Regardless of whether a company has access to the international markets and is involved in foreign economic activity, the problem of the tax burden continues to exist. In the past, it was thought that taxation was unavoidable and beyond a company’s control and intervention. However, today, a business owner has many tools that help him evaluate and handle taxes and through their proper use it’s possible to minimize losses and therefore increase the working capital of the company.

Tax optimization can be achieved through international tax planning and the main instrument to do that is by establishing low-tax and tax-exempt foreign companies. Offshore business, however, is a dynamic environment and there are vast differences from country to country that must be understood and respected. There is also the need to know all the company types that are permitted in a tax advantageous jurisdiction, the reliability, its incentives and political situation, as well as the local laws, regulations and rules. The most popular International (offshore) company types are Holding, Trading, Real Estate Investment, Portfolio Investment, Investment funds, Professional Services, Financing, Intellectual Property Licensing, Employee Profit Participation, Leasing and Employment companies.

The best and most popular international jurisdictions that annually attract thousands of foreign businesses and investments are Cyprus, Panama, Malta, Belize, Seychelles, the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Gibraltar, the British Virgin Islands and UAE. Each one has different characteristics and applications, so proper legal consultation and international tax advice before the utilization of any foreign company structures is of course highly recommended.