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Offshore Hedge Funds
Why Start an Offshore Hedge Fund? We set up hedge fund and fund of funds in the United States, the British Virgin Islands (BVI), the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands (CI) and St Lucia. We cater to international clients. The term "offshore" is any country but your home country. Hedge funds are set up offshore to benefit from country neutrality and regulatory sophistication. For example, some countries have very high tax rates and dated laws that are not geared toward progressive methods of making money (i.s., the current hedge fund industry). In many countries, there are no options for an individual to become licensed as an investment manager or for the individual to set up a hedge fund. In those countries, the laws favor only the established, larger "players" in the industry. Those countries are slow to modernize their laws. In those countries "the world is flat". Contact Us for Assistance and Learn More by Reading our Leading Media Articles
U.S. Investors & PFICs It is perfectly legal for U.S. investors to invest in an offshore fund (i.e., a fund outside the United States). The tax issues are manageable. The U.S investor has two options upon investing in an offshore fund which may be taxes as a Passive Foreign Investment Company (PFIC). One option is that the U.S. investor elect to recognize income on an annual basis just as if the offshore fund set up as a corporation is in fact a partnership for U.S. tax purposes. The second option is to elect to defer the recognition of the income until the time of a dividend distribution (if any) from the fund. Each U.S. investor in an offshore can choose to elect either option and this election is made on their personal tax return in the initial year of the investment. This election can be changed only with respect to additional new capital contributions to the offshore fund. We offer tax advise and hedge fund administration services. Learn More About Hedge Fund Administration and Contact Us for Assistance
Offshore Funds & PFIC Statements (K-1 Equivalents)Option 1 is available to the U.S. investor only if the offshore fund is willing to provide a PFIC Statement with the offshore fund's gain and loss information with respect to the US investor (i.e., a Form K-1 equivalent). If the offshore fund does not provide this data, the U.S. investor must rely on Option 2. It is more tax advantageous for U.S. investors if the U.S. investor is sent a PFIC Statement (i.e., a Form K-1 equivalent). If no PFIC Statement is provided, the U.S. investor is left with Option 2. In that case, the U.S. investor pays an interest charge at the time of dividend distribution from the offshore fund for any distribution above their investment basis. This is why an offshore fund should issue a PFIC statement (also called a "K-1 Equivalent" for U.S. investors. The PFIC statement resembles a Form 1099 or a Form K-1 and provides the US investor with their pro rata share of fund income by category (i.e., interest, dividends, Long term capital gains, short term capital gains, etc.). The U.S. investor can then recognize its annual income on its tax return. We prepare offshore fund PFIC Statements for offshore funds and offer full fund administration services. Learn More About Hedge Fund Administration and Contact Us for Assistance
Best Hedge Fund Countries The best place to setup an offshore hedge fund is the United States, the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, St Lucia, or the Cayman Islands. These countries offer a favorable legal environment that allows hedge funds to start out as unregulated funds with the option (but no legal requirement) to progress to a licensed hedge fund. An unregulated hedge fund costs less to set up than a licensed hedge fund. In the British Virgin Islands (BVI) you can set up a Closed-Ended Company that functions as a type of hedge fund, an Incubator Fund, an Approved Fund, a Private Fund or a Professional Fund. Learn More About BVI Hedge Funds The Bahamas is a good choice but a little more expensive than the BVI. In the Bahamas, you can set up a SMART Fund and there are many types of SMART Funds to choose from. The Cayman Islands also offers some regulatory flexibility but remains a bit pricey when compared to the United States or the BVI. St Lucia is a newer fund jurisdiction but of interest. If you are not based in the United States, the United States is "offshore" to you and offers tax and regulatory neutrality. Learn More About US Hedge Funds Foreign investors in a U.S. fund are not taxed on trading profits. Hedge fund managers should consider setting up an offshore hedge fund if they expect to have investors from other countries or if their home country's laws are not geared toward the hedge fund industry.
UBTI Blocker Funds Hedge fund managers expecting U.S. tax-exempt investors to invest in the fund (i.e., such as an IRA, ERISA-type retirement plan, foundation, endowment, etc.) should set up an offshore hedge fund set up as a corporation (i.e., a blocker entity) when leverage is required to execute the hedge fund's trading program. This approach allows the U.S. tax-exempt investor to avoid unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) tax exposure.
What is UBTI?Under U.S. income tax laws, a tax-exempt investor (such as an ERISA plan, a foundation, or an endowment) engaging in an investment strategy that involves borrowing money is liable for U.S. income tax notwithstanding its tax-exempt status. The UBTI tax can be avoided by having the tax-exempt organization invest in non-U.S. corporate structures (i.e., offshore hedge funds set up as corporations). Learn More About U.S. and Offshore Tax Issues A fund sponsor should be aware of the need for a UBTI blocker fund when creating an offshore fund aimed to attract to U.S. investors. While we are based in the United States we have a truly global focus and cater to international clients. Contact Hedge Fund & International Tax Attorney Hannah Terhune for Assistance Master Feeder Fund Structure A “master-feeder” group of funds involves one or more “feeder” funds that invest in a “master” fund. The master fund and each feeder fund is organized as a separate legal entity. Each feeder fund generally invests all of its assets in the master fund. Interests in the master fund are sold privately to one or more feeder funds. The interests in the feeder funds are sold privately to investors. The portfolio management, fund accounting and custody functions are performed at the master fund level while the distribution, shareholder servicing and administration functions of a traditional unregistered fund are performed at the feeder fund level.
U.S. SEC Offshore AlertThe U.S. SEC's 134-page report published in 2003--The Implications of the Growth of Hedge Funds--presents the status of the hedge fund industry as viewed in the United States. What is interesting about this SEC Report is that articles and web content authored by our very own hedge fund attorney Hannah Terhune, JD, LLM (Taxation) (when she was the Chief and only Attorney at GreenCompany.com) on offshore hedge funds was cited on page 10 of the U.S. SEC Report as providing information the SEC Staff found to be valuable in its understanding of the hedge fund industry. For a decade, hedge fund attorney Hannah Terhune has been counted on by the U.S. government and hedge fund organizers worldwide as a source of cutting edge and practical information on hedge fund formations.
You will see from this web site that we supply more information about hedge funds than most books do on the subject. It's great to see that Hannah Terhune's expertise is appreciated by the SEC! This is quite a coup for Hannah, and provides one more piece of evidence as to how she can help you. You can reach her today at email@example.com or at +1 (307) 413-2212 or on Skype at: CapitalManagementServicesGroup.
The United States is a Safe-Haven for Business Most U.S. states do not require disclosure of ownership information when companies are formed. Read the GAO 2006 Report of U.S. Company Formations The majority of U.S. hedge funds are incorporated in Delaware because Delaware law protects business company owners, allows for economic privacy, and does not require company filings. The Delaware “brand” of company law has been adopted by many other countries. In addition to Delaware, Florida and Wyoming are good states in which to incorporate. Learn More About U.S. Company Formations and Contact Us for Assistance Hedge fund sponsors based outside the United States are surprised to learn about the “light touch” of U.S. regulation and low costs associated with forming a U.S. hedge fund. Even if you are based outside the United States, you can set up both the hedge fund and its management company in the United States. A U.S. incubator hedge fund can be converted to a full-fledge hedge fund in the United States very quickly. Learn More About Starting a Hedge Fund
U.S. Virtual Office Services & U.S. Bank Accounts U.S. investors can invest in an offshore hedge fund. Foreign investors can invest in a U.S. hedge fund. A foreign investment manager can set up and run a U.S. hedge fund without ever coming to the United States. A U.S. presence is not required. We offer U.S. Virtual Office Services if you feel that you need a working office address in the United States. We also offer U.S. Banking Services if you need a U.S. bank account for your hedge fund or your hedge fund management company. Contact Us
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