Benefits of yacht ownership through offshore corporate structures
by Michael T. Moore
More and more we see yacht owners engaging in the prosperous business of chartering (renting their yachts to paying guests).
To make a profit, you will most certainly need a recognized and accommodating flag state and offshore corporate structure. The accommodation comes in the form of prompt surveys when called for by maritime incidents, or the willingness of the flag state to readily allow change of status, for example: from commercial to pleasure use and back depending on the location and actual use to which the vessel is put, etc.
Offshore structures are most assuredly suitable for chartering operations and can produce tremendous benefits to the beneficial owners if the structures are properly created and maintained.
For example, there is no provision in the tax codes of most seafaring nations (the US, England, France and Italy, to name four) that prohibit the use of a yacht as a business. Vessels of all shapes and sizes can be used in a true business, provided the rules are followed in the creation and operation of a true business.
Properly created, organized, marketed and managed yacht chartering operations can result in substantial benefits to the beneficial owners.
Because a proper offshore structure and business will be recognized as valid by most governmental taxing authorities, so-called pass-through structures, where the tax benefits and detriments inure ultimately to the benefit or detriment of the beneficial owner and intermediate corporate structures, are disregarded.
In short, a proper chartering business can greatly benefit the beneficial owner by reducing personal income taxes, but this subject is beyond the scope of this article.