The British Virgin Islands has just been removed from the European Union’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax matters. In March 2019, the EU recognised BVI as compliant with its fair taxation principles and as a cooperative jurisdiction and it was placed onto the Grey List. Over the last few months, BVI has worked with the EU to meet a number of requirements and as of 18 February, the jurisdiction was removed from the Grey List. This means that the BVI is now considered in-line with EU principles on good governance, transparency and accountability.
This is great news for BVI which considers its international finance sector as one of its twin pillars of the economy, the other being tourism. Financial and corporate services are well established in BVI and it is one of the most popular, oldest, and most respected offshore jurisdictions. This combined with the latest news from the EU make it the perfect jurisdiction for offshore companies, businesses, and other enterprises.
BVI BC companies are most commonly used for offshore savings and investments, forex and stock trading, international trade, professional services, international corporate banking, international trade, ship and aircraft registration, insurance, and estate planning.
Incorporating a BVI company can take as little as one or two days, as long as your documents are in order. If you opt for a shelf company, one that is already in existence, you can be up and running even quicker.
Relevant activities for a BVI company include banking, insurance, fund management, finance and leasing, shipping, pure equity holding businesses, intellectual property holding businesses, and distribution and service centre businesses. Some of these are however subject to economic substance requirements which include ensuring that the activity is directed and managed in BVI, there are appropriate physical offices, in the BVI and that there are an adequate number of employees and expenditures in the BVI.
When it comes to annual and ongoing maintenance there is very little to worry about. Annual meetings are not required to be in the BVI and in fact you do not even have to hold them at all. You are also not required to file financial statements, annual return filings or yearly audits and your corporate books and any minutes do not have to be kept locally. You only need one shareholder to get up and running and you can run the BVI entity with a single director.
- BVI business companies do not have to pay any local tax or stamp duty, even if they are administered within the jurisdiction. All that is payable is registration and annual fees.
- The BVI Companies Act allows BCs to conduct business and own real estate within the BVI.
- BVI has a great, modern infrastructure and an English-speaking workforce.
- The legal system of the BVI is based on English common law.
- The government of BVI is responsive to the needs and requirements of offshore companies and has created a very pro-business environment. Their approach is flexible, while keeping out money launderers and other criminal activities.
- There are no requirements for a local director or secretary.
- You are also not required to meet a minimum capital requirement.
- Shares can be issued in any currency, with or without par value.
To set up a company or any other kind of legal entity in the British Virgin Islands, contact Fast Offshore today. We have over two decades of experience in the sector, as well as the BVI and are on hand to take care of matters for you and to provide you with advice relating to your business, financial, fiscal, and corporate needs.