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Cook Islands Company Incorporation Overview

General Information:

The Cook Islands is a self-governing parliamentary democracy in the South Pacific Ocean, in free association with New Zealand. The 15 small islands have a total land area of 240 square kilometres (92.7 sq miles), but the Cook Islands Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covers 1,800,000 square kilometres (690,000 sq miles) of ocean. The main population centre is on the island of Rarotonga (14,153 in 2006), where there is an international airport. There is a much larger population of Cook Islanders in New Zealand, particularly the North Island. In the 2006 census, 58,008 self-identified as being of ethnic Cook Island Māori descent.

With about 100,000 visitors travelling to the islands in the 2010-11 financial year, tourism is the country’s main industry, and the leading element of the economy, far ahead of offshore banking, pearls, and marine and fruit exports.


*includes first year Company Secretary


Key Corporate Features:


































Infrastructure & Economy:

Rarotonga has a highly developed communication system, with satellite telephone, the Internet, e-mail and fax facilities. Direct dialling to Rarotonga is available from most countries. New Zealand Airlines fly via Rarotonga to and from Auckland, Tahiti, Hawaii, Los Angeles and Fiji, and provide direct access to the USA, South East Asia and Australia, as well as Europe.


The Cook Islands economy is primarily based on tourism and fishing. In recent years the offshore industry has expanded enormously due to the innovative and progressive legislation, which facilitates the establishment of numerous offshore structures, such as international business companies, offshore banks, offshore insurance companies and wealth preservation trusts.


The official language is English with Chinese being spoken and used widely in business context.

New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
Only in relation to certain dealings in New Zealand Dollars. There are no local restrictions on the movement of funds to or from the Cook Islands in other currencies and funds may be held and business transacted in the Cook Islands in any currency.

Legal System  
Based on English Common Law.

Company Law  
The International Companies Act 1981-1982.

Business Law  
Limited Liability Company Act 2008.

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Company Information

Type of Company for International Trade and Investment

Cook Islands Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a blend of a partnership and corporate structure. The liability of members is limited to the extent of their capital contributions. The LLC is a tax transparent entity where any profits and losses are passed through to the members to be reported as personal income. Often use as an underlying asset holding company for use in an Asset Protection Trust structure. 

Restrictions on Trading

Cannot trade within the Cook Islands or undertake the business of banking or insurance unless licensed under the Offshore Banking Act or the Offshore Insurance Act.


Powers of Company

A Cook Islands  Limited Liability Company is a separate legal entity and has the same powers as a natural person.


Language of Legislation and Corporate Documents



Shelf Companies Available



Language of Name


Registered Office Required

Yes, must be maintained in Cook Islands at the address of a licensed management company or law firm.


Name Restrictions
Anything identical to or similar to a company already incorporated.


Suffixes to Denote Limited Liability

Names must end with one of the following words, or abbreviations thereof - Limited Liability Company or LLC


Disclosure of Beneficial Ownership to Authorities?


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