British Virgin Islands (BVI) is a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea, which is located approximately 80kilometers from the East of Puerto Rico. The BVI is a British Dependent Territory which became self-governed in 1967 and is a member of the British Commonwealth. Since BVI first introduce the International Business Company (IBC) legislation in 1984, the BVI offshore financial service sectors have started to develop, and it is now one of the world’s most popular offshore centers with over 800,000 companies incorporated. The newly enacted BC Act should further enhance the jurisdictions popularity.
ADVANTAGES OF BVI COMPANIES
To establish a BVI company requires only one shareholder and director. And the minimum issued and paid up share capital required is as low as US$ 1 only. There is also no mandatory requirement in preparing financial statements or appointing auditors for bookkeeping.
Once the BVI registered agent is satisfied with the due diligence information supplied, a BVI company may be easily incorporated as soon as within 24 hours at a relatively low cost. The BVI Business Companies Act, 2004, provides tremendous flexibility in filing which they only require the related constitutional documents only at the BVI Registry of Corporate Affairs and may include a foreign character name.
Moreover, the BVI charge no income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, gift tax, wealth tax of any other form of taxes applicable to a company conducting business outside of the BVI. There is also no currency exchange control applicable to neither a BVI company nor any residency requirement for its directors.
Furthermore, profits and dividends can be distributed with ease and by only meeting two requirements. First, the total amount of assets of the company must exceed the total amount of the liabilities. And, secondly, the company must have enough reserves to pay up its debt if they go bankruptcy.
BVI companies are used as listing vehicles on the worlds’ most renowned exchanges including the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, the London Stock Exchange (Main Board and AIM), the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Singapore Stock Exchange. BVI companies have now also been recently listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
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