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Why Incorporate an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands?

Contributed by SFM Offshore
28 February, 2020

There's a reason why about 40% of the world's offshore companies are registered in the British Virgin Islands. It isn't only because the BVI is a nice place to visit, but because it's one of the oldest internationally recognized offshore territories. Many other offshore jurisdictions base themselves on the BVI's laws before developing their own corporate laws. The Islands, One of the British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean, offers an important advantage for foreign investors:

  1. Tourism and financial services are the two pillars of the economy; the latter is supported primarily by many offshore companies incorporated there.
  2. And secondly, BVI enjoy 0% corporate taxation, no auditing, and no paid-up capital requirements.

Many of the BVI's advantages are common to numerous other jurisdictions (English language, absence of currency exchange control since they use US dollar as their currency, enjoys a stable democracy).

Hence, it makes sense why over half of its revenue comes from the registration of offshore companies and related services; the BVI is a significant global player in the offshore financial services industry.

The BVI is a member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CTATF), and continues to remain in good standing with other international financial bodies. When it comes to the variety of corporations and trust structures available, the BVI is one of the most diverse financial centers worldwide. New IBCs incorporated in the BVI can be registered under any of these names or suffixes:

  • Limited (Ltd.,)
  • Corporation (Corp.,)
  • Incorporation (Inc.,)
  • Societe Anonyme/Sociedad Anonima (S.A.)

So why is BVI the preferred jurisdiction among many foreign investors? The short answer to this question lies in its simplicity

  • Being a member of the British Commonwealth, the BVI has strong ties both with the UK and the EU. The BVI enjoys strong ties with the U. S. Virgin Islands as well as with Puerto Rico. The U.S. dollar is the currency used within the BVI.
  • BVI companies are still comparatively inexpensive to incorporate compared to other premium jurisdictions such as Cayman and Bermuda, and most mid-shores such as Hong Kong or Singapore
  • Neither the register of directors nor the share register of a company is required to be publicly filed in the BVI
  • BVI companies are widely used in international capital markets as listing vehicles. Shares in BVI companies are listed in stock exchanges in London
  • Only one Director is necessary, though a President, Secretary and Treasurer are not mandatory for a BVI BC; however, a single person or entity may hold all positions.

Finally, the BVI company is also favored thanks to its cost effective and simple registration and administrative regulations. Companies can be incorporated as quickly as 1 to 2 days!

Find out more about incorporating an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands with SFM.


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