How to Register a BVI Company

by Alexander Cequea; Updated September 26, 2017
The British Virgin Islands offer many benefits to those starting a company.

The British Virgin Islands Business Companies Act oversees the rules and regulations necessary to start and operate a company in the British Virgin Islands. A BVI corporation can obtain advantages such as exemption from all local taxes and stamp duty; fulfillment of online name registration and incorporation in 48 hours; flexible and creative structures; and no accounting, organizational or annual general meeting requirements.

A BVI corporation also lets you transfer assets; merge or consolidate with foreign entities; have bearer shares and no minimum required capital; and enjoy highly competitive government, and registered agent fees and costs. There are no residency requirements.

Step 1

Research a potential legal structure for your company. You can form an ordinary resident company, ordinary non-resident company, company limited by guarantee, hybrid cap 285 company, public company, international business company, limited partnership or trusts. Consult a lawyer regarding the best structure for your business.

Step 2

Submit a company name and get approval from the Registrar of Companies. The name must not be offensive or obscene, and it must be in English. There is a provision for a name translation that you will include in the Memorandum and Articles of Association. You must add only the allowed suffixes to denote the legal structure of your company. For example, a company can use the suffix “Co.” at the end of its name.

Step 3

Obtain a license or consent for the business name if it suggests any association with banking, a trust company, the mutual fund, insurance, assurance and reinsurance industry, or patronage of royalty or of the BVI government. This is mandatory.

Step 4

Prepare the Memorandum and Articles of Association, and file them with the Office of the Registrar of Companies. The business activities your company can engage in are specified by the Memorandum and the Articles of Association state the rules for the company's internal management.

Step 5

Obtain a registered agent within the BVI. It is mandatory that you have a registered agent in the country, irrespective of your type or sphere of business operations. This may be an existing director or a licensed BVI registered agent. File your registered agent's name and address with the Registrar of Companies.

Step 6

Hire a company secretary to facilitate signing obligations. This is not mandatory, but may be helpful in starting and operating your company.

Step 7

Submit the names and addresses of the shareholders, members and directors, along with copies of their passports, company mortgages and charges. This is optional.

Step 8

Start your company operations in BVI.

Warnings

  • Your company must have at least one director and one shareholder.

About the Author

Alexander Cequea has been writing since 2008. He is an activist, speaker and film producer whose work has been featured in "Enlightennext Magazine" and the Environmental News Network. Cequea is currently producing a documentary about sustainability and consciousness. He has a Master of Business Administration in sustainable business from Maharashi University.

Photo Credits

  • Tortola, British Virgin Islands image by Sunnydays from Fotolia.com