British Virgin Islands
Location – Situated in the Eastern Caribbean, about 80 kilo meters east of Puerto Rico, Approximately 25 minutes’ flying time east of Puerto Rico
Capital – Road Town, Tortola (financial centre and the seat of government)
Population — About 21,730
Languages – English (official), Spanish
Legal System – English Common Law
Currency – US dollar
Exchange Control – None
Economy – The BVI economy is one of the most prosperous in the Caribbean. It is highly dependent on the tourism and yacht-charter industries, which generate an estimated 45% of the national income. The Offshore Financial Services sector is another major contributor
Time Zone – GMT – 4 (Summer) GMT -5 (Winter)
Major Banks – First Caribbean International Bank, First Bank Virgin Islands, Bank of Nova Scotia, Banco Popular Principal Corporate Legislation Business Companies Act 2004
Although named by Christopher Columbus, the Virgin Islands have been home to many diverse people, including the Dutch, Spanish, Danish, French and British. The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is a British Overseas Territory with a long history of political stability. It is responsible for its own internal self-government. Good communication links with the rest of the world ensure extensive professional support from a robust and excellent infrastructure. The legal system is based on English Common Law, and there is an efficient Commercial Court, with the Court of Final Appeal being the UK Privy Council. In addition to its thriving tourism industry, the BVI has become the world leader in offshore company incorporations.
Flexibility has been a critical factor in explaining this phenomenal success. The BVI has established a rock-solid international presence and enjoys a reputation for cutting-edge, progressive and user-friendly legislation, together with quality services. The BVI Business Companies Act was introduced in 2004; companies were first incorporated under that Act in 2005, but all new companies were incorporated under it, with effect from January 1, 2006.
FEATURES AND BENEFITS
- BVI companies are entirely tax-neutral.
- Comprehensive – trustee, banking, accounting and funds-management infrastructure.
- Confidentiality – corporate directors are allowed to ensure the confidentiality of beneficiaries.
- Privacy of identity for principals– the names/identities of company directors and shareholders do not appear on any public record.
- Flexibility in company structure – for example, limited by shares, limited by guarantee, hybrids, a segregated portfolio, restricted purpose companies, etc
- Time -proven, efficient incorporation/registration process