Frequently Asked Questions

BVI economic substance rule

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

A business company is exempted from all types of local tax for income-generating outside of the BVI.

Allowed 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…

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

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.

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.

Share capital

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.

There is no minimum registered capital. The usual authorized is US$50,000.

Annual maintenance conditions

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.

Industry News & Insights