BVI Offshore Company
The British Virgin Islands (the BVI) is a group of islands in the Caribbean with the status of Dependent Territory(on Britain). The monarch (the Queen) is represented locally by a Governor, the BVI territory does have its own local Executive Council on the islands.
The British Virgin Islands have been involved in offshore company formations since 1984 with the BVI International Business Company Act. Under this law the well-known BVI IBC or offshore company became a legal business entity that would be sought by thousands of corproatiosn and invenstors all over the world.
The amended law is the 2004 BVI Business Companies Act, under which BVI Business Companies (BVI offshore companies) are formed.
BVI offshore company can be limited by shares (this is the most popular form of BVI company in use) or the BVI Business Company can be limited by guarantee. The BVI Business Company can be classified as unlimited companies that can decide to or not to issue shares.
The revised BVI offshore company act enhanced the range of business activities that the corporation could carry out.
The new BVI Business Companies Act changed the income tax rate for both home and offshore companies to 0%, a shift that effectively removed any difference between a BVI onshore company and a BVI offshore company. after that, all companies registered and incorporated in the BVI would benefit from zero tax rate.
As an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, the new BVI offshore company law covers takes into consideration the European Union Savings Tax Directive and other codes of conduct as predetermined by the UK.
The legal requirements for BVI Offshore companies are nominal and very flexible. The main requirements set out are:
- BVI BC requires only one director and one shareholder
- The shareholders, directors and other BC officers can be of any nationality, and there is no residency requirement
- Directors can be corporate entities or individuals
- There is no set minimum capital requirement, though the accepted value is US$1.00
- Shares for the BVI BC can be either bearer shares or registered shares, that can be held in any currency, though if bearer shares are issues, they must be held in deposit by an intermediary, and the identity of the beneficial owner must be documented.
- There is no need to keep accounts, nor is there any requirements for an audit
- No tax returns have to be files by any of the officers
- Meetings of the directors, shareholder can be kept any location in the world
- The Memorandum and the Articles of Association are only document on public record.
- There are no exchange controls in the BVI
As with all offshore statues, there are limitations and restrictions set on the BVI offshore corporation:
- The BCs cannot conduct any business within the BVI
- The company cannot have any ownership interest in property in BVI
- Appropriate licenses must be issued in order to conduct business of banking, trust, insurance, reinsurance.
The incorporation process of BVI Business companies is speedy and efficient one, requiring all subscribers of BVI business companies to use the services of a registered and licensed agent .in the British Virgin Islands/, The rates for incorporation and maintenance are considered reasonable and annual government maintenance fees are based on the value of share capital.
The successful offshore financial services sector of the BVI is regulated and monitored by the BVI Financial Services Commission.
The incorporation process for all BVI companies must be done by a register agent in the BVI.