The Companies Registry
The Isle of Man Companies Registry has been in existence since 1865.
Initially part of the General Registry, responsibility for the Companies Registry was transferred to the Financial Supervision Commission in April 2000. As part of the Review of the scope and structure of the Isle of Man Government the Companies Registry was moved to the new Department of Economic Development in April 2010.
Companies Registry maintains the register and records of all companies and other business types incorporated in the Isle of Man, and provides a facility for the public to view documents which have been filed.
The Companies Registry consists of eight distinct registries, each with their own legislation, fees and statutory filing obligations. In this connection it incorporates or registers:
- Industrial societies under the Industrial & Building Societies Acts 1892 to 1979
- Limited partnerships under the Partnership Act 1909
- Business names under the Registration of Business Names Acts 1918 & 1954
- Companies in terms of the Companies Acts 1931 to 2004
- Foreign companies in terms of the Foreign Companies Act 2014
- Repealed August 2014 - Foreign Companies in terms of Part XI of the Companies Act 1931
- LLCs in terms of the Limited Liability Companies Act 1996
- Companies under the Companies Act 2006
- Foundations under the Foundations Act 2011.
Companies Registry’s functions also require it to:
- examine and store information delivered under the above Acts
- make this information available to the public
- ensure that filing requirements are met and take remedial action where necessary
- dissolve or deregister defunct businesses.
Companies that are licensed by the Financial Supervision Commission or the Isle of Man Insurance and Pensions Authority should note that the requirements of company law are separate from and additional to any requirements for submission of documents to the regulators.
Companies Registry Progress Report
Click here for the latest news from the Companies Registry or download the document from the bottom of the page.
Company Search Facility
All public documents filed with the Registry may be examined upon payment of the requisite fee at the office of the Companies Registry which is located at St George's Court, Upper Church Street, Douglas. The Registry is open Monday - Thursday from 9.00 am to 4.30 pm, and on Fridays from 9:15 am to 4:30 pm.
The Companies Registry will be closed between 9.00am and 11.00am on the first Wednesday of each month for staff training.
Documents can also be examined online. Every document submitted by a company that was live on the register at 31st March 2000 and every document submitted since, has been electronically scanned and is available through our online viewing system, public view internet (PVI). There are over 2 million documents and seven million pages on the system (May2010). There are some exceptions as some of the early share registers are contained in leather bound ledgers that would have been damaged if they had been scanned. The earliest records on the system date back to 1865.
This service provides a speedy and efficient way in which practitioners around the world can access company records 24 hours a day and has proved highly resilient. The service provides details of all Isle of Man Companies, Overseas Companies registered in the Isle of Man, LLCs and Business Names. You can also purchase company documents, check the availability of company names and submit an application to reserve a company name.
The service was launched as part of an ongoing programme to enhance the services provided by the Companies Registry for both local and international users of the Isle of Man as an international business centre.
We are committed to consistent delivery of the very highest level of service. In delivering our services, we shall always aim to balance the needs of those who are required by law to deliver certain information, against the needs of those who have a statutory right to inspect such information.
Our Company Legislation
The first Companies Act was enacted in 1865 and followed the introduction of company legislation in the United Kingdom in 1862. Current Manx legislation is based on the Companies Consolidation Act 1931, which itself is based on the United Kingdom Companies Act 1929. Nine amending Acts have since been enacted, ensuring that the Isle of Man’s corporate products and the legislation which governs their conduct keeps pace with modern business demands and expectations.
The desire of the Isle of Man Government to maintain the Island’s position as one of the world’s most respected and competitive international business centres focused attention on the need to reform Isle of Man company law. The Isle of Man Government therefore, having considered the views of the Island’s financial services industry, promoted and implemented a new companies regime which came into force on 1 November 2006. The Companies Act 2006 provides for a new Manx corporate vehicle (the “NMV”) to co-exist with present and future companies incorporated under the Companies Acts 1931 to 2004 and those formed under the Limited Liability Companies Act 1996.
The Companies Acts 1931 - 2004, the Companies Act 2006 and related legislation, including amendments made by the Companies, etc (Amendment) Act 2003, can be viewed by clicking here.
Additional information is available on the website of Isle of Man Where You Can:- http://www.whereyoucan.im/
The Advantages of Registering in the Isle of Man
Every country and jurisdiction has its distinct forms of business. The Isle of Man is no exception having been legally and politically distinct for over a thousand years, and in modern times becoming one of the leading centres of the world for offshore financial services.
Companies and other forms of business organisation established under the law of the Isle of Man have been widely used internationally. It is no accident that business organisations established in the Isle of Man have become so widely used. It is arguable that the Isle of Man has the most sophisticated law relating to forms of business organisation of any centre for ‘offshore ’ work, and is among the leading jurisdictions of the world in this respect.
The Isle of Man is a ‘Common Law ’jurisdiction.The basis of Manx law is Manx customary law, itself derived from a combination of Gaelic Brehon law, Norse Udall law, and both being very heavily influenced by English Common Law over the centuries. Equity, as it developed in the English courts, has been applied identically in the Isle of Man since the seventeenth century. With a few exceptions, notably in Land law and Constitutional law, the Isle of Man closely follows English legal precedents and legislation.
Part of the success of the Isle of Man is its professional services industry. The Isle of Man legal profession is a fused profession practicing law to the highest standards. The Judiciary of the Isle of Man enjoys the highest international reputation and its judgments carry great weight internationally. The accountancy profession is well established, with all the major international firms represented from the Chartered, Certified and other branches of the profession. The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators is also represented, as is the banking profession through a thriving centre of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.
The Financial Services Industry is long established and well regulated. All aspects of the financial services industry are regulated by Government Agencies. The Financial Supervision Commission’s functions are described in the Financial Services Act 2008 and include the regulation and supervision of persons undertaking regulated activities (i.e. deposit-taking, investment business, services to collective investment schemes, fiduciary services, money transmission services) in or from the Isle of Man; whilst the Insurance & Pensions Authority has responsibility for the regulation of the insurance and pensions sector in the Isle of Man.
Additional information is available on their web sites at:
The Isle of Man has adopted all internationally agreed measures and plays an active part in combating money-laundering and other criminal activities.