The British Virgin Islands (“BVI”) is the most popular offshore holding structure in the world. The most common BVI vehicles are companies however BVI trusts and partnerships are also increasing in popularity.
Half of all BVI income derives from licensing offshore company and related services making it a significant global player, holding huge stakes in the offshore financial services industry.
The BVI has been constantly pioneered to maintain its lead. Once labelled a ‘tax haven’, the territory has fought hard in recent years to overcome this cliché, signing the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters in June 2013. Having now re-positioned itself as a responsible international financial center and tax planning destination, the BVI has turned its attention to Asia-based clients.
Many of BVI’s advantages are shared with other jurisdictions which include the use of English, the absence of currency exchange controls, US dollars as currency, stable political institutions and a common law legal system with final appeal to the privy council in London. There are also many advantages which are not shared.
BVI companies have no taxes of any sort including no withholding taxes. Whilst trading companies usually pay taxes in countries where they engage business, using a BVI company as a holding company can create tax neutral layers in the corporate holding structure.
2. Fast incorporation time and low cost
BVI companies are regarded as very affordable compared to other jurisdictions. BVI’s anti-money laundering laws mandate that customer due diligence is obtained on all directors, shareholders, and beneficial owners. BVI’s standards are both trusted and well-known, giving BVI companies an edge over companies registered in most of BVI competitors’ jurisdictions when it comes to acquiring financial services.
The speed of company formation will depend on the client’s ability to satisfy legal due diligence requirements.
3. Company maintenance
Requirements for directors and shareholders are simplistic.
- A single director and single shareholder per company is sufficient
- There are no requirements for a company secretary
- There are no residency requirements for directors
- There are no requirements to record frequency or locations of meetings of directors and shareholders.
- There are no requirements for audited financial reports
- Cost efficient registered offices and agency services available
The BVI registry offers high levels of privacy. Company officer names are restricted information that are not available to the public.
These are just a few of the many benefits a British Virgin Islands company holds. For more information on incorporating a company in BVI contact SFM today.