British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands is internally self- governing with a ministerial system of government. The Governor is appointed by the British Crown and retains responsibility for defence and internal security, external affairs, the civil service and the administration of the Courts and finance.

The British Virgin Islands financial services industry introduced legislation in 1985 to permit the formation of International Business Companies(I.B.C.). The company law was modern and flexible and the islands flourished. There are now probably more offshore companies incorporated in the British Virgin Islands than anywhere else. In 2005 the I.B.C. Act was replaced by the Business Companies Act 2004, which brought the company law up to date. At the same time the British Virgin Islands introduced a zero rate system of corporate taxation to comply with the international obligation to treat resident and non-resident taxpayers equally. Companies incorporated under the Business Companies Act 2005 are not allowed to trade with the British Virgin Islands or own property there. As a British controlled territory, the British Virgin Islands are covered by the European Savings Tax Directive.

British Virgin Islands offshore company regulations
Type of entity BC
Type of law Common
Corporate taxation Nil
Double taxation treaties available No
Share Capital
Usual currency U.S.$
Permitted currencies Any
Minimum paid up No par value, but usually $1
Usual authorised 50,000
Minimum number 1
Local resident required No
Records publicly available No
Corporate Director allowed Yes
Shareholders / Members
Minimum number 1
Records publicly available No
Location of Meetings Anywhere
Company Secretary
Required No
Local or qualified NA
Required No
Audit required N/A
Filing required N/A
Publicly available N/A
Annual return required No
Change of domicile permitted Yes
Availability of shelf companies Yes
Time to incorporate shelf co 2-3 working days
Time to incorporate new co 3-5 working days