Companies in the Isle of Man

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The Isle of Man offers zero corporate taxation for Isle of Man registered companies which are owned (or ultimately owned) by non Isle of Man resident shareholders. With appropriate tax advice, corporate structures can be established and managed from the Isle of Man for legitimate purposes to utilise the benefits available.

Grant Thornton (Isle of Man) Limited is able to offer corporate structures and provide full professional services for international based clients and clients resident in the Isle of Man which includes:

  • The incorporation of Isle of Man registered companies or non-Isle of Man registered companies;
  • Providing a registered office for the company;
  • Offering Isle of Man resident company directors or a corporate director, Grant Thornton (Isle of Man) Directors Limited (in accordance with the Companies Act 2006);
  • Offering company secretarial services;
  • Maintaining the day-to-day management of a company;
  • Registering and administrating Foreign companies under the ‘F’ Register;
  • Providing nominee shareholders if requested;
  • Applying for VAT registration if the required conditions are met;
  • Maintaining the bookkeeping of the company;
  • Preparing annual financial statements;
  • Providing and acting as a Registered Agent, Grant Thornton (Isle of Man) Limited, in accordance with the Companies Act 2006.

There are numerous types of company which can be incorporated and administered by Grant Thornton (Isle of Man) Limited under both the 1931-2004 and 2006 Companies Acts:


1931 Act Company


This form of entity has for many years been the traditional form of company.

1931 Act Companies are designated as either public or private companies. Private companies are not permitted to offer their shares to the general public.

The key features of a 1931 Act Company are:

  • May be incorporated as limited (by shares, by guarantee, or hybrid) or unlimited (with or without shares)
  • Must have a registered office in the Isle of Man
  • Minimum of two directors and a secretary
  • Corporate directors are not permitted
  • Must have at least one member
  • Shares must have a par value and may be ordinary, convertible, redeemable, preference, non-voting etc.
  • Bearer shares are prohibited
  • Common law capital maintenance rules apply
  • Annual Return must contain details of members, share capital, secured debt, registered office and directors
  • Annual General Meetings must be held
  • Required to prepare financial statements
  • Required to have financial statements audited unless exemption rules apply
  • May convert to a 2006 Act Company with shareholder consent

The 2006 Act Company


The Isle of Man Companies Act 2006 created a new modern form of company known as the 2006 Act Company. The 2006 Act Company is a modern, flexible and simplified corporate vehicle which does not have many of the traditional formalities of a company.

The key features of a 2006 Act Company include:

  • May be incorporated as limited (by shares, by guarantee, or hybrid) or unlimited (with or without shares).
  • No distinction between public and private companies
  • No restriction on offering shares to the public
  • Must have a registered office in the Isle of Man
  • May have a single director, individual or corporate
  • Must have at least one member
  • No requirement for a company secretary
  • Must have a registered agent
  • Shares may be issued with or without a par value and may be ordinary, convertible, redeemable, preference, non-voting etc.
  • Bearer shares are prohibited
  • Company may make any distribution to members it wishes, subject to a solvency test
  • Annual Return must contain details of the registered agent, registered office and directors
  • Reduced public registry filing requirements
  • No requirement for Annual General Meetings
  • Not required to prepare financial statements
  • No audit requirements
  • Reduced public registry filing requirements

Protected Cell Company


This type of company permits it to be limited by shares and regarded as a single legal entity in its own right. However a PCC has the ability to segregate and protect its assets in separate cells. A PCC formed under the 2006 Companies Act is recommended for this purpose as it can be used for any purpose whereas a 1931-2004 company only permits its use for insurance business or for certain types of collective investment schemes.


Unlimited Company


This type of company has no limit to the liability of the members and is used occasionally where a company formation is desirable but due to the nature of the assets held, the potential liability is not considered vital.


Public Limited Company (PLC)


A 1931-2004 Act company can be established as a public company and may offer its shares or debentures for sale to the general public. It must also have its annual financial statements audited. A 2006 Act Company does not distinguish between private and public companies and any type of 2006 Act company can offer its shares to the general public.


Limited Liability Company (LLC)


A limited liability company (LLC) has a corporate personality and limited liability but taxed in a similar manner to that of a partnership, with each member of the LLC paying tax on their share of the profits.


Whatever type of company is preferred Grant Thornton (Isle of Man) Limited will be able to assist. Please view the Company Questionnaire for information required before a company can be incorporated.



If you require further information please contact either:


Dennis McGurgan


Kathy Martin


Jane Wolstencroft