Economic substance in the Cayman Islands

Economic Substance legislation in the Cayman Islands requires certain entities that are incorporated or registered in the Cayman Islands, and which conduct one or more of a set list of relevant activities, to comply with local substance requirements known as ‘economic substance’. The legislation follows closely the approach taken by the Crown Dependencies of the UK (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man) and the other UK Overseas Territories including Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands.

The following specifically defined activities are considered relevant activities and relevant entities must comply with the economic substance rules in the Cayman Islands. 

  • Banking business
  • Insurance business
  • Shipping business
  • Fund management business
  • Financing and leasing business
  • Headquarters business
  • Holding company business
  • Intellectual property business
  • Distribution and service centre business

Our legal team is ideally placed to help you to determine whether or not your entities are required to comply with economic substance requirements and can perform a full review of your entities to determine and advise on all aspects of compliance with substance legislation and, where appropriate, what actions must be taken. Please contact one of the key contacts below for help or email our Cayman team at

Establishing substance in the Cayman Islands

For clients that do need to establish and demonstrate substance in the Cayman Islands we are perfectly positioned to provide bespoke and integrated legal and administrative substance solutions. We provide a full suite of governance, resident director and accounting services. 

If you manage or own an entity that may be affected by substance rules based on the nature of its operations, please contact one of the key contacts below.