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Frequently Asked Questions

 
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Questions:

1. What is the Hague Convention for the Legalization of Public Documents?
2. Which countries are members of the Hague Convention of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents ?
3. What is an Apostille?
4. Do all jurisdictions have status searches?
5. Where in the world do UCC searches and filings exist?
6. Do all jurisdictions provide certified copies of all documents on file?
7. Do all jurisdictions provide good standings?
8. What is a tax haven?
9. Which countries are tax havens?
10. Where is the best place to incorporate?
11. Why are International orders more expensive?
12. Why is the International process more time-consuming?


Answers:

1 .What is the Hague Convention for the Legalization of Public Documents?

The Hague Convention, originally ratified in 1961, is an agreement among countries to abolish the requirement of legalization of public documents. An apostille is used to certify the documents for use in the countries party to the agreement.

2. Which countries are members of the Hague Convention of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents ?

If you have a document that you want legalized for use in another Convention country, the Convention certification called an "apostille" must be affixed to the document by a competent authority. The apostille is a pre-printed form prescribed by the Convention. Only those nations party to the Hague Treaty will recognize the apostille certification. Click here to verify which countries are parties to the Hague Convention.


3. What is an Apostille?

An apostille is a certification of the document by a convention country.

4. Do all jurisdictions have status searches?

No. Status search is a term of art that is used primarily in the United States. Many jurisdictions have company searches, which would provide the same type of information. However, tax information on companies is generally only publicly available in English common law jurisdictions.

It is also important to note that many countries file this information locally rather than at a Companies Registry. Therefore company information can only be obtained with a street address.

5. Where in the world do UCC searches and filings exist?

The Uniform Commercial Code exists only in the United States. The United States Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Northern Marianas have also adopted the UCC legislation as territories and commonwealth of the United States.

Canada has adopted the PPSA (Personal Property Security Act) by province and territory, which is analogous and based on the UCC.

6. Do all jurisdictions provide certified copies of all documents on file?

Many jurisdictions will certify all documents, however the tax havens have either limited access or discretionary access to documents. Due to the fact that tax havens are for the most part high privacy jurisdictions they do not require that many documents be filed and they limit the amount of information on the public record.

7. Do all jurisdictions provide good standings?

No, the term good standing is used for the most part by English common law jurisdictions, which would include the United States, Canada, the tax havens and the United Kingdom. In Civil law countries for example most European countries, a certified extract of the commercial registry could be used as a good standing.

8. What is a tax haven?

Many jurisdictions, including many Caribbean countries have enacted statutes, which make it possible to incorporate an entity in a jurisdiction and not be taxed by that jurisdiction. In general there are two types of entities: International Business Companies and Exempt Companies. It is important to note that the company cannot do business in the jurisdiction, in order to maintain its tax-exempt status. The jurisdictions that have enacted these statutes are called tax havens or offshore.

9. Which countries are tax havens?

The countries with International Business Company statutes are: Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize and British Virgin Islands. The countries with exempt statutes include: Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Nevis and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

10. Where is the best place to incorporate?

The best place is generally where you want to do business. In the offshore area the best place is where you want to be located.

11. Why are International orders more costly?

In order to provide the best service possible we use law firms and service companies around the world. These costs are included in our fees in order to provide you with great customer service.

12. Why is the International process more time-consuming?

There are many variables when processing international work. There are different time zones, different corporate cultures, and different governments. We have made efforts to decrease process length by working with service companies and law firms who understand our need for great customer service.


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