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Company in BVI

BVI company + account


The British Virgin Islands is mostly known for being a financial hub and a tax-friendly jurisdiction. However, there are many other things that make this country special. Being a former British colony, they still use “God save the queen” as their national anthem, and, thanks to their ethnic mixture, they have a rich culture filled with music, festivals, and exquisite cuisine.

If you want to register an offshore company in the BVI, your Mundo expert can help you. This is why we dedicate today's entry to such a beautiful island. Keep reading to dig deeper into this country and its advantages.


Conducting business in the BVI, a country with a strong financial history


This country has been connected to the financial world for over half a century. One of the former presidents of the Financial Services Commission declared that the financial industry started in the 70s with a phone call from New York. It was a lawyer who was looking to take advantage of a double taxation treaty between the BVI and the United States. This was only the beginning because, only a few years after that, there were hundreds of companies incorporated.

However, not everything was a bed of roses, because when the US government found out about this practice revoked the agreement in 1981. Thus, the offshore industry started to grow and developed constantly till our days. The movement was quite successful as The British Virgin Islands registry of companies generates nearly 51.4% of the state’s incomes thanks to company incorporation fees.

By 2012 there were nearly 448,000 companies registered here and, although there are no official statistics, the number of registered companies is nearly 950,000 today. This, of course, includes liquidated and dissolved entities.

When opening a company in BVI nowadays, you'll be doing it by the BVI Business Companies Act of 2004. Nonetheless, most of these 950,000 companies were registered under the business Companies Act of 1984. In the same way many others did in the past, you can also start a company in BVI and enjoy its variety of financial products of which the most important one is the offshore investment fund.


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Advantages of setting up a BVI company


The country is famous for a reason, and this is similar to other island nations. Due to the fact that they have few natural resources and small economies, these countries benefit from drawing international investments. Naturally, they make things as easy and straightforward as possible. In this section, you'll find some updated info on the British Virgin Islands and why doing business in the BVI is profitable. 

  • Internationally recognized regulatory framework
  • Political and economic stability in a business-friendly environment
  • The government and the businesses work as a team
  • Efficient and fast processes
  • Internationally respected commercial court
  • The BVI doesn’t apply currency controls
  • Tax benefits such as no withholding, capital gains, or value added tax
  • Fast registration in only three days
  • Flexible structures
  • High level of confidentiality because personal information is not available to the public
  • Asset protection from claimants or tax authorities of other countries
  • No minimum requirements for the shared capital
  • Offshore companies are exempted from stamp duties and local taxes (they do, however, pay the registration fee and the annual renewal)
  • Shareholders and beneficial owners don’t have to be filed


The flexibility of a BVI entity


When it comes to setting up a BVI company, flexibility is important. Any offshore structure must be flexible enough for you to run it from any place in the world. In this case, the British Virgin Islands live up to its reputation as an international business hub.

Meetings, for example, won't be an issue. Officers and directors can meet anywhere in the world and meetings are not mandatory. When you register or change a director you need to register the operation, however, the information is not on any public record, thus maintaining a high level of confidentiality.

When it comes to filing, there's no obligation to file financial information or register of shareholders but you will need to present the memorandum and the articles of association. Also, you have no annual obligations besides paying the renewal fees, and account filing is not required. In line with this, you can keep your financial records and company books anywhere you like and not necessarily in the country.


Requirements to register an offshore company in the BVI


  • Certified passport for each member
  • Certified address proof for each member
  • KYC1 form
  • CV
  • Professional reference letter
  • Proof of source of funds


Responsibilities of a company in BVI


  • A British Virgin Islands company is required to have a seal. Clients can also order this through Mundo. 
  • A BVI entity has economic substance filing requirements every year
  • A company in BVI must file a Register of directors with The Registry


Fees* 


Incorporation: $1394

This includes the following: Certificate of Incorporation; Two sets of M&A; Appointment of 1st Director; Directors Acceptance Letter; Minutes of First Meeting; Register of Director and Shareholders; Share Certificate and Mandatory filing of the Register of Directors.

Annual maintenance fee: $1020

Annual Economic Substance Filing: $120

Economic Substance Legal Assessment: $425

Economic Substance Legal Opinion confirming passive or active: $935

Economic Substance Legal Opinion- RESTRUCTURING: $2040

Certificate of Incumbency: $136

Certificate of good standing: $255

*For all the services available and their fees, please consult with your Mundo representative. 


Substance requirements 


All companies that are tax residents in the BVI and conduct certain activities** must prove to have economic substance in the country. The activities in question are:

  •  Banking business 
  • Insurance business 
  • Fund management business 
  • Finance and leasing business (offering of credit) 
  • Headquarters business (which relates to groups) 
  • Shipping business (by sea only) 
  • Holding business (pure equity holding entity, holding shares in other entities 

only) 

  • Intellectual property business (for gain) 
  • Distribution and service center business (which relates to groups)

**Please note that a company can fall under more than one category. 

Next, we present the three categories under which a company can be assessed and the documents that must be filed:


Category A companies:

These entities are not included in the Economic Substance Act and don't fall under its scope. In that case, they must only file with the ITA to confirm that requirements don't apply to them. The company must submit a resolution of directors and the regulator may ask for any other necessary documents as they see fit.


Category B companies:

These are the companies that are under the Economic Substance Act and are not tax residents in any country other than the British Virgin Islands.

  • They must prove to be managed and directed from the British Virgin Islands. The regulator recommends appointing an alternate director. There's also the possibility to assign a director who is a natural person and, even though the director doesn't have to reside in the country, there are a number of meetings that must be held within the territory. Hence, it becomes vital that a quorum of directors is established in the jurisdiction to hold these meetings whether by a citizen director or an alternate director. 
  • They must prove that they are conducting income-generating activities in the jurisdiction.
  • The company must have the proper staff and office in the territory.
  • The company must have the proper expenses in the BVI. At this point, it's worth mentioning that the company doesn’t necessarily have to move the physical operations to the British Virgin Islands but those that relate to the main income-generating activities. For example, if a shipping company works in India, they can move the administration and billing management to the BVI.


Equity holding companies (category B)

These types of entities enjoy more relaxed requirements, however, if the company actively manages dividends, share transactions, and other such activities, they need to hire qualified staff and set up an office space.


Opening a company in BVI with a bank account


Mundo has the resources and capabilities to open a bank account for you in the BVI. The requirements are hard to pinpoint, and considerations are made on a case-by-case basis. However, there are some details that we can share as general information. 

The minimum balance for a corporate account in the British Virgin Islands is $25,000 with a monthly charge of $50. Please keep in mind that this doesn't include banking or legal fees. As with any major banking institution, our bank offers accounts in the most important currencies in the world which are EUR, GBP, CAD, and USD. Besides, clients will have to deliver the typical due diligence requirements like professional reference, address confirmation, and notarized documents like passport and ID.

The first thing you need to do is follow the pre-approval process by filing out a form. This should contain the following information:

  • Name, nationality, place of residence, and date of birth for every UBO, director, and shareholder.
  • Copy of the passports of the said persons. 
  • CV or brief bio for each of these individuals. 
  • Description of the company’s main activities like goods and services received or provided. 
  • List of countries where these activities take place. 
  • Confirmation that you can deposit $25,000 from a legal source. 
  • Anticipated activity of the account like value, estimated turnover, yearly payments, expenses, and income. 


Corporate account fees:

  • Minimum to establish and maintain the account: $25,000.00
  • Account Opening Fee: USD$ 500.00 
  • Secondary Account Opening Fee: USD$ 100.00
  • Monthly Service Charge Fee: USD$ 50.00 or equivalent amount in other currency
  • Penalty Fee for balances under minimum: USD$ 25.00 or equivalent amount in other currency
  • Legal fees: USD2,500


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Disclaimer: The confirmed requirements for opening a bank account will be provided by the bank after the client has been pre-approved. The bank can change the requirements and documents at any time. The banking fees and minimum deposit requirements can also change at the bank’s discretion. Likewise, the requirements and substance requirements described in this article are viable by the date of publication but may change according to the country’s legislation at any given time.


Why register a BVI entity with Mundo


We come from a prestigious corporate group with offices all around the world from Panama to Saint Kitts, Riga, and New Zealand. Our experts and partners have wide experience offering financial services for international businesspeople. This means we speak the same language as international bankers, offshore company registries, global investment providers, and other such professionals.

While Mundo is our window to the world presenting a financial publication in four different languages (English, Chinese, Russian, and Spanish), the Corporate Group is our expert in the financial sector. They are the ones who can make your dreams a reality and help you register a company in BVI. If you have any questions or want personalized information, contact your Mundo representative right now.


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