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BVI Warns Of Beneficial Ownership Penalties

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
17 April, 2018

The British Virgin Islands' financial services promotion agency, BVI House Asia, recently held a seminar in Hong Kong to highlight the impact of the territory's new probate rules.

More than 80 professionals heard that around 40 percent of BVI companies are owned by individuals in Asia, particularly from China and Hong Kong, and they will be affected by new rules on non-contentious probate and estate administration recently implemented at the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. The territory's new searchable beneficial ownership register was also discussed.

Seminar attendees were told that following the death of a beneficial owner, a company must notify its registered agent within 15 days of becoming aware of a change of beneficial ownership information. Failure to comply without reasonable cause leaves the company open to a maximum fine of USD10,000. If a registered agent fails to comply with the 15-day notification requirement without reasonable cause, the agent is liable to a maximum fine of USD40,000.

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