On my way to a conference in Miami, I was seated next to a Florida lawyer. We’ll call him Robert Harris (his real name has been changed for privacy reasons). We started chatting and he told me that business was fantastic for him. His practice started becoming very good during the late nineties, so he abandoned immigration and all the other areas of his general practice to specialize in just bankruptcy law. In the last couple of years, he had become a millionaire during a time that everyone else was going out of business.
He then proceeded to explain to me that the US economy has already collapsed and the government is providing band aid solutions that would make a bad situation even worse. He was eloquent, very well informed and exuded with success. I was literally hanging from his lips. As he saw me mesmerized, he started explaining to me the financial data that had brought him to the conclusion that the USA would be unable to repay its debts, even if the government was to tax all the citizens with a 100% tax rate.
He hadn’t visited Panama for tourism, but he had spent a week forming an IBC (International Business Company). He explained that he could see the writing on the wall and had decided to jump ship while the going was good and he still had assets to protect. We hear this kind of story every day, but Robert had taken the time to gather all the data and document his decision with logic and legal expertise.
He had managed to captivate my attention with his charismatic demeanour. When he told me the name of his prestigious law firm, I was eager to find out all the details of his nearly perfect offshore structure. I thought that I may even learn something new, expecting nothing less from the collaboration of the US genius lawyer and the expertise of one of the top international law firms. To avoid having to answer his questions before hearing the details of his story, I didn’t tell him about my specialization in offshore structures.
He gave me a brief explanation of his structure and at first I thought that he was being secretive – as he should have been. I revealed my field of expertise and started asking him direct questions. I was fully disappointed in him. His story reminded me of Aesop’s tale with the rabbit and the hare.
He conducted meticulous research regarding the future of the US economy but snoozed when it came to covering his own rear end. He relied entirely on a firm with a pompous name thinking that you get what you pay for. So he paid through the nose to have junior lawyers of a large firm create a superficial offshore structure.
As I quizzed him on his offshore structure, he realized that it was a mistake for him to rely entirely on the intimidating opinions of disinterested experts rather than use his own common sense. He had ended up with a structure that would not allow him to bring his money back into his country without leaving an obvious paper trail. With the right strategy, the problem can be prevented. But, if he leaves it alone and eventually gets caught, the damages would be very high.
I will tell you the 9 simple questions that I asked him. Everyone should ask these questions and feel confident with the answers before they embark in the formation of an offshore corporation.
- How will my funds make their way out of _______ (enter the name of the high tax country) and into ___________ (enter the name of the offshore jurisdiction)?
- How can I be sure that my name and personal information will not be linked with my offshore company?
- If I don’t appear as the owner of the offshore company how can I control the bank account, borrow or lend money, buy and sell assets?
- How do I get my money back into my country without paying taxes?
- How can I justify the capital flow in and out of my country?
- How can I be protected from inflation or currency devaluations?
- If I don’t appear to be the owner of the offshore company, how can I prevent someone else from taking away my company?
- How can I prepare for future tightening of the regulations?
- How can I select the right offshore advisors?
Obviously, every one of these questions has a different answer for each individual case. The best way to get answers is through transparent communication with an offshore analyst that is interested in building a long-term relationship with you. We believe you should be able to have that communication at no cost.
You can get started today. Send us a message while the questions are still fresh in your mind, or click the chat button below for a no-obligation, free live chat with an experienced offshore analyst.