BVI Business Companies Act 2015Jan 11, 2016
The BVI Business Companies Act came into effect in 2004 and was designed to make the British Virgin Islands more attractive as an offshore financial centre. The Act aimed to expand any and all business related ventures to the Islands, as well as expanding the types of companies that could be created in relation to them.
However, an amendment act was brought into effect in 2015, known as the BVI Amendment Act. The amendment expands the BVI act by still acting efficiently within in corporate and legal boundaries. It offers a great flexibility opportunity for those who are already venturing, or who are considering venturing in the business of the British Virgin Islands. More flexibility means more certainty of success. Here are some of the key changes.
Directors of all existing BVI companies should be registered and filed before 31 December 2016 with no required fee. New companies should register and file directors within 14 days of the appointment of a first director at a fee of $50. Updated registers should be filed within 21 days after the change in directorship has been made at a fee of $50. Failure to meet these timelines will result in a $100 fine plus an added $25 per outstanding day.
The records of registered directors will not be made public and will have to be requested by the company in question, a registered agent, or any other person with written permission to receive it on behalf of the company. These changes are included in compliance with tax information arrangements, and to combat money laundering.
New BVI companies incorporated via an Eligible Intermediary will need to provide the registered agent with detailed information on the ultimate beneficial owner.
Registered agents are required to act out according to the orders from the company and its board of directors. These agents are not required to ask orders from their client of record before acting on said instructions. The registered agent must also acknowledge and accept the appointment or removal from directors in the business. Where a service provider like THINK is assisting with the necessary filings and changes to the Registrar, it may submit fees directly to the Registrar. This is to control situations where the agent is resisting cooperation with the proposed changes that are being made.
BVI companies are required to keep relevant information in the office of the agent, or inside or outside the relevant BVI company, as determined by the directors and the board. These documentations should be kept well maintained and updated for a period of 5 years. This includes the adding and managing of accounts, invoices, contracts and similar documents. This is done to keep track of any income and expenditure as well as to keep stock of the company's assets and liabilities. If documents are not kept on the premises of the registered agent, then a written address should be given as to where these documents would be found as well as the name of the person who controls them. Should this information change, then the Registrar must be notified within 14 days. Failure to comply with this Amendment Act can result in a $10 000 to $50 000 fine.