top of page

The BVI International Business Company: Must-Knows

For the past two decades or more, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) has held its position as the top destination for offshore company formation. This small British overseas territory in the Caribbean, with a population of 31,578 approx, has witnessed the registration of approximately 500,000 International Business Companies (IBCs) during this period. BVI IBCs enjoy a higher level of recognition within the global financial community compared to most other IBCs and continue to be a popular choice.

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is highly regarded as a favored destination for offshore seekers, known for its favorable tax policies, quick registration process, and strong confidentiality.

Key Features of BVI IBCs:

Here are the key attributes of BVI International Business Companies (IBCs) :

  • Indication of Limited Liability: The company's name must include abbreviations like Ltd, Corp, Inc, or their full versions to denote its limited liability status.

  • Tax Exemption: BVI IBCs enjoy tax exemptions on corporate, capital gains, gift, inheritance, sales, and value-added taxes as long as they conduct business outside the BVI. Dividends, compensations, rents, and royalties are also tax-exempt. Stamp duty on most transactions is tax-free, except for land ownership transactions in the BVI.

  • Exchange Restrictions Exemption: There are no restrictions on foreign exchange transactions for BVI IBCs.

  • Efficient Incorporation and Administration: BVI IBCs benefit from swift incorporation processes and straightforward ongoing administrative requirements.

  • Privacy and Confidentiality: BVI IBCs maintain a high level of confidentiality. Beneficial owner and shareholder information is kept confidential by the Registered Agent, with director information submitted to the Registrar but not publicly disclosed unless legally required.

  • Diverse Nationalities: Shareholders, directors, and officers can hail from any nationality and reside in any country.

  • Separation of Roles: Directors and officers do not necessarily have to be shareholders, providing flexibility in organizational structure.

  • Person or Corporate Entity: Directors and officers can be natural persons or corporate entities.

  • No Registration for Changes: There is no mandatory registration requirement for initial or ongoing changes in directors and officers.

  • No Minimum Capital: BVI IBCs have no minimum capital requirement, and authorized share capital can be in any currency, with at least one share issued upon incorporation (Bearer shares are no longer permitted).

  • Global Meeting Flexibility: Shareholders and directors can hold meetings in any country and participate via proxy. Annual general meetings of shareholders are not obligatory.

  • Apostille Services: Apostille services are available for legalizing documentation when required.

  • Multilingual Documents: Incorporation documents can be drafted in any language, with the option to provide an English translation.

  • Registration of Mortgages: BVI allows for the registration of mortgages on vessels and aircraft.

Corporate Requirements:

Min. No. of Shareholders


Min. No. of Directors


Min. Share Capital

No Minimum

Corporate Directors


Company Secretary


Bearer Shares

Not Allowed

Production of Accounts

Discretion of Directors

Audit of Accounts

Discretion of Directors

Local and Annual Requirements:

Registered Office


Registered Agent


Local Directors


Local Shareholders


Annual Return


Annual Renewal of Registered Agent & Registered Office


Economic Substance Filing


International Business Company Registration Process:

Should you need more information & to receive a quote for setting up a BVI company, feel free to send us an email via

Disclaimer: While Offshore Lawyer make every effort to ensure the information on this website is current and accurate, please note that the content is intended for general reference purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional legal advice tailored to your specific situation. We recommend consulting with our customer services team for advice regarding your individual circumstances.

15 views0 comments


bottom of page