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Florida International Bank Licenses

Branch Offices of International Banks in Florida
Offices of offshore banks in the United States

88

How can we help you?

We can assist you to set up a branch or representative office of your offshore bank in the United States. Each State has different rules and regulations in place and we specialize in setting up offices in the State of Florida.

For this section of the website, an international bank is defined as any bank organized outside of the United States. This includes International Financial Entities (IFEs) in the US territory of Puerto Rico. 

I use the term offshore bank here to indicate a Class B bank. A Class B bank is usually prohibited from doing business with local persons and companies. An offshore bank incorporated in the Cayman Islands would be prohibited from taking deposits from companies or persons domiciled in the Cayman Islands. 

International and offshore banks that plan to take deposits from US persons and residents may find it helpful to set up a limited office or branch in the United States. We can assist you to gain approval from US regulators for your offshore bank to operate an administrative office, representative office, agency office, or a branch office in Florida.

The most common use of this approval is for meetings, a marketing and sales team, signing documents, and working with US correspondent partners. These services fall under the administrative office or representative office rules of the State of Florida. 

Most small international banks want to limit their activities in the United States. This is especially true for IFEs formed in Puerto Rico. First, the more services you prove from your US office, the more regulation and oversight you will have from State and Federal regulators. 

Second, when an IFE opens a US branch, the group of companies will have a transfer pricing issue between the United States and Pueto Rico. The US tax rate is 25% and the Puerto Rico tax rate on IFE income is 4%. Income sourced to Puerto Rico qualifies for the 4% rate and income sourced to the US office is taxed at 25%. Most clients work hard to minimize US source income in this situation by limiting the activities of the branch office in Florida. 

  • Florida has no State tax. Federal corporate tax at 25% will apply to income earned from work performed in Florida. The only tax paid in Puerto Rico is the 4% mandated by Act 273. No US Federal tax is paid on Puerto Rico sourced income. 

We can assist you to get your branch office approved by regulators in Puerto Rico or your country and by regulators in Florida. We can also work with you to minimize US source income and reporting. Finally, we can assist with an application with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Contact us

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