The British Virgin Islands are leaders in the offshore regulatory environment. They have a distinct combination of oversight and a laissez faire approach which makes it both easy to do business – yet reputable with banks and other jurisdictions around the world. In other words – it’s not a cowboy country, but you are free to do as you please within reason, assuming your activities are legitimate and legal.
Most IBC’s are used as asset protection vehicles, very often in combination with a trust as a holding company. The directors of the BVI IBC may protect the assets by transferring its assets to another company, trust, foundation, association or partnership; the directors can also merge or consolidate with any other company or can re-domicile the IBC to another jurisdiction entirely.
The International Business Companies (Amendment) Act 2003 states that all international business companies formed in BVI must establish and maintain a Register of Directors, whereby the initial director is appointed within 30 days of incorporation. Further statutory requirements are minimal and flexible.
No corporate secretary
No minimum capitalization required
No local director required
IBC’s can re-quire and re-issue their own shares.
Shares can be issued for a consideration other than cash, with or without par value, and be denominated in any currency.
Incorporation can take place within one or two days. Shelf companies can be transferred even quicker as needed.
Nominee directors and shareholders are commonplace and can be used to further increase privacy at a slightly higher price, in order to ensure the utmost privacy and protection.
BVI International Business Companies are exempt from local taxes and stamp duty, even if they are administered in BVI. Only registration and annual license/franchise fees will apply.
The British Virgin Islands have modern infrastructure and good telecom systems. They also speak English and use a legal system derived from English common law. The BVI Government is quite responsive to the needs of offshore companies and has fostered a pro-business environment. The legislation is flexible, with the goal being to entice legitimate offshore activities, and to keep out money-laundering and other criminal activity.
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