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1.1.1. Main Forms of Doing Business

Kiribati provides several business forms for investors, of which the main forms include:

  • Company (Private Limited or Public Limited)
  • Foreign Business (Subsidiary or Branch)

Company

Companies can be formed either as Private Limited Companies or as Public Limited Companies.

The key aspects of Private Limited Company include:

  • Shareholders' liability is limited to their contribution to the company
  • Minimum capital requirement is AUD 500
  • Minimum 2 shareholders and a maximum of 25 shareholders are permitted
  • Minimum 2 directors are required (in case of a foreign company at least 1 of the directors should be a resident in Kiribati)
  • Private limited company can be converted into a public limited company if the number of shareholders exceeds 25, subject to certain conditions
  • Not permitted to offer shares to the public

The key aspects of Public Limited Company include:

  • Shareholders' liability is limited to their contribution to the company
  • Minimum capital requirement is AUD 20,000
  • Minimum 10 shareholders are required
  • Minimum 2 directors are required (in case of a foreign company at least 1 of the directors should be a resident in Kiribati
  • Public limited company can be converted into a private limited company if the number of shareholders is less than 10, subject to certain conditions
  • Shares can be offered to the public
  • Required to appoint approved statutory auditor & submit annual audited financial statements

Foreign Business (Subsidiary, Branch)

Foreign companies can conduct their operations in Kiribati through the constitution of a subsidiary or a branch office. Foreign companies which have established a place of business in Kiribati, such as branch, are called 'External Companies'. Subsidiary can be formed as a private limited company or a public limited company with foreign holdings, subject to certain restrictions.

Generally, the branch is not considered as a separate legal entity in Kiribati. Its operations are pre-defined by the foreign parent entity. However, a branch is permitted to engage in business or commercial activity in the country. A branch is required to appoint a local representative in Kiribati.

Further information on the general investment, tax and regulatory regime about the country is available at the following external references:

  • "Doing Business" report from World Bank – click here.
  • Reports and publications from OECD – click here.
  • Reports and publications from IMF – click here.
  • Investing in Kiribati – click here.