Register an International Business Company in the British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands is a popular jurisdiction for offshore company formation with a long history. It is not the only option available, of course, as you can also opt for Nevis, Seychelles, or Belize. The BVI offers really good conditions as both local and international business companies are treated equally and can take advantage of the same tax benefits. You can read a more detailed article to find out why entrepreneurs choose company registration in the British Virgin Islands on a trusted portal or use the live chat available there to ask questions.

Why the BVI?

First of all, the island offers zero taxation and a high level of confidentiality, which may be essential for some of you. 

Business people from across the globe opt for the British Virgin Islands to benefit from simplified accounting procedures, tax incentives, and flexibility of laws.

The BVI values its international reputation, which is the reason why it does its best to meet the requirements of international regulators and similar organizations. In particular, new regulations have been adopted to comply with the demands of FATCA, OECD, and the EU, and remain on the white list of cooperative jurisdictions.

On January 1, 2019, the islands enacted some laws applicable to international and local companies that engage in the following activities:

  • Asset management
  • Banking
  • Insurance
  • Holding activities
  • Finance and leasing
  • Freight traffic activities
  • Intellectual property management
  • Distribution and provision of services

All such companies are required to prove economic substance (company management from within the BVI and having a local office and employees).

BVI Company Name

Choosing the right name for your BVI company is a very important step, and you will need to reserve it. Here are some considerations:

  • If you set up a limited liability company, it should end with the words Incorporated, Corporation, or Limited, or the same in French/Spanish (Societe Anonyme/Sociedad Anonima). You can also use a short ending, such as Inc., Ltd., Corp., or S.A.
  • If you decide that an unlimited company would be the best legal form for your business, its name should end with the word Unlimited or Unltd.
  • If you register a company for special purposes and objectives, it usually ends with (SPV) Limited or (SPV) Ltd.
  • If you incorporate a company with a segregated portfolio, here are some acceptable names: SPC Ltd., SPC Limited, Segregated Portfolio Company Ltd., or Segregated Portfolio Company Limited. 
  • You can use a number to name your company if you want to! The company name will look like 098765 Ltd., where the number coincides with the company’s registration number, or it can additionally contain some characters between the number and the abbreviation Ltd. Companies whose official name is a number are an exclusive feature of the British Virgin Islands that you will not find anywhere else.

BVI Company: Details

Let’s look at some details of a BVI company:

  • Many banks are reluctant to work with offshore companies. However, the BVI seems to be an exception as many financial institutions are happy to deal with BVI companies.
  • If you decide to set up a bank account in a respectable jurisdiction, such as any European country or such Asian financial hubs as Singapore or Hong Kong, make sure you submit an apostilled Certificate of Incumbency along with other documents.
  • All BVI companies are required to have a seal. There are no special requirements for it – except that it should bear the company name and registration number.
  • You can officially use the services of nominee directors in the British Virgin Islands – however, keep in mind that the cost of company registration and maintenance will increase in this case. You will have to pay an additional fee of USD 2,400 per year if you decide to use the services of a professional director in the BVI (including the power of attorney with apostille and notarial certification).
  • If you decide to use the services of professional shareholders in the BVI, you will have to add USD 1,750 a year.
  • If data security and company separation from your European business are your top priorities, it would be wiser to choose other jurisdictions, such as Nevis. Click on the above link to ask an expert for other existing alternatives.

BVI Company: Registration Steps

  • Decide whether you want to register a company on your own or you are not sure you have enough legal competencies to venture by yourself. In the latter case, you can follow the above link, talk to an expert, and seek professional assistance to get a fully functional company without much hassle. 
  • Are you sure the British Virgin Islands is an ideal jurisdiction in your case? If you want to explore the alternatives, click on the above link and study the offshore section to find lots of other options. The choice depends on your top priorities, so make a list of them before you read the articles.
  • Where are you going to open a corporate bank account if you don’t have one at present? The choice of the best jurisdiction and bank may be challenging, but you can read the banking section of the above portal to get an idea.
  • Choose a name for your company that resonates with your target audience and has an appropriate ending. You can provide a name in any language on the condition that it is written in Latin letters, and does not sound offensive or similar to any existing companies.
  • If you use words like insurance, savings, bank, trust, university, or their equivalents in the company name, you may need a special license to carry out the company’s activities.
  • Collect the required documents.
  • Find a registered agent in the BVI who will represent your interests locally (this is a mandatory step. If you are not sure you can find a trusted individual or legal entity for that purpose, you can ask the expert from the above portal for recommendations).
  • All further steps will be taken by the agent.

Interested in the British Virgin Islands? Keep in mind that this is a reputed jurisdiction, but this is not the cheapest option available. Decide what is more important for you and start your business in no time!

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