"Going Offshore" -
Using "offshore" legal entities (Trusts, International Business Corporations, Private Foundations) is not for everybody. To obtain the full advantages, you need to organize your financial affairs and private life in accordance with a different paradigm than what you have learned from your government.
On this page, you will find the most important criteria you must check, about yourself and the laws of the country you live in. And about yourself and your attitude to power abuse and personal freedom.
We get a lot of questions about the legality of "going offshore". Obviously, it causes a lot of concern. Nobody wants to get in trouble with the law for doing it. And the government propaganda is very effective. After 9-11 and the Patriot Act in the US and similar abusive legislation in other countries, particularly the UK, the Western Governments obviously try to use "terrorist protection" to tighten the control screws on what used to be freedom-enjoying people. As of now, it looks more like tax slaves that live in fear of being caught having any dealings with terrorists... Bin Laden must be laughing his butt off at what he has accomplished!
The truth is that all the advantages of "going offshore" are still there. Nothing has changed, other than the picture the governments try to paint for you... Admitted, the risk of being mistaken for a terrorist is for real - but there are so many ways of dealing with that risk in a diligent way that it seriously should not prevent any honest business people from taking advantage of offshore entities working for them. It is a matter of not being stupid or negligent - but you shouldn't be that anyway in business.
Also, all the questions we constantly get like "Does this work in Australia?" - "in Israel?" - "in Germany?" - "in Sweden?" all have the same answer: "YES!".
However, if you live in China, Cuba, North Korea, or Vietnam, it might not be that clear...
Let's go ever what it actually takes, so you can make your own judgment.
Key questions relating to your personal rights of freedom in your country
In most western countries that at least claim to respect fundamental human rights, you are generally allowed to do what you want, as long as it does not hurt or harm other people, and as long as it is not specifically prohibited by law. In other words: if there is no law against it, it is legal to do it. In lieu of that, here are some key questions you should ask yourself about the laws in your country, as they pertain to your ability to benefit from involving yourself in working with legal entities in other countries:
If you can answer "No" to all of the above questions, there are no serious restrictions on you benefiting from using offshore business entities - and from enjoying the benefits from doing so...
Some specific warnings that must alert you
Here are the red flags you should not ignore:
If any of the above "red flags" relate to you, you have to be very cautious when using offshore legal entities, as it might bring you in conflict with the laws of your country. You are probably already aware of this abuse of your fundamental human freedom rights, and we hope for you that you have found ways of protecting yourself from your government's tyranny. If you live under a totalitarian regime that has stripped you of these fundamental rights, you are at risk if you engage yourself in any offshore venture, and you will need to find ways of adapting to the challenge. The specific ways must be chosen by you, as they relate specifically to you and your situation.
The personal challenges by going offshore
That was the legal part. (If you are in doubt, you should check with your lawyer that you do have those freedom rights in your country.)
Then there is the personal aspect. Dealing with offshore entities under terms of knowing that your government does not want you to do it can be a challenge on its own. After 9-11, there are three main risks for most westerners that thought they lived in a "free" country:
Let's discuss those in some detail.
The terrorist threat from your government
The terrorist threat is for real: Started by the USA, most western countries have now suspended your fundamental rights to be considered innocent until proven guilty, if your "crime" is nothing more than your government suspecting you for being involved with terrorists. It no longer takes proof or warning to put you in jail - not to mention a warrant from a judge! SUSPICION OF TERRORIST INVOLVEMENT is enough... And the governments in the USA and the UK now no longer need to even report to anyone that they do this, much less why they do it.
For this reason, you must make sure that you never transact any business whatsoever with your offshore entities (or any foreign business whatsoever!) that possibly could be perceived as an act of terrorist support - and you always make sure that all transactions you do carry out between yourself and your offshore entities are fully and openly documented. You cannot wait till "tomorrow" to get the papers finished for a money transaction - you must have the paperwork ready in your hands before you initiate any transaction, especially if we talk about your paying money to the offshore entities. You plain simply do not do that without a piece of paper signed by someone else so you have legal documentation that this money is for a legitimate business purpose and thus not a donation to a terrorist organization. You need this evidence at the time of your possible arrest - you will not be given any opportunity to create it afterwards... (and it shouldn't be necessary to create the papers afterwards to "cover up", if your business transactions are genuine and legal...)
This also means that donations are out. Do not donate money to any foreign organization, your own offshore entities included, unless you have an invoice or a written agreement that specifies your obligation to pay.
But this is still leaving you more than enough room for meaningful interaction with your offshore entities. International trade has not yet been brought to a halt, so please do not get paranoid... Just respect this abuse of your rights for what it is and don't mess with it.
"Stupid Ownership Behavior" (=SOB)
Most western countries (at least all English speaking ones) do rule in accordance with the Common Law Principle. One very important implication of this is that tradition and "general society standards" can and will be used by a judge in court to make a ruling. This means that, if you behave in a way nobody but an owner would normally behave, you will be deemed an "owner" - whether or not you legally have any ownership. The tax agencies are fast to make such decisions, and because you are in the same boat of reverse justice also when it comes to taxes, you cannot afford to provoke the government's judgement - because the onus of proof is on you! If you signed your tax return, you also waived your rights to a civil defense. You granted the government powers to start prosecuting you without judgement! You will have to sue the government for doing wrong, in order to correct the government's assumption of what money you earned and what money you are to pay in income tax.
As with the terrorist threat, you are in for a lot of trouble by calling the government's suspicion. The government does not need any proof in order to garnish your bank account, confiscate everything you own, and sell your home on foreclosure. You need a judgment to reverse it - because you cannot get a judgment on time to stop it...
The good news is that, by involving yourself with offshore entities, you also give yourself the key to your defense against this kind of abuse. With offshore entities, you can make it practically and legally impossible for the government to confiscate anything of yours...
In the transition period, however (until you do get all your assets secured), you are very vulnerable. Your best bet is to keep a very low profile. Do not act as if you were the owner of anything. Do not brag about your offshore protection until you truly have it.
Do not provoke anybody to think that you are doing investments offshore. Investments give ownership - or part ownership. Ownership gives tax liability.... A simple transfer of funds to a foreign bank account is enough. If you cannot prove that this transfer was a legitimate payment, you have created the impression to the government that you were investing - and the government's response to that will be to make you disclose everything about the financial affairs of the offshore entity - and it will tax you on the entity's income!
Again, with the reverse justice in place, created by your signing the tax return, the burden of proof is on you! However, if you set up and use offshore legal entities correctly, you can provide that proof - but it is costly and tedious...
Resisting the government's false propaganda
If you thought false propaganda was part of history and exclusively related to Nazi-Germany or the KGB in the Soviet Union, you are terribly wrong...
The US government is a front runner when it comes to deliberately misinforming US citizens on their rights in accordance with the US constitution. The UK, Canada, and Australia are not much better.
All these governments (and many more!) rule on the basis of a constitution that grants the citizens certain rights of freedom and justice. All these governments violate those constitutional rights by laws created to control the citizens, for the purpose of making them pay an income tax that is unconstitutional in first place...
It is done by having you sign contracts that waive your constitutional rights, for instance to a decent defense. One of these contracts is called "the tax return". It is an illegal document the government has no provision for making you sign, and some citizens have effectively fought it. However, it is very much an uphill battle, and very few seriously have the energy to do it.
Unfortunately, this practice has now become so common that the US courts accept it as "generally accepted" - and rule in accordance with it...
So, don't try to challenge the "dragon" face-to-face. Instead, use the rules to your advantage. The government has taken an unfair, unconstitutional advantage over you. If you feel it is morally and ethically wrong to take an unfair advantage against your government to fight its abuse of your rights, you should not involve yourself offshore, but obediently let the government control you and demand whatever taxes it sees fit to charge you.
The government uses powers you cannot match directly. You can do the same. You do it by involving other governments in other countries - where your government has no jurisdiction!
Your rights to privacy
Do you tell the government about this? Of course not! David did not tell Goliath either what he intended to do with his little slingshot... But you do make sure that what you do cannot bring you in conflict with the law...
This is an important point to understand. The government is breaking the constitution by making you sign the tax return. This strips you of your fundamental legal rights. If you want to fight back against such abuse by only using tools the government has approved, you are foolish. Because your tax return is a contract, the government's intention with it does not count - as long as you are not legally in breach of that contract. And you are not in breach of that contract unless you do something you specifically guarantee with your signature that you did not do. Such a contract does not cover "similar action" to what it covers. The only thing that makes your action illegal is that you signed for not doing it. That would bring you in breach of that contract.
I hope you now see the way to freedom: as long as you are not in formal, legal breach of that contract, the government cannot use it against you for a criminal charge! As long as you are not committing fraud, you are not guilty of any crime. You have a right to "be smart", as long as you don't do anything you signed that you didn't. The Supreme Courts, in the USA and Canada, Australia, and the UK, have several times confirmed this right.
So, if you feel bad about not disclosing to the government what you have no legal obligation to disclose, or if you feel bad about taking advantage of the limitations of the government's unconstitutional attempts to control you and restrict your freedom, then keep your stuff onshore - and pay your taxes with a smile on your face. Don't get involved offshore.
Unfortunately, this general attitude from the government's side to control all citizens, in the name of catching terrorists and collecting taxes, is nothing more and nothing less than what the KGB and Stalin did in the Soviet Union, although the purpose had a different name. The vulnerability you get from this goes beyond the threat posed by the government itself. Because government registries are very far from safely confidential, your private information is literally available to anyone who wants to access it - and without your knowing that they do, until it gets used against you...
But, if it makes sense to you to leverage your freedom by legal interaction with other governments that are willing to support your fight for personal freedom by granting you the privacy you need and deserve, then welcome to the offshore world!
What it takes to create an offshore existence
The pivot point is that you get an ally in another country you can trust. An ally that will always be there for you, always listen to what you want, and always carry out your recommendations when they make sense and are both possible and legal.
This ally is called an
Now, your government has probably told you that "Offshore Trusts" no longer work. You can get this confirmed almost everywhere on the Internet by just using the keywords "Offshore" and "Trust" in a search engine... But it is only true if you assume an office for such a Trust. If you are not its Grantor (or Settlor), you are not its Protector, you are not its Trustee (or Administrator), and you are not its Beneficiary, then you have, in legal terms, no relationship with that Trust. If you assume any of those offices, though, you are legally obliged in many countries to report your relationship with the Trust - and there goes your privacy...
You need your Trust (or your Foundation) established in such a way that you do not assume any publicly registered offices for it, so you have no legal obligation to report about its existence to your government. From there, you can build a financial empire - in complete privacy!
With a Foundation, it is the same. Foundations are controlled by their Protector - and that is an office that is kept completely anonymous by the managing Council. In Panama, this is guaranteed by law.
Will your government will like this? Of course not! (If this bothers you, you shouldn't have come this far reading this... and maybe you shouldn't be subscribing to this newsletter then...) The thing is not whether or not you can obtain your government's approval (because you can't), but whether or not the government can actually nail you on a criminal act - and it can't! (Unless you live in a country where you cannot answer "yes" to the first series of questions but are subject to severe freedom limitations, as outlined by the "red flags".)
It is a game. Like Chess. Your government plays with two queens from the opening. If you want to win that game, you have to introduce more pieces to co-operate with you - and that's what you do by introducing your Trust and its possible businesses on the board, but out of reach for the government's threats! You do not let the government know that these new pieces actually move as you instruct - even though there are no legal formalities that directly oblige them to do so - because that would bring you in trouble with keeping the government under the impression that you are not related to these new pieces.
It is a fun and entertaining game to play - and, yes: it does take some guts until you learn to live with your own invulnerability. It takes that you trust yourself and your legal rights and that you do not get intimidated by the government's overwhelming powers that could crush you any time, if you do not follow its rules.
But you do follow the rules. You follow them very exactly to the letter of the law, and you have no qualms about letting the government lose its own game when you play it well.
Learning more about this
If you want to learn the rules of this game, there are several sources of additional information. I have these ways available for you:
There is a sixth way I should mention too, although it is not a systematic way that is specifically geared towards a particular need, but instead deals with all kinds of specific case studies and practical examples for how things "offshore" can be brought to work: my newsletter "The Doggy Bone". If you are not already a subscriber, I invite you to get more information on subscribing.
Mogens Eliasen holds a mag. scient. degree (comparable to a US Ph. D.) in Chemistry from Århus University, Denmark, has an extensive military education in tactics and Intelligence services, and has 30+ years of experience working as business entrepreneur and education planner, and as consultant for small business owners and private investors in Europe and North America. He is a strong advocate of personal freedom, and has published several books and home-study courses on topics related to using International law in order to obtain financial liberty. He publishes a newsletter "The Doggy Bone" containing lots of tips and advice on matters pertaining to personal rights, "going offshore", asset protection, and legal ways of avoiding tax liability.
For more information about Mogens Eliasen, including links to other articles he has published, please .
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