The Cook Islands is located between Fiji and French Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean. Polynesian islands are often referred to as ‘paradise on earth’ and this description certainly applies to the Cook Islands. Lush forests, blue water, cool breeze, and a stable temperature that seldom goes below +25 Celsius.
The population of the Islands is less than 22 thousand people. Politically, the Cook Islands is an independent country in a free association with New Zealand. The official language is English. The legislation is based on the British Common Law. The Cook Islands is a long-standing offshore jurisdiction that offers serious advantages to foreign business people registering companies there. Below we briefly discuss the main benefits that you can find in the Cook Islands if you register a company in the country.
Main advantages of registering an offshore company in the Cook Islands
Your company is going to be tax-exempt. The level of company owners’ information confidentiality is extremely high: the Company Register is closed to the public in the Cook Islands and nominee services are legal. The Government provides full support to foreign company owners.
You can set up an International Business Company in the Cook Islands. It can be a corporation or a limited liability company. The company can have only one founder/ director and it can be a natural person or a legal entity. The company registered capital can be as small as 1 US dollar but many foreign entrepreneurs choose to register US$ 5,000. Some of them divide the capital into 5,000 shares with the nominal value of each share of 1 dollar.
It takes about two to three weeks to register a company in the Cook Islands. Shelf companies are also available and you can buy one almost instantly. We would like to note that you will benefit from professional support in establishing a company in the Cook Islands especially if you want to do it from the comfort of your home (remote company registration is possible in the jurisdiction). Please follow the link to learn more about the process of offshore company incorporation in the Cook Islands and other places.
Since your company is not going to pay any taxes in the Cook Islands, no financial reporting is required. Naturally, you will have to prepare all the constituent documents such as the Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum & Articles of Association, Director Appointment resolution, and so on. If you are planning to use nominee services, a Power of Attorney, a Trust Declaration, and a few other additional documents will be required. Finally, you will have to order a company seal. The costs of company registration and maintenance in the Cook Islands are quite affordable.
Facts you should know if you want to visit Cook Islands
You don’t have to go to the Cook Islands if you want to set up a company there but you may want to visit the place as a tourist. We admit that the Cook Islands is a remote country but it is extremely beautiful and seeing it will certainly make a deep impression on you. Below we provide some important facts that you have to bear in mind when planning your trip to the Cook Islands. Some things are going to be rather unexpected.
Personal security in the Cook Islands
First, the Cook Islands is a safe country: the crime rates are extremely low there. In addition, the healthcare services are of a surprisingly high quality on the Islands especially if you keep to the two largest islands of the archipelago: Rarotonga and Aitutaki. Thus, your personal security is going to be guaranteed in the Cook Islands unless you do something stupid, of course.
Prices in the Cook Islands
If you compare the local prices to prices in Europe, they are low in the Cook Islands. If you compare them to the prices on other islands in the Pacific Ocean, they are high. A night at a nice hotel is going to cost you 200 to 300 dollars. At the same time, a B&B in a village will cost you 15 dollars. Please note that the prices are indicated in US dollars in some hotels while they are indicated in New Zealand dollars in some other hotels. Therefore, you will have to clear up the issue.
Food is not very expensive in the Cook Islands. A lunch at an average restaurant will cost you around 15 dollars. Please mind, however, that you don’t have to tip the waiter in the country. Besides, there is no bargaining in the Cook Islands.
Mobile communication in the Cook Islands
The quality of mobile communication is bearable on Rarotonga and Aitutaki islands. Your mobile phone is not going to work if you go to a small remote island in the archipelago. Roaming is available via Samoa, New Zealand, and Australian mobile service providers.
Precautions to take in the Cook Islands
Bring shoes with hard soles because you will have to walk on sharp coral debris in you walk along the shore. You will also encounter small sharp fragments in the volcanic soil inland.
You will also have to protect yourself from the blazing sun in the Cook Islands. Make sure that you wear a sunhat and good sunglasses during the day. Please note that the water does not protect you from the ultraviolet rays. We recommend that you wear long pants and a T-shirt when you go swimming in the ocean. Please follow this advice at least for the first couple of days on the islands.
There are no dangerous animals in the Cook Islands but you may be attacked… by a coconut. A coconut may be as heavy as one kilogram and it will hurt you badly if it falls on your head or shoulder from a height of 15 meters. Watch out for falling coconuts in the Cook Islands!
Please also note tribal chiefs and elderly persons in general enjoy an unbelievable level of respect in the Cook Islands. You must bring a gift for the local elder if you are visiting one of the villages on the Islands. The local etiquette also requires that every gift should be paid back. Thus, expect to be given a gift in return.
Even though the Cook Islands is a remote country indeed, visiting it would give you a lot of pleasure. Another attractive characteristic of the country is that it offers the benefits typical of offshore jurisdictions. Establishing a business company in the Cook Islands can help you save on taxes significantly.