A guide to 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.

Which overseas companies must register in Vanuatu?

All overseas companies must apply to register as an overseas company within twenty working days of commencing business in Vanuatu.

What is ‘carrying on business’?

Carrying on business is defined in Part 11 of the Companies Act 2009, a copy of which is available for download here.

Obligations of overseas companies

If you are a registered overseas company you must:

  • file an annual return for overseas companies every year by the date specified by the registrar
  • comply with foreign investment laws and any other law of Vanuatu
  • give public notice and file with the Registrar if the overseas company intends to cease carrying on business.

You must file a form if you:

  • changes the company name
  • changes registered offices or postal addresses of the overseas company or change the Vanuatu postal address
  • changes directors or any of their details
  • changes the person or address of any person authorized to accept service in Vanuatu of documents on behalf of the overseas company

Fees may be applicable and must be paid in advance either online or with VFSC. More information on fees is available here.

What information will appear on the register for an overseas company?

Once a company is registered on the companies register in Vanuatu, certain details will appear on the register and be available for searching.