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Forex license in Antigua and Barbuda

Many brokers choose Forex licenses in Antigua and Barbuda for quick business start-up and comfortable working conditions due to the loyal legislation. It is very easy to obtain a license for this activity, as the jurisdiction has no regulation for companies operating outside the country.

Until 2023, all companies looking for a quick and easy option to enter the forex market chose the St. Vincent and the Grenadines forex license. However, after January 6, 2023, when the Financial Services Authority tightened the rules in SVG, Antigua became an ideal option for forex activities due to favorable conditions, minimal costs, quick start, and no strict restrictions. This is a great alternative, as there are still no license requirements in this jurisdiction if a company operates outside the country. Brokers can simply indicate their type of activity in the register and start operating.

To legally operate in the jurisdiction, you must open a Forex license in Antigua and Barbuda by completing simple requirements: renting a local legal office, appointing a director, paying fees, etc. If you plan to provide services in other countries, licensing is not required.

To open a business, you do not have to be personally present in the country, and using English as the official language will simplify the licensing task. At the same time, the cost of opening a company is quite favorable, and there are no requirements for authorized capital, which will have a positive impact on your budget.

Advantages of a Forex license in Antigua and Barbuda

Legal Protection

A license provides legal protection for a business and its customers, ensuring that the law is upheld during disputes or legal issues.

Savings

The fees for registering and maintaining a forex license in this jurisdiction are relatively low. Importantly, there is no obligation to provide documentary evidence of share capital when applying for one

Regulatory flexibility

Antigua and Barbuda provides a business-friendly environment with flexible regulation, supported by a stable political system. Regulators support the forex industry without imposing unnecessary restrictions or license requirements.

Tax advantages

Antigua and Barbuda has no corporate tax, personal income, dividends, wealth, capital gains, or inheritance taxes. International companies incorporated here are fully exempt from tax obligations, maximizing financial freedom.

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Packages of services for forex license in Antigua and Barbuda

Extended

Registration of a Forex Broker and assistance with corporate account opening

7 680 USD
  • All services from the Basic package
  • AML/KYC Policy
  • Assistance with corporate account opening
Basic

Registration of a Forex Broker under the minimum requirements

4 600 USD
  • Dedicated consultant with the fully provided individual approach
  • Full turnkey company formation assistance
  • Company name of your choice
  • Notarized set of corporate documents
  • Registration of the company as a Forex Broker
Kiryl Zaremba
Senior Associate, Business Development Manager
Leonid Turok
Senior Associate, Head of Sales (FX and iGaming)

Requirements for obtaining a forex broker license in Antigua and Barbuda

Obtaining an Antigua and Barbuda Forex license is an optimal and beneficial solution that is suitable for both startups and existing companies to expand their business. The procedure is not complicated, but it has several requirements that must be met when deciding to work in the forex industry of this jurisdiction:

  • Obtaining a legal address.
  • Appointment of a minimum of 1 director and 1 shareholder. There are no residency requirements and they can be individuals or legal entities.
  • Pay government fees.
  • Appoint a secretary.

In most cases, meeting these requirements is sufficient for license approval.

Process and timeline for obtaining a Forex license in Antigua and Barbuda

To obtain a Forex license in Antigua and Barbuda, you need to follow the steps below:

Company Registration

Step 1

You can choose 1 of the 3 forms of organization provided by Antigua: Limited Liability Company (LLC), Non-Profit Company, International Company (IBC).

You need to collect a set of documents, register an office, appoint a director and shareholder, and pay a government fee of $300.

Apply to ECSRC

Step 2

If you plan to provide services outside the region, you do not need a license to operate the company. It is sufficient to register your IBC with the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC) and start operating as soon as you receive confirmation of registration.

If your activities will be carried out within the jurisdiction, you will need to apply to the Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission.

A packet of documents to accompany the application:

  • application
  • articles of association
  • financial analysis
  • realistic business plan
  • copies of beneficiaries’ documents
  • proof of residence (e.g. utility bills)
  • certificate of criminal record
  • proof of company registration
  • proof of local office lease
  • software reliability certificate

Payment of government fees

Step 3

After filing the application and preparing the required documents, the next important step is to pay the government fees. These fees may include registration fees, taxes, or other mandatory payments required by the jurisdiction’s laws.

Opening a bank and merchant account

Step 4

Choosing the right bank and type of account is a decision that depends on your business needs. A bank account is needed to conduct financial transactions, receive payments, and make other banking transactions. A merchant account allows your company to conduct business transactions, and trade goods or services.

Eligibility Test

Step 5

After completing the registration and opening of your company’s bank account, comes the important step of taking a suitability test. This test is designed to assess your knowledge and experience in the forex industry, as well as your financial stability and ethical character.

ECSRC Agreement

Step 6

Sign a commitment document with ECSRC. This document outlines the responsibilities and standards that the license holder must meet to comply with ECSRC rules and regulations. Your agreement to these terms and conditions emphasizes your willingness to comply with the standards and ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements.

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If all steps are correctly completed, you will be issued an Antigua and Barbuda Forex license. The license is valid for 1 year and requires annual renewal.

Types of Forex licenses in Antigua and Barbuda

Forex license in Antigua and Barbuda is not divided into types based on your activity but is universal. Specifically, license holders are authorized to provide the following services:

  • Executing transactions with orders related to financial instruments;
  • Making and executing client orders on their behalf;
  • Entering into and executing transactions on their behalf;
  • Managing portfolios of securities;
  • Providing investment recommendations to clients;
  • Participating in underwriting with financial instruments;
  • Providing investment services;
  • Providing consulting services related to trading and currency exchange;
  • Execution of currency exchange operations.

Open a Forex Company in Antigua and Barbuda

To obtain a forex license, one of the main requirements is to register your company in Antigua and Barbuda. To do this you need to go through the following steps:

Selecting a company name

Step 1

When selecting the name of the organization, it is important to ensure that it is unique and does not contain any prohibited words or expressions. In addition, the name should reflect the profile of the company’s activities and be presented in Latin letters.

Preparing a package of documents

Step 2

Before applying, it is necessary to prepare a package of documents:

  • Completed application form
  • Certified copies of the passports of the beneficiaries
  • Certified copies of driver’s license
  • Utility bills
  • Professional resume
  • Letter of recommendation from a person with whom there has been a professional relationship
  • Client information

Applying to the Registry

Stage 3

The stages of company registration include the process of filing a notice with the registry, where a full set of corporate documents undergoing the certification procedure is prepared. In addition, an important stage is the payment of the relevant government fees.

Opening a bank account

Step 4

It is necessary to select a banking institution that complies with the anti-money laundering policy and open a corporate account with it.

Register the company

Step 5

If all the previous steps are completed correctly, you will receive an official certificate of incorporation for your company.

Find out more about the Forex license in Antigua and Barbuda

Regulation of Forex license in Antigua and Barbuda

Since 1983, Antigua and Barbuda has been part of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, along with 7 other Caribbean countries. Initially, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank was the regulator, serving as the primary financial authority for these jurisdictions. However, in 2001, the central bank transferred the authority to regulate the retail foreign exchange market to the ESCRC (Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission).

The ESCRC seeks several key objectives:

  1. Licensing securities firms and monitoring and supervising their activities.
  2. Enhancing investor protection through the promotion of the highest standards of professional and other securities market activities.
  3. Supporting effective compliance and enforcement programs provided by appropriate legislative authority.
  4. Promoting the growth and development of the capital markets.

The broker falls under the regulation of forex license only if it is going to operate within the Eastern Basin. In such a situation, its activity is subject to ECSRC supervision and it needs to obtain Antigua and Barbuda Forex license.

The ECSRC forex license provides the company with a wide range of opportunities. Under it, it is possible to deal with orders related to financial instruments, as well as to register and execute orders from clients. The company is authorized to enter into and execute transactions on its behalf, manage a portfolio of securities, and provide investment advice to clients. The license also includes underwriting and managing financial instruments, providing a variety of investment services, as well as advisory services related to trading and currency exchange. In addition, the company can perform currency exchange operations.

If you operate outside the region, there is no mandatory company licensing rule. However, to operate legally, you need to register your IBC with the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC).

The main law that sets out the rules for the registration and operation of IBCs is the International Business Corporations Act. Under this Act, brokers can incorporate remotely by appointing a local agent. The agent can be either a legal entity or an individual. At the same time, IBCs are not allowed to do business with locals and use local currency. All activities may take place outside the jurisdiction.

Taxation of Forex Companies in Antigua and Barbuda

Companies that operate within the jurisdiction of Antigua and Barbuda are subject to the following rates of taxation:

  • 25% – corporate tax
  • 15% VAT
  • 0.2% to 0.5% – real estate tax on market value
  • 13.5% – social security
  • 0.3% on residential buildings

If you set up an international IBC company, you are exempt from paying tax. The only payment you have to make to the state every year is $300.

IBCs are required to keep accounting records, but there is no need to file annual reports. However, records must be kept at the company’s registered office in Antigua.

FAQ about the Forex license in Antigua and Barbuda

Do forex traders need a license in Antigua and Barbuda?

For companies that operate outside the Caribbean – licensing is not required. However, if your company will engage in forex activities in the jurisdiction, it is a mandatory requirement for all brokers to open a Forex license in Antigua and Barbuda.

How do I get a Forex License in Antigua and Barbuda?

To obtain a forex license from ECSRC, you need to register a company, rent a local office, prepare a package of documents, and apply for licensing to the
Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission.

How long does it take to obtain a Forex license in Antigua and Barbuda?

It takes up to 4 weeks to open an Antigua and Barbuda Forex license.

How much does a Forex license cost in Antigua and Barbuda?

The mandatory fee for company registration is 300$. The full cost with our support during registration and guarantee of the result starts from 4600$.

How do I apply for a Forex license in Antigua and Barbuda?

You can apply remotely along with the required documents to the Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission.

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