A Step Forward Towards Globalization
On October 19, 2018, Lebanon witnessed the passing of a contemporary Decree amending Decree No. 46 of June 24, 1983. The new Decree No. 85 allows the establishment of a “single-partner” offshore company. This advancement will help boost the Lebanese economic progress and put Lebanon on the investment map again.
Lebanon’s goal to achieve Today, is to become a financial hub in the Middle East. Despite all the ups and downs in the region, The Lebanese banking sector preserved its stability and proved to be reliable and firm. In addition, Lebanon earned the International Community’s trust again after it solidified its legal battle against financial crime. Notably, when it confirmed its commitment towards greater tax transparency by implementing the Automatic Exchange of Information and signing the CRS Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement.
Lebanon is aligning with the powerful business centers in the world by implementing this new law, it is also opening the door of opportunities and facilitating corporate operations.
What makes the new Decree appealing is that firstly, it gives any person, whether he/she is a Lebanese or a foreigner, an individual or a legal entity, the right to establish a “single-partner” offshore company. According to Article 10, this “single-partner” handles the company’s management and is responsible for all the duties and tasks of the company’s board. He/she can singularly sign on all the decisions and has the right to appoint directors with respect to the laws and regulations of the country.
Secondly, as provided in Article 3, the “single-partner” has the chance to open the company’s bank accounts wherever he/she wants in the world. The offshore company’s capital can either be in Lebanese Pounds or in any foreign currency as long as the yearly accounts are declared in one currency only. The company’s capital should also be divided equally and represented by nominal shares.
Another benefit that may attract foreign investors is that if the “single-partner” or the authorized partner for signature is a foreigner, he/she will be exempted from acquiring a Lebanese work permit and will face no restrictions for being a shareholder or a board member of any other company too. Any such company with a minimum balance of 1 Billion Lebanese Pounds annually can offer its employees an exemption from obtaining a work permit too, which smoothens the recruitment process.
This step pushes Lebanon forward into exposing its market to foreign investments and cross-border projects. It also unfolds another fresh track of doing Business in Lebanon by encouraging businessmen from all around the world to run their businesses abroad, invest in the Lebanese sectors or take part of this rising competitive market.