Warning

BVI company is “almost impossible” to open bank accounts in Hong Kong as of July 2015.

Suggestion

AsiaBC highly recommend overseas entrepreneurship to choose Samoa and Seychelles IBC as feasible alternative to BVI company in view of the ease of access to banking and financial services in Hong Kong.

What is offshore company?

There is a current misconception that the use of offshore company means evading taxes and hiding money from the government, which is certainly not the case.

In fact, to set up an offshore company or relocate your existing business overseas is a crucial step toward internationalizing yourself and your assets.

The term Offshore Company means a company incorporated in a country outside the country of the place of residence / incorporation of beneficial owners.

Again, this is typically pursued to realize various privacy, financial, legal or tax benefits for the owners.

Read more:

Fast Fact: Incorporation of Companies in offshore jurisdictions


Background of British Virgin Islands (BVI):

The BVI is a group of islands located in between Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, the country is a member of British Commonwealth nations since part of the islands were British colony until 1960. The island were granted autonomy in 1967.

The US dollar is the legal currency in the country due to its economy is closely tied to the US Virgin Islands which are larger and more populous to the west of BVI.

Since the BVI government began to develop offshore financial sector in mid-1980, ease regulations of incorporation in BVI and enhance confidentiality of inbound investment, roughly 400,000 companies were on the offshore registry by 2000.

Basic Facts of BVI
Official Language:English
Legal System:British Common Law
Currency:United States Dollar (USD)
Time Zone:GMT -4

Characteristics of BVI Company:

Processing time

  • Brand-new company: 7 working days
  • Shelf company: 2 working days

Business entity

  • Type of Company: BC (Business Company)
  • Legislation: Business Companies Act (BC Act) 2004
  • Feature:
    • Replacement of International Business Act, with a lot of similarity
    • Exempt from currency exchange controls
    • Privacy and asset protection to overseas owners
    • Privacy protection of identity for principals
    • Ease of administration for overseas owners
  • Legal System: British Common Law
  • Shelf company: Available
  • Corporate Tax: No
  • Annual Return: No

Company Name

  • English name; or
  • Both English and Chinese name.

Shareholder(s) and Director(s)

  • Minimum Number of Shareholders: 1
  • Minimum Number of Directors: 1
  • No nationality restriction
  • Shareholder and director can be same entity.
  • Corporate shareholder and director is acceptable.

Company Secretary and Registered Office Address

  • A local (BVI) registered office address is required.
  • Company Secretary is not required.
  • Correspondence Address can be the address for communication between the company with owners.

Capital Requirement

  • Minimum 1 share equivalent to USD 1 to be issued
  • Standard authorized capital is USD 1 million divided into 50,000 shares.

Public Disclosure

  • Beneficiary Owner(s): Optional
  • Shareholder(s): Optional
  • Director(s): Optional

Required Document:

Note

EITHER FORMATION OF A BRAND-NEW COMPANY OR BUYING A SHELF COMPANY (READY-MADE COMPANY), THE REQUIRED DOCUMENT IS ALMOST IDENTICAL.

Company Name:

  • Must be unique in company registrar of BVI government
  • English name is compulsory, Chinese name is optional

Shareholder(s) and Director(s):

  • Full name
  • Residential Address
  • Nationality (passport copy)
  • Distribution of shareholdings among shareholder(s)
  • Shareholder(s) is can be appointed as Director(s)

Registered Office Address:

  • One local address in BVI
  • One corresponding address for communication with owners.

Document Certification:

  • Certificate of Incumbency or Good Standing is required.

Annual Maintenance:

Note

Renewal of BVI BC is generally simple, renewal of BVI government licence is the major part.


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