A former British colony until they were granted autonomy in 1967, the British Virgin Islands (“BVI”) has become renowned as a global business center for multinational corporations and individuals. BVI company law is extremely business friendly and incorporated BVI companies are able to take advantage of the multitude of financial services available in the country. Company formation in the BVI has thus become a popular destination for international businesses and individuals around the world.
The requirements surrounding company formation in the BVI are among the most relaxed in the world. To incorporate a company, you need a minimum of one shareholder. This shareholder can either be a person or another company or trust. In addition, at least one director is required for company formation although there are no residency requirements regarding a BVI company’s director, and the position of company secretary is optional. Lastly, the BVI does not impose a minimum requirement for authorized capital shares
No. You can incorporate your BVI company from abroad with the help of a professional service provider!
If you are incorporating a company as an individual, a residential address is required. For companies who wish to incorporate a subsidiary in the BVI, a registered office address or business address is required.
The ES Laws were introduced by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) with the intention to address profits being earned by offshore companies in jurisdictions such as those mentioned above. The laws state that profits being earned by offshore companies need to be aligned to where the business or profit-generating activities are being carried out, thus potentially affecting the tax outcome.
Effective from 1 January 2019, the law stipulates that companies who carry out “relevant activities” in the countries where the ES Laws are applicable, will be required to maintain an increased level of substance in their incorporated jurisdiction. Such activities are broadly defined to include a wide range of business activities, including fund management, distribution and service center businesses, holding company businesses, finance and many more. In the past, most companies did not maintain much substance in their jurisdiction. Companies who wish to incorporate must now take this new law under consideration.
To determine if your company registered in one of the above jurisdictions is conducting “relevant activities” applicable under ES Laws, one must determine whether they meet the various criteria set for each industry.
As the laws and criteria for each “relevant activity” varies among each industry, it is recommended to obtain assistance from a recognised company formation specialist such as FastLane to help determine how the ES laws affect your business and long-term plans.