Cook Islands

Combined Money-Changer & Remittance License

overview

Cook Islands

The Cook Islands is a self-governing island country situated in Oceania. It comprises 15 islands and is in free association with New Zealand.

The offshore structures here offer some of the best advantages for asset protection, tax planning and offshore banking, making it one of the most sought-after jurisdictions in the world.

There are no taxes on offshore profits. Foreigners are allowed to incorporate companies with beneficiaries and assets located anywhere in the world.

The names of the Shareholders, Directors and beneficiaries, as well as the assets descriptions and locations are never published in any public records.

English is the official language in the Cook Islands.

The Cook Islands have very strong asset protection legislation in place that prevents foreign authorities from accessing account information.

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) replaced the former Off-shore Financial Services Commission in 2003, with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) merged into it in 2012.

The Cook Islands offers three types of Forex Licenses: Money changer’s License, Remittance License and Combined License. To run a Forex brokerage, you need a Combined License that authorises you to do both.

As minimal capital is not specified, it is determined on a case-by-case basis by FSC according to your scale of operation. Usually it is set above USD 100,000.

The applicant must maintain a permanent office in the Cook Islands. Approval from FSC is essential to open additional overseas offices.

Each Shareholder, Director or Office Bearers must be fit and proper to hold such positions.

  • Time Frame: 5-6 Months
  • Taxation: 0%
  • License: Combined Money-Changer & Remittance License

For each Director, Shareholder and Ultimate Beneficial Owner:

  • Notarized / Certified True Copy of Passport
  • Notarized / Certified True Copy of second ID (for example: National ID Card)
  • Notarized / Certified True Copy of Proof of Address
  • Notarized / Certified True Copy of Criminal Background Record from native country
  • Notarized / Certified True Copy of University Diploma
  • Notarized / Certified True Copy of Bank Statement
  • Bank Reference Letter
  • 3 Character Reference Letters issued by Professionals
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae (C.V.) dated and signed by applicant


For each Corporate Shareholders of the company:

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Memorandum of Association
  • Articles of associations
  • Register of Directors
  • Register of Shareholdings
  • Certificate of Good Standing (if the company is over a year old)


Other Required Documents:

  • Liquidity Provider Agreement
  • Proof of Source of Wealth
Company Structure:
  • Minimum one shareholder (natural or legal person, no nationality or residency restrictions)
  • Minimum one director (natural or legal person, no nationality or residency restrictions)
  • Registered Secretary is required

Confidentiality:
  • Beneficial owners’ details – Not part of public record
  • Shareholders’ details – Not part of public record
  • Directors’ details –Not part of public record

Taxation:
  • International Business Companies (IBC) in the Cook Islands are exempt from corporate taxes on income derived overseas

Audit:
  • It is compulsory to appoint an auditor before lodging the license application

Others:
  • Registered Agent – Required
  • Registered Office – Required
  • Local Employees – Required
  • Local Office – Required
  • Security Bond – $10,000 USD (not usable)
  • Legal Framework: Combined Money-Changer & Remittance License
  • Regulatory Authority: Financial Supervisory Commission of Cook Islands (FSC)

Capital requirement:
  • Not specific, to be determined by FSC on a case-by-case basis. Usually it is set above USD 100,000.
  • There will be a Security Bond of USD 10,000, which cannot be withdrawn and used for other purposes.

Permitted Activities:
  • Function as an intermediary in the execution of securities transactions for clients
  • Trade in securities as principal with the intention of reselling these securities to the public
  • Offer investment advice ancillary to the normal course of the business activities
  • Manage portfolios of clients
  • Underwrite or distribute securities on behalf of an issuer or a holder of securities
  1. Preparing Application Forms, Compiling Necessary Documents, including Due Diligence Documents & Reviewing of Application

  2. Offshore Tech & Intermediary Services will incorporate an International Business Company (IBC) for you in the Cook Islands

  3. Preparation of all documents and forms for requested by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) and Business, Trade and Investment Board (BTIB)

  4. Submit the application for a Combined Money-Changer and Remittance License to FSC

  5. Attend the face-to-face meetings with the FSC as well as BTIB

  6. Upon securing approval from the FSC, proceed with application for approval of the BTIB to start operations
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