BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- On Wednesday, Barbados passed legislation that enables the creation of incorporated cell companies (ICCs). Intended to complement its segregated cell legislation, the introduction of incorporated cell companies provides investors with the ability to separate assets and liabilities within a number of financial service activities. The legislation is expected to come into effect before month end.
"The government of Barbados understands the critical importance of its international business sector and the need to introduce new and relevant legislation to underpin its growth," said Donville Inniss, Barbados' minister of industry, international business, commerce and small business development. "Incorporated cell legislation provides businesses with the ability to effectively structure specific operations by placing them within separate incorporated cells -- legally separating the risks and assets of one operation from those of another incorporated cell."
Within an incorporated cell company, there can be an unlimited number of incorporated companies (termed cells) -- each of which is treated as a separate legal entity. As such, each cell is considered to be a limited liability company and has its own governance structure with its own board and officers.
This structure also allows for each cell to separate its assets, liabilities, shareholder agreements and other legal obligations from other cells within the ICC. Though each cell is effectively its own legal entity, all cells benefit from the lower costs associated with the shared administration of the ICC as a whole.
"The ICC structure will be of particular interest to companies engaged in financial services activities such as insurance, banking and mutual funds," continued Inniss. "Our clients have been asking us for this product and early interest suggests that the market will be very receptive to the new ICC legislation as a whole. We also anticipate that the introduction of this product will drive a significant and near term growth, particularly in Barbados' international insurance sector."
Barbados has consistently ranked among the top ten of the world's largest captive domiciles. Since the mid-1960s, the country has emerged as the international domicile of choice for several global investors.
With a strong public-private sector partnership in place, Barbados is focused on becoming the international financial and wealth management centre of choice in the Western Hemisphere and will continue to introduce highly relevant products in response to market demand.