Jersey outpaces global offshore numbers with 6% rise in new incorporations

The total number of new company registrations increased across offshore jurisdictions in the first half of 2014, according to Appleby, one of the world’s largest providers of offshore legal, fiduciary and administration services.

In the first half of 2014, there were 46,455 new offshore company incorporations, representing a 4% increase on the preceding six months, according to the firm’s latest On the Register report, which provides insight and data on company incorporations in offshore financial centres and focuses primarily on the first half of the year.

“This year is off to an encouraging start, with levels of active companies on the offshore company registers continuing to hold steady,” said Farah Ballands, Partner and Global Head of Fiduciary & Administration Services at Appleby. “In Jersey, there were 1,385 new company incorporations in the first half of the year, representing a 6% increase over the second half of 2013.”

The new incorporations in Jersey helped fuel a 2% rise in the local registry, which had remained locked at 32,500 for the last three years and now has 33,207 companies listed. However, the report cautioned that the last couple of years have seen the registry figures shrink in the final quarter so it has yet to be seen whether 2014 is truly a breakout year.

Looking at the other Crown Dependencies, Guernsey and the Isle of Man both saw dips in the number of new company incorporations. The report noted, however, that Guernsey’s story remains encouraging as the total of 833 new incorporations is historically high.

The Cayman Islands was the standout jurisdiction in the first half of 2014, the report found, with a 17% increase in new company incorporations over the previous six months – the largest percentage increase of all jurisdictions measured in the report. Mauritius followed with a 12% increase over the previous half.

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) continues to dominate offshore new company registration activity by volume, reporting 25,533 new companies – a 6% increase on the previous half-year – and easily maintaining its two-fold lead ahead of its nearest comparator.