Curious to see how hard it would be, Adam Davidson of The New York Times, went about setting up his own offshore bank account. It turns out that, it's not hard at all and all it took to get started was a simple Google search.
I ended up working with A&P Intertrust, a Canadian company that I chose largely because I liked its Web site the best. (The other two companies' sites appeared stuck in a late-'90s style with lots of flashing boxes.) A&P works with the governments of Panama, the British Virgin Islands and Belize. (Other companies that I contacted prefer the Seychelles, Cyprus or the Cayman Islands, where Mitt Romney has been reported to have money.) I decided to start my shell company in Belize because it would be exempt from all Belizean taxes and, as A&P's site explained, "information about beneficial owners, shareholders, directors and officers is not filed with the Belize government and not available to the public." And I've been to Belize and like the place.
Setting up the company was a lot cheaper than I expected. A&P charged $900 for a basic Belizean incorporation and another $85 for a corporate seal to emboss legal documents. For $650 more, A&P offered to open a bank account to stash my fledgling operation's money in Singapore -- a country, the Web site also noted, that "cannot gather information on foreigners' bank accounts, bank-deposit interest and investment gains under domestic tax law." And for another $690, it offered to assign a "nominee" who would be listed as the official manager and owner of my business but would report to me under a secret power-of-attorney contract. Then an A&P associate asked me to fill out the incorporation information online, just so she wouldn't type in anything incorrectly. The whole thing took about 10 minutes.
|The Kindly Brontosaurus: Get Everything You Want, When you Want It|
|How To: Fight A Bear|
|The Car Wheel Bicycle|
|How To Make a Pixelated Trash Can|
|Build Your Own Arduino LF RFID Tag Spoofer|
|Folding Laundry Without Arms or Legs|
|“[T]here has never been this kind of financial incentive to make shorter songs.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“A short cut through spacetime allowing for travel over cosmic scale distances in a short period.”|
|“If you fell asleep in 1945 and woke up in 2018 you would not recognize the world around you.”|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|“The very fact that apps – like a period tracker or an LED flashlight [app] – share data with Facebook will come as a surprise to many people.”|
|Recycled Vacuum Lamps|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|