Virgin Islands is a very important offshore financial
center, known for the quality service, with major
international and domestic law, accounting, banking,
trust and insurance firms. The British Virgin Islands
system of Registered Agents, with a code of conduct
and licensure by the BVI Government, works to maintain
the integrity of its financial services industry.
Off-shore Companies in the BVI
The British Virgin Islands has become an attractive
jurisdiction for the creation of off-shore corporations
with the enactment of the International Business Companies
Ordinance ("IBC Act" or the "Act").
An International Business Company is a corporate
vehicle having limited liability, which, provided
it has no business activities in the British Virgin
Islands, is wholly exempt from BVI tax on its income
and from inheritance or estate tax on its shares.
Only a nominal fee is payable annually to the Government
(in most cases US$300). An IBC can have bank accounts
in the BVI, deal with lawyers, accountants, trust
companies and other professionals in the BVI, hold
company meetings and keep its accounting books and
records in the BVI without breaching this restriction.
By incorporating in the BVI, a business gains a wide
range of competitive advantages, including:
||Modern provisions for the protection
of assets, including continuation in a new jurisdiction,
mergers with foreign entities and the granting
of extraordinary emergency powers to directors.
||Directors may be companies and
need not be domiciled or resident in the BVI.
||A politically stable jurisdiction,
which is a British Crown colony enjoying self
government except in matters of defence and
||No annual meeting must be held
in the BVI.
||Flexible management provisions,
including the possibility of designating only
one director or holding meetings by telex, telegram
or by circulating resolutions.
||Exemption from taxes on income
earned by the company and on the dividends or
other distributions made to its shareholders.
||No annual filing requirements.
||Exemption from estate, inheritance
or gift taxes otherwise payable by residents
in the BVI.
||Simple and speedy incorporation
process that does not require the presence of
the interested parties in the BVI.
||Minimal reporting and disclosure
||The U.S.A. Dollar as legal tender
in the BVI and the lack of exchange controls.
For more information about setting up and operating
International Business Companies in the BVI visit the
- The scope of legitimate purposes and uses for IBCs.
- Official British Virgin Islands Financial Services
- A comprehensive library of offshore legislation
for the British Virgin Islands.
Business Companies in the British Virgin Islands
- A detailed document from the law firm Arias Fabrega & Fabrega
Trust Co. (BVI) Limited covering all aspects of
setting up and operating IBC's in the BVI (Adobe Acrobat
- The BVI Investment Guide.