Cook Islands are a self-governing state and an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. Cook Islands are in free association with New Zealand, meaning that population of Cook Islands are citizens of New Zealand, but carry out practically independent policies. Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state. She is represented here by a representative with the official title of the Queen’s Representative. Head of the local government is the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands. Local currency is the New Zealand dollar. Official languages are English and Cook Islands Maori.
The remote geographic location of the Cook Islands is playing a big role in their economy. Cooks Islands are basically isolated from international trade and lacks natural resources. Main sources of revenue here are tourism and remittances from New Zealand.
In 1989 Cook Islands became the first ever territory to introduce an asset protection law, which means creating a “shelter” from legal authorities and creditors. Thus, Cook Islands are an offshore jurisdiction and a tax haven. To this day, Cook Islands are famous for confidentiality that a Cook asset protection trust guarantees. It is against the law to disclose information about owners of Cook Islands Trusts.
It is almost impossible to say how many entities like this are registered on Cook Islands, since registration of a Cook Islands Trust in the business register is not required – for the most part, it is a private arrangement. Taxes on asset protection trusts account for about 8% of local economy.
Cook Islands have been monitored by the EU and the OECD. According to the Council of the EU, Cook Islands have made commitments to abolish the current “harmful” tax regime by the end of 2018, and to implement minimum anti-BEPS (base erosion and profit shifting) standards. OECD classifies Cook Islands as “largely compliant” in tax cooperation matters.
Due to its history as a territory of the British Crown, Cook Islands’ legislation is based on the English law. Business activities are regulated by the 1989 International Trusts Act, 2008 Limited Liability Companies Act, and other relevant laws.
Main types of businesses on Cook Islands
- International Companies
- International Partnerships
- International Trusts
- Limited Liability Companies
Limited liability companies can be registered with just one founder.
Registration of companies and register management here are the responsibility of Financial Supervisory Commission of Cook Islands (FSC). This is an independent body created in 2003 to replace the Off-shore Financial Services Commission. Its main task is to supervise regulated financial entities and services. Electronic version of the business register of Cook Islands was created in 2011.
Contents of the register
Main extract available from the commercial register of Cook Islands is a company profile. It comes in the English language and contains information about a company, relevant at the moment of the request. Due to strict confidentiality laws access to information may be highly problematic.
When registering an International Company, only one director and shareholder is enough to be stated. A director does not have to be a resident of Cook Islands. Company name can be in any language. Account of the company does not have to be filled in. Register of limited liability companies is not available to the public.
Search in the register is not free of charge. Availability of a company in the register can only be checked by submitting a written request to the FSC.
To get a required document, we will need the following information about a company:
- Full legal name
An extract from the business register of Cook Islands can be used in order to:
- Obtain detailed information about potential business partners
- Negotiate foreign trade agreements
- Register legal entities with foreign participation
- File legal claims
Cook Islands acceded to the The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents on 13 July 2004.
Therefore, the documents issued in Cook Islands are subject to a simplified apostilling procedure, thus the documents gain full legal value in Convention member states after notarised translation.
In addition, you can order notarised translation from English.
We provide extracts from the register in strict compliance with the legislation of the Cook Islands and the General Data Protection Regulation.
Inquiries are processed within one working day. Courier delivery of apostilled documents is paid separately by courier service tariffs.
You can order free preliminary availability check of required information on our website.
|Service||Price incl. German VAT 19%||Price excl. VAT|
|Price for an Electronic Extract||from 178,50 €||from 150,00 €|
|Price for an Extract with Apostille without international shipping||from 714,00 €||from 600,00 €|