The British Virgin Islands is a British overseas territory located in the Caribbean close to the US Virgin Islands and the Spanish Virgin Islands. It’s official name is actually simply the ‘Virgin Islands’, but British is a common prefix to distinguish it from its neighbouring US islands. The British Virgin Islands are actually a group of over fifty small islands and cays of which only about fifteen are inhabited. The main Island is Tortola and the capital Road Town is located there.
In 1672 the English captured Tortola from the Dutch, the BVI citizens have been classed as British citizens since 2002 and have full British citizenship. The territory is not part of the European Union and therefore not subject to its laws although its citizens are deemed to be citizens of the EU as well.
Originally an agriculturally based economy the BVI diversified into tourism and financial services and has become one of the wealthiest areas in the Caribbean. One of the main events on the islands is the Spring Regatta, which is a seven day collection of sailing races throughout the islands.
The official currency of the islands is the US dollar since 1959. There is a local dialect, but the primary language is English.
Corporate Advantages of the BVI
The British Virgin Islands is one of the most popular jurisdictions
for offshore incorporation, but what makes it so much more attractive than other jurisdictions?
The BVI passed their International Business Companies Ordinance
in August 1984 in an effort to increase on the islands economy, so offshore incorporation
has been encouraged there by the government for some time. With its stable economy, world recognized currency, English speaking environment it was already well ahead of the curve. But the BVI has some much more to offer – for more information check corporate advantages of the BVI
As the BVI has zero corporation and income taxes there is little point in them pursuing tax treaties with other countries.
Despite this they actually do have three double tax treaties in place. One is with the UK and through UK treaties they are also party to old treaties in place with Japan and Switzerland. There are also various Tax Information Exchange Agreements and Memorandum of Understanding’s with various jurisdictions for various reasons.
BVI Registry and Laws
The British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission goes to great lengths to keep their business laws as modern and compliant as possible while developing a corporate law regime that is responsive to the needs of International Business. – for more information check BVI Registry and Laws .
Banking in the BVI
The BVI has a very strong banking sector for a Caribbean island. It has all the modern international banking services
available. BVI bank information is strongly protected by law and there are severe financial and criminal penalties for any person who divulges information. Such information can only be given out under a criminal investigation carried out in-land by local police. Release of information by a bank to any foreign party or government is simply not possible unless ordered by a court in the BVI. – for more information check banking in the BVI
There is no VAT or sales tax in the BVI.
There are various corporate vehicles to choose from in the BVI as it is so flexible, each have their own various advantageous qualities for specific purposes. Which structure is correct for you entirely depends on what you company will be doing. Chesterfield are on hand to assist and give professional advice on what is right for you – for more information check typical BVI structure
BVI trust law is derived from English Trust law although the trust acts are been repeatedly updated in order to bring more beneficial aspects to the trusts. – for more information check BVI trusts
BVI Intellectual Property
The new bill from the BVI concerning Intellectual property the Trade Marks Act 2013 is expected shortly, this will replace the current legislation being the Trade Marks Act 1987 and the Registration of United Kingdom Trade Marks Act 1946 and brings the BVI intellectual property law in line with other developed IP jurisdictions. – for more information check BVI Intellectual property
Residency in the BVI
The British Virgin Islands has very strict rules on residency. They are very selective when it comes to both residency and work permits with copious amounts of red tape for both. – for more information check Residency in the BVI
Chesterfield and the BVI
Chesterfield have years of experience when it comes to both setting up a BVI company and administering them. We are familiar with all the laws, paperwork and structures involved and are in an excellent position to give you the sound advice required when considering incorporating a British Virgin Islands Offshore company.