Legal Article – Registration of companies in BIV

Our law office enjoys an excellent reputation for its litigation strength and expertise in all aspects of commercial litigation, insolvency and investment fund disputes.  We have extensive experience in registration of companies worldwide and especially in British Virgin Islands. We have recently successfully helped a client for registration of Company in British Virgin Islands.

The British Virgin Islands, or BVI for short, is a group of fifty islands in the Caribbean forming a British Overseas Territory. The main islands within this group are called Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke. They have been autonomous from Britain since 1967. While the official name is the Virgin Islands, they are usually called the British Virgin Islands to separate them from the nearby American Virgin Islands.

Why is British Virgin Islands considered to be a tax haven?

A tax haven is – according to the OECD – a jurisdiction that seeks to make itself attractive to businesses and business owners seeking more favorable tax treatments than those available in their country of origin or residence. As such a tax haven provides beneficial terms under which either new companies can be incorporated or off-shore entities of already existing companies can be established.

The “British Virgin Islands tax haven” has come about through the creation of a very simple set of corporate taxation rules that offer a highly beneficial taxation system. The British Virgin Islands does not have any capital gains tax, gift taxes, sales tax, value added tax, profit tax, inheritance tax or corporation tax. Salaries paid to employees employed by an off-shore company established in the BVI tax haven are taxed at 8% for the employee the remaining percentage up to 12% or 14% for the employer for any salaries above $12,000.

The relative simplicity of these tax regulations along with the low tax rates explain why British Virgin Islands has become one of the most popular places for off-shore establishment of businesses. The BVI tax haven also offers another important benefit – relative privacy of details regarding financial transactions as well as corporate incorporations. This allows companies to configure their own corporate structure without harmful interference or risk of competitors gaining access to undue information.

Seven reasons to purchase an offshore company in the BVI:

1) Complete freedom from taxes in the country of registration.

2) The British Virgin Islands – the oldest and most respected offshore jurisdiction in the world.

3) The British Virgin Islands have the most elaborate offshore legislation in the world.

The highest level of security.  Information about the owners, shareholders and directors of the company is safely hidden from inquisitive eyes.

5) The Act does not limit the size of the share capital of BVI companies and does not specify the exact timing of the payment.

6) The law does not require the company to submit financial statements.

7) Free use of directors and shareholders as legal entities.

Documents needed to register a company in the British Virgin Islands:

The prestige of this jurisdiction has a downside. The documentation requirements are generally stricter than in more “democratic” offshore zones. If they seem too off-putting, we recommend that you try Belize or the Seychelles instead, where the process is much simpler.

Mandatory documentation:

1) A certified identification document.

A passport (foreign or domestic) is the most readily-accepted document. Next, in descending order, a national ID-card or driving licence (only acceptable if it contains a photo of the owner). The authenticity of the document must be certified by a notary, lawyer, certified public accountant, an employee of the embassy or consulate, a bank manager, a police officer or other person authorized to certify documents.

If you visit our office in Riga or in the BVI, copies of your document will be made by our staff on-site.

2) Proof of residence.

What is it? Any official document showing your name and address together. The most popular options are: utility bill (except mobile phone bills), bank statement (including credit card statement), a certificate from the housing department, an extract from the register of residents, a letter from a notary, bank official, etc.

3) Reference letter from the bank.

This formal document can easily be provided by almost any bank. Banks are familiar with this procedure and, as a rule, each bank has its own format.

In this letter, the bank confirms that the relevant person has been a customer of the bank for however many years, and declares the absence of any claims to this person .

4) Confirmation of the source of legal funds.

This is usually a bank statement.

Actual figures in this account are not that important. The law only requires proof that the client has legal funds.

Andreas G. Danos law office provides both corporate and litigation services.  Our law office enjoys an excellent reputation for its litigation strength and expertise in all aspects of commercial litigation, insolvency and investment fund disputes.  We have extensive experience in registration of companies worldwide and especially in British Virgin Islands.