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Nevis - Jurisdiction update
26/08/2015

Jurisdiction Update – Nevis

In this news item we look at a number of developments in Nevis which include enhancements to the jurisdiction’s laws affecting corporations, trusts and LLC’s.

Corporations:

The Nevis Business Corporation Ordinance Cap. 7.01 has replaced the earlier Ordinance and introduced a number of significant changes that took effect from July this year.

It used to be a requirement that a minimum of three directors must be appointed in a Nevis company with three or more shareholders. If less than three shareholders, the number of directors could be equal to the number of shareholders, so a company with one shareholder could have one director.

This slightly complex rule has been replaced with a far simpler requirement that permits the appointment of a sole director regardless of the number of shareholders. The director or directors of the corporation are also permitted to appoint discretionary officers of the corporation.

Other changes relate to procedural steps with the Nevis Company Registry. The Registrar will accept documents executed by a corporation’s sole director or by an individual who has the delegated authority to file documents or by the corporation’s Registered Agent, subject to proper authorisation having been granted.  

Corporations are no longer required to issue share certificates and have the option to issue or not. The Register of Shareholder has been recognised as the primary record of shareholdings in the company and the change reflects this.

Trusts:

The Nevis International Exempt Trust Ordinance Cap. 7.03 replace the earlier Ordinance with the following changes, effective from July.

The Ordinance introduces wide ranging changes to the earlier Ordinance of 1994. The limit to the duration of international trusts and the accumulation of income has been removed and provides for the statutory recognition of Charitable Remainder Trusts.

The Ordinance expands the recognition of who may act as a trustee of an International Exempt Trust and also provides for the recognition of discretionary interests in such trusts. There are expanded powers of the protector, where appointed, and additional provisions on the removal of trustees and protectors. Provision is also made to grant the power to establish an advisory committee.

The existing provisions for the retention of control by the settlor have been clarified and, in addition, clauses are included to permit the recognition of combination and division of trusts in the jurisdiction.

We consider the changes introduced by this Ordinance represent a welcome update to the existing trust legislation in Nevis.

LLC’s:

The applicable Ordinance is now the Limited Liability Company Ordinance Cap.704.

The passing of the Ordinance officially recognises the validity of single member LLC’s under Nevis law and permits the conversion of an LLC into a Nevis registered Corporation.

Steps have also been taken in the Ordinance to enhance charging order protection.

For more information on this subject please contact Simon Huxford at s.huxford@rosemont-mc.com