Jersey is situated off the north-west coast of France, with a population of approximately 91,000. It is the largest of the Channel Islands and is approximately 160 kilometres south of England, but only 22 kilometres from France. English is used in all aspects of the Island's financial and commercial life. French remains the official language of Jersey's Royal Court, but it is used only on ceremonial occasions.
The financial services sector provides Jersey's main source of income, and the tourist industry has always been very important to the Island's economy. Air services from Jersey are excellent with services to London being particularly frequent. There are also flights to many European centres, including Paris and Amsterdam. Although the legislation on Free Trade adopted by the European Community applies to the Island, the politics of taxation planning does not affect Jersey due to the proximity of the UK and the Continent.
The type of Company used for international trade and investment is an Exempt Company. Exempt Companies do not pay any Jersey taxes but a licence fee – an annual tax exemption fee is GBP 600. The incorporation process takes approximately 10 – 14 days, subject to name approval and compliance with the strict regulations governing the incorporation of Jersey companies.
Incorporation procedure involves submission of the Memorandum and Articles of Association to the Financial Services Department. The address of the company's Registered Office, the names, nationalities and addresses of the directors and shareholders, character references relating to the beneficial owners and a full description of the proposed company's trading and/or investment activities must be provided. A Registered office must be maintained in Jersey. Off-the-shelf companies are not available owing to the requirement to disclose beneficial ownership and trading activities.
There are some restrictions applying to trading and business activity. A Jersey Exempt Company is not allowed to trade within Jersey or engage in the business of banking, deposit taking, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, asset management (other than its own assets) or any other activity associated with the banking, finance and insurance industries.