Setting up a Private Limited Company in the BVI: A Registration Guide for Entrepreneurs

  • May 23, 2023
  • Dushyant Sharma
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The British Virgin Islands refers to a British foreign region situated in the Caribbean. The territory is surrounded in the east by Puerto Rico. Road Town is the capital of the British Virgin Islands, which has a populace of over 30K. The formal currency of the British Virgin Islands  is the United States Dollar (USD) and its official lingo is English.

If you are looking at company formation in BVI , it is important for you to understand the local business laws and guidelines related to company formation in the region.

For the local government, it is always a great idea to promote the setting up of new businesses in the region as this is considered an excellent source of revenue for them since it accounts for almost half of the licensing fees submitted by these businesses. The BVI Financial services commission is an independent governing authority that can be held accountable for all types of business activities and other associated services in the region.

A Closer Look at the Advantages

Below are the primary benefits of setting up a company in BVI

  • Stability both politically and economically
  • Simple incorporation, operation and upkeep;
  • A typical offshore authority;
  • Tax-free administration;
  • Requirement of minimum one shareholder;
  • No minimum paid-up share capital cap;
  • Privacy of the directors, shareholders and beneficiaries’ information;  
  • Non-residents are permitted to list offshore businesses in the BVI in any domain allowed by the legislation of the state;
  • Offshore businesses in the BVI can be setup by non-residents or citizens of the nation;
  • Option to re-list the company beyond the boundaries of the islands;
  • Nominee service is permitted;
  • Asset defence.

Types of Companies in BVI

  • International Business Company and shelf corporations (both).
  • The company limited by shares;
  • The company limited by guarantee;
  • Hybrid company (limited by guarantee but has the right to release shares);
  • Unlimited company (without the right to release shares);
  • A segregated portfolio company (Protected Cell Company).

Eligibility Requirements

Any entrepreneur looking to BVI company setup must need to meet the following criteria:

Company Classification

The business can have a company name in any language. However, that name should have Roman characters and its end can carry any suffix.   

Directors

A minimum one company director is needed for company registration in this region which can be a person or entity of any country.

Shareholders

A minimum of 1 shareholder must be there for company registration in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

Company Secretary

The selection of minimum1 company secretary should be done to register a business in BVI.

Paid-up Capital

The minimum paid-up capital of 1 share of par value is must which can be of any currency or nationality.

Official Address

The Company should have a registered address to perform business activities in the British Virgin Islands.  There is no restriction on whether you hire or purchase the property to setup head offices and branches.

Registered Agent

Regardless of the company type or commercial activity, the company must represent a registered agent in the BVI. Registered agents act as an intermediary for the Registry of Corporate Affairs, the BVI International Tax Authority (ITA), and the business.

Documentation

The following documents are needed to register a company in the British Virgin Islands

  • Duly filled Application Form
  • A scanned as well as a notarized copy of the passports of the proposed directors and shareholders
  • A photocopy of authenticated official Documents like a driving license or photo ID card guarantees the evaluator that both copies and photos are genuine.
  • Proof of Residence: Original proof indicating the Individual's name and address. The proof can be any utility bill or bank statement. The documented proof must not be more than three months old.
  • Initial letter of Introduction: The letter can be generated from a reputed lawyer or professional accountant
  • Each Shareholder and the Company's director must finish, sign, and file a BOD (Beneficial Owners Declaration) with the application.
  • Memorandum of Association of the applicant Company
  • Articles of Association of the applicant business

Registration Procedure

The procedure to register a company in the British Virgin Islands is mentioned below:

Step 1- Choose and Reserve the Company's Trade Name

Initially, the applicant is supposed to finalize a distinctive business, and then reserve the same with the BVI Registry. The BVI Commercial Registry would browse through the list of existing company names and confirm that that name is unique and isn’t parallel to any other business listed in BVI.

Step 2 - Selection of a Registered Agent for the Company

The next thing to do is to appoint a registered agent during the incorporation of the company with the BVI Registrar.

Step 3 - Activate a Corporate Bank Account for the Company

Every company registering itself in BVI is required to open a corporate account before the incorporation to start its business activities.

Step 4 - Submission of the relevant documents

After the opening of the corporate bank account, the necessary documents must be submitted to the authority followed by the filing of the application along with the relevant documents to start the incorporation process.

Step 5 – Apply for the necessary licenses to start the Business Operations

After the receipt of the company registration approval, the freshly incorporated Company must need to check for other relevant licenses to start its activities. Such licences and permits can be procured from the Financial Services Commission of the BVI.

The Conclusion

Are you an entrepreneur looking to set up a company in British Virgin Islands? Considering the complexity and legal requirements related to the same, it is always a good idea to consult a business services company like Registrationwala. There is a team of business incorporation experts that can help you at every step of your company registration in BVI. Call us today to know more.

 


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Dushyant Sharma
Author: Dushyant Sharma

Hey there, I'm Dushyant Sharma. With the extensive knowledge I've gained in past 8 years, I have been creating content on various subjects such as banking, insurance, telecom, and all the important registration and licensing processes for various companies. I'm here to help everyone with my expertise in these areas through my articles.

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