Offshore Banking Services

Banking is one of the most important sectors of the world economy as it influences investment, consumption and other business activities. Furthermore, banking has a substantial impact on the circulation of money and thus influences economic growth. Offshore banking provides a unique opportunity to individuals, business people and companies to access the international market and implement their business and investment plans since offshore banking encompasses stronger privacy and security features. That is to say, the activities you launch through your offshore private banking are more confidential and secure. It should be underlined that you will be able to offer the same privacy to your customers together with other related benefits.

The procedures you need to follow in order to open an offshore bank account are not complex. In other words, every individual may open an offshore bank account within few hours. Note that each offshore banking jurisdiction has its own requirements. Among the most popular offshore banking centres are the Cayman Islands, Seychelles, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Bahamas, Gibraltar and Netherlands Antilles.

BASIC REQUIREMENTS:

As it has been mentioned before, opening an offshore bank account is rather simple. The procedures you need to follow in order to open an offshore bank account are similar to the procedures you follow in order to open a bank account in your home country. First of all, offshore banks will ask for your personal details: name, date of birth, address, citizenship, occupation and submit a copy of your passport, identity card or any other identification document issued by a governmental authority. Second of all, you will have to verify you residence address by presenting a utility bill or any other document. It should be mentioned that all the submitted documents must be certified.

Some considerable benefits of offshore banking are:

  • Minimised political risk. In many cases, the biggest threat is not the market risk but the governments, i.e. capital controls measures and bail-ins.
  • Asset protection.
  • Currency diversification. Holding foreign currencies leads to the minimisation of the risks you confront.
  • More options for your business and investment plans.

JURISDICTIONS:

Cayman Islands:

One of the major advantages of the Cayman Islands is the political stability. The annual license fee is 9.000 US dollars. The international banking infrastructure is well-developed with many facilities. Another considerable advantage of the Cayman Islands is the zero taxation on international banking income. Nevertheless, the state’s approach toward international private banks owned by non-banker is poor. Despite the fact the Cayman Islands have well-developed banking structures, the poor attitude towards international banks owned by non-bankers discourages many investors and business people to launch offshore banking activities in the Cayman Islands.

Seychelles:

The major advantage of Seychelles is confidentiality since state authorities have no direct access to bank information without a Court order. Note that Seychelles has double tax treaties with Barbados, Botswana, China, Cyprus, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Oman, Qatar, South Africa, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. Furthermore, it should be pointed out that Seychelles has signed Tax Information Exchange Agreements only with the Netherlands.

Saint Vincent and Grenadines:

The country maintains a degree of flexibility and confidentiality that many bank owners prefer. In particular, confidentiality regarding the incorporation and the launch of business of an International Banking License has been ensured by the Confidential Relationships Preservation (International Finance) Act 1996 and by the International Banks Act 1996. Among the major advantages of Saint Vincent and Grenadines is the absence of exchange control restrictions to offshore transactions and stamp duties. Furthermore, there are no corporate taxes, no income tax, no withholding tax, no capital gain tax and no estate/inheritance/succession duties.

The country has political stability, well-developed international banking infrastructures and skillful labour force.

The International Banks Act 1996 issues the following licenses:

  • Class I Offshore Banking License: The Licensee is involved in offshore banking activities outside the country. The minimum class requirement for Class I license is 500.000 US dollars.
  • Class II Offshore Banking License: The Licensee is engaged in offshore banking with individuals or groups detailed described in a written undertaking. The minimum class requirement for Class I license is 100.000 US dollars.

Bahamas:

Bahamas is considered one of the most attractive international banking centres in the world because of its excellent communications systems and the frequent air and sea connections with the USA. In addition, the country has a well-developed banking secrecy legislation. It should be taken into account that there are no taxes on international banking income.

There are two types of licenses, the unrestricted and restricted license. The unrestricted license can be obtained by private individual given that they can prove that they have a considerably high net worth. On the other point of view, restricted licenses are granted to financial institutions. Note that a restricted license enables the holder to offer banking and trust services exclusively to a particular class of associated individuals or businesses.

Gibraltar:

Gibraltar is a full member of the European Union. Therefore, banks incorporated in Gibraltar operate under the same legal framework as the banks in the UK. Nevertheless, Gibraltar has some additional advantages such as the efficient and effective bureaucratic procedures. Moreover, banks may operate completely free of tax.

Netherlands Antilles:

The Netherlands Antilles have a well-established international banking secrecy legal framework. Among the main advantages of this particular jurisdiction is the absence of license fees for an international bank establishment. Moreover, the international banking infrastructure is good, with many attorneys and accounting firms which handle international businesses. It should be considered that there is a small amount of tax imposed on international banking income. Nevertheless, the government’s attitude towards international banks owned by non-bankers is poor.

How to Have an Entrepreneurial Attitude

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CD Packaging Options and Artwork Creation

What is the intention for the end product?

As you would imagine, there is a huge variety of CD packaging available suited to many different possible functions. If you intend to post out promotional material for your business, organisation or event then you may need a slim, lightweight type of packaging such as a plastic wallet or a printed card wallet, depending upon your budget. If your disc is destined for the shelves in a retail environment then you may need a standard jewel case (the type that most music CDs are supplied in) or perhaps a DVD case for computer software which will accommodate a larger instruction booklet.

The project budget is usually the biggest concern when sourcing packaging but if presentation is more of an issue for your particular project then it would probably be useful to know a little more about your options. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the most popular CD packaging types and their various costs and possible uses.

Plastic CD Wallets and Paper CD Wallets

A plastic or paper wallet is basically only to be used to protect the printed and recorded disc surfaces from possible scratches through light handling. They are the least expensive packaging option and are perfect if you are distributing promotional audio or data discs at an exhibition or sending them out in the post to promote music, images, data or software. They are not intended for potential long term use though, and although it is possible to include a printed card with information on inside the wallet, they are flat and are easily misplaced amongst mail, books or other more robust CD packaging types.

Printed CD Card Wallet

A printed card wallet is made from a thicker grade of material than the plastic or paper wallet and so will protect the CD to a greater degree and can also be printed with eye-catching images or information about the contents. Again, they are lightweight, low cost and are ideal if the disc is to be posted out. A printed CD card wallet is also a great option for an audio disc that will end up on a merchandise stall at your band’s latest gig venue as you can transport a large quantity in a small space. They are ideal for inclusion with other promotional media or reading material and you may have frequently come across card wallets included with magazines or newspapers. They are also great for distribution at events or exhibitions where the printed panels can be used to convey essential information about the CD and its intended use.

They can be manufactured from 100% recyclable material or they can be specially finished with a glossy or matt surface depending upon your artwork requirements.

Printed CD Card Wallets are also available that will accommodate more than 1 disc, most commonly a double CD wallet. There are also variants available that can hold an information booklet.

If your requirement is for a slim-line packaging solution but you still have a large quantity of accompanying information, there is a tall CD Card wallet variant that is commercially available. These are twice the size of a regular card wallet in terms of height, roughly 246mm in height by 123 mm in width.

CD Trigger Cases and CD Clamshell Cases

A trigger case is a polypropylene plastic injection moulded case which is open along one edge to receive a disc. The opposite edge has a trigger mechanism inside for ejecting the CD. The Clamshell case is also an injection moulded polypropylene case but this type has a hinge at one side and a securing mechanism which passes through the centre hole of the disc to hold the case closed and the disc securely. Both of these packaging varieties are available in a range of colours but do not readily accommodate any printed paper parts so are purely to protect the disc from damage. The polypropylene manufacturing material is very flexible and robust; ideal for mailing out CDs but more expensive than a plastic or paper wallet.

Standard Jewel Cases and Slim-line Jewel Cases

The standard jewel case is the familiar type of CD packaging that most music discs are distributed in via a retail environment. They are made of a rigid polystyrene material that protects the disc well and holds the disc firmly in place on a moulded stud, but they can be prone to shattering under heavy abuse. Their main advantage is that they can accommodate other printed material such as an information booklet; in the case of a music CD this usually contains artwork, information about the musicians and the music on the disc and, very often, song lyrics. The aim being to provide a tangible experience for the end user to encourage them to buy the product in the first place and for them to continue listening to the CD providing a positive experience and attracting further purchases of future releases; basically, helping to create a fan base for musicians.

There is a slim-line version of the jewel case available. These can accommodate the front information booklet as with the standard case but not the rear tray card behind the disc. They are, obviously, slimmer than a standard case and lighter, so may be good for mailing purposes but tend to be less robust.

Should your project need to be released on more than 1 disc, there are also jewel cases that can accommodate multiple discs, the most commonly available being a double CD jewel case. There are cases that can contain as many as 6 CDs commercially available, if required.

Being a plastic product, there are a variety of colour options available although they do tend to be more expensive than the regular clear plastic case.

In recent years a variety of the jewel case known as the “Super Jewel Case” has gained popularity as a solution for mass produced retail CDs. These cases have a more robust hinge, curved edges and a better quality feel than a standard jewel case.

CD Digipack

The digipack is an alternative packaging type to the jewel case. A digipack typically consists of a gatefold (book-style) cardstock outer material, with one or more plastic trays adhered to the inside panels with a moulded stud to hold a CD firmly in place. They are an attractive type of packaging as the card material can be printed with your choice of design and can then receive a glossy or matt laminate finish. They do not have the disadvantage of the brittleness of the jewel case material, particularly at the hinge points, but do tend to be more susceptible to surface abrasion. The cost of digipacks tends to be slightly higher than jewel cases as well, so you usually see these used as packaging for special edition music releases rather than a general release

Specialist and Custom Packaging

Where the project budget allows for it and to really grab your audience’s attention, there are several more specialist CD packaging variants available. These tend to be used to create a real value for money feel to the product or to attract a potential customer’s interest over other similar, competing products.

CD Jakebox

The jakebox is a very clever type of packaging that holds the disc securely in a cardstock package that has no other components such as a plastic CD holding stud or tray. The disc is held in a cardstock “claw” which folds down into a flat package but when opened the claw lifts up and presents the user with their disc. The images here serve to help you better understand how the packaging works; the mechanism is similar to how a “pop up” book might work. The jakebox can receive a full colour digital print and laminate finish as with other types of cardstock CD packaging but do tend to be more expensive than conventional packaging types due to the complexity of their construction. They are, however, very impressive and serve their purpose perfectly in providing a “WOW” factor to your project.

Metal CD Tin

These are specially made metal CD cases that can be spot colour printed with logos or basic designs and can be manufactured in a range of shapes. They tend to be expensive as their manufacture is usually a one off run but costs can be reduced, per unit, where large volumes are ordered. Again, this type of packaging is used to add a little extra value and create a lasting impression for the customer where the project is aimed at getting the music or business noticed and talked about.

Artwork for Packaging

If you are unfamiliar with the requirements for creating CD Packaging artwork, then it would probably be prudent to allow a portion of your project budget to go towards paying for a professional service. If this is not a viable option, then there is plenty of sound advice to be found on the internet along with templates for the creation of all the above types of packaging or associated paper parts.

Designing for digital print is not particularly straight forward and many a project has been delayed because the proposed artwork cannot be effectively represented on the packaging type selected.

If you are having the packaging made by a professional company then they will usually be more than happy to advise on artwork creation and, in most cases, without obligation.

In Summary

The type of CD packaging that you use is dependent upon many factors such as project end use, project budget etc. Hopefully, this article will provide you with enough information to make an informed choice and certainly enough to be able to talk in detail to a packaging supplier about customised packaging and to help you get the best deal.

5 Reasons Why People Fail in Business

Do you ever worry that your business will fail? It’s hard to contemplate failure, especially when you’re working so hard and want so much to be successful.

Considering failure is valuable, though, because the very ingredients that make for business failure can be transformed into business success.

Here are 5 ingredients that go into the mix of business failure, and how you can transform them for your own business success:

1. Unclear purpose

Here’s the thing: the more clarity you have about what you want, the more likely you are to get it. In your business, having little or no focus on anything but making a profit results in scattered effort and less effectiveness. Ironically, it leads to less money too.

Transformation: Clear Purpose

Have you ever been part of something greater than just you and your self-interest? Feels great, right? The reason it does is that we are actually built that way. We are motivated, and can accomplish great things in service of something bigger than ourselves. It’s no different for your business. Define your greater purpose. Define the impact you want to have in your business, your community, and the larger world. Then you’ll have clarity and energy to do more with your business. You’ll have the motivation to pull through tough times, for even greater success.

Communicate that impact purpose to your prospects and customers. People are drawn to businesses with a higher purpose.

2. Destructive thinking

A day at work filled with thoughts about imminent failure and negative perceptions of people’s motives will drain you and your motivation, and ultimately, kill your business. Not only that, destructive thinking also negatively affects your health and even your life span.

Transformation: Constructive Thinking

Your thinking affects your actions in your business and everywhere else in your life. Optimistic thinking followed by persistent action leads to better results. If you’re not naturally inclined that way, the good news is that you can learn optimism. Problems become less personal, the size of the problem more realistic, and the fleeting nature of problems more clear.

You can support your constructive thinking with a daily ritual that includes mindfulness (e.g., meditation, breathing exercises), visualization (mentally rehearsing your desired outcomes), and affirmations, including gratitude. Schedule your daily ritual in. You can do this in 15 minutes, and it will make a great difference, especially as a start to your day.

3. Unproductive action

Low productivity means you can be working all day for days on end without moving closer to business success. We’re in a culture of busy-ness, and it’s tempting to fill our hours without thinking too much about whether the actions are in themselves valuable.

Transformation: Productive Action

Productivity begins with focusing your actions on your impact. Will this help me to be more impactful? Is it aligned with my impact purpose?

A quick overview of powerfully effective strategies for productive action:

· Plan before you begin each day. Plan the night before if you can.

· Do the most impactful thing first, so you always have some progress each day.

· Rush unimportant tasks. Set a time limit on each job to help move you through it more quickly.

· Delegate. Allowing others the opportunity to offer what they do well in areas that are not your strengths is a great service to them, and a great time-creator for you.

· Segment your time, then rest. I work in 50 minute blocks, followed by 10 minutes doing something completely different to rejuvenate. Find the time frame that works for you.

No doubt about it, choosing productive actions requires discipline. And in the best way! Discipline serves you by helping you to choose the things that will help you reach your business goals and be successful.

4. Constricted connection

It can feel comforting to stick with your close circle and not expand further. It takes work to reach out and maintain new connections. Staying with your same small comfortable group, though, will hold you back in your business.

The quality of your connections matter too. Are you surrounding yourself with negative people? People who aren’t as interested in success as you are? Who you spend time with matters.

Transformation: Expanding Circle of Connection

Expanding your circle of connection is one of the most powerful things you can do for your business success. The more people you know, the more likely you are to learn new things. They also become a source of inspiration, and more connections that can help you in your business. People love to be helpful. Give them that gift of asking for and receiving their help.

Find and welcome the support you need to be successful. Learn from an experienced business person as a mentor or coach. Reach out to people you admire and ask them questions. Make this a regular practice.

5. Money obsession

It can be tempting to become too focused on money. First, our culture encourages it. It’s considered a good thing to accumulate stuff. And you need money for that. The thing is, money and stuff don’t bring you happiness or vitality.

Second, if business isn’t going well, you can become hyperfocused on money and leave your values behind in order to make a profit.

Transformation: Money Health

Instead of focusing on money, focus on connections with people and with your purpose instead. Helping others in your business is what will bring you business success that is both healthy and sustainable.

Find balance and harmony around money. Yes, it’s important to know where you stand with money. But money is only a tool. Instead of loving money, love yourself and others. That is key to business success.

These 5 reasons why people fail in business don’t have to be a recipe for failure. Instead, you can transform them into success.

Business Etiquette: Presenting Yourself

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” That old line is most important in any new business meeting. People will notice how you walk, dress, the language of your body, your speech, and certainly your attitude. You might be able to change their opinion of you at a second meeting, but it’s not easy. Of course, if you mess up that meeting too, you have made an almost unchangeable impression to them now.

Dress appropriately:

When in doubt what to wear, just follow the lead of your boss and your other such superiors. Of course, the rules of the office should be followed regarding dress, even in exterior situations. People notice your hands, especially if you speak with them. Make sure they are well-manicured, yes, even the men. Clear nail polish is always a trick to make your fingernails appear to be well-manicured. Your business attire itself is an investment, so it’s always better to have a few fine quality clothes than numerous garments that actually look cheap. And, by all means, make sure to polish your shoes!

Introductions:

When you are being introduced to someone, always rise and shake hands, being sure to smile and give your name if necessary, politely correcting him if he mispronounces it. Unlike social interactions which go by gender and age, business introductions go by power or rank. The higher ranking person is the first to offer a business card, and is referred to as Mr. or Mrs. unless he uses your first name and specifically states that you may call him by his. If you forget his name–and who of us hasn’t forgotten a name?–don’t be embarrassed about it; just admit it.

Shaking hands:

It used to be that a man would shake a woman’s hand only if she extended it first. Now, either may extend for a handshake. A complete and firm handshake at that. Of course, sweaty palms are certainly never very nice. At least try to be inconspicuous when you dry off your palms. If the other person fails to extend his hand, don’t worry about it. That would be his own fault.

Avoid these:

Negative body language, such as tightly crossing your arms, tapping your fingers or foot, swinging your leg. Slumping or sitting all the way back in the chair instead of on just the front two-thirds, which gives you better posture. Chewing gum. Hiding your hands in your pockets.