British Virgin Islands Company Formation

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Are you considering the British Virgin Islands for your company formation? This jurisdiction offers various benefits to entrepreneurs looking to operate from a booming business hub with a stable economy and grants sizeable perks to offshore companies. Our experts are here to help with every step of your company registration in the BVI.

5 simple steps are needed to incorporate your company in the BVI

Complete our application form - British Virgin Islands
Complete our order form and make the payment for your chosen services. You will then be assigned a client manager to assist you through the incorporation process.
Upload your documents
Your account manager will ask you for official documents which are required for your company formation.
Incorporate your company successfully
Once your documents have been processed your company will be successfully incorporated subject to local authority approval.
Process any additional services
Your account manager will guide you through the steps of completing your request of additional services such as bank accounts.
Manage Your company via our client portal
Our client portal will give you immediate access to all your documents as well as display your company structure.

BVI Offshore Banking Options

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British Virgin Islands Offshore Company Formation

Good to Know
With over half its income coming from the licensing of offshore companies and related services, the BVI is a significant global player in the offshore financial services industry. Once frequently labelled as a “tax haven”, the territory has fought hard against the label in recent years, signing the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters in June 2013. Re-positioning itself as a responsible international financial centre and tax planning destination, the BVI has turned its attention to Asia-based clients.

Main Characteristics of a BVI Offshore Company

Company type
Business Company (BC)
Governing corporate legislation
The BVI Financial Service Commission is the governing authority and companies are regulated under the Business Companies Act 2004.
Information published relating to company officers
There is no public register of company officers.
Accounting requirement
No accounting / reporting requirements.
N.B. As per Section 98 of the Business Companies Act 2004 (Amended) a company must keep such records and underlying documentation as necessary to establish its financial situation and explain its transactions
No Taxes of any sort.
While the company may not be liable to pay taxes, please consult with a tax/legal advisor in your country of residence, to determine your own tax liability.
Modern offshore legislation.
Standard currency
Time to form
The BVI has a fast and efficient registry: it takes about 48 hours to register a company (upon validation of your identification documents).
Stable jurisdiction with a very good reputation.
Efficient communication means.
Time zone
Convenient world time zone: GMT-4
Secretary required
Paid up capital requirement
No paid up capital requirement. The standard share capital is USD 50,000 but can be amended to fit your requirements.
Renewal Date
Anniversary date of the company / Each Year
Basis of legal system
Under Common Law.
Minimum directors/shareholders
Minimum of 1 director/shareholder
Bearer shares
Bearer shares are not permitted.
Documents Required
for the Creation of a BVI Company
A certified copy Certification of a passport can be made by a notary, an attorney-at-law, a bank, a public officer, or in accordance with SFM indications. Kindly consult your dedicated account manager at SFM to obtain precise information. of your passport (specific wording required), a certified copy of proof of domicile dated less than three months (specific wording required), a curriculum vitae, an original bank reference letter dated less than three months, as well as last 3 months' bank statement. All in original.**

Frequently Asked Questions
Offshore Company Formation in BVI

  • Is it legal for me to setup an offshore company in the BVI ?

    Absolutely, offshore companie formed in the British Virgin Island are perfectly legal, are recognized internationally and are able to open bank accounts.

  • Is a BVI Offshore Company tax liable?

    No, Offshore companies formed in the BVI are exempt from any form of taxation and withholding taxes in the BVI

    While a company may not be subject to tax reporting to its local authorities, you should consult with your own tax, legal or accounting advisor to determine whether you are subject to tax in any other jurisdiction including the jurisdiction in which you are a tax.

  • What type of company do you register in the BVI?

    The type of companies that we form in the BVI are known as Business Company (BC), commonly known as offshore companies.

  • How many directors and shareholders should I appoint on my BVI BC?

    A minimum of 1 director and 1 shareholder should be appointed on a Seychelles International Business Company.

  • Do I need to submit accounting records for a company in the BVI?

    No, there are no accounting requirements. However under Section 98 of the Business Companies Act 2004 (Amended) a company must keep such records and underlying documentation as necessary to establish its financial situation and explain its transactions.

  • Will my name be public once I setup a BVI company?

    No, There is no public register of company officers in the British Virgin Islands.

  • Do I need to deposit the paid up capital for a BVI company?

    There is no paid up capital requirement. The standard share capital is USD 50,000 but can be amended to fit your requirements.

  • Are bearer shares allowed in the BVI?

    No, bearer shares are not allowed in the BVI and tend to disappear from most jurisdicitons.

  • How long does the British Virgin Islands company formation process take?

    The British Virgin Islands company formation process is swift, thanks to the jurisdiction’s efficient registry. It can take as little as 48 hours upon validation of your identification documents to register your company.

  • Can a BVI company purchase real estate (in the BVI or abroad)?

    Yes, it is entirely legal for a BVI company to purchase and own property within the jurisdiction, in the UK, or in any other country where there is no legal obstacle.

  • Do I need a registered agent or office in the BVI?

    Yes, a BVI company must have a Registered Agent at all times, unless it is facing insolvent liquidation. The official Registered Agent is responsible for the safe custody and maintenance of the notices and filings, copies of Resolutions, Register of Directors, Register of Members, and the Memorandum and Articles of Association.

  • Why should I set up a company in the BVI?

    Choosing the British Virgin Islands for your company formation allows you to run your business in a country where it is exempt from local taxes, capital gains and inheritance taxes, stamp duty, and sales tax. This is a good way to help maximise your company profits while taking into consideration your obligations in your country of residence.

  • What type of commercial activities can I carry out in the British Virgin Islands?

    British Virgin Islands companies can be ideal for businessmen, consultants, counsellors and other service providers, e-commerce professionals, as well as for holding real estate, intellectual property rights, or inheritance purposes.

  • What are the naming requirements for a BVI company?

    You must select a unique corporate name that does not resemble already existing corporation names and add one of the following suffixes: “Limited”, “Incorporated”, or “Corporation”. The name should not contain the words “care”, “credit”, “bank”, “insurance”, or “fund”.

  • Who can be a member of a BVI company?

    Various types of entities can be members of a BVI company, including:
    • Individuals—both residents and non-residents of the British Virgin Islands can be members of a BVI company.
    • Corporations—including domestic and foreign corporations.
    • Partnerships—including domestic and foreign partnerships.
    • Trusts—particularly in the context of asset protection.
    • Other BVI companies can be members of a BVI company, forming a BVI corporate structure (commonly used for tax planning and asset protection).
  • Is there a capital requirement while setting up a business in the BVI?

    There is no paid-up capital requirement to set up a BVI company.

British Virgin Islands Offshore Jurisdiction News

BVI's New FATCA and CRS Reporting Requirements

29 February 2024
In a significant move towards enhancing international collaboration in the fight against organized crime, Eurojust, the European Union's agency for criminal justice cooperation, and Panama have recently The British Virgin Islands implemented a new system for reporting obligations under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Common Reporting Standards and Country by Country Reporting rules [..]

SFM's Perspective on BVI's New Annual Financial Return Filing Requirements

22 December 2023
In line with our commitment to keeping our clients informed and ensuring seamless compliance, SFM wishes to communicate the recent amendments to [..]

Significant Amendments to the BVI Business Companies Act

4 October 2022
The BVI authority has recently adopted new amendments to the BVI Business Companies Act in order to ensure continued compliance with international standards.[..]

* Subject to the constraints of the due diligence procedure.
** Documents must be provided for every person related to the company.
Disclaimer: Nothing on this webpage shall be construed as a contractual commitment or as a warranty. Services conditions are governed by the applicable terms and conditions.

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Why Choose the British Virgin Islands for Your Company Formation?

Located in the Caribbean, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is one of the most popular jurisdictions for businesses looking to register an offshore company. Opting for a BVI company setup offers a straightforward incorporation process, tax advantages, a common law regulatory environment, and other practical business benefits, making the British Virgin Islands for your company formation the optimal choice and can significantly contribute to the growth and success of your enterprise.

Tax Benefits

The British Virgin Islands are known for their favourable taxation structure. The government has adopted a 0% tax rate on business taxes paid by offshore firms, exempting such businesses from corporation and capital gains tax, and withholding taxes on interest, profits, or royalties. Individual income tax does not apply either, though you should always make sure to consult with a tax/legal advisor in your country of residence to determine your own tax liability.

Easy Setup

The British Virgin Islands company formation procedure benefits from the country’s solid legal structure and business friendliness. No minimum capital is required, a single shareholder and director are enough to form a company, and there are no residence conditions. From the very first steps all the way to opening a bank account in the BVI for your business, SFM provides a comprehensive range of services to help you get set up quickly, easily, and in compliance with the local guidelines.

Minimal Requirements to Keep Your Business Running

Many business owners favour the BVI for their company formation because of the very low maintenance needs. Organisations are not required to file periodic tax reports or financial statements, hold meetings, or even have a company secretary.

A Politically Stable Jurisdiction

Opting for the British Virgin Islands for your company formation ensures you can run your business confidently, knowing that the country has a politically stable environment supported by a strong judicial system (under common law) and a democratic administration.

What Business Structures Can You Set Up in the BVI?

The BVI offers a wide range of corporate structures, granting optimal flexibility for your offshore company formation. You can choose between companies limited by guarantees, companies limited by shares, and hybrid structures designed to match more specific requirements.

Trading companies thrive in the BVI, as there is no foreign control regarding import and export. High-tech companies find the jurisdiction to be a suitable environment where sensitive technical and commercial information is well protected. The BVI also offers good asset protection, which is ideal for investment companies.

How to Register a Business in the BVI?

Choosing a reputable corporate service provider – such as SFM – is the best place to start. We’re here to provide the widest choice of jurisdictions for your offshore company formation, from USA company registration to the UAE and, of course, British Virgin Islands business setups.

While registering your order online on our website, you’ll need to select a suitable name for your new company (it should be unique and must not contain the words “care”, “credit”, “bank”, “insurance”, or “fund”).

Next, it’s time to prepare and file your incorporation documents, including the application forms, the Memorandum of Association, and the Articles of Association. And the final step is to open a bank account for your company. With the help of your SFM expert, the entire process is hassle-free.

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