What is a Certificate of Incumbency?

Offshore company incorporation has been significantly boosted at a global level as it provides numerous benefits to business owners and investors.

Now, if you are an investor who is planning to set up a business in any of the popular offshore jurisdictions, then you need to understand that the authorities of these tax-haven jurisdictions demand the business owners to present a complete set of business papers.

One such unavoidable document is the certificate of incumbency that you need to be handy with. This guide outlines its meaning and its utilization that you need to be aware of before incorporating an offshore company.

An Introduction to Certificate of Incumbency

In corporate terms, a certificate of incumbency is an official document that gets issued by a corporation or a business entity. The paper highlights the complete details regarding the names of the business entity’s directors, officers, the beneficial shareholders.

In short, we can say that the core point is to get clarity regarding the involved parties who hold a specified position, and also have an idea regarding the part of the individuals in the business entity.

It is issued by the Company Secretary of the business entity, and the document needs to hold a corporate seal along with the secretary’s signature, which is notarized by the public.

Utilization of a Certificate of Incumbency

However, since you are looking forward to holding a certificate of incumbency, you should also have a clear idea regarding the utilization of the same. Here are a few points:

  • While proceeding with an offshore bank account, the designated bank might ask for the same
  • Might be demanded by an attorney or financial institution who wants to confirm the legality
  • Foreign transactions do require a certificate of incumbency
  • Is required when the upper-management needs to sign a contract to ensure any agreement

By now, you might have got a clear idea regarding the implementation of the certificate of incumbency and the core reasons to hold one, just like the Memorandum of Association (MOA) and Articles of Association (AOA).

Now, it becomes essential to understand that one must carry out the legal proceedings at ease so that there will be minimal errors.

To proceed with fewer issues, business investors at a global level prefer to move with certified business experts.

We at Business Setup Worldwide do understand the importance and essence of incorporating a business in an offshore jurisdiction.

Our business advisors are well-versed with the incorporation process and can assist you in the complete process by providing tailored solutions.

If you are looking forward to taking the next step, it is recommended to have a word with our experts. Contact us today-we’d be glad to assist!


1. Is a Certificate of Incumbency mandatory to open a bank account in BVI?

Yes, a certificate of incumbency is mandatory to open a bank account in BVI.

2. How many days does the application for the Certificate of Incumbency take?

The application for a Certificate of Incumbency takes 2 working days.

3. What are the relevant documents contained in the Certificate of Incumbency?

The certificate of incumbency contains the following information:
 Name of the company
 Date of incorporation/formation
 Registration number
 Authorised capital (for corporations)
 Directors/Managers of the company
 Officers of the company
 Shareholders/Members of the company

4. Does a branch company need a certificate of incumbency?

No, not required for a branch company.

5. Why is an incumbency certificate required?

A financial institution may frequently request an incumbency certificate when opening an account to ensure that the people claiming to be a company's authorised signatory are permitted.

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