British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands are a British dependency located in the Eastern Caribbean, about 80 kilometres East of Puerto Rico. English is the official language and the official currency is the United States Dollar. The Government is stable and promises to remain that way. There is good commercial and professional infrastructure and the Government is actively encouraging the development of the offshore finance business and has now upgraded the Companies Registry by installing state of the art technology.
The International Business Companies Act was passed in 1984 and created the International Business Company (IBC) which is the preferred offshore company vehicle. In recent years the BVI has become extremely popular, particularly in the Far East region, due to the extensive marketing of the jurisdiction particularly by lawyers who moved from Panama during the Noriega regime and set up offices in the BVI.
Offshore Company Features
IBCs pay no taxes in BVI.
Authorised and Issued Share Capital
The normal authorised share capital is US$ 50,000 with all of the shares having a par value, this being the maximum share capital for the minimum duty payable upon incorporation and annually thereafter. The share capital may be expressed in any currency. The minimum issued capital is one share of no par value or one share of par value.
A minimum of one shareholder is required and either registered or bearer shares may be issued. No details of the shareholders appear on the public file but a register of shareholders must be kept at the registered office address of the company in BVI.
A minimum of one director is required and corporate directors are permitted. Details of the directors do not appear on the public file.
No annual return or accounts need be filed. It should be noted that penalty fees of up to 50% of the annual Government fee will be incurred if the licence fee is not paid when due.
Incorporation can be achieved within 14 days. We do keep ready-made companies in stock available for immediate purchase.
Restrictions on Name and Activity
Names must end with one of the following words, or abbreviations thereof - Limited, Corporation, Incorporated, Societe Anonyme or Sociedad Anonima. The following words, and their associated activities, cannot be used: Assurance, Bank, Building Society, Chamber of Commerce, Chartered, Cooperative, Imperial, Insurance, Municipal, Royal and Trust.
As a matter of local company law the company MUST maintain a registered office address within BVI and must also appoint a BVI resident as registered agent. We would generally provide these services as part of our package.
There are no specific statutory provisions governing secrecy in relation to companies but English Law, which applies within the jurisdiction, does impose a common law duty on professionals to keep the affairs of their clients confidential.
Registration and Maintenance Fees
Our registration fee for a company with a share capital less than USD50,000 is USD928. The fee covers first year licence fee, first year registered agent fee and first year registered office fee.
Annual maintenance fee is USD730 which covers annual licence fee, annual registered agent fee and annual registered office fee.
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