Info Centre

Isle of Man Companies

The Isle of Man has been pre-eminent in the creation of innovative corporate legislation, the most recent examples being the introduction of the 2006 Company and Isle of Man
Foundations in 2012.

The first Companies Act in the Isle of Man was enacted in 1865, following the United Kingdom companies’ legislation in 1862. However, current legislation is based on the Companies Act 1931, which was in turn based on the United Kingdom Companies Act 1928. Subsequent amending legislation has modified the original act considerably.

The Companies Act 2006 introduced a new form of company based on the International Business Company Act
model. Also known as the “New Manx Vehicle” it is similar to a British Virgin Islands IBC and is far more flexible than a 1931 company

Types of Companies
Companies may be:

  • Limited by shares
  • Limited by guarantee
  • Limited by guarantee and having a share capital (”hybrid companies")
  • Having a share capital with unlimited liability

Companies limited by guarantee do not have a share capital. Members are elected and can resign. Membership is not transferable. Members are usually required to pay a subscription which constitutes the basic capital of the company.

Companies limited by guarantee and having shares may have members who hold shares, and members who do not.

Companies having a share capital with unlimited liability have a share capital in exactly the same way as a company limited by shares, but there is no limit to the liability of members.

Private and Public Companies
All 1931 Act companies are designated as either public companies or private companies. Private companies are not permitted to offer their shares or other securities to the general public. They are also not required to file their annual accounts at the Companies’ Registry with their annual return.

There are no restrictions on the number of members of a private company.

Become a Member

Benefits of membership include: full members can submit a detailed firm listing for posting on our website, staff of full members can attend our regular lunchtime seminars free of charge, all members have priority booking for our School of International Financial Services (SIFS) training courses.

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