The British Virgin Islands is a world-leading international financial centre. The BVI has become the world’s premier international corporate domicile with over 600,000 International Business Companies incorporated during the last 20 years. The jurisdiction has no capital gains or estate taxes and no exchange controls.
BANKING, FINANCE AND INVESTMENT – BVI BANK ACCOUNT
Although tourism is a main economic source, the fees generated from the incorporation of offshore business have now become a major source of revenue for the BVI economy. With the improved confidentiality clauses put into place almost 15 years ago, BVI is now seeing almost half a million companies incorporated each year.
Fiscal year: 1 April – 31 March
The British Virgin Islands are extremely vigilant in the fight against money laundering; to this end, there are only a small number of international banks available to offshore banking customers.
Banks can receive licenses as follows:
- General Banking License. No limit to banking activity; minimum capital must be USD$2 million; annual fee USD$20,000.
- Class 1 Restricted Banking License. Exclusively international business; minimum capital USD$1 million; annual fee USD$16,000.
- Class 2 Restricted Banking License. Business only with counterparties named in the license; minimum capital USD$1 million; annual fee USD$16,000.
Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), IOC, OECS, UNESCO (associate), UPU
BVI encourages foreign investment in many industries, including food processing, tourist-oriented manufacturing, film production, beverage production, yachting services and e-commerce.
Tax holidays of up to 20 years are available to foreign investors under a variety of circumstances, if the BVI government deems the purpose of the investment to be of special value to the economy, infrastructure, employment or other factors.
The application for an Alien Landholding License, bestowed on foreigners wishing to purchase real estate in BVI, must include at least two financial references, one bank reference, two character references, and police record or statement from law authorities. There are fees for the application process, which vary depending on whether the application is on behalf of an individual or corporation.