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Offshore Dictionary Terms Explained

Offshore Dictionary Terms Explained

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In this corporate structure the ownership of the corporation is not recorded in any registry or database thus the owners are anonymous. The owners hold the physical shares of stock. There is no reportage of transfers of ownership either.

In this corporate structure the ownership of the corporation is not recorded in any registry or database thus the owners are anonymous. The owners hold the physical shares of stock. There is no reportage of transfers of ownership either.


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Published by: Aurelia Masterson of Panamalaw.org on Dec 01, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Offshore Dictionary - Terms Explained
This dictionary should be helpful in understanding the meanings of words used in theworld of Offshore Banking and Offshore Incorporation.
Anonymous Bearer Share Corporation
– In this corporate structure the ownership of thecorporation is not recorded in any registry or database thus the owners are anonymous. Theowners hold the physical shares of stock. There is no reportage of transfers of ownership either.Panama is the last place you can get a truly anonymous bearer Share Corporation with noloopholes and no financial statements to file and no tax returns to file. In Panama we refer to thisanonymous bearer share corporation as a Sociedad Anonyma which is abbreviated as S.A. at theend of the corporation name.
Anonymous Foundation –
This is found in Panama in the form of a Private Interest Foundation.It is anonymous in that the beneficiaries need not be revealed or made public. There arefoundation council members which are nominee which means they do not know you. There is alsoa founder which is often provided by the forming law firm so as to not reveal the person behindthe foundation. Foundations may or may not have protectors. Foundations can have secretinstructions as to how the assets of the foundation are to be dealt with. Generally foundationassets are non sequesterable which means non freezable.
Anonymous Offshore ATM Card –
This term refers to a card that is ATM only and has no nameprinted on the card. This assures one of greater privacy when drawing money out of an ATMmachine in that the bank and operator of the ATM machine does not get your name. Today allATM and Visa cards must have ID on file for each card which is a government issued ID like aPassport and often a utility bill is required. When you are acquiring the card through a seller in aprivacy oriented jurisdiction there is a reasonable amount of privacy.
Anonymous Real Estate Ownership
– this is accomplished through titling the real estate in thename of an anonymous bearer share corporation or in the name of the anonymous Panamafoundation (fundacion).
Apostille –
This is a commonly encountered signature verification process. One first goes to anotary public to get a document signed and notarized. After this is done one takes the documentto an Apostille who certifies that the notary is a true and correct licensed notary. It is sort of verifying the notary. Apsotille certificate are usually quite official with seals, signatures stampsetc. Our law firm only requires them for immigration document verification in place of consulateauthentication of documents.For more information on Apostille click here:http://www.panamalaw.org/apostille.html 
Asset Protection –
This is a term applied to a person specializing in protecting the assets of others generally in an offshore privacy friendly jurisdiction with strong bank secrecy and excellentcorporate privacy laws. Asset protection works better in a jurisdiction offshore to your own sincethe lawyers, courts and government from your own country (there are still a lot of dictatorshipsout there) have no authority in the offshore jurisdiction, so it is often referred to as offshore assetprotection.
Bahamas Offshore Banking
– This is an offshore banking and incorporation jurisdiction that wasat one time private but is no longer popular. For more information on the Bahamas as an offshore jurisdiction click here:http://www.panamalaw.org/jurisdictions_to_avoid_bahamas.html
Bank –
A financial institution that is licensed and regulated by a government that accepts thirdparty deposits and can make loans.
Bank Secrecy
– A term applied to offshore banks that are located in a jurisdiction with stringbank secrecy laws such as Panama.
Balloon Payment -
A large or balloon payment due at the end of a loan, typically a home or carloan, to pay off the amount the payments didn't previously cover. Often used as a loan type inoffshore banking and asset protection. A foundation can make a loan to a natural person who thenpays interest only for 60 months and then at that time must repay the principal or roll the loanover for another term.
Bearer Bond –
This is an instrument where one could carry a government or solid rated bond for$100,000,000 and there is no ID required to negotiate it, well at least back in the 1980’s anyway.Why one would feel good about a piece of paper worth so much money is beyond me. This is notsomething very often encountered.
Bearer Share Corporation –
This is a corporation that is formed with bearer share stockcertificates. This means the ownership of the bearer share corporation is based on who owns thephysical stock certificates. With a Panama Bearer Share Corporation there is no recording of theowners in any registry or database nor is there any recording pertaining to the transfer of theownership thus it is an anonymous corporation.
Beneficiary -
A person legally entitled to receive benefits through a legal device, such as aPanama Foundation also called a Fundacion in Spanish. In Panama foundations the beneficiariescan remain off the public records, anonymous is a good word.
Corporate Agent
– Generally a non-lawyer that can form corporations in certain offshore jurisdictions. These people are not attorneys and thus one has no attorney client privilege indealing with them.
Garnishment -
A court-ordered process that takes property from a person to pay a debt. Forinstance, a person who owes money to a creditor may have her wages garnished if she loses alawsuit filed by the creditor. Offshore garnishment orders are not valid in countries like Panama.
Grand Cayman Offshore Banking –
This refers to banking the offshore jurisdiction of GrandCayman Islands, also called Cayman Islands. It was at one time in the past a popular offshorebanking and incorporating jurisdiction but no longer so.For more information on the Grand Cayman Islands click here:http://www.panamalaw.org/jurisdictions_to_avoid_cayman.html 
Guillotine Clause –
This was an offshore banking trick that worked like this: The offshore bankwas given standing wiring instructions to immediately wire the total amount of money in aparticular off shore bank account to another bank account in another off shore jurisdiction thevery instant any inquiries were made concerning that account by any interested parties. Of coursethe next bank would have similar instructions and so on down the line so the money could almoststay in constant motion. While banks are no longer allowed to have such Guillotine instructions, aPanama Foundation can have them and execute them by having the foundation protector
generate instructions based on certain events spelled out in the Foundation secret instructionspertaining to any asset the foundation has.
Heir -
One who receives property from a deceased individual. The term is used commonly whendiscussing Panama foundations and trusts.
Internet Banking Offshore –
This term references a bank that allows clients to access theirbank account using the internet from anyplace in the world.
Judgment –
This is a term to reference a decision rendered by a court after it has heard a case.It may say so and so has to pay the other entity so much money. In the world of offshore assetprotection judgments from other countries are generally not enforceable in the offshore jurisdiction as is the case with Panama.
Jurisdiction -
The authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Generally in offshore jurisdictions the courts will not hear a case when the events occurred outside of say Panama andthe only reason the case is being brought to Panama is because the entity was a PanamanianCorporation and or there was a Panama bank account involved.
MLAT or Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty –
This is a treaty where certain countries agree tohelp certain other countries obtain evidence in criminal cases. These treaties are full of exceptions, special clauses so there is no universal formula for these, they vary from treaty totreaty.
Natural Person -
This is a common offshore legal term meaning a living breathing person asopposed to an unnatural person such as a corporation.
Nominee Directors –
In an anonymous bearer share corporation or a Sociedad Anonyma,directors of the corporation are recorded in the public registry, owners are not recorded. So whatis done is nominee directors are used who are paid employees and do not know you at all. Thesepeople are generally professional directors sitting on the boards of hundreds of corporationsseriously confusing anyone trying to track down information from the public registry about anycorporation filed in Panama. The nominee directors in Panama are a dead end as far as this isconcerned. We normally supply resignation letters from each nominee director giving you controlover them. If you are the signatory on a bank account in Panama the banks will not addsignatories or remove signatories without the written permission of the existing signatory.
Nominee Panama Foundation Council Members –
These are professional council memberswho sit on hundreds of foundations and do not know you. We normally supply a resignation letterfor each of them allowing you to replace them at will. One can use a Sociedad Anonyma Panamacorporation instead of nominee Panama foundation council members.
Offshore –
This is a term that means outside of your own jurisdiction, water is not a necessaryingredient.
Offshore ATM Card -
This is a card that must be preloaded with funds before the funds areavailable for withdrawing from an ATM machine or used at a POS (point of sale) location for apurchase. These cards do not have a MasterCard or Visa logo and are not credit cards and thuscan not be used online.
Offshore Bank -
The term refers to a licensed bank that is located in a jurisdiction different fromyour own country.

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