Nowadays there are numerous corporate vehicles one can incorporate. Some, clearly, are more popular than others. For example in Malta the most popular company by far is the limited liability company for general trade and holding, and the shipping company for anything to do with vessels.
We can establish branches in Malta (known as oversea companies in Maltese legal jargon), as well as redomicile companies in Malta (known as continuation of companies into Malta). Redomiciliation means that the company will change the jurisidction in which it is incorporated, without passing through a process of liquidation. Kindly note that not all jurisdictions allow redomiciliation to take place. Redomiciliation can also take place the other way, the company leaves Malta to a new jurisdiction.
We can take care of cross-border mergers (Directive 2005/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2005 on cross-border mergers of limited liability companies); any Societas Europaea (Council Regulation 2001/2157/EC of 8 October 2001 on the Statute for a European company (SE); and any European Economic Interest Grouping (Council Regulation (EEC) No 2137/85 of 25 July 1985 on the European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG). Our most popular locations for the incorporation of EEIGs are Malta and the UK.
In the United Kingdom the most popular company to be incorporated is the limited liability company ("Ltd") and the limited liability partnership (LLP).
Cyprus, like Malta, has a similar structure of limited liability companies as well as shipping companies, although taxation in this jurisdiction is different to that of Malta.
Dubai's corporate system is more US in inspiration. Like the US, the counterpart of the British "Ltd" is the "LLC". However, unlike the above countries, Dubai has restrictions on when a non-Emirati trades within its territory, requiring the necessity of having an Emirati partner. Trading internationally however has no restrictions.
The offshore jurisdictions have what are known as "IBCs" i.e. International Business Companies. These companies normally have restrictions in the activities they conduct in the jurisdiction in which they are incorporated, and are very popular as SPVs ("Special Purpose Vehicles"). Their simpler bureacracy often helps in the structuring of complex corporate structures.