If you're on this site, it's almost certainly because of one of two things: either you heard about the anonymity advantage of Panama's Nominal Shares (but not publically Registered) corporations or that Panama's bank secrecy laws will protect your privacy while retaining full control of your liquid assets. We won't get into the details of the share corporations in this article, but the combination of these two advantages, if properly utilized, provide a solid establishment upon which to build a flawless offshore structure to protect your business or assets and save on your taxes.
Many people hear references to "Panama's bank secrecy", but most of them don't understand exactly what this means. It is often assumed that banks in Panama are valuable simply because an account outside your country of residence would be the same as not having the account linked to your name by the authorities in your country. The obvious truth is that when your transfer your funds directly to an offshore account bearing your personal name, the transaction is directly traceable by your bank at home. Therefore, you are unprotected, your income is taxable and, if you get caught, you have made your situation worse.
Other clients that are more educated on the subject usually know that Panama banking takes it a step further. In Panama, it is a criminal offense for any bank employee to divulge any information about a client without a court order, and those court orders are only written up if the person is suspected of financing terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering or other serious crimes. Panamanian judges will not issue court orders for tax issues. This is a sharp contrast to North America, where calling up the bank to make sure your associate has enough money in his account before depositing funds is customary procedure.
Because of this law, prospective clients tend to think that opening a personal bank account in Panama and depositing the funds would be enough to keep their assets secure and private. However, all these bank secrecy laws don't change the fact that a personal account would be in your name, and therefore would be traced back to you in various ways.
For Panama bank secrecy to truly be used effectively, an anonymous corporation is essential. We provide nominee directors for the corporation, so your name is not actually registered in the government's documents and therefore cannot be traced back to you in the event that your country realizes that you are holding your funds outside of the country. The corporation is controlled via Nominal Shares (but not publically Registered), which are registered by number and not by name, which is how you are able to control it without divulging personal information. This combination also provides many other benefits.
The corporate bank account is then controlled via a power of attorney that will give you complete control over the corporation, unlike other dangerous bank account methods. That power of attorney stays private thanks to the same Panama bank secrecy laws we outlined above. Unless you're conducting illegal business, no one will ever have access to that information.
This method is enough for most of our clients to keep their assets private. For many cases, additional layers of security and advanced methods are required to ensure that anonymity is maintained. If you are interested in developing a special bulletproof method especially for your case, contact us for a no-obligation consultation.