Main Characteristics of a BVI Company
General Background – The British Virgin Islands are a group of islands in the Caribbean that belong to Britain and are part of the Archipelago Virgin Islands. The British Virgin Islands consists of 4 main islands and 50 smaller islands. The population of the islands stands at about 22,000 people and the capital Road Town is situated on the largest island Tortola. As an offshore financial center, the British Virgin Islands enjoys one of the more prosperous economies of the Caribbean region. The main income stems from tourists and financial services. Financial services account for over half of the income of the territory. The majority of this revenue is generated by the licensing of offshore companies and related services. The British Virgin Islands are frequently referred to as a “tax haven.”
Tax – Foreign companies that are registered in the BVI are exempt from any tax as long as the profits of the company’s operations take place outside of the region. Dividends and interest that are paid to external residents are exempt from withholding tax. There is no tax on capital gains, gifts or estate tax. BVI has tax treaties with Britain, Japan and Switzerland.
Confidentiality – Information regarding the directors, shareholders and beneficial owners of the company is not available to the public and not part of any public record in BVI.
Company Name – It is forbidden for the company to use a similar to name to that of an already existing company. There is a ban on the use of the following words in the name of a company with exception for when there is a license or official agreement from the BVI government: bank, trust, trustees, security, reinsurance, community building, savings, loans, chamber of commerce, university, urban fund, investment fund management or any similar words.
Shareholders – The minimum number of shareholders is one. Corporate shareholders are also permitted. The shareholders’ details are not part of any public record and are fully confidential. The name of the registered shareholder is recorded exclusively with the local representative.
Directors – There must be at least one director of the company who may be either local or external and can be either corporate or private. We offer the service of appointing a nominee director for an added layer of confidentiality.
Financial Statements – There is no requirement to submit an annual tax return or financial statements to the BVI authorities.
Registering Foreign Companies:
The status of the company registered in the British Virgin Islands is “IBC – International Business Company” which is enshrined under the International Companies Act of 1984 and the Banks and Trust Law from 1990. The process for registering a foreign company in the British Virgin Islands requires a local representative and registered address on the islands which we provide for you.