History of Guernsey
The Channel Islands lying off the Normandy coast were part of the Duchy of Normandy when William conquered England in 1066 and remained so after that date since the King of England remained Duke of Normandy after the Conquest. In 1204 when King John lost his French Territories the Islands remained loyal to the Crown and have remained so to this day.
The Islands were occupied in 1940 by German forces and were eventually liberated on May 9th 1945. Guernsey enjoys home rule and this includes certain privileges such as the freedom of the Island’s produce from United Kingdom duty, the absence of V.A.T. and the ability to make its own laws and generally run its own affairs.
In addition, the Island have negotiated favorable terms with the E.E.C., becoming associates yet retaining the right to make their own fiscal policies.
Guernsey, a major financial centre
Guernsey has wide expertise in all areas relating to financial services. This expertise has developed very quickly and plays a major part in the Guernsey economy. Guernsey is now one of the leading offshore financial jurisdictions in the World. There are many advantages of choosing to do business in Guernsey, including:
• Political stability and fiscal independence
*Taxation: The standard rate of income tax for individuals resident in Guernsey is 20%. Certain tax relief is allowed by the Income Tax Department against for example certain commonwealth and foreign withholding taxes. Companies are taxed at different rates depending on the type of company or activity in question. Guernsey has entered into a number of tax information exchange agreements with other jurisdictions and has arrangements regarding the withholding of tax.
There is no Higher Rates Tax, CTT, CGT, Gift Tax, Wealth Tax, VAT or Inheritance Tax in Guernsey.
A place to enjoy
Whilst F. Haskins and Co. realize a client’s main concern is that his/her business is carried out in a speedy, efficient and professional manner, many clients while doing business in a jurisdiction wish to combine business with pleasure.
Guernsey has much to offer including a mild climate (2,000 hours of sunshine each year), friendly locals, safe clean beaches and seas, miles of stunning cliff top walks and a wealth of natural beauty.
The excellent sporting facilities, golf, sailing and spectator sports, international class luxury hotels, friendly bed and breakfasts and superb local cuisine with many varied restaurants ensure that Guernsey is a place which will encourage the visitor (business person or tourist) to return time and again.
How to get there
There are regular flights from most U.K. airports connecting easily with flights into the U.K. from all over the world, as well as many direct flights from the European capitals of London, Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels. Passenger and car ferries sail to and from France and England and (during the summer months) there are also fast catamarans operating.
Flying time from London airports is approximately 50 minutes and a fast ferry service is available from the south coast of England.
Updated 17 November 2010.