Forex license in Vanuatu
Vanuatu is one of the most promising jurisdictions for forex brokers. The owners of forex licenses in Vanuatu get several privileges for successful commercial activities: loyal regulations, zero taxation on profits and capital increase, and a relatively low minimum registered capital. The jurisdiction is ideal for start-ups as well as established forex companies
Obtaining a Vanuatu forex license is an important step for brokers wishing to operate in financial markets. It expands opportunities for financial transactions, including forex activities and securities trading.
Forex activity without a license is strictly prohibited in Vanuatu, to work legally brokers must fulfill several simple requirements and obtain a license. It confirms the legality of the broker’s activities in the Forex market. This helps to create confidence among customers and investors, which enhances the reputation and attractiveness of the company. Moreover, the forex license in Vanuatu is recognized by the international community and can help brokers expand their client base outside of Vanuatu. This allows attracting traders from different countries and working at an international level.
Request more information about the Forex License in Vanuatu
Advantages of a Vanuatu forex license
- Clear and easy rules for applicants
- Low minimum capital – $50,000
- Full ownership by one person is allowed
- Popular jurisdiction, which increases customer demand
- Minimal processing time
- Small state fees when applying for licensing – $2,000
- No taxation on income that was earned outside of the country
- Open opportunities to open bank accounts
Packages of services for forex license in Vanuatu
Full set up of FX Broker with all the necessary infrastructure, connection to KYC providers, local substance, and accounting services
- All services from Extended Package
- Quarterly reports
- KYC/KYT Platform
FX Broker registration with drafting all necessary legal documentation and corporate account opening
- All services from Basic Package
- Bank account opening assistance
- Customized AML/KYC Policy
- Local office search and link with landlord
- Search and appointment of Compliance Officer and Alternate Compliance Officer
- Resident Manager search and employment
FX Broker registration under the minimum regulatory requirements
- Dedicated consultant with the fully provided individual approach
- Full turnkey company formation assistance
- Basic Corporate documents
- Basic AML/KYC Policy
- FOREX Broker license application
- State fee for license application and first year service
Requirements of a Vanuatu forex license
- Presence of a local office
- Proof of impeccable reputation and economic education of the founders
- Proof of capital source and clean financial reputation
- Possession of minimum share capital of $50,000
- Verified documents of directors and proof of address
- Developed a realistic 3-year business plan
- Compliance with AML/CFT policies and appointment AML/CTF Compliance Officer to report to the regulator
- Record keeping in Vanuatu
- Develop a risk management strategy
- Hire an independent auditor to provide financial reports
- Implement procedures for handling complaints and customer dissatisfaction
Process of Getting a Forex License in Vanuatu
To obtain a forex license in Vanuatu, one of the main requirements is to register your company with the local registry. Before applying for registration, you have to rent a local office and fulfill all regulations. The registration can be done without personal presence, using the official website of the VFSC.
Gofaizen & Sherle will help you to gather the documents and enter the company in the Registry with the expected result.
OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT
During the registration process, you also need to open a corporate bank account. With this account you will deposit the share capital of $50,000 for license obtainment and the subsequent operation of your brokerage company.
PREPARATION OF DOCUMENTATION FOR THE LICENSE APPLICATION
It is necessary to prepare a package of corporate documents by the requirements of the regulator.
Mandatory documents to be submitted with the application for a Vanuatu Forex license:
- certified copies of documents proving the applicant’s identity,
- proof of address (e.g. certified copy of utility bill),
- bank statement,
- cv of the applicant,
- proof of no criminal record and absence of bankruptcy,
- business plan for 3 years and financial plan,
- letter of recommendation from a law firm,
- proof of local office rent
It is recommended to contact Gofaizen & Sherle specialists to ensure that the correct documents are prepared on time.
SUBMITTING YOUR APPLICATION
Along with the submitted documents, you need to fill out an application form for licensing and pay the $2,000 state fee.
You may be denied a Forex License in Vanuatu if:
- you have provided false information, forged documents can be criminally liable;
- your business plan is not realistic or economically unprofitable;
- the directors or beneficiaries of the company have a criminal record;
- you have not transferred share capital to a bank account at the time of application;
- you have ignored the payment of government fees.
Gofaizen & Sherle will help you fill out the application correctly according to all the rules of the jurisdiction for a positive response.
OBTAINING A LICENSE
If all the steps are done correctly, the VFSC will issue a Forex License in Vanuatu. The average time to review and issue a license is 2-3 months. If the regulator requires additional documents, the period may be longer.
Types of Forex licenses in Vanuatu
Before the fall of 2021, the Vanuatu forex license was divided into two main types of permits that required annual renewal. However, after amendments in the local legislation, the charges became perpetual. It should also be noted that the regulator reserves the right to zero the licenses if the jurisdiction’s rules are violated.
At the moment, depending on the model and needs of your business, you can open one or more licenses of 4 types:
A – intended for transactions in debt foreign exchange instruments.
B – for transactions with shares, precious metals, etc.
C – for companies dealing with CFDs.
D – authorization for virtual assets after obtaining A, B, and C.
Please note that if you plan to work with digital assets in Vanuatu your company will need to obtain a license of class D. For this type of license, a company must confirm the existence of risk management systems, have an authorized capital of 500.000$, rent a local office, hire a local employee, etc. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to hold digital assets.
How to Start a Forex Company in Vanuatu
The most common type of forex company in Vanuatu is IBC. Its structure allows it to operate internationally, but such companies are prohibited from operating in this jurisdiction. At the same time, it has many advantages for global business. For example, registration is straightforward and fast; with timely preparation of all necessary documentation, registration can take only one day.
In addition, IBCs have several significant advantages: loyal taxation and no strict rules for reporting. In addition, information about the owners is not publicly disclosed, which increases the company’s confidentiality level. There is no need to open a bank account in Vanuatu; IBC can open accounts in other international financial institutions.
Primary requirements of the regulator:
- Minimum one shareholder
- Minimum one local director
- Minimum one local manager
- Local Office
- Compliance Officer (can be foreign)
- Alternate Compliance Officer (may be foreign)
Company registration process (IBC):
Step 1: Choosing a company name
Choose a unique name for your company according to local laws, including the Business Names Act [CAP 211].
Step 2: Find an office
Find suitable premises for your company within Vanuatu.
Step 3: Prepare documentation
Gather and prepare all the necessary documents to incorporate your company.
- Association document
- Articles of Association
- Name reservation form
- Identification and residence of directors, shareholders, and tax-qualified owners
- Professional data of management and shareholders
- Anti-money laundering measures
- Detailed business development plan
- Statement of compliance by management and shareholders
- Confirmation of fulfillment of financial requirements
- Receipt for payment of registration fees.
Step 4: Submit the Application to VFSC
Submit the completed application form and attach all required documents for the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC) review.
Step 5: Pay the application fee
Verify the amount and pay the registration fees to the VFSC.
Step 6: Obtain a certificate
If the application is successful, the VFSC will provide you with a certificate of incorporation for your company.
Find more information about the Forex License in Vanuatu
When working in the Forex market in Vanuatu, you should pay attention to 3 government agencies: the main regulator – the Financial Services Commission of Vanuatu (VFSC), as well as the Association of Financial Centers of Vanuatu (FCA) and the self-regulatory organization of the Financial Markets Association (FMA).
The Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC) was officially established in 1993 by the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission Act No. 35 of 1993.
This controller is responsible for the licensing of Forex companies – reviewing applications, providing answers, requesting additional documents, and directly, obtaining licenses in Vanuatu. The VFSC monitors the actions of licensees to avoid scams and the application of fines in case of law violations. If the company does not follow generally accepted rules, the license can be revoked.
In addition, through effective oversight, the commission seeks to protect the public from financial losses and to enhance the country`’s reputation as an economic powerhouse. The VFSC represents the country in the international arena, administers the financial sector and charges fees, and advises and assists the government in the formulation of regulatory measures and legislation in the financial business sector.
Apart from the VFSC, the Financial Centers Association of Vanuatu (FCA) is also responsible for the financial sector. It was established in 1993 as a non-profit industry body providing a wide range of professionals in the banking, insurance, brokerage, legal, and accounting fields as well as financial dealers and real estate agents. The Commission is not involved in government regulation.
The FCA’s main objective is to provide an attractive regulatory system to attract investment and facilitate the activities of foreign companies seeking to operate in the Forex market.
The Vanuatu Financial Markets Association is a charitable organization incorporated in the Republic of Vanuatu. It was founded by six registered agents of the Financial Dealers Licensing Program (FDL) who are members of the Vanuatu Association of Financial Centers. It is a self-regulatory body that protects the industry from crime and also works to increase the confidence of partners and enhance the reputation of Vanuatu.
Overview of Forex license in Vanuatu
|Minimum capital requirement
|50 000 USD
|Corporate income tax
Regulation of Forex in Vanuatu
The primary regulator of forex companies in Vanuatu is the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC). According to the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission Act No. 35 of 1993, the primary function of the VFSC is to regulate the financial services industry, issue the Vanuatu forex broker license, supervise companies that have obtained the permit, protect investors, and monitor compliance with anti-money laundering regulations. The VFSC is responsible for a fair and transparent forex environment for companies, investors, and consumers and for protecting and enhancing Vanuatu’s image as a financial center. The Commission assists and advises the government regarding financial matters and financial business regulations.
The VFSC regulates and supervises forex activities under several statutory rules and regulations:
Vanuatu Financial Services Commission Act No 35 of 1993:
Regulates the operation of the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission, setting out its powers and responsibilities. This Act promotes a favorable climate for financial investment and ensures high standards of corporate governance.
Counter Terrorist Financing Act No 13 of 2014:
The main objective is to prevent misuse of the country’s financial system. The legislation provides for strict controls on financial transactions and requires thorough customer due diligence.
This includes verification of identity, analysis of business relationships, and risk assessment. The law provides enhanced requirements for verifying, recording, and reporting questionable transactions. Non-compliance may result in fines or license revocation.
Regulation against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing:
This document establishes specific mechanisms and procedures to guide financial institutions in serving customers to ensure compliance with antitrust standards.
Global Corporations Act [CAP.222], as amended:
This Act provides a framework for the governance of global corporations, protecting investors’ rights and ensuring compliance with international standards.
Companies Act No. 25 of 2012:
This law regulates all aspects of joint stock companies, from incorporation to liquidation, while emphasizing the protection of shareholder rights.
International Limited Liability Partnerships Act No 39 of 2009:
Establishes the legal framework for establishing and managing partnerships, providing flexibility in managing and protecting the rights of partnership members.
Commercial Names Registration Act [CAP 211], as amended:
It guarantees the uniqueness of a business name and prevents the use of misleading or similar terms.
Stock Exchange Regulations:
Ensures the fair and transparent functioning of the exchange market, protecting the interests of both investors and the general public.
Digital Transactions Act No 24 of 2000 as amended:
Promotes e-commerce in the country by establishing a legal framework for digital transactions and electronic signatures.
Financial Intermediaries Regulation Act [CAP 70] as amended:
The Financial Dealers Licensing Act [CAP 70] sets standards for the licensing and supervising of financial intermediaries, ensuring a high level of professionalism in the sector. It regulates the licensing of forex brokers in Vanuatu by specifying their activities, capital, and qualifications requirements. The law also establishes penalties for violations and control mechanisms.
Norms for licensing of financial agents:
Provide clear guidelines for the licensing process, ensuring transparency and accountability in the financial intermediation sector.
Taxation of Forex Companies in Vanuatu
International companies established by foreign investors, including forex brokers, have an exemption from certain local taxes (0% tax). Such taxes include:
- Taxes on dividend payments;
- Charges on the use of royalties;
- Corporate tax;
- Financial transaction fees;
- Inheritance tax.
Legal entities may not pay capital gains and export taxes. Various types of businesses in Vanuatu are exempt from VAT.
What factors to consider when running a forex business in Vanuatu:
If you decide to register a forex company, the following financial aspects are worth considering:
- The country offers an attractive duty of 2%, making it one of the most competitive in the region.
- A 5% tax is imposed on real estate interactions (e.g., renting or buying office space).
- 6% of your employee’s paycheck must be transferred to the National Reserve Fund. These funds will go towards social security and pensions.
- Currently, there is no double taxation in the country, which is confirmed by 14 international treaties.
- It is worth noting that the country’s authorities are actively discussing the possibility of introducing a tax on personal income.
The amount of state fees may depend on the type of company, the services offered, and the number of directors and shareholders. However, the standard cost of obtaining a license is a share capital of $50,000, a state filing fee of $2,000, and an annual fee of $5,000. The total annual renewal of the license is $12,000, including filing annual returns, paying the state fee, renewing the company, and maintaining a nominal address.
In addition to the license fees, setting up a Forex brokerage company in Vanuatu also includes other expenses: company registration fees, office rental, employees etc.
FAQs About Getting a Forex License in Vanuatu
Is forex legal in Vanuatu?
The legality of forex in Vanuatu is confirmed by the availability of an appropriate license. To carry out activities in the Forex market in Vanuatu it is necessary to obtain a license from the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC)
Why is it important to get a Forex license in Vanuatu?
Obtaining a Forex License in Vanuatu is of key significance as it allows you to operate by the law and regulatory requirements. The license ensures client confidence, protects investor interests, and helps prevent possible legal and reputational problems.
How much is the Vanuatu forex license?
The cost of getting a Vanuatu license with our support is calculated individually. It depends on your needs. The average cost can be $26,000, which includes all government fees and services.
What is the validity period of a Forex license in Vanuatu?
The validity of a forex license in Vanuatu is indefinite. Previously, until the fall of 2021, the permit required annual renewal, but this condition was abolished after changes in the legislation.
How long does it take to obtain a Forex license in Vanuatu?
The VFSC usually takes 3 to 5 months to process an application for a Vanuatu Forex license with all the required documents. In addition, please note that additional time will be needed to prepare and submit all necessary materials and meet the regulator’s basic requirements.
What is the penalty for breaching the regulations governing financial activities in Vanuatu?
Violations can result in fines of up to 10 million VUV (approximately 80 thousand USD). In addition, the license may be revoked, and its subsequent reinstatement will cost you significant money.
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