British Virgin Islands (BVI)
Frequently Asked Questions
BVI economic substance rule
How will Economic Substance Act affect your BVI company?
Certain BVI companies carrying on relevant activities and not tax-residents in other jurisdictions shall be subject to the Economic Substance (Companies and Limited Partnerships) Act, 2018 in the BVI.
“Relevant activities” under the BVI ES regime comprise: Banking, Insurance, Fund management, Finance and leasing, Headquarters, Shipping, Holding company, Intellectual property, Distribution and service centers.
All in-scope BVI companies under this regime must fulfill the compliance duties or economic substance test for each relevant activity they engage in.
Uncertain about whether your company is subject to BVI economic substance requirements? Check out our BVI ES Test now >>
Corporate taxation in BVI
What types of corporate taxation are levied on a BVI business company?
A business company is exempted from all types of local tax for income-generating outside of the BVI.
Allowed activities of a BVI BC
What are restricted activities of a BVI BC?
Unlike other offshore jurisdictions, a business company incorporated in BVI are allowed to undertake businesses within the BVI and hold interests or own properties in the territory. Some businesses are required to be licensed by the Financial Services Commission like banking, insurance, trust, fund management, investment business…
What types of entity can a business company can be incorporated under the current law in BVI?
A company can be formed under the following types:
- A company limited by shares
- A company limited by guarantee with or without shares
- An unlimited company with or without shares
Company directors/shareholders/beneficial owners
What is the minimum number of directors/shareholders for a business company?
A BVI business company is required to have one director/shareholder at minimum. Individual and body corporate are accepted. No specific requirements on locality or qualification of directors/shareholders exist.
Publicity of information
The registers of company directors/shareholders or beneficial owners should be kept at the address of the registered agent. The company has an option to file the information with the Registrar for registration. In addition, such registers are not disclosed to the public.
Are bearer shares allowed?
BVI is one of a few countries which allow issuance of bearer shares. However, the bearer shares have to be kept with the authorized custodian, and information related to the owners of bearer shares has to be maintained.
Minimum registered capital?
There is no minimum registered capital. The usual authorized is US$50,000.
Annual maintenance conditions
What have to be done annually to comply with local laws regarding maintaining a BVI business company?
The business owner only needs to maintain:
- One director/shareholder;
- A BVI registered agent and registered address.
There is no need for annual return or tax filing, annual general meeting or audited reports.