Sterling provides company registry search services for all major offshore company registrars to clients and non-clients looking to obtain information relating to existing offshore companies. Potential trading partners, investors and their advisors often require documents relating to the company status, any charges files against the offshore company and similar to be obtained independently in order to perform a necessary level of due diligence on the respective company. Sterling is able to provide these companies registry search services in an expedition manner.
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While an offshore corporation is completely legal, the lack of public information available from offshore company registrations makes it difficult to perform suitable due diligence when compared with the public information available for “onshore” company registrations. Adding to the complexity, services providers who provide offshore company registrations as a service often provide additional services such as nominees making it difficult to ascertain beneficial owners and other connected persons.
Company registrations in many countries allows the public to search the publicly available databases where it may be possible to also search how many companies a particular person is connected to and thus perhaps to also establish the likelihood that the person is a professional nominee.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with using nominees to provide privacy or to add experienced professionals to the governance structure, this may be useful where you suspect the party is not being forthcoming in terms of disclosing all relevant connected persons. Unfortunately with offshore company registrations, this information is often not publicly available for an offshore corporation. In such cases, Sterling can advise as to the relevant documents that are available from the company and who would have these documents in order to assist you with requesting the documents and information you desire to complete your due diligence.
The documents obtained about an offshore corporation and thereafter delivered to you will depend on the jurisdiction and type of entity for which the company registry search is requested. The following pages provide further details relating to what you can expect in relation to the report from the respective offshore company registrar: