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The British 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 foreign affairs.
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 requirements.
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 following sites. - The scope of legitimate purposes and uses for IBCs. - Official British Virgin Islands Financial Services site. - A comprehensive library of offshore legislation for the British Virgin Islands.

International 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 Reader required). - The BVI Investment Guide.



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