U.S. tax purposes, while income from non-grantor trusts is usually taxed only when it is distributed to U.S. beneficiaries. U.S. onshore private trust companies (PTCs) can be used alongside Guernsey PTCs for structuring global assets and international family wealth.

Guernsey trusts are ideal for asset protection and succession planning, as many trusts are. One major advantage of Guernsey trusts is the wide range of powers that can be reserved in favor of the settlor, giving HNWIs a high degree of control over their trust and the assets held in it.

CSC in Guernsey

Guernsey is an easy jurisdiction in which to do business. It’s straightforward to migrate companies into Guernsey, and company law allows for an efficient flow of capital. For example, domiciling a company in Guernsey makes the upstreaming of capital to a fund easier than in some other jurisdictions.

CSC in Guernsey can help your fund, family office, or business take full advantage of the island’s many benefits. We offer a suite of administration, compliance, reporting, and substance services for private capital funds, private clients, and corporates. Our spectrum of services includes more niche activities such as the administration of executive compensation schemes.

We offer an end-to-end service, whatever your requirements. Guernsey is a long-established and growing financial services center. CSC will help make it home for your fund, family office, or corporate structure.

Why CSC?

CSC offers a full suite of corporate services in Guernsey, from entity formation to assisting liquidation, and everything in between.

CSC provides knowledge-based solutions for every phase of the business life cycle, helping businesses form entities, maintain compliance, execute transaction work, and support real estate, M&A, and other corporate transactions in hundreds of U.S. and international jurisdictions.

We work with some of the world’s largest banks and commercial lenders to reduce risk in their lien portfolios, improve their transaction speeds, and create a secure environment for their financial processing needs. We also provide solutions for secure real estate document preparation and recording.

We are the trusted partner for 90% of the Fortune 500®, nearly 10,000 law firms, and more than 3,000 financial organizations. Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, USA, since 1899, we are a global company capable of doing business wherever our clients are—and we accomplish that by employing experts in every business we serve.

Missed this webinar? Watch it on demand and see the full series here.

[1] Guernsey Government

[2] Guernsey Government