Almost everyone has heard the name "Cayman Islands". Have you ever wondered why? Easy. This island is the king of kings when it comes to tropical paradises and financial freedom, our favorite combination.

Known as the turquoise paradise, these three semi-virgin islands are part of the British overseas territory. This piece of heaven is barely 264 km2 and is located in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, right between Jamaica and Cuba, where it welcomes cruise ships loaded with tourists and offshore investors who stop by every day on its main island, Grand Cayman.

Accompanying the main island are the two jewels that complete the most stunning trinity in the entire Caribbean: the islands of Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.

This dream place attracts tourists and investors alike because of its beauty and its advantages, such as the fact that there is no income tax on its territory. 

No taxes: this is the definite feature of the Cayman Islands and the ones investors love the most. At the end of the year, all your profits are yours. The islands have no income tax, property tax, or capital gains tax. Ultimate economic freedom.

High standard of living: the Cayman Islands have the highest standards of living in the Caribbean, in fact, they have the eighth-largest GDP per capita in the world. This means that a large percentage of residents feel comfortable and could buy any product or service offered.

Government stability: Another good reason why the Cayman Islands is a very attractive place for investors is that the government is stable, so there is no fear of the effect of political instability on business owners.

Good infrastructure: you will also find a sophisticated infrastructure in the Cayman Islands that will help your business run more smoothly.

A path towards British citizenship: If you become a Caymanian permanent resident (read how here), you can become a British citizen five years later and receive one of the best passports in the world and live in the UK.

Strong economy: Another benefit of doing business in the Cayman Islands is that they have a very strong economy due to the international banking operations there.

Business Privacy: Since you will not pay taxes, you are not required to expose your business records to any government agency. You can maintain the privacy of your business as you wish. In addition, there are no investment restrictions in the Cayman Islands, so you can invest in any business or market you wish.

The exempt company: The most commonly used legal form by non-residents is the 'Cayman Islands Exempt Company', which as its name suggests, is tax exempt. This entity provides a very flexible corporate structure, with no requirement for resident directors or other local corporate officers, maximum protection of director and shareholder privacy and simplified accounting requirements.

Banking secrecy: the names of the beneficiaries of offshore companies registered in the Cayman Islands are not entered in any public register and there is no obligation to disclose the identity of the beneficiaries. Offshore companies are not required by law to file their annual financial reports with the authorities but are required to file an annual return. 

A bit of history of the Cayman Islands

The first lucky person to set foot on this mystical place was Christopher Columbus during his fourth voyage to America a little more than 500 years ago. During the trip, Columbus’ boat was pushed towards "two very small islands, full of Galapagos tortoises that looked like small rocks", that's how these islands were named Las Tortugas. The two islands sighted at that time were Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, two of the territories that, together with Grand Cayman, complete the trio we know today as the Cayman Islands.

A few years later, following a 1523 map showing the three islands, they were given the name "Lizards", which soon after became "Caymans". This comes from the nomenclature used by the indigenous Caribbean people for the marine crocodile that inhabited the islands. This name, or a variant of it, is the one they have kept since then. The word eventually became Cayman and the word "islands" was added, to name the famous Caribbean destination "Cayman Islands".

A funny and important thing to know about the Caymans the late 18th century, the Cayman Islands are tax-free. This measure to exempt the citizens of the islands from paying taxes for life was taken by George III when the locals rescued all the victims of a British shipwreck.

Why the Cayman Islands?

The Cayman Islands have always been the shelter of free people, the last paradise, the last free land. The famous pirate Blackbeard took refuge on these three Caribbean islands centuries ago. The natives of the Cayman Islands still pay homage to Blackbeard in many cultural expressions, the story of the famous pirate is an icon of the place. 

When we said that this is the shelter of free people, we meant it. More than 140 different nationalities live together in the Cayman Islands, all in harmony. This is such a paradisiacal place that the biggest dispute is about what exotic food is going to be served today. 

With 140 nationalities comes an atmosphere composed of a very varied cultural cocktail, where languages, religions and different perspectives are measured in sync with the gentle breeze of the Caribbean. Still, religious life is led by Christianity; in this relatively small territory there are more than 250 churches, some of which have three-hour services. 

Today, the three islands have no more than 65,000 inhabitants, so there's plenty of room for tourists and new residents.

If you still don't believe that this is paradise, wait until you read this: in the Cayman Islands the crime rate is so low that the local police forces do not carry guns. This is what we mean by living in freedom and harmony. This is what the Cayman Islands are all about.

One of the most recognizable aspects of this place is the fact that the Cayman Islands is one of the quintessential international financial centers. On the main island alone there are over 600 banks operating. That's one bank for every 100 inhabitants!

There are other curiosities related to being a top-notch international financial center, such as some buildings in which more than 40,000 companies are registered, and also that luxury items such as precious stones are available for up to 30% less than the international price, because they are tax-free in the Cayman Islands.

Perhaps the most relevant historical curiosity (besides Blackbeard's) is that since the late 18th century, in the Cayman Islands people are free from income tax. This measure to exempt the citizens of the islands from paying taxes for life was taken by George III when the locals rescued all the victims of a British shipwreck.

It is as if they had designed this place from the beginning to make freedom a reality.

The economic potential of the Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands is home to one of the world's leading offshore financial centers, so its economic activity is dominated by the banking sector, hedge and investment fund formation services, insurance activity and other financial services. 

Financial services in general make up almost half of the territory's GDP, and the other part of the GDP is occupied almost entirely by tourism activity. These are the two pillars of the Cayman Islands' economic development, which began its rise in 1950 with the modernization of the infrastructure of this island-paradise.

The per capita GDP of the Cayman Islands is estimated at about $84,458.63, which is more than double the per capita GDP of the entire European Union, so we have an idea of the magnitude of the economic potential of these islands.

Early in the Cayman Islands' history, their economic growth was stalled by isolation and lack of valuable natural resources. The first inhabitants of this place survived by collecting sea turtles to supply the sailing ships that passed near their coasts, that served for a while, but by the end of the 18th century it was no longer a sustainable activity. Its small population survived by farming and fishing, and later by growing cotton.

Today the situation could not be more different. The unique tax status that the island has enjoyed for centuries has brought it to where it is today. The Cayman Islands have attracted banks and businesses like a magnet attracts coins. In fact, today there are more businesses registered on the island than people living there.

The biggest players in financial services have a presence on the island. These include global financial institutions such as HSBC, Deutsche Bank, UBS and Goldman Sachs. 

Since the introduction of the Investment Company Law in 1993, which has been copied by jurisdictions around the world, the Cayman Islands has grown to become the premier reference for what is an international financial center.

Almost utopian political stability

The Cayman Islands are an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, with a government led by an 18-member parliament and a governor, with a prime minister as head of government and Queen Elizabeth as head of state and monarch. Political stability is the norm, and that makes it possible for residents and tourists to do business and enjoy the island without worry.

As a parliamentary democracy since 1831, the Cayman Islands is largely self-governing through its democratically elected Legislative Assembly. Elections are held every four years. After each election, members select seven members from among themselves by ballot to serve in the cabinet and to assume responsibility for government ministries.

Highlights of the Cayman Islands

Education: the Cayman Islands government maintains a robust network of public primary and secondary schools, which are complemented by private provision to provide a fairly competitive education scheme in the Caribbean region. In terms of undergraduate education, the University of the Cayman Islands is located on Grand Cayman, it was established in 1970 and offers Associate, Bachelor and Postgraduate programs. Grand Cayman is also home to the University of San Mateo, which includes a medical school and a veterinary school.

Another incredible advantage the Cayman Islands have is that residents are treated as home students when it comes to fees at UK universities. Caymanian students are also allowed to work in part-time jobs if they are studying at universities and higher education institutions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Basic services: access to basic services such as drinking water reaches 97% of the islands' population. This rate leaves the rest of the region's neighbors far behind. In addition, the Cayman Islands have one of the best-established water sanitation systems in the Caribbean, with 96% waste coverage. This ensures that they retain their name of "turquoise paradise".

Health infrastructure: the health system in the Cayman Islands is not far behind. Maternal mortality is practically non-existent; the country has prenatal care coverage of 98.8%, bordering on perfection. Similarly, infant mortality is very low. The Cayman Islands also maintain an enviable record of handling epidemics, during its history they have handled viruses and diseases with great tidiness, and they do the same now with the coronavirus pandemic. There is public access to health through a network of hospitals and specialized health centers that also complement the supply of private services.

This healthcare network consists of the 124-bed Cayman Islands Hospital on Grand Cayman, the 18-bed Faith Hospital on Cayman Brac, the primary care and public health services provided at the Faith Hospital on Cayman Brac, five district clinics on Grand Cayman, one district clinic on Little Cayman and the school health clinics.

Transport: the transport infrastructure of the Cayman Islands is another noteworthy aspect. There are over five hundred miles of roads, all paved. In terms of shipping, the Caymans has two major ports: Port George on Cayman Brac and The Light of East End on Grand Cayman.

There are three airports in the Cayman Islands, one for each island. George Town, as well as the rest of Grand Cayman, is served by the nearby Owen Roberts International Airport. Cayman Brac is served by Gerrard Smith International Airport and Little Cayman is served by Edward Bodden Airfield. 

By all accounts, this territory maintains its status as a paradise. But we have not yet discussed in detail why this place is also one of the most favorable in the world for people like you to do business.

The Cayman Islands yet have much history to tell and ground to explore. This place still holds a halo of mystery that continues to attract people who need to see to believe, and that's why we love the turquoise paradise so much.

The Cayman Islands have earned a reputation as one of the world's leading financial centres, and this trend looks set to continue for a long time to come. For anyone looking for a safe and free place to live or invest, the Cayman Islands should be one of their top choices.

If you want to discover the Caymans’ wonders, just contact us right now!

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