An Overview Of BVI Corporate Law

By Kevin Wagner

All countries have laws that govern the manner in which corporate organizations conduct their activities. While laws vary from country to country, there are certain statutes that are universally common. Companies operating in the British Virgin Islands are mandated to abide by the BVI corporate law enacted in 2004 and amended in 2015. This article gives insights on what this law is all about.

The first thing that is easily apparent is that the act permits many types of companies to do business in the country. This is what essentially attracts many investors to set up base in the area. The most common corporate organizations present are limited liability companies. Others include unlimited companies and those that are limited by guarantee.

All corporations are registered via the Financial Services Commission. No other agency has the mandate to do so. The other duties of the commission include the supervision and regulation of financial services in the area.

Registering a corporation is often a straightforward activity in most nations, but things are slightly different in the BVI. The government requires registration to be conducted by licensed agents. There are restrictions on it being done by ordinary people.

Before getting a certificate of incorporation, there are a number of steps that one ought to follow. The first one is choosing a company name. According to the act, all names must be unique and bear no resemblance whatsoever to companies that are already registered.

A memorandum of association must then be drafted. This document highlights all the information about the entity. In its entirety, it can be thought of as the company constitution. It stipulates the regulations within the company, the company name and details about its ownership.

All companies are also required to have a physical address. In addition to this, they must have registered agents in place. It is also mandatory to have an elected director in all corporations. Those that violate any of these statutes are often struck off the list of companies and have their certificates of incorporation revoked.

Besides the pre registration laws, there are other requirements that must be met annually. They include license fees, accounting records, financial statements, audit reports, shareholder meetings and registers. The annual license fees should be paid before the 31st of May or the 30th of November depending on the time of year a company is registered.

The government has tax friendly laws for corporations, which explains the constant influx of investors setting base locally. For instance, capital gains are untaxed. Moreover, there is no value added tax on the sale of products and services. The icing on the cake is the fact that the government is yet to enter into a double taxation agreement with other countries.

With the right information, getting a business incorporated should be easy. The ease of setup is particularly enticing to those who are tired of the red tape in government related procedures. All that one should do is find the right agent to guide him through it all.

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