Ownership

Corporate ownership

The British Ship Registry is generally only available to British citizens, and nationals of other European States.  Where the owner of the vessel does not fall into this category, owning the vessel through a company registered in a British jurisdiciton will ensure that this requirement is met.  We specialise in the formation and operating of such companies.

Holding the vessel through a company may also have other advantages:

  • liability as a result of a calamitous accident is limited;
  • use of the vessel by others becomes less troublesome;
  • ownership of the vessel can be transferred by selling the company;
  • a company can be used to mitigate taxes; and
  • it simplifies matters considerably where the yacht is to be chartered.

With careful structuring, VAT on the cost of the yacht may be deferred, or even avoided; and complex structures may be possible to avoid Inheritance and other capital taxes.

In addition to owning the vessel through a Company, alternative structures using trusts and foundations are possible.  Where the most appropriate structure is to own the vessel direct, we are able to act as registered agent as well as deal with the registration itself.

Jurisdictions

Although the formation and administration of Jersey companies is a central part of the Osiris Group's operations, we can provide companies from other jurisdictions including the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

Ownership through a Trust

In simple terms a trust is an arrangement created when the owner of property (the settlor) gives that property to another person (the trustee) to hold and manage for the benefit of third parties.  A trust is often used to own the shares of a company, so removing potential probate issues regarding ownership of the company’s shares upon death, and be part of a wider estate planning structure.  As well as holding the shares in the yacht owning company, a trust can be used to hold other assets.

Foundations

A Jersey foundation can be a useful structure to hold a yacht.  It combines the attractive features of Jersey companies and Jersey trusts. The nature of a foundation is that it has a separate legal personality, it is able to contract with third parties and holds its own assets just like a company. It does not, however, have shareholders; the assets are held for the benefit of beneficiaries or a specified purpose.

Being part of the Osiris Group, we have the resources and expertise both locally and internationally to advise on the most appropriate ownership structure for your particular situation.

All services related to incorporation, formation and on-going administration are provided by our associated group company Osiris Management Services Limited.  Osiris Management Services Limited is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission.

Individual ownership

Local representative

Where it is necessary, we are able to act as the local representative on behalf of the owner of a Jersey registered vessel.