TheBritish Virgin Islands, British overseas territory in the eastern Caribbean Sea. It is part of an island chain collectively known as the Virgin Islands, which makes up the northeastern extremity of the Greater Antilles. Puerto Rico lies to the west. The British territory consists of 4 larger islands (Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda, and Jost Van Dyke) and 32 smaller islands and islets, of which more than 20 are uninhabited; lesser islands include Great Tobago, Salt, Peter, Cooper, Norman, Guana, Beef, Great Thatch, Little Thatch, and Marina Cay. The chief town and port is Road Town on Tortola (21 square miles [54 square km]), the largest of the islands. The total area of the colony is 59 square miles (153 square km).
The great majority of British Virgin Islanders are the descendants of African slaves. Those of European descent constitute a small minority, although their number grew markedly since 1960, as the number of immigrants from the United States and Great Britain increased. Of all the islands, Tortola has by far the largest population, some four-fifths of the total. About one-fourth of all Tortolans live in Road Town. English is the official language; far more frequently used in practice, however, is an English-based creole, Virgin Islands Creole English. Religious affiliations are mostly with Protestant denominations, Methodists being the largest single group.
With over half its income coming from the licensing of offshore companies and related services, the BVI is a significant global player in the offshore financial services industry. Once frequently labeled as a “tax haven”, the territory has fought hard against the label in recent years, signing the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters in June 2013. Re-positioning itself as a responsible international financial centre and tax planning destination, the BVI has turned its attention to Asia-based clients.
Business Company (BC)
|Governing corporate legislation|
The BVI Financial Service Commission is the governing authority and companies are regulated under the Business Companies Act 2004.
International Business Companies may be formed by one or more shareholders, who can be either natural or legal persons
An International Business Company must appoint at least 1 director, who may be a natural or legal person.
|Information published relating to company officers|
The names of the Shareholder(s) or beneficial owner(s) of the Company are not filed with the Registrar of Corporate Affairs in the British Virgin Islands, the names of the Director(s) are filed but this is not publicly accessible. Nominee services are permitted if required.
The liability of the shareholders for the company is limited to the amount of their respective shareholdings.
|Accounting requirement/ compliance|
No accounting /reporting requirements.
N.B. As per Section 98 of the Business Companies Act 2004 (Amended) a company must keep such records and underlying documentation as necessary to establish its financial situation and explain its transactions
|Corporate income tax|
A BVI offshore company pays zero income tax. There is no British Virgin Islands tax on capital gains tax, nor are there gift taxes, inheritance taxes, sales taxes, or value-added taxes.
|Shared capital/paid up|
No paid up capital requirement. The standard share capital is USD 50,000 but can be amended to fit your requirements.
|Basis of the Legal System|
Under Common Law.
The appointment of a locally licensed secretary is required.
Standard share capital is US$50,000 divided into 50,000 shares of US$1.
Shares may be issued with or without par valueAt least one share must be issuedBearer shares are permitted, but they must be held by an authorised custodian approved by the BVI Financial Services Commission
A company shall appoint a licensed registered agent and shall have a registered address and office in BVI
Annual general meetings are not mandatory, can be held anywhere, and may be conducted by telephone or other electronic means. Alternatively, directors and shareholders may vote by proxy.
|Time to form|
The BVI has a fast and efficient registry: it takes about 48 hours to register a company.
Anniversary date of the company / Each Year
Convenient world time zone: GMT-4
The BVI registry offers a high level of privacy. Company officer names are restricted information that is not available to the public.
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