Understanding the British Virgin Islands – BVI Companies

Understanding the British Virgin Islands – BVI Companies: A Brief Introduction

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is under a “Territorial Tax System,” whereby companies incorporate in the BVI but conduct business operations outside the country are not subject to corporate taxes. It’s renowned for it’s business structures flexibility and favorable tax regulatory environment making it a top destination for company incorporation for business owners, entrepreneurs, and investors worldwide.

Before we get into the specific benefits of BVI companies, it is important to understand their special nature and the critical importance of compliance with anti-money laundering laws.

Characteristics of BVI Companies:

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is a popular jurisdiction for flexibility and favorable tax laws which favors international business and asset management to set up a company to manage assets. One of the reasons for this is the flexibility and favorable tax laws offered by BVI companies. Here are some of the key characteristics of BVI companies:

Company Structure Flexibility

The BVI Business Companies Act offers flexibility in company structures, allowing for companies limited by shares, by guarantee, hybrid companies, and more.

Share Flexibility

BVI companies can issue shares in any currency, and there’s no minimum or maximum capital requirement.

Director & Shareholder Privacy

The personal particulars of the current directors such as addresses, nationality, date of birth will remain confidential and the names of any past directors will not be disclosed.

No Local Presence Required

There’s no need for a company director or shareholder to be a resident of the BVI. Meetings can be held anywhere in the world regardless of the company’s directors or shareholders’ location.

The BVI’s legal framework is based on the universally-respected English common law system.

If you are considering setting up a BVI company, it is important to consult with a BVI consultant or with FastLane Group to understand all of the benefits and drawbacks of the structures of company that suit your needs.

Highlighting the Importance of Anti-Money Laundering Compliance:

In recent years, there has been a growing focus on transparency and the fight against financial crime around the world, and the British Virgin Islands (BVI) are no strangers to this ongoing global trend change. Despite the many benefits of company incorporation in the BVI, it is essential that companies registered there must comply with international anti-money laundering (AML) standards.


Complying with AML regulations helps maintain the reputation of BVI companies and avoids the misconception that BVI is associated with haven for illicit activities.

Non-compliance with AML regulations can be serious including financial penalties, criminal charges, and potential imprisonment

Business Relations

Many banks and financial institutions conduct thorough due diligence before doing business with BVI companies. Strict adherence to AML guidelines ensures smoother business relationships.

Global Compliance

The world is moving towards stricter AML regulations. Ensuring compliance in the BVI means that businesses are better prepared to operate and expand in other jurisdictions.

All BVI-incorporated companies must strictly comply with the law and prevent them from directly or indirectly being involved in anti-money laundering (AML) activities. Proper due diligence, regular audits, and adherence to global standards are not just optional; they are critical for sustainable business operations in the BVI.

Talk to us today if you would like to know more about setting up a business in BVI.