On 16 November 1998, the Financial Services Department of the Government of Anguilla introduced its ACORN system for its Companies Registry.

WHAT IS ACORN ?

ACORN is a state of the art companies registry system developed by Anguilla with financial assistance from the UK Government. It allows Ordinary Companies, International Business Companies, Limited Liability Companies and Limited Partnerships to be incorporated and registered in Anguilla electronically through the Internet. Companies can be incorporated instantly 24 hours a day, 365 days a year from anywhere in the world.

In addition to company registrations, ACORN also enables all other corporate registration activities, which are either required or permitted under the appropriate company legislation, to be undertaken online. The system is available to all licensed practitioners within Anguilla and to their overseas agents.

Overseas agents need to be registered with the Financial Services Department of the Government of Anguilla in order to access the Registry’s services directly through ACORN. There is no charge for becoming a registered agent or for access to the system.

WHAT DOES THE SYSTEM DO?

The system allows users to do electronically all that is currently done or can be done in paper form with the Anguilla Companies Registry. Registered users are granted secure digital encrypted access to the system, supplemented by individual user password controls.

The ACORN menu presents a user friendly list of administrative functions, name search and name reservation and the three types of corporate vehicle plus limited partnerships mentioned above. The administrative functions permit the user:

– To establish password controls.

– To view all Government fees.

– To do full company searches.

– To view announcements.

– To view the legislation particular to a document being submitted or to an activity being undertaken at any time.

– To obtain help with respect to any function of the system at any time.

– To retain incomplete documents in a separate pending file.

Name searches can be done alphabetically, phonetically or on a keyword basis. The system tells the user immediately whether the name is free, not free or reserved. The name may then be either reserved for a period of 10 days without cost or for a longer period with the payment of the relevant government fee. Alternatively, the name of the company may simply be incorporated directly. If the user wishes to reserve a name, the system produces a referenced name reservation document. The system allows multiple searches and reservations (initially up to 20 names) and the names of companies and their articles can also be incorporated in foreign languages.

For incorporations, the user selects one of the types of company or partnership available and the system takes the user through the incorporation process by a system of boxes on screen to be completed or drop down boxes with options to be selected. Standard sets of articles of incorporation can be pre-established in the system for use with incorporations. Once completed, the screen provides the user with a completed registration document for checking and final submission. On submission, the certificate of incorporation appears immediately on screen and can be printed out. The whole registration process is simplicity itself and quick to complete.

A sub menu of activities for each of the corporate vehicles and limited partnerships is also available. This lists all documents and registry activities which the relative corporate legislation either permits or requires the registered company to file. In each case, the system takes the user through each process with a help button and a legislation reference button which is available at all times.

HOW DOES AN AGENT PAY FOR REGISTRY ACTIVITY?

All agents, local and overseas, credit ACORN through the Government of Anguilla with a sum of money appropriate to the volume of business. An overseas agent can do this directly or in conjunction with his agent in Anguilla. In either case the system will, when an activity is undertaken, show on screen the cost of that transaction and the balance of account available.

Each cost or fee can be routinely checked with the Government fees applicable to that activity shown under the menu item ‘Enquiries’. Each fee is exactly the same as currently prescribed under the various pieces of company regulations.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF ACORN?

– ACORN is an interactive system, which is both user friendly and easy to understand;

– The system detects mistakes at the input stage and provides relevant guidance;

– The system provides checks for the user at crucial stages of the input process;

– The system will respond instantaneously to all documents submitted;

– Incorporations and submission of documents can be done from anywhere at any time;

– ACORN allows the user to do all activities done in paper form electronically and in a fraction of the time;

– ACORN provides a seamless method to incorporate companies offshore; and

– ACORN makes the administration of offshore companies fast, cost effective and easy to use.