Canadian Real Estate
Use of Offshore Companies
To Encumber Canadian or US Real Estate
Why Incorporate Offshore
Because of the litigation explosion in Canada and elsewhere, professionals and small business owners are forced to focus on ways to protect their savings, investments and other accumulated assets that may be attractive targets for hungry trial lawyers.
In the Canadian Legal System, the deck is often stacked in favour of plaintiffs and against defendants. Because this observation encourages the filing of spurious lawsuits, the average business owner or professional may be sued several times during his or her lifetime, thereby facing the possibility of being on the receiving end of a ruinous judgment. Failure to plan for such a situation can result in the instant loss of a lifetime’s accumulated wealth. Once a lawsuit has been filed, or one is anticipated, the Canadian Legal System will not allow assets to be moved. Acting now while the waters are calm is imperative.
Finding Your Assets
Lawyers for plaintiffs only prosecute cases they believe will pay off, not cases against judgment proof defendants. How does a lawyer find out if you have something of value? Very easily. Many services are available that can provide a detailed account of personal and/or business bank accounts, property ownership, investment holdings, income, savings and many other facts relating to your financial well being. The only hope of getting the plaintiff’s lawyer to accept a token settlement is to convince the lawyer that the defendant’s assets are truly beyond the lawyer’s reach.
How can you minimize the chances of losing assets? By becoming a smaller target. How can you become a smaller target? By shrinking the size of your estate so that you are no longer the legal owner of the assets to be controlled and enjoyed. How can you shrink your estate? By getting as many assets out of your personal name as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to transfer money, investments and assets into a corporation, a legal entity that you control.
Canadian Corporation Vs. Offshore Corporation
Most trial lawyers will tell you that forming a Canadian corporation for liability protection and privacy is not worth the certificate it is printed on. Canadian corporate formation documents are public information and any good search firm can find bank accounts, investments, real estate and other assets held by the corporation. The Canadian corporate veil is routinely ignored and lawsuits are filed against the corporation and any of its beneficial owners. By forming a corporation offshore you have a legal entity to hold assets of which only you know the beneficial owner. The information-gathering agencies and services that help trial lawyers, ex-spouses, ex-business partners and creditors will be unable to find your accounts and assets, therefore, making you a poor prospect for a lawsuit. This is how you become a smaller target.
Canadian Judgments are not Recognized Offshore
An offshore corporation can conduct any type of business in Canada that a Canadian corporation can. You sacrifice nothing by having complete privacy and a corporate veil with real teeth in it. Even if your offshore Bahamian International Business Company (IBC) becomes involved in a lawsuit, the Bahamian Supreme Court does not recognize Canadian judgments against a company incorporated in its jurisdiction. A plaintiff would have to hire a Bahamian attorney (there are no contingency fees) and try to convince the Bahamian Court to hear the case. Historically, the Bahamian Courts will not rule in favour of a plaintiff if it can be shown that the assets were moved before the judgment was filed. Once the plaintiff sees the uphill battle involved plus the enormous cost out of his/her own pocket, he/she may either re-evaluate the merits of filing a lawsuit or settle for a fraction of the settlement he/she may have received in a Canadian Court. More and more doctors, professional business people and small businesses are going offshore to lower their liability insurance coverage. This alone can be a savings of tens of thousands of dollars each year in premiums. Small businesses also go offshore to reduce or eliminate state income (franchise) taxes and to give them other alternatives to insurance coverage that have become too expensive to carry.
HOW TO Get Started
To get started, please contact us for a confidential consultation.
A typical order would be an International Business Company (IBC), a bank account (bank does not have to be in same jurisdiction as company) and mail forwarding. Our prices include all first year fees. Initial bank deposits should be submitted later with the bank application package.
You will be billed annually for the registered agent and government fees. For payment, we accept any form of a USD check, wire transfer or cash. The bank application for the bank you have selected will accompany your corporate documents. There will be instructions with the bank forms. You will be asked to return the forms to our office. We will put certified corporate documents with the bank forms, complete all the corporate information, seal the documents and courier them to the bank along with your initial deposit. Depending on which bank you have chosen, the account number will be issued approximately 7 days after the bank receives the documents, if we are using Swiss American Bank in Antigua, and up to one month for Barclays either in the Bahamas or British Virgin Islands. All other banks will fall within this time period for issuing account numbers.
Using an Offshore Company to Encumber
Canadian Real Estate
1. You own real estate and have equity build up in the property. You want to protect this asset.
2. You form an Offshore Company that you control, but ownership is anonymous because of the strict secrecy laws of the Offshore jurisdiction. Bearer shares can be used for more privacy.
3. Because the Offshore Company will be looking for good investments, it can negotiate a loan or provide services to your property. Services can be landscaping, roofing, painting etc. You decide to secure a home improvement loan from the Offshore Company. It will loan you the money and take the equity in your real estate as security. With no usury laws, the Offshore Company can charge very high rates of interest to move more money offshore or payments can be set low or rolled back into the note.
4. To protect its interest, the Offshore Company will file a lien against the property. A Trust Deed document is filed at the County level which allows the Offshore Company to take a first lien position on the equity of the property after the senior mortgage debt is satisfied.
5. If the worst happens, due to lawsuits and judgments, a bad economy, or even bankruptcy, the next step would be the result of your asset protection strategy using an Offshore Company to encumber your assets.
6. Upon the sale or liquidation of the property, the title company will do a search for liens against the property. Such a search will reveal a lien, secured by a Trust Deed, to the Offshore Company. After the mortgage company’s (if any) debt is paid, any excess equity will be paid to the Offshore Company to satisfy the home improvement loan, secured by the Trust Deed.
Using an Offshore Company to Encumber
U.S. Company’s Assets
1. The U.S. Company presently deals with the public, suppliers, other businesses and has assets of some worth. You are the major shareholder or you are a sole proprietor.
2. You form an offshore company that you control completely. Ownership is completely secret and anonymous because of the strict secrecy laws of the offshore jurisdiction. Bearer shares can be issued by an offshore company to put another layer of privacy between you and the ownership. You can fund your offshore company for payment of the shares issued.
3. Because the offshore company will be looking for a good investment, the offshore company can negotiate a loan or provide services to the U.S. Company. Such services can be bookkeeping, consulting, administrative, shipping, etc. The U.S. Company decides it will borrow money from the offshore company. The offshore company will loan the U.S. Company money and a loan agreement is signed between the two companies. As collateralization, to secure the loan, the U.S. Company will pledge its asset to the offshore company. With no usury laws, the offshore company can charge very high interest rates, which will help remove funds from the U.S. Company, or the payments can be set very low or rolled back into the note.
4. To protect its interest, the Offshore Company will file a lien against the U.S. Company’s assets. A UCC-1 Financing Statement is filed at the State level which allows the Offshore Company to take a first lien position on the U.S. Company’s assets.
5. If the worst happens, due to lawsuits and judgments, a bad economy, or even bankruptcy, the next step would be the result of your asset protection strategy using an Offshore Company.
6. The U.S. Company is unable to continue payments or pay off the Offshore Company. Because the Offshore Company holds a first lien position on the U.S. Company’s assets by way of a UCC-1 Financing Statement, the following liquidation will allow the Offshore Company to legally acquire all of the U.S. Company’s assets to satisfy the debt.
- 1 Canada
- 1.1 Canadian Real Estate
- 1.2 Use of Offshore Companies To Encumber Canadian or US Real Estate
- 1.3 Why Incorporate Offshore
- 1.4 Finding Your Assets
- 1.5 Corporate Ownership
- 1.6 Canadian Corporation Vs. Offshore Corporation
- 1.7 Canadian Judgments are not Recognized Offshore
- 1.8 HOW TO Get Started
- 1.9 Offshore Corporations
- 1.10 Offshore Corporations
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