Location

The Islamic Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam is situated on the northwest coast of the island of Borneo and on the coastline of the South China Sea with its boundary attached to the Malaysian State of Sarawak. The total land area is about 5,700 sq km and the capital is Bandar Seri Begawan.
Political Structure
From the 14th to the 16th centuries Brunei Darussalam was the seat of a powerful sultanate extending over Sabah, Sarawak and the lower Philippines. By the 19th Century, the Brunei Darussalam Empire had been whittled away by wars, piracy and the colonial expansion of European powers. In 1888 it became a British protectorate. Britain retained responsibility for the state’s defence and foreign affairs until 1984, when the sultanate became fully independent.
Brunei Darussalam’s political system is based on the country’s written Constitution and the tradition of the Malay Islamic Monarchy. Supreme executive authority vests with His Majesty the Sultan. The Prime Minister, who must be a Brunei Malay professing the Muslim religion belonging to the Shafeite sect, remains with The Sultan. The Ministers, including the Prime Minister, are appointed by The Sultan to hold office at the pleasure of His Majesty. Today they constitute the Council of Cabinet Ministers presided over by His Majesty the Sultan.

Economy and Infrastructure

The travelling time is between 1.5 hours and 3 hours from major Asian financial centers such as Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpar, Manila, Shanghai and Singapore to Brunei Darussalam. There are also direct international flights to other locations in Australia, Europe, Middle East and New Zealand.
Brunei Darussalam has a small but wealthy economy, which is growing at a slow and steady rate. It has remained stable with an average inflation rate of 1.5% over the past twenty years. The people of Brunei Darussalam enjoy a high quality of life with an estimated US$31,000 per capita income – the second highest in the ASEAN region. Brunei Darussalam’s economy has been dominated by the oil and gas industry for the past 80 years. Hydrocarbon resources account for over 90% of its export and more than 50% of its Gross Domestic Product. Today, Brunei is the fourth largest oil producer in South East Asia and the ninth largest exporter of liquefied natural gas in the world. Other primary resources include rice production, fruit farming, forestry and fisheries.

Population, Language and Culture

The population of Brunei was estimated to be about 357,000 in 2004, the communities include mainly Malay, Tutong, Murut with a minority of Chinese and other races.
The official language is Malay. Other languages use include English and Chinese.

Exchange Control

None.

Type of Law

The legal and administrative systems are based on English Common Law and for Muslims, Islamic Shari’a law supersedes civil law in a number of areas.
Principal Corporate Legislation
International Business Companies Order, 2000.

Taxation and Fees

An IBC does not pay income tax, capital gains tax, stamp duty or other direct tax.
Brunei Darussalam has a double tax treaty with Indonesia and a limited treaty with the United Kingdom, however tax credits apply to resident companies only. An IBC will not qualify for tax benefits under these treaties.
First year license fee is US$ 500 and thereafter US$ 400 per year.

Financial Statements Required

Whilst there is no requirement to file audited accounts with the authorities, a company should maintain such accounts and records as the directors consider necessary or desirable to reflect the financial position of a company. The accounts of a company shall be kept at its registered office in Brunei and shall at all times be opened to inspection by any director.