The degree of disclosure varies between different jurisdictions. In some jurisdictions there is a requirement to file details of the directors, shareholders and secretary on a public register, but nominee shareholders and professional directors can be employed to retain anonymity. In other jurisdictions such as the Caribbean and Pacific islands, only minimal public disclosure is required.
Generally, in the jurisdictions that follow the English common law there is an implied duty for management companies, bankers, etc. to keep their clients' affairs confidential. In some jurisdictions this common law duty may be supplemented by local legislation that imposes criminal penalties on those who breach confidentiality or attempt to get others to do so. For example, the Confidential Relationships (Preservation) Ordinance of the Turks & Caicos Islands imposes a maximum penalty of a fine of US$50,000 and/or a three-year prison sentence on
those who reveal confidential information about a TCI company or its business dealings.
In all reputable OFCs details of beneficial ownership must now be made available upon request to "competent authorities", including foreign tax departments around the world. So confidentiality no longer exists offshore but this will not concern those who engage in legitimate tax planning.