When you form an offshore company, you can place your assets offshore by titling your personal bank accounts and other assets to the company. Thus, while you retain control over these accounts and assets, you don’t technically own them — the company does. This makes your assets incredibly difficult to find, even during a professional asset search, affording you a high level of financial privacy.
This privacy offers a number of advantages. The main one is that it offers a strong layer of protection against future liabilities. When a legal opponent decides to take litigious action against you, the first step in pursuing a suit will typically be an asset search. This ensures that there will be some kind of financial return for your opponent in the case that a judgment is awarded to him or her. As previously mentioned, forming offshore assets and titling your assets to that company is a way to make your assets incredibly difficult to find, even when a professional asset search is being conducted. It’s difficult for any entity to lay claim to your assets when it can’t find them.
Furthermore, confidentiality rules in offshore jurisdictions protect information about your identity, accounts, and transactions. In onshore jurisdictions, confidentiality rules and regulations are much less stringent, which can leave your identity and personal information out in the open. With most offshore jurisdictions, information is guarded stringently. The only exception to this is investigations into criminal activity, including money laundering, terrorism, and drug trafficking. However, if you are using your offshore account for licit purposes, as most are, you should have no reason to worry.
In conclusion, offshore companies can be an excellent way to protect your privacy, effectively screening your assets from public view. This affords you an extra layer of protection from litigation and can even help you remain anonymous should you choose. However, it is important to note that the number of offshore jurisdictions with specific legislative provisions for truly anonymous companies (meaning no one outside is privy to the identity of its owners and managers) has declined over the course of the past several years. Therefore, it is critical to do your research before choosing a jurisdiction. Avoid jurisdictions where the government holds details of company holders or where there is a public register. If necessary, get advice from a professional. All in all, if you are concerned about protecting your privacy, an offshore account can be an excellent option.