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212-537-9185

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As a leading international trade law firm, The Whittier Law Group is often tasked with incorporating business and trust entities outside of the United States, to handle those aspects of a client’s business plan which are independent of its U.S. operations.  Banking laws, corporate tax laws and monetary exchange policies are often the controlling issues behind these client decisions.

The attorneys of The Whittier Law Group offer comprehensive incorporation services for businesses worldwide. Whether you wish to incorporate offshore, form a limited liability company, or create an international business trust company, we can help you through the often-complex process.  The firm also assists clients to construct robust, in-house monitoring and reporting SOPs (standard operating procedures) to prevent government and law enforcement agencies from mistakenly targeting legitimate business transactions as being part of any money laundering activities.

 

Offshore Incorporations

The Whittier Law Group can ensure your confidentiality while maintaining complete control over your offshore trust or international business company. Your offshore company may serve whatever purpose you choose, whether it be to own an overseas property or just hold a bank account, all while maintaining your anonymity.[1]

There are a variety of reasons why an individual or business might consider going offshore, such as:

  • Asset Protection
    An offshore company can secure assets against future claims such as judgments, divorce proceedings, bankruptcy, creditors and litigation.
  • Reducing Tax Liability
    Assets held in a foreign jurisdiction can offer discreet opportunities for the reduction of certain tax liabilities.
  • Confidentiality
    An offshore company can protect your assets from competitors, claimants, ex-spouses, and other parties from whom you wish to keep your business interests private.
  • Estate Planning
    Offshore business entities allow for the creation of private foundations and offshore protective trusts designed to accumulate investment income and long-term benefits for beneficiaries on a favorable tax basis, without inheritance, income, or capital gains taxes.
  • E-Commerce
    Shifting business to an offshore jurisdiction may allow for more favorable regulations and taxation rules, thus saving the client funds for reinvestment and more competitive retail pricing.

 

We have assisted clients in offshore incorporation matters in a variety of offshore jurisdictions, including the following:

  • Bermuda
  • Gibraltar
  • Seychelles
  • Panama
  • Belize
  • Dominica
  • Switzerland
  • Marshall Islands

 

Our firm and its Of Counsel members have a long and notable track record for advising foreign and domestic financial institutions regarding U.S. tax compliance and with regard to U.S. income and business taxation matters, with particular emphasis on international tax compliance.

The Whittier Law Group has over 25 years’ experience in incorporating and structuring corporate entities and investment portfolios with the objective of preserving wealth for current business growth and the prosperity of future generations. At the same time, the structure of each corporate entity and its tax related jurisdiction is carefully chosen (based on the individual client’s national tax obligations and liabilities) in order that full compliance with relevant tax and asset management laws is adhered to.

Anti-Money Laundering Security

With new Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws being enacted in the U.S. and the EU over the past decade, the impetus for banks, hedge funds, forex companies and other money exchange businesses to institute wide-ranging monitoring and compliance procedures is greater than ever.

 

These laws put a heavy emphasis on the “Know Your Customer” (KYC) protocol, with a presumption that the money merchant is aware of all aspects of their client’s backgrounds.  The burden imposed by this presumption is difficult for even the largest companies to comply, especially when considering the many offices and branches they operate all over the world.  Smaller operators are similarly challenged by their sensitive balance between the overhead expense of KYC and marginal profits.

 

The Whittier Law Group has the experience and global network of attorneys and investigative specialists to assist our clients to perform the due diligence on their transactional clients that will satisfy the prima facie requirements that governmental investigators and courts look for in determining whether a company has complied with the KYC protocol.

 

We can perform the following services for our money merchant and transactional clients:

 

Legal Complaince

 

  • Drafting client AML compliance programs and modifying existing programs, including the development of customer risk categories and related procedures and enterprise-wide compliance;
  • Assisting institutions with detailed operational adjustments to comply with their AML programs;
  • Advising clients on an array of compliance issues facing domestic and foreign institutions, such as determining:
  • Who constitutes a “customer” subject to customer identification requirements;
  • What constitutes a “foreign financial institution” subject to additional due diligence;
  • What level of due diligence should be performed on beneficial owners;
  • What types of alternative payment mechanisms make the provider a money services business;
  • What procedures should be applied to high-risk customers and transactions;
  • What records must be maintained for purposes of the customer identification, travel rule and other AML requirements;
  • When and how to file suspicious activity and other required reports;
  • When and how AML program components can be delegated to other institutions;
  • How to utilize the information-sharing provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act; and
  • How to synthesize rules administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) with an AML program;
  • Counseling banks on analyzing the risks of servicing money services businesses and advising money services businesses on how to comply with relevant regulations; and
  • Helping to shape AML regulations by preparing formal comment letters and meeting with key government officials.

 

 

Contract Structuring

 

  • Advising introducing and clearing brokers on division of AML and OFAC responsibilities and related terms of clearing agreements;
  • Counseling mutual funds, mutual fund advisors and transfer agents on AML-related terms of transfer agency agreements;
  • Drafting appropriate AML and OFAC provisions for offering documents, subscription booklets, and private placement memoranda for hedge funds and private equity funds;
  • Assessing the Bank Secrecy Act compliance of targets in acquisition scenarios; and
  • Assisting broker-dealers with drafting AML and OFAC representations and covenants for investment advisers.

 

 

Litigation/Enforcement/Investigations

 

  • Helping clients work informally with regulators, and law enforcement agencies, and Congressional committees, to avoid investigations and enforcement actions;
  • Responding to subpoenas issued under the USA PATRIOT Act or other authorities;
  • Defending against formal enforcement actions; and
  • Resolving forfeiture actions that often arise from AML matters.

 

You are cordially invited to contact The Whittier Law Group at 212-537-9185, for a consultation on how your international business can benefit from our expert and proactive legal representation.

 

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[1] U.S. persons and controlled entities may be subject to the reporting provisions of the Foreign Asset Tax Compliance Act.