The Seychelles Government has recently enacted new legislation, in its ongoing efforts to ensure the jurisdiction meets the requirements of international regulatory standards.
We take this opportunity to update you on the International Business Companies (Amendment) Act, 2021 (or Amendment Act).
It is important to note that the Amendment Act includes new accounting record obligations, which will be impactful to entities registered in the Seychelles.
New accounting records obligations
In August 2021, the Seychelles authorities introduced the International Business Companies (Amendment) Act, 2021.
While many of the amendments are aimed at improving existing provisions, it also introduced new (and significantly increased) accounting records keeping requirements for Seychelles entities, including International Business Companies (IBCs).
Previously, the law allowed entities like IBCs to maintain their accounting records outside of the Seychelles, obligations of which were further ascertained by clients through the execution of their mandatory Annual Return declarations for IBCs.
IBCs are now required to ensure that their underlying accounting records are maintained at their registered office in the Seychelles, including historical records going back 7 years prior to 31 December 2021; i.e. all accounting records from 1 January 2015. These records are now required to be sent to the Seychelles registered office by the deadline of 6 February 2022.
In addition, and starting in 2022 and going forward, the following will also be required:
- Bi-annual reporting of accounting records to registered office (section 175(1A) and (1B) of the Amendment Act)
Every company on the Register is required to submit and keep its accounting records at the company’s registered office in the Seychelles on a bi-annual basis.
- Annual financial summary required for large companies and non-large non-holding companies (section 175(1B) of the Amendment Act)
A large company (i.e. with an annual turnover above roughly USD 3,750,000*) or a non-large company that is not a holding company (i.e. not a company which only holds interests in other companies or assets), is required to prepare an annual financial summary to be kept at its registered office in the Seychelles within 6 months from the end of the company’s financial year.
Please note that the above amendments have been introduced due to recommendations from international organisations (e.g. OECD), and the Seychelles Government believes this will support their efforts of being removed from current black lists.
Changes to other legislation
The Seychelles Government has also passed other legislation: Seychelles Foundations, Limited Partnerships and Trusts are now also obligated to keep accounting records at their registered office or the trustee’s office in the Seychelles for at least 7 years from the date of transactions.