Located in the Caribbean Sea, the British Virgin Islands are a British Overseas Territory; although not part of the United Kingdom, they remain under its authority. While offering anonymity and a favourable tax regime, they can however present some difficulties in engaging in commercial relations with European countries.

There are two forms of offshore company In the BVI : the British Virgin Islands Business Company (BVI IBC) and the British Virgin Islands Ordinary Resident Company, regulation of which is closer to European rules.

BVI BC is the most widespread offshore company and is equivalent to a public limited company. No minimum share capital is required for this corporate form, but there are costs for creation of the company which vary depending on the company's capital (from 350 to 1,100 USD). The director of the company must be appointed within 30 days of establishment and no nationality or residence requisite is required of shareholders and executives.

A BVI IBC cannot pursue its activity on BVI territory but can make use of special services (accountants, lawyers, etc.) in situ. In order to do business directly in the BVI it is therefore advisable to opt for the British Virgin Islands Ordinary Resident Company, which is authorised to carry out activities internally. This type of company is considered resident when most of the directors live in the BVI; it must also have a commercial licence.

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

British Virgin Islands Flag
Average start-up times 2 days
Availability of pre-established (ready-made) companies Yes
Accounting No
Secretary No
Nominee Shareholder Yes
Nominee Director Yes
Average taxation 0%
Published information about the company's directors There is no public register of company executives
Accounting obligations No obligation
Legislation and controls

The BVI Financial Service Commission is the reference authority and companies are regulated under the "Business Companies Act 2004".

Confidentiality Bearer shares are not permitted
Documents required
  • certified copy of passport in original copy
  • residence certificate dating back less than 3 months in original copy
Time Zone UTC-4
Currency U.S. dollar
Risk indicators Average political risk: 11%
  • Expropriation and breaches of contract: 8%
  • Risk of war and civil unrest: 25%
  • Transfer of capital and convertibility: 1%
Average credit risk: 24%
  • Failure to pay by sovereign counterpart: 10%
  • Failure to pay by bank counterpart: 31%
  • Failure to pay by corporate counterpart: 31%
GDP growth 1,8%