The British Virgin Islands are located in the Virgin Islands archipelago and are made up of around 60 Caribbean Islands ranging from 12 miles long to tiny uninhabited islands. The main islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke with 50 other smaller islands, 15 of which are uninhabited.

The British Virgin Islands has been an international business centre since the 1980s and today is still one of the most popular jurisdictions to incorporate an offshore company.

Features of British Virgin Islands Companies include:

• The minimum number of shareholders is one
• The minimum required number of directors is one and corporate directors are permitted
• Company accounts do not have to be filed or audited
• Companies can be incorporated within 24 hours
• If the activities of the company are carried out outside of the BVI the company is exempt from tax
• There is no authorised capital or no authorised share capital

Company Formation in the British Virgin Islands: a quick guide

Company Law The BVI Companies Act, 2004 (as amended) is the principal statute of the British Virgin Islands relating to British Virgin Islands Company Law. It replaced the extremely popular and highly successful International Business Companies Act.
Types of Company Business Company’s are companies incorporated in the British Virgin Islands under the International Business Companies Act, 2004. All companies previously incorporated under the International Business Companies Act, 1984, automatically became subject to the BVIBC Act from 1st January 2007.
Taxation rates applied to Companies If the activities of a BVI Company are carried out outside of the BVI the company is fully exempt from taxation. There is no capital gains or inheritance tax in the BVI.
Double Taxation Treaty The BVI has entered into 24 Tax Information Exchange Agreements.
Capital Requirements There is no authorised capital or authorised share capital. Instead companies are incorporated with the capacity to issue a maximum number of shares e.g. 50,000 or with the authority to issue an unlimited number of shares. Bearer shares are permitted but are subject to custodian services.
Members The minimum number of shareholders is one.
Directors The minimum required number of directors is one and corporate directors are permitted.
Secretary The requirement for a Company Secretary is optional but a BVI Registered Agent is required.
Annual Meetings There is no requirement to hold annual general meetings of shareholders or directors.
Accounts There is a requirement to prepare accounts but they do not have to be filed or audited.
Method of incorporation and timescale A company is incorporated by submitting The Memorandum and Articles of Association and a Certificate from the Registered Agent confirming compliance with the requirements of the ordinance.

To download this information as a PDF please click to access our BVI Company Factsheet.

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