Build Success with Your Own IBC in the British Virgin Islands

The term International Business Company (IBC) is widely used to officially designate offshore companies. These are the foundational pillars of the offshore financial services sector. While the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is a known jurisdiction for company registration, alternatives exist in Belize, Seychelles, and Nevis, where you can establish a business that fulfills the IBC criteria.

In the BVI, there is no difference between local and international business companies. Both are treated identically and enjoy the same tax benefits. As a result, a BVI IBC resembles a conventional company in many respects.

Company registration in the BVI is highly sought after due to its flexibility, favorable tax conditions, efficient accounting practices, and strong personal data protection. Here belongs the absence of taxation and a strong commitment to securing personal data.

Simultaneously, the BVI is dedicated to maintaining the standards set by the corresponding global entities and regulatory bodies. To this end, the BVI has enacted new regulations to align with the directives of the EU, OECD, and FATCA, to guarantee that it remains off any international blacklists.

Legislative amendments effective from January 1, 2019, require companies with local residency status engaged in specific sectors to demonstrate economic substance in the BVI. These sectors include banking, asset management, insurance, finance and leasing, holding activities, freight traffic activities, headquarters, intellectual property management, as well as distribution and service delivery.

Currently, the enforcement mechanisms for the new regulations remain somewhat ambiguous. However, non-compliance will result in fines. The challenge lies in the fact that the BVI, being a small nation with a limited population, lacks sufficient office space and workforce to accommodate the vast number of companies that fall under these regulations.

Company name

Selecting an appropriate name is an important step in establishing a BVI company. At International Wealth, we have a policy that ensures you won’t be billed until we secure a business company with the name of your choice. We also offer name reservation services for our clients during the BVI business company registration process. The best option here is to consult our experts regarding the company’s intended purpose and type, as the suffix of the company name is a significant aspect of the formation process.

For a BVI limited liability company, the name must end with Limited, Corporation, Incorporated, Societe Anonyme, Sociedad Anonima, or their respective abbreviations Ltd, Corp, Inc, or S.A.

In the case of registering an unlimited liability company in the BVI, the name will end with Unlimited or the abbreviation Unltd.

 In the British Virgin Islands, companies established solely for specific purposes must include (SPV) Limited or (SPV) Ltd at the end of their names.

Business companies in the BVI may be named using their registration number, which results in a format like 123456 Ltd. The name can incorporate various characters between the company number and the Ltd abbreviation. This naming convention is unique to the BVI.

Services to order and documents to submit

Here’s what the fundamental services we provide to set up a business company in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) encompass:

  • company registration per se
  • payment of the state registration fee
  • services of the registered agent in the BVI
  • registered office (registered address)
  • one set of original corporate documents
  • initial director appointment (required within 30 days of incorporation)
  • worldwide courier delivery.

The set of original corporate documents for the formation of a Business Company (BC) includes:

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Memorandum
  • Minutes of the First Director’s Appointment
  • Director Appointment Letter
  • Director Resolution in writing
  • Register of Directors
  • Register of Shareholders
  • Share Certificate.

It is also advisable to obtain a notarized and apostilled copy of all documents, as this is typically required for opening bank accounts abroad.

If you intend to establish a bank account in Hong Kong or Singapore for your BVI company, you will need an apostilled Certificate of Incumbency. The requirement has also been adopted by European banks. Consequently, when facilitating the bank account setup, we will make sure if this certificate is needed.

For all business companies registered in the British Virgin Islands, a company seal is a must. You have the option to order the seal through International Wealth services. It will be delivered by mail, together with the registration documents. The seal is not part of our standard package because it is possible to get one locally in your country. The only requirements for a BVI company seal are the inclusion of the company’s name and registration number.

The British Virgin Islands is known as a premier classic offshore jurisdiction, although its companies are not considered offshore in the traditional sense. These entities are particularly well-known to foreign bank employees, especially those in Asian financial institutions. They are highly advantageous for international tax planning. However, for enhanced data security and separation from European business interests, an alternative classic offshore jurisdiction will be a better option. For these purposes, Nevis is considered an optimal choice.

Incorporation procedures in the BVI

To begin the process of registering an International Business Company (IBC) in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), you will have to take these steps:

  1. Consult our expert to determine the necessary components for your BVI company and if registration is required, or if a low-cost alternative is enough. To save yourself both time and money, you may also choose a corporate bank account during this session.
  2. Prior to registration, select an appropriate name for your BVI entity that ends with the correct abbreviation.
  3. Submit a scanned copy of your passport and contact information, e.g., address and phone number, for courier and e-invoice purposes. We’ll send the e-invoice after confirming your company name’s availability.
  4. Complete and send a scanned form for the registered agent.
  5. For residence verification, supply a current utility bill that includes your name and address.
  6. A bank reference or a lawyer’s recommendation is also required.

Recipe for success

Setting up your business in the BVI is a breeze with help from International Wealth. Our team is here to help you day and night, making sure everything goes smoothly. Would you like to make the most of your company? Book a consultation with the International Wealth team using the contact info from our site and follow our recommendations!

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