Do you need to register a yacht?
Registration of ships, yachts and sailing boats isn’t a simple process, it requires more demanding administration, knowledge of tax systems, national laws, local specifics and security issues. Before buying a yacht, you should be informed regarding the terms and benefits of offshore registration.
One of the most important decisions is choosing the right ownership structure and registration jurisdiction. The flag selection should be made in the early stage of purchase, ideally prior to signing the purchase agreement. To choose the most appropriate jurisdiction for ownership and yacht registration, you’ll need to consider a number of factors carefully.
An important issue to consider before buying is the decision regarding the protection of the newly acquired asset in the form of a yacht. Will you buy the yacht as an individual or as a company?
The benefits of registering a yacht to your company compared to individual ownership are as follows:
- Limitation of Liability – company is responsible, not you as an individual
- Mitigating the tax burden
- Asset protection and value planning
Choosing a ship register and its reputation is vital!
It’s necessary to take a number of factors into account, such as:
- Political stability - how stable is the government and economic situation in the state of registration?
- Support from the authorities of the selected state
- Registration process – will you have a convenient and quick registration in the given jurisdiction?
- Credit - credit security for yachts registered in the selected state.
- Registration fees
- Services – what is the business infrastructure like in the flag state, whether support services are comprehensive and professional?
When registering a yacht as an individual, you must account for the owner’s nationality
- The yacht’s main user and guest residency (it’s more important within the EU)
- The yacht’s physical properties (age, length, etc.)
- Existing yacht registration
- Availability of the historical document on ownership / other documentation for the yacht
- The purpose of the yacht’s use (i.e. private or for rent)
- VAT registration or equivalent yacht tax status;
- Areas of operation and the primary harbour / country of use
- Crew specifications and operational aspects.