With increasing demand from regulators and investors for the highest standards of corporate governance and stringent compliance with a growing list of complex regulations, more and more businesses are turning to professional corporate service providers for expert help.
Recent years have seen significantly increased regulatory requirements and obligations placed on businesses in all jurisdictions and Bermuda is no exception. Directors, managers and secretaries of Bermuda entities are faced with the legal and fiduciary responsibility to ensure that the entity is in full compliance with all relevant legislation and regulation in the jurisdiction. One way to manage these responsibilities efficiently and mitigate compliance risk is to engage a corporate services specialist.
There are presently 95 corporate service providers (CSPs) in Bermuda licensed under the Corporate Service Providers Business Act 2012. The number has grown in the past few years as the need for expertise in this area has risen. They range from boutique firms with a few key clients, to larger providers of comprehensive corporate services serving a significant stable of clients. CSP clients include listed and private companies as well as partnerships and span a broad spread of business sectors from insurance and funds to offshore energy and shipping. From blue-chip multinational groups to small, local businesses, they all seek the services of a CSP to reduce their administrative burden so that they can focus time and resources on their core business objectives.
CSPs have been providing fiduciary services to businesses for many decades but there is no doubt that the regulatory landscape has changed, making the need for professional assistance greater than ever. In addition to complying with legislation governing type of entity (e.g. the Companies Act), and industry specific legislation (e.g. the Investment Business Act), businesses must comply with anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing legislation, bribery legislation, data protection legislation, international sanctions regulations, tax reporting and – most recently – economic substance legislation. Often, reports must be filed with the regulatory authorities on a regular basis.
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The Value of a Corporate Service Provider