About Anguilla

Location

Anguilla is a 35 square mile island in the Caribbean; it is the most northern of the Leeward Islands.  It is approximately 150 miles east of Puerto Rico and 5 miles north of St Martin/St. Maarten.  As such she is served by regular flights from the Caribbean international gateways of St. Maarten, Antigua and Puerto Rico.  Anguilla’s time zone is GMT minus four hours or Atlantic Standard Time.


The Firm is located at Sagis House, The Valley, Anguilla.  You will find a detailed map of The Valley below which also shows where we are located.

History

Anguilla was discovered by Amerindian peoples who came by dugout canoes and rafts from South America's mainland.  They called the island "Malliouhana" which meant arrow-shape sea serpent.  They settled and developed villages, farms and religious ceremonial sites.  Evidence of these Amerindians presence as old as 3300 years has been found at the eastern end of Anguilla.  This includes shell axes, conch shell drinking vessels, flint blades and stone objects from the pre-ceramic era. 


Other colonisers followed.  In 1650, English settlers arrived and colonised Anguilla. They established plantations where corn and tobacco were grown. Their settlement survived for six years until Amerindians from a neighboring island came and destroyed it.  This made way from the French who in 1666 temporarily took over the island. This was however for a brief period as Anguilla was returned to Britain the following year under the Treaty of Breda.  


By the 1800's Anguilla was thriving as a plantation economy.  Rum, sugar, cotton, indigo, fustic and mahogany were her chief exports.  Eroding soil and unreliable rainfall however made conditions for farming unfavorable.  As a result, the size and strength of these plantations dwindled. Eventually, these people established their independence through private proprietorships or by becoming fishermen or sailors.  


In 1871, Saint Christopher and Nevis became presidencies within the Federal Colony of the Leeward Islands, with Anguilla being attached to Saint Christopher as a dependency in the same year.  The Presidency of Saint Christopher and Nevis changed its name in 1951 to include Anguilla and from 1958 to 1962, Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla formed a province of the West Indies Federation.  In 1967, the territory of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla was granted full internal autonomy, as an Associated State of the United Kingdom.  The UK retained responsibility for defence and external affairs, while a new judicial system established the West Indies Associated States Supreme Court.  


Later on 30 May 1967, Anguilla's leaders expelled the Federation's police from the island and declared independence.  A series of interim agreements followed this move and direct rule of the island from Britain was instituted.  She was formally separated from St. Chistopher and Nevis on 19 December 1980.  Then Anguilla was made a separate Crown colony.  30 May is today celebrated today as Anguilla Day.  It commemorates the repulsion of the Royal St. Kitts Police Force from the island.  19 December is currently celebrated as National Heroes and Heroines Day (Previously called as “Separation Day”). 

(Adapted from the Government of Anguilla website)


Constitutional Status

Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory. The Government of Anguilla follows the English “Westminster” system.  The Chief Minister is the head of government (the "Executive") formed by the successful party in elections of a multi-party political system.  The Governor of Anguilla represents the Crown.  The Executive determines government policy and supervises the administration of the main government departments ("Ministries").  The Anguilla Constitution Order 1982 (amended 1990) reserves power to the United Kingdom in the areas of external affairs, defence, internal security and the police.


Legal System

The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.  Acts of the UK Parliament are not applicable in Anguilla unless they have been extended to Anguilla. The courts apply general principles of English common law and equity (as applicable) and the common law of Anguilla. 

The primary legislation consists of statutes passed by the Anguilla legislature. The UK Government has also provided for certain international conventions to be extended to Anguilla.  As such the relevant rights and obligations are applicable in Anguilla and she is bound by them.  Secondary legislation consists of statutory instruments made by Ministers with the approval of the Legislature.  Anguilla’s judicial system is administered by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court with the appeal process culminating with the Privy Council.


Taxation & Exchange Control

Both the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$) and the United States Dollar (US$) are widely used. There is no exchange control, no taxes on savings and investment, profit, sales, capital gains or inheritance on citizens or corporation.


Regulation of Financial Services

There are regulatory statutes governing the principal financial services, including banking and deposit taking, insurance, investment business, trust business and collective investment schemes. The Anguilla Financial Services Commission regulates financial services in Anguilla.


Bank Secrecy and Money Laundering

Anguilla does not have bank secrecy statutes. The banker-customer relationship is confidential, but it is subject to the common law relating to disclosure. The Anguilla banks and regulators have maintained “Know Your Customer” rules and the FSC has insisted on disclosure of the ultimate beneficial ownership of all Anguilla companies to the FSC, which is subject to strict disclosure rules. Anguilla has anti-money laundering legislation in place to dissuade against AML/CFT offences.


Main Industries

Anguilla is commonly referred to as “Tranquility Wrapped in Blue” given her turquoise seas washing some of the best beaches in the world.  A gracious and friendly people and peaceful crime-free community, as hallmarks of her reputation, has established Anguilla as a high-end tourist destination and a fledging financial services centre.


Useful links:

Government of Anguilla — Authoritative source of information about the departments and agencies of the Government, current information on policies and programmes and general information for prospective clients, visitors,students and investors.

Anguilla Laws Online — Electronic versions of Anguilla's Acts and Regulations are available for purchase from the Attorney General’s Chambers.

Registrar of Companies — Deals with all company formations and maintains the Official Registers as well as Anguilla Commercial Online Registration Network (ACORN) which enables instant and secure electronic incorporation and registration of Anguillian commercial entities.

Anguilla Tourist Board — Provides a wealth of information for visitors and potential visitors to the Island.

Anguilla Financial Service Commission — Responsible for the supervision, regulation and inspection of all financial services licensees operating in and from Anguilla.

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank— is the Monetary Authority for the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, of which Anguilla is a part. Included in its overall responsibilities are supervision, regulation and inspection of financial institutions operating in the ECCU.

Anguilla Bar Association — Information about the association with lists of members and contact information for Anguillian law firms.

Anguilla Chamber of Commerce and Industry - An independent body established by its members to make available resources for all registered businesses and to provide guidance to the prospective entrepreneurs on the establishment of a business.

Banks:

First Caribbean International Bank

National Commercial Bank of Anguilla Limited

Scotiabank Anguilla Limited