Updated Bahamas Record-Keeping Requirements - December 2016
The record-keeping rules for Bahamas International Business Companies (IBCs) have been updated. The new rules, which are already in effect, are set out below.
Records must be maintained for a minimum of five years from the commencement or termination of a transaction.
- Records and underlying documentation can be kept in the Bahamas or in another jurisdiction.
- An authorized signatory of the company must confirm in a written Declaration to its Bahamas registered agent: that the company is maintaining reliable accounting records; the physical address where the records are kept and of any changes in their location; and that the accounting records shall be made available to its registered agent on request.
- This declaration must then be filed with the Bahamas Registrar by the registered agent.
- Existing IBCs must provide this Declaration by 21 December 2016. IBCs that do not provide the declaration by this date will not be in good standing from 22 December 2016. However, there is no financial penalty for companies that do not meet the deadline.
Satisfying the Records Requirement
- Companies must still meet their existing statutory obligation to keep records that are sufficient to show and explain a company’s transactions. The records must enable the financial position of the company to be determined with reasonable accuracy.
- Although the requirement to keep “accounts” does not mean that Bahamas IBCs have an obli-gation to produce and maintain financial statements, it does mean they are required to keep “accounting records”.