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Offshore Company Formation BVI

Updated on Friday 11th May 2018

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British Virgin Islands are considered a tax heaven by both local and foreign investors. 

In the British Virgin Islands there are no capital gains tax, no corporation tax, no profit tax, no value added tax or sales tax, no gift tax, no estate duty and no inheritance tax. The incomes are also not taxable (including dividends, royalties, interests or rent).

There are no withholding taxes for payment to non-residents for dividends, royalties and interests.

Steps for company formation in BVI

British Virgin Island is practicing an encouraging fiscal policy, in order to attract foreign capital.

In order to incorporate an offshore company in BVI, the following steps have to be considered:

1. The company (known as International Business Company) has to register the Memorandum of Association and the Articles of Association at the Companies Registrar. The registration is made through the registered agent, which must sign all the documents in behalf of the investor.

2. The rest of the information has to be provided: the name of the company, the address of the registration office, the appointment of the registered agent, the name of the shareholders and the number of shares issued to them and the name of the director of the company. This is private information contained by the First resolution. These are also signed by the registered agent.

3. The annual license fee must be paid, with a value depending on the type of company, between 350 USD and 5,000 USD.

The usual time frame for incorporating an offshore company in BVI is around 3 business days.

As a note, the international business companies are not obliged to submit annual returns or financial accounts. This is considered another advantage of owning an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands.

Requirements for offshore company formation in BVI

- There is no minimum share capital required at incorporation of a company limited by shares in BVI.

- An IBC established in BVI must have a registered agent, resident of BVI (service provided by BridgeWest).

- The registered office has to be located be in BVI.

- Minimum one shareholder and/or one director must be appointed after registration - a resident or a foreigner.

- The shareholder(s) and director(s) can be a natural person or a corporate body.

- The offshore companies willing to perform business in BVI must open a bank account.

- IBCs are permitted to own shares in other BVI companies and employ the services of local professionals. 

Services provided for BVI company incorporation


- drafting the Articles of Association (necessary for the company incorporation in BVI); The Articles of Association of the BVI company can be signed through Power of Attorney.

- drafting all other documents required for the incorporation of the BVI company; these documents include: Specimen Signatures, Special Forms provided by the Company Registration Office in BVI, passport copies etc.

- offering a Registered Office in BVI for your company, which is mandatory to have for starting a business in this offshore jurisdition. (The registered office may be any address where the BVI Company declares to have its headquarters)

- setting up a bank account for your BVI company.

Our team of formation agents can provide you with the services described above.


BVI key facts

- The main act that is regulating the way the companies are organized, managed or liquidated is the BVI Business Companies Act.

- The most common form of business in the British Virgin Islands is the company limited by shares.

- The offshore companies enjoy a special regime where many taxes are abolished: capital profits taxes, inheritance fees, estate fees, gift taxes, succession taxes or even income taxes (on interests, dividends, royalties, compensations). 

- The only tax that remains valid is the stamp duty on land ownership transaction.

- The lands are taxed by acre and the value of the fee is 50 USD. The annual rental income is taxed with 1.5% annual tax rates.

- The employers must pay a social security tax of 4.5%, unlike the employee that must pay 4%.

- The real estate transactions are taxed with a stamp fee of 12%.

- Trusts are exempt from paying taxes if certain conditions are met, such as not performing any commercial activities in BVI, not owning land in BVI and being created by or in behalf of a foreign entity.

- BVI is included on the white list of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, for signing many Tax Information Exchange Agreements.
- BVI is being placed alongside major economies like United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany or France, becoming a safe jurisdiction for performing economic activities by the foreign companies.

Bridgewest provides company formation services in BVI. Please contact us for more information and prices.


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