BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
A partner office of Fidelity Corporate Services operates in the British Virgin Islands, providing offshore company formation and management services in BVI. This chapter contains a summary of the British Virgin Islands, the type of offshore companies and services available from there.
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BVI - the Reference Offshore Centre
BVI is arguably the most renowned offshore tax shelter in the world. Since 1984, the BVI International Business Company (IBC) has reached the pinnacle of popularity among global offshore company formations, with around 2 million total incorporations to date and 3000 new companies registered every month. The huge popularity of the British Virgin Islands IBC is reflected in the fact that in many regions of South-East Asia an International Business Company is often called "a BVI".
In 2005 a meticulous enhancement of the underlying corporate legislation eliminated the distinction between the offshore companies and domestic companies creating a uniform company type in the BVI – a BVI business company. Consequently, all the companies registered in the BVI can operate offshore as well as inland, all the BVI BCs have the same rights and the same tax regime (tax-free).
The British Virgin Islands consists of some 50 rocky and hilly islands in the Caribbean, situated some 1100 miles southeast of Miami and 40 miles east ast of Puerto Rico. BVI has a total land area of some 60 square miles. The biggest island of the BVI is Tortola, where the country capital Road Town is situated. The population of the British Virgin Islands is approximately 22 thousand, but the number of people on the islands at any given time is considerably bigger, due to some 2.5 million visitors that come to the British and US Virgin islands every year.
BVI is a British Crown territory. Therefore it`s politically secure, democratic and notably more affluent than most of the other Caribbean nations. The legal and judicial system of the BVI is based on the English Common Law, with domestic legislation passed by the BVI Legislative Council. Great Britain is in charge of the islands´ defence, foreign affairs, internal security, and the administration of justice.
BVI has a taxation system, typical for a modern-day offshore tax haven. The corporate or personal income is for by all means abolished, neither there is any tax on capital gains. The Government fulfills its budget from payroll tax (10% for small enterprises and 14% for all the rest) as well as from import and stamp duties, license fees and company registration fees. Offshore financial services sector contributes substantially to the BVI`s economy.
The official currency of the BVI is US dollar. Hence, the Government is not capable to artificially restrict or control the issue of currency and there are no exchange controls. Inevitably, therefore, the national economy depends on the general health of the American dollar, with all its possible highs and lows. The BVI enjoys excellent communications infrastructure: well-developed telephone and internet services, high quality cable and wireless. Access by air to the BVI is provided by its international airport, which, however, is limited in length and unable to land intercontinental jumbo-jets. By sea, there is a scheduled ferry service with the neighbouring US Virgin Islands.
For more geographical and practical information on British Virgin Islands, please feel free to go to the full BVI country description.
BVI Business Companies
British Virgin Islands earned its triumph in the offshore services business by adopting, as it turned out, an extremely well-worded and flexible law on offshore corporations - the BVI International Business Companies Act 1984. Hundreds of thousands of BVI International Business Companies were registered under this Act since 1984. The Act proved to be so good, that it was widely imitated by other hopeful offshore jurisdictions in Caribbean and elsewhere.
The BVI Business Companies Act 2005 represented a further modernisation of the BVI offshore services laws. The new law successfully resolved many of the troubles faced by the offshore services industry at that time, in particular the criticism against discrimination and lack of "even playing field" between domestic and offshore companies. Quite remarkably, the BVI Business Companies Act 2005 replaced the two earlier laws, which separately regulated domestic and offshore companies. Hence, the corporate income tax is abolished for all companies, including domestic. As to all intents and purposes, there is no legal distinction between a local BVI company and an offshore BVI company.
Apart from being in effect a tax-free company and at the same time legally qualifying as a domestic firm, a BVI Business Company has a full range of remarkable benefits. It does not have to state the financial value of its authorized capital. No information on the directors or shareholders is publicly available, except if a company wishes to make it public through the Registrar. No financial reports or accounts need to be filed. No operational objects need to be stated in the Memorandum of Association of the company, however, the company may choose to become a "restricted purpose company" - an especially useful feature for mutual fund companies.
For a detailed review of all corporate features of the BVI Business Companies, please follow the link to BVI Business Company.
The minimum government registration fee for BVI Business Companies is $450 per year, for a company having up to 50`000 registered shares. The government fee for a company having more than 50`000 registered shares is $ 1100. While not among the cheapest offshore corporations in the world, BVI companies definitely stay competitive due to the good recognition and value that they represent.
For a complete list of fees and charges for BVI incorporations, including the professional fees of Fidelity Corporate Services in the BVI, please click away to the BVI company pricelist.
Our services in the BVI
Fidelity Corporate Services Ltd is an independent Trust Company, licensed in the BVI under the BVI Banks and Trust Companies Act 1990.
The firm provides a full range of offshore corporate services in the BVI - Business Company registration and administration, Registered Agent and Registered Office services, directors` and company management, shareholding and custodian services, bank introduction and account management, virtual office and secretarial services, assistance with licensing of special offshore corporate vehicles (notably, mutual funds) and a full administrative support to BVI companies.
For a full description of the practical aspects of BVI Business Company registration, please follow the link to BVI registration procedures. Initial contact and placement of BVI company formation orders is available online, through the BVI Company Order Form.The full particulars of Fidelity Corporate Services Ltd in the BVI are:
Street address: Charles Court, 1st Floor
189 Main Street
P.O. Box 4406
British Virgin Islands
Mail address: PO box 4406, Road Town, VG 1110, Tortola, BVI
Telephone: +1 284 494 8945
Fax: +1 284 494 8789