Learn about companies and other business types

If you are getting started in business there is plenty to learn.  This section includes information about different types of structures for your business, and provides the basic features of a company – directors, shareholders, addresses and more…

What is a sole trader, partnership and a company?

There are different ways you can structure your business, this sections explains the sole trader, the partnership and the company.

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Why register a company?

Reasons why some might choose to form a company.

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Choose a company name

A guide to choosing a name for your company.

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What are company rules?

Every company has a set of company rules which determine how the company will be administered.

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Company Directors

If you are a director of a company in Vanuatu, you must comply with the requirements of the Companies Act. Failure to comply may lead to penalties, disqualification, and may lead to you being sued. The following is a guide to let you know the main responsibilities of being a director. It is not a substitute for legal advice – so if you have any uncertainty, we recommend you speak to a legal professional.

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Shares and Shareholders

Shareholders are investors in the company. They usually pay money into the company in return for shares.

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Company addresses

You need to notify the VFSC of a registered office (the physical address) and a postal address (usually a PO Box) for your company. You must also provide contact details for communication.

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Maintaining records

The Companies Act requires every company to keep and maintain certain records.

  • company records
  • share register;
  • accounting records; and
  • annual returns.

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Overseas companies

An “overseas company” means a corporation that is incorporated outside Vanuatu, whether or not it is registered in Vanuatu. Overseas companies carrying on business in Vanuatu must register with the VFSC.

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International companies

International companies are subject to special rules in Vanuatu.  For more information, click below.

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Company and trusts service providers

Special licensing requirements apply to providers of company and trusts services in Vanuatu.  a list of licensed providers is provided here.

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