Offshore companies can provide confidentiality of ownership of assets. Pursuant to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10th December 1948, Article 8 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms required countries who are signatories to the Convention to secure the right to respect for private and family life. The appropriate use of offshore companies can ensure such rights to privacy for an individual, his family and his business affairs are secured.

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The use of offshore companies in order to provide confidentiality of ownership of valuable assets is a perfectly legitimate activity. 

In many countries, the personal security of the investor and his or her family is at stake if it becomes public knowledge that such an individual owns valuable assets.

In offshore jurisdictions such as the British Virgin Islands, and Jersey, the details of directors are not disclosed so that investors may control such companies at director level without public disclosure.

Where directors must be publicly disclosed by statute law (e.g. in the case of UK and Cyprus companies for example) Jordans can provide professional director services to ensure confidentiality.

Where the registered shareholder of offshore companies are published (e.g. in the case of UK and Cyprus companies) Jordans can provide nominee shareholder services to protect the identities of beneficial owners from public view.

In the case of offshore companies requiring the disclosure of registered shareholders by statute law (e.g. UK companies, Cyprus companies) Jordans can provide nominee shareholder services.

Ownership of onshore companies e.g. UK or Netherlands or French companies etc.

Special care needs to be taken where offshore companies are used to acquire controlling interests in onshore companies subject to IFRS or FRS which require disclosure in the accounts of the investee company of the "ultimate controlling parties" of the reporting entity. This "drills through" the offshore company to the ultimate beneficial owner.

Jordans can advise on the use of foundations and trusts to address these disclosure issues.

If you want advice on the best jurisdiction for your company formation or initial guidance on your case, you can speak to one of our experts. One of our Corporate & Trust Planning Consultants will be in touch with you shortly to give you all the information you need.

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