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So Blog, So Good: The Best of 2023

By: Michelle Ranken, COGENCY GLOBAL on Thu, Dec 28, 2023

What this is: From the Corporate Transparency Act to China’s accession to the Hague Apostille Convention, 2023 certainly never gave us a dull moment. We've conveniently rounded up our top 10 most popular articles (based on views) from the year for your perusal.

What this means: You could argue that 2023 made 2022 look like 2021, but then you’d have to go back and read our top 10 articles for each year. (Go on, you know you want to.)

Best of 2023 Header Image

10. Canada Joins the Hague Apostille Convention: Simplifying Global Business

Effective on January 11, 2024, Canada has decided to join the Hague Apostille Convention, which signifies a move towards simplifying international legal processes and the ease of individuals and businesses to operate on a global scale. Read our article, Canada Accedes to the Hague Apostille Convention.

From the article: “Under the Hague Apostille Convention, an apostille is a certificate attached by a competent authority, an agency determined by the country issuing the apostille, that confirms that the signatures and stamps of the government officials on public documents are valid.”

9. Avoiding Debtor Name Errors: Your Questions, Our Answers

Our very own Despina Shields, VP of Product Management, took the time to answer some lingering questions after the conclusion of our webinar on how to avoid debtor name errors on UCC financing statements. Read our article, 5 Questions About Avoiding Fatal Debtor Name Mistakes on UCC Financing Statements.

From the article: "It is common for debtors to change their names months or years after an initial UCC financing statement is filed. Position may be affected if the secured party fails to file a UCC-3 debtor name amendment within a specified period, usually 4 months of the name change."

8. What You Need to Know About Doing Business Under a Different Name

Doing Business Under a Different Name

Doing business under a different name involves a plethora of rules, requirements and renewal dates to keep track of. This article goes into some nitty gritty details to help you manage all the nuances. Read our article, Doing Business Under a Different Name: Fictitious and Assumed Name Registration.

From the article: “Forced fictitious names are usually listed right on the qualification documents. Some state forms provide a specific blank for these names, others ask you to add the forced fictitious name right after the true name with a statement such as ‘Under the assumed name…’ or ‘Which will do business under the name…’”

7. Your Guide to Registering a Business in the US Virgin Islands

There are a lot of reasons why someone might consider doing business in the US Virgin Islands (USVI), but first and foremost there are numerous important steps you’ll need to take to ensure compliance. Read our article, Doing Business in the US Virgin Islands (USVI).

From the article: Starting your business in the USVI requires patience from the applicant. Once all required documents and payments have been submitted, obtaining the business license may take 6 to 8 weeks (with no guarantees). Would you expect anything less than island time?”

6. The UK's New Entity Registry: Shedding Light on Foreign Property Owners

Beginning on August 1, 2022 under the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 (ECTEA), the UK has a new Register of Entities requiring foreign companies with UK land/property to disclose executives/beneficial owners. We discuss 5 crucial questions on this topic. Read our article, 5 Important Questions About New UK Requirements for Overseas Entities in the UK.

From the article: “The Overseas Entities are required to identify their beneficial owners, have their identities checked by the Relevant Persons and then register the same with the Companies House. This information will be held on the Register and the Overseas Entity must update this information annually.”

5. The Basics of Incorporating a Business in the US Virgin Islands

US Virgin Islands

Incorporating a business in the US Virgin Islands (USVI) can offer advantages like reduced taxes and a business-friendly atmosphere. But first, there are some things you should know and specific steps you’ll need to follow, which we dive into here. Read our article, US Virgin Islands: Incorporation and Registration in a Nutshell.

From the article: “All corporations conducting business in the USVI must submit their corporate annual reports and franchise tax annual reports online. Supporting financial statements, which include a general balance sheet and profit and loss statement, must also be provided. These reports are due annually and must be filed on or before June 30, including the year of formation or registration.”

4. CTA: Are You Ready for January 1, 2024?

There are more than a few nuances to the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) and what it’ll mean for your business. In the wake of all the confusion prior to the CTA’s January 1, 2024 effective date, we answer some of your most pressing questions here. Read our article, Frequently Asked Questions About the Corporate Transparency Act.

From the article: “The CTA provides 23 exemptions to the reporting company definition, including any entity that: Employs more than 20 full-time employees in the US, in the previous year filed federal income tax returns in the US demonstrating more than $5 million in gross receipts or sales in the aggregate and has an operating presence at a physical office within the US. The exemptions in the CTA also include many industries that are already heavily regulated, such as banks and insurance providers, as well as publicly traded companies subject to SEC reporting.”

3. Changing Company Type or Moving Across State Lines

As your business expands, you might think about changing your company's structure or even relocating to adapt to changing tax laws, new investors and other factors. The good news is, you don't necessarily have to dissolve your existing company and start from scratch, thanks to methods like the conversion process. Read our article, Conversions: Changing Company Type or Moving to a New State

From the article: “Statutory conversions, which began to be allowed by business statutes in the early 2000s, can make the process simpler for companies that want to change from one entity type to another or move from one state to another. There is no need to form a new company and no need to transfer assets or assign contracts, as would need to be done if the company dissolved the old entity and formed a new one.”

2. Relocating Domicile Between Countries  

The process of transferring a company’s domicile from one country to another, also known as re-domiciliation, often comes with advantages like increased business flexibility or favorable tax laws in the new location. Read our article, Transferring Domicile From One Country to Another.

From the article: “For a company to re-domicile, it must be permitted in both in its originating jurisdiction and in the destination jurisdiction. Re-domiciliation is commonly allowed in offshore financial centers, such as the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands and is also permitted by Delaware law.”

1. China's Accession to the Hague Convention and What it Means for Document Legalization 

China Accedes to the Hague

As of March 8, 2023, China has officially joined the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization, meaning that beginning on November 7, 2023, documents meant for use in China won’t need consular legalization. Read our article, China Accedes to the Hague Apostille Convention.

From the article:China's accession to the Hague Apostille Convention will make it easier for individuals and businesses to authenticate documents for use in China and to authenticate Chinese public documents for use in other countries. This accession will likely facilitate international trade, investment and cooperation between China and other countries. It should also help to increase transparency, reduce bureaucracy and facilitate international transactions.” 

This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered, or relied upon, as legal advice.

Topics: International Corporate Services, UCC, Cogency Global News, U.S. Corporate Services