Have you ever joked about putting your money in a Swiss bank account? Haven't we all, at one time or another, thought about how wonderful it would be to stash our cash somewhere outside the country?
Well, lots of North American entrepreneurs aren't just joking about it, they're doing it. And in lots of other offshore locations besides Switzerland, too.
Did you know that it's perfectly legal to put YOUR money wherever you want? Traditionally, offshore bank accounts have only been an option for the very wealthy or for large multi-national corporations, but that's changing. There are now some real advantages for any entrepreneur to consider placing at least a portion of his/her hard-earned cash in offshore bank accounts.
The first and most obvious reason to place your money offshore is the substantial tax benefits. Many countries are understandably proud of their "tax haven" status and secrecy provisions, and have developed numerous user-friendly financial vehicles to help entrepreneurs from all over the world safeguard their money. In many cases, you are invited to invest your money rather than just "park" it, resulting in boosts to that country's economy - a welcome bonus for the country, and a way for you to feel good about your decision to take your money offshore.
Some offshore institutions even allow you to become a member of an investment "consortium" so that you have the ability, as a "partner," to invest your income and take advantage of international fund investments to "grow" your money while it's there.
There is a great deal of information and MIS-information around about offshore accounts, so the following list is just an outline of a few of the issues you'll need to consider as you research whether or not offshore banking is for you.
Author Merrill Noreen has investigated offshore banking options for Western entrepreneurs. Visit his Web site at http://www.life-spring.com/caruba/caruba.html or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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Article Submitted On: December 19, 2000
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