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Delaware: the friendly state

There's not a bright forecast if the US takes charge in the fight about international beneficial ownership rules, says Derek Sambrook

30 April 2013

The late novelist Roald Dahl wrote: "And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places."

Delaware is one of these places. It has about a quarter of the population of offshore centre Panama, yet it is estimated to have more than treble the number of active companies that the little republic has. While Panama is pilloried for offshore 'mischief', Delaware's image is pristine by comparison. One office alone in Wilmington is the registered legal address for 285,000 or so businesses; that total is similar to the estimated number of active companies in Panama.

Senator Carl Levin, America's 'witch-finder general' of offshore venality, whose office is only 102 miles' driving distance from Delaware, has said: "The law shoul...

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