Forex Licensing - Vanuatu

About Vanuatu

Vanuatu is an island republic in the South Pacific Ocean. Agriculture, tourism, offshore financial services, and international donor help, are the mainstays of its economy. The Vanuatu vatu (VUV) is the country’s currency.

In terms of financial stability, Vanuatu has seen consistent economic growth in recent years. However, it remains one of the Pacific region’s least developed countries. The country has a low GDP per capita and relies on foreign aid for development projects.

In terms of forex, the Vanuatu vatu is not widely traded on international currency exchange markets. It is mostly used for intra-Vanuatu commerce. The Reserve Bank of Vanuatu manages the country’s currency rate policy and oversees foreign exchange transactions.

Vanuatu is an island country located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago is located around 1,750 kilometres east of Australia, 500 kilometres north of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and south of the Solomon Islands. Vanuatu is about 2.5 hours by plane north of Brisbane and 3.5 hours by plane from Sydney, Australia.

According to Worldometer, the current population of Vanuatu is 327,429 as May 2, 2023.

Bislama is the primary language spoken by the majority of Vanuatuans.

It is a hybrid of English common law, French civil law, and indigenous customary law.

To perform their business legally, forex brokers and securities dealers must get a licence from the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC). The licencing framework specifies the requirements, obligations, and standards that forex brokers must follow in order to receive and keep their licences.

Gov. Capital Req. Timing Tax Rate
$40,000 4 months 0 %

1. Regulatory Framework

Vanuatu has an established regulatory framework for financial services, including forex trading. The Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC) is the regulatory agency responsible for regulating and licencing financial service providers such as forex brokers. Having a Forex licence demonstrates that you adhere to the regulatory standards

2. Capital Requirements Minimum 

Vanuatu has lower capital requirements than other jurisdictions, making obtaining a Forex licence easier. Capital requirements vary based on the type of licensee and services given, however they are frequently lower than in many other countries.

3. Taxation that is beneficial

Vanuatu has an advantageous tax regime for regulated FX businesses. There are no corporate taxes, capital gains taxes, or withholding taxes on forex trading profits earned outside of Vanuatu. This could result in significant tax benefits for businesses operating under a Vanuatu Forex licence.

4. Quick and Easy Licencing Procedure

Vanuatu has streamlined its licencing process, allowing businesses to obtain a Forex licence quickly. The application process is straightforward, and the VFSC works hard to grant licences on schedule.

5. Cost-Effectiveness

In comparison to other jurisdictions, obtaining and maintaining a Forex licence in Vanuatu can be rather cheap. This is especially useful for small and medium-sized businesses looking to break into the currency market.

6. Flexibility in operations

Firms with a Vanuatu Forex licence can operate globally and serve clients from all over the world. There are no customer geographical limits, allowing enterprises to conduct forex trading activities with clients from all over the world.

License: Financial Dealers License
Timeframe for Approval: 4 to 6 months
Regulator: Vanuatu Financial Services Commission
Authorised Activities: Trust Asset Management; Financial Advising; Forex Trading
Corporate Structure: International Companies (ICs)
Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)
International Banking Licenses Trusts
International Insurance Companies
Corporate Tax Rate: 0%
Currency: USD
Capital Requirement: $50,000
Paid-up Capital: Vanuatu has no legal requirement for paid-up capital for companies formed under its jurisdiction. The Vanuatu Companies Act does not require any minimum paid-up capital for the formation of companies, including limited liability companies (LLCs) and international companies (ICs).
Economic Support: Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA),
Tax Incentives,
Custom Duty Exemptions,
Investment Allowance
Vanuatu Development Support Program (VDSP),
Infrastructure Development
Sector-Specific Support
Access to Finance
Local Director/s: Only one director (only natural person, no nationality or residency restrictions)
Local Shareholder/s: Only one shareholder (can also be a legal person, no nationality restriction or residency restrictions)
Local Registered Officer: Not Required
Local Staff: Required
Compliance Officer: Required
AML/KYC: Required
Audit: Required
Main Benefits: Regulatory Framework
Low Capital Requirements
Tax Benefits
Flexible Corporate Structures
Global Client Base
Operational Flexibility
Investor Protection

The following actions will be taken in order to receive a licence:

  • The formation of a Vanuatu corporation
  • Preparation of all VFSC-related paperwork and submission of the documents
  • Anti-money laundering procedures and a business plan for the company are being written.
  • Finalising the formalities with the VFSC for licence receipt
  • Opening an account for operational purposes
  • Offshore Company Formation and Management
  • Trust and Wealth Management
  • Financial Services
  • International Banking Licenses
  • Citizenship-by-Investment Programs
  • Legal and Accounting Services
  • Intellectual Property (IP) Services
  • Tourism and Hospitality Services

For bank:

  • A notarized copy of valid passport
  • A copy of proof of residential address (ex. utility bill that is not older than 3 months)
  • Bank statement for the last 3 months
  • A notarized copy of Letter of Reference from Bank, Attorney or Accountant

For local regulatory authority:

  • CV of the director / shareholder dated and signed, showing at least 5 years of related experience in fund management securities and investment
  • A notarized copy of valid passport (an English translation of the certification)
  • A notarized copy of proof of residential address (ex. utility bill that is not older than 3 months) (an English translation of the certification)
  • Independent references confirming CV and showing at least 5 years of related experience in fund management securities and investment (x2)
  • Criminal record from the native country of the applicant and notarized translation of it into English (if needed)
  • Notarized copies of university Diplomas in English, certified transcripts
  • A second ID of the shareholder(s) / director(s)
  • Professional letter / bank reference on director / shareholder (x2)
  • Bank statement proving the source of funds

For AML Officer:

  • CV of the director / shareholder dated and signed
  • Notarized / certified copy of passport (an English translation of the certification)
  • Notarized / certified utility bill in English
  • Professional letter / bank reference on director / shareholder (x2)
  • Notarized copy of a University Diploma in English
  • Criminal record from the native country of the applicant and notarized translation of it into English (if needed)
  • A second ID of the shareholder(s) / director(s)


  • The formation of an offshore business in Vanuatu. This can be a parent business or a holding company that has a zero tax status and operates in a friendly, flexible, and welcoming corporate environment.
  • Assisting with and writing business plans.
  • Policy development, including AML/CFT.
  • The application process for a Vanuatu forex brokerage, including paperwork preparation and filing.
  • Establishing a bank account.
  • In addition to the services indicated below, you will receive two hours of personalised consultation and guidance.

1. Establish international business corporation.
2. Preparation and drafting of shareholder and officer agreements.
3. Preparation and drafting of narrative business plan.
4. Preparation and drafting of current financial statements.
5. Preparation and drafting of 3 years financial projections.
6. Preparation and drafting of personal financial statements for owners.

7. Preparation and submission of application with appropriate regulatory authority
8. Preparation and drafting of responses to regulatory authority
9. Identification and engagement of auditor and forex prime broker.
10. Facilitate opening of bank accounts and payment processors.
11. Preparation and drafting of AML/KYC policies and procedures.
12. Preparation and drafting of client agreements and disclosures.