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British Virgin Island Offshore British Virgin Islands Offshore


   

British Virgin Island Offshore

The Virgin Islands, frequently called the British Virgin Islands (BVI), is a British overseas territory, located in the Caribbean to the east of Puerto Rico. The islands make up part of the Virgin Islands archipelago, the remaining islands constituting the U.S. Virgin Islands. British Virgin Islands government publications had traditionally continued to commence with "The Territory of the Virgin Islands", but recently, more legislation now simply refers to the Territory as the "British Virgin Islands". The British Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke, along with over fifty other smaller islands and cays. Approximately 15 of the islands are inhabited. The capital, Road Town, is situated on Tortola, the largest island which is approximately 20 km (12 mi) long and 5 km (3 mi) wide. The islands have a total population of about 22,000, of whom approximately 18,000 live on Tortola.

Politics of the British Virgin Islands

Legislative Council building in Road Town. The High Court sits upstairs.

Executive authority in British Virgin Islands is vested in The Queen and is exercised on her behalf by the Governor of the British Virgin Islands. The Governor is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the British Government. Defence and Foreign Affairs remain the responsibility of the United Kingdom.

A new constitution was adopted in 2007 (the Virgin Islands Constitution Order, 2007) and came into force when the Legislative Council was dissolved for the 2007 general election. The Head of Government under the new constitution is the Premier (prior to the new constitution the office was referred to as Chief Minister), who is elected in a general election along with the other members of the ruling government as well as the members of the opposition. A Cabinet is nominated by the Premier and appointed by the Governor. The Legislature consists of the Queen (represented by the Governor) and a unicameral House of Assembly made up of 13 elected members plus the Speaker and the Attorney-General.

The current Governor is William Boyd McCleary (since 2010). The current Premier is Ralph T. O'Neal (since 22 August 2007).

As an offshore financial centre, the British Virgin Islands enjoys one of the more prosperous economies of the Caribbean region, with a per capita average income of around $38,500 (2004 est.)

The "twin pillars" of the economy are tourism and financial services. Politically, tourism is the more important of the two, as it employs a greater number of people within the Territory, and a larger proportion of the businesses in the tourist industry are locally owned, as are a number of the highly tourism-dependent sole traders (for example, taxi drivers and street vendors). Economically however, financial services associated with the territory's status as an offshore financial centre are by far the more important. 51.8% of the Government's revenue comes directly from license fees for offshore companies, and considerable further sums are raised directly or indirectly from payroll taxes relating to salaries paid within the trust industry sector (which tend to be higher on average than those paid in the tourism sector).

Tourism makes up 45% of the national income. The islands are a well-liked holiday destination for U.S. citizens. In 2006 a total of 825,603 people visited the islands (of whom 443,987 were cruise ship passengers). Tourists frequent the numerous white sand beaches, visit The Baths on Virgin Gorda, snorkel the coral reefs near Anegada, or experience the well-known bars of Jost Van Dyke. The BVI are known as one of the world's greatest sailing destinations, and charter sailboats are a very popular way to visit less accessible islands. Every year since 1972 the BVI has hosted the Spring Regatta, which is a seven-day collection of sailing races throughout the islands. A substantial number of the tourists who visit the BVI are cruise ship passengers, although they produce far lower revenue per head than charter boat tourists and hotel based tourists. They are nonetheless important to the considerable (and politically important) taxi driving community.

Significant revenues are also createdS by the registration of offshore companies. As of June 2008, 823,502 companies were so registered (of which 445,865 were 'active'). In 2000 KPMG reported in its survey of offshore jurisdictions for the United Kingdom government that over 41% of the world's offshore companies were formed in the British Virgin Islands. Since 2001, financial services in the British Virgin Islands have been regulated by the independent Financial Services Commission. While at one time the BVI was well regarded as a good domicile for captive insurance services, this changed beginning in recent years with the change of insurance regulators in 2007 and the government's increasing pressure to hire only locals ("belongers") in the insurance industry. Official reports from the Financial Services Commission reflect as of June 30, 2010 only 207 captives in the BVI. Informed sources report that the actual number is closer to 100, with the 50% decline over the last four years attributable to the lack of ability within the FSC in administering insurance companies. Beginning in 2008 there was a mass exodus of captives for better staffed jurisdictions like Anguilla.

Agriculture and industry account for only a small proportion of the islands' GDP. Agricultural produce includes fruit, vegetables, sugar cane, livestock and poultry, and industries include rum distillation, construction and boat building.

The official currency of the British Virgin Islands has been the US dollar since 1959, a currency also used by the United States Virgin Islands.

The British Virgin Islands are a major target for drug traffickers, who use the area as a gateway to the United States. According to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, "Problems associated with drug trafficking are potentially the most serious threat to stability in the BVI".

British Virgin Island Offshore

Advantages of BVI Company:

• There is no taxation on any kind of income, capital gains, other taxes, filing or audit requirements.
• Only one shareholder and director is required.
• Corporate shareholder and director is allowed.
• Director's meetings are not required
• Minimum issued and paid up share capital required is US$ 1.
• No mandatory requirement in preparing financial statements or appointing auditors.
• Totally exempt from BVI income tax and stamp duties (if no business in BVI).
• The names of the Directors and Shareholders are not filed with the Registrar, and are not available to the Public.
• No disclosure of beneficial ownership

BVI Company Restrictions:

IBC's are prohibited from carrying on any business with persons residing in the BVI and from owning an interest in real property in the BVI.
The following are not construed as carrying on any business in the BVI :
• Maintaining a bank account.
• Using the services of a professional firm.
• Maintaining accounting records.
• Holding meetings of shareholders and directors.
• Holding a lease of property for use as an office.
• Holding shares or other securities in another BVI company.
• The memorandum of association must contain the name and address of the BVI registered agent.

Corporate Name

Limited, Corporation, Incorporated, Société Anonyme, Sociedad Anónima or their relevant abbreviations may be used.

Office Address and Local Agent

Registered office address must be located at the office of a licensed management company.

BVI Bank  British Virgin Island Offshore

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