British Virgin Islands: Types of Company
BVI Limited Partnerships are governed by the Limited Partnerships Act 1996; as regards general partnerships this act reproduces almost exactly the common law provisions of the English Partnership Act 1980, but the clauses dealing with limited partnerships follow modern US Delaware precedent.
Formation of a limited partnership is normally carried out by a registered agent (it is obligatory to nominate one on formation in any event). The agent files the Memorandum and Articles of Association with the Registrar of Limited Partnerships, who issues a Certificate of Limited Partnership; the partnership then exists; but if there is no certificate, the partnership will be deemed to be a general partnership. The fee payable on registration if US$500 and there is an annual license fee, also US$500.
The rights and limitations of limited partnerships under the Act mirror those of the International Business Company (see above); however the Act distinguishes between local and international partnerships - local partnerships may transact local business but are not tax-exempt, while international partnerships are tax-exempt but barred from local business.
The BVI limited partnership legislation was designed to facilitate the use of such vehicles in investment and mutual funds. As is usual in limited partnerships, there are one or more general partners with unlimited liability and management responsibility, while limited partners are liable only to the extent of their capital contributions, and their identity does not need to be disclosed. It is possible for the same person to be both a general and a limited partner in the same partnership. A limited partner's interest in the partnership is assignable. There are no minimum capital requirements or prescribed debt:equity ratios.