Sunset in Belize, a popular offshore haven for businesses.
Sunset in Belize, a popular offshore haven for businesses. halseike/Flickr
This week in The New York Times Magazine, Adam Davidson opens a hard-to-trace offshore company in Belize, which turns out to be a piece of cake:
"Setting up the company was a lot cheaper than I expected. A&P charged $900 for a basic Belizean incorporation and another $85 for a corporate seal to emboss legal documents. For $650 more, A&P offered to open a bank account to stash my fledgling operation's money in Singapore — a country, the Web site also noted, that 'cannot gather information on foreigners' bank accounts, bank-deposit interest and investment gains under domestic tax law.' And for another $690, it offered to assign a 'nominee' who would be listed as the official manager and owner of my business but would report to me under a secret power-of-attorney contract. Then an A&P associate asked me to fill out the incorporation information online, just so she wouldn't type in anything incorrectly. The whole thing took about 10 minutes."
Read the full column to find out what happened next, and why offshore companies are so popular — and so hard to monitor. And we'll have more soon on setting up our own offshore company.