BVI Business Companies

News & Analysis as of

BVI publishes draft FATCA Guidance Notes

In the latest moves towards implementation of the FATCA Intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) signed by the BVI with the US and the UK, the BVI Government has released draft Guidance Notes for public consultation. A copy can be...more

Export Controls in UK Offshore Centers

Many private equity and investment funds are organized as limited partnerships or companies of offshore entities. Similarly, companies may structure mergers and acquisitions by utilizing offshore holding entities. The British...more

The IBC Act – the building of a nation

Although nobody knew it at the time, the inception of the BVI’s International Business Company Act occurred at some point during the year 1976. Nobody now recalls the exact date, except that it was during the summer.It is...more

New security features added to ROCA certificates

The BVI Financial Services Commission issued the following announcement on 1 July 2014 regarding new security features for Registry of Corporate Affairs (ROCA) certificates: New certificates bearing a QR Code and a...more

The Effects of a Mandatory Register of Beneficial Ownership

Some of the many attractions of the British Virgin Islands (the BVI) for both corporates and lenders are the relatively sophisticated legal system, low operating costs and creditor friendly insolvency regime. In recent times...more

The Big Chill

Phillip Kite of Harneys looks at the subject of injunctions generally with a particular emphasis on recent case law on freezing orders - The British Virgin Islands is an idyllic collection of islands in the Caribbean....more

Guide for Hong Kong Clients on Obtaining BVI Grants of Probate

Because BVI companies are widely used in Hong Kong for various purposes, it important for clients to understand the nuances and intricacies of obtaining grants of probate and administration in the BVI. Contrary to popular...more

BVI Business Company Records – What, Where and Why

A BVI Business Company (BC) has a separate legal personality from its members and over the course of its life the activities which it undertakes are recorded in documents that were created or entered into on its behalf. The...more

BVI court ruling highlights potential risk in some standard form M&As

On 19 March 2014 the Commercial Court handed down its ruling in C v W Inc (BVIHC (Com) 2013/149). In that case a shareholder holding more than 30 per cent of the company’s shares tried to exercise its power to requisition a...more

BVI Company In Trouble Over Plans to Ship Engines to Iran

We usually don’t post enforcement summaries. However, I wanted to insure everyone was aware that the United States government is really going after non-U.S. entities. Please see below. Note it is the Commerce Department not...more

The British Virgin Islands and Investment Funds

This guide provides an overview of the various investment fund vehicles available in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). It concentrates on regulated investment funds and, in particular, hedge funds, since these constitute a...more

BVI Signs "UK FATCA" and US FACTA is expected to follow

BVI Signs "UK FATCA" - The British Virgin Islands ("BVI") Government signed an agreement (“UK/BVI IGA”) with the United Kingdom providing for automatic exchange of financial information relating to UK tax payers who...more

New BVI Arbitration Act now in force

On 17 December 2013 the British Virgin Islands House of Assembly had the third and final reading of the new Arbitration Act 2013, which came into force on 23 January 2014. The new Arbitration Act was part of the work...more

BVI Signs Tax Information Exchange Agreement with Poland

The British Virgin Islands’ (BVI) government entered into its twenty-fifth tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) with the Republic of Poland on 29 November 2013. The BVIPoland TIEA supplements similar treaties entered...more

New regulations extend BVI’s Approved Manager regime to qualifying funds from recognised jurisdictions

The British Virgin Islands introduced a ‘regulation light’ regime for investment managers on 10 December 2012 when the Investment Business (Approved Manager) Regulations 2012 (Old Regulations) came into force. During its...more

Court clarifies enforceability of foreign judgments in BVI

On Thursday 5 December the ECSC Court of Appeal handed down an order bringing much needed clarity to the Eastern Caribbean Civil Procedure Rules (the CPR) relating to service out of foreign judgments and arbitral awards. The...more

Jersey, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands now included to the list of Non-Cooperative States

The list of Non-Cooperative States has been expanded to include Jersey, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands. As from 1 January 2014, sums paid into these states are subject to a withholding at the source of 75% and are no...more

Multiple Derivative Actions in the BVI: Tried but not tested?

On 8 August 2013, the Court of Appeal issued its ruling in the case of Microsoft Corporation v Vadem Ltd . The judgment at first blush appears quite definitive, that “BVI law does not permit double derivative...more

BVI Case Notes, October 2013

Below is a summary of recent cases out of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) Commercial Court, compiled by Harneys’ Litigation team. Ruling on the use and status of ancillary relief proceedings and forum non conveniens...more

The BVI Commercial Court – Interfacing with Arbitration

Key recent decisions in the BVI Commercial Court have shaped the applicability and enforcement of arbitration clauses and notably how they interface with BVI statutory remedies and liquidations. Harneys take a look at...more

BVI publishes new regulations governing use of restricted words and phrases in company names

Harneys is advising clients that there are new regulations governing the use of restricted company names in the British Virgin Islands. The BVI Financial Services Commission (FSC) recently added 46 names to the...more

The Mergers & Acquisitions Review - Seventh Edition: Chapter 13 - British Virgin Islands

I OVERVIEW OF M&A ACTIVITY - British Virgin Islands (BVI) companies are employed in geographically diverse corporate structures, with the effect that challenging global economic conditions have continued to dampen the...more

Costs in Derivative Actions

Derivative Actions Defined - A derivative action occurs where a member of a company, usually a minority shareholder, pursues a cause of action on behalf of the company. S184(c) of the BVI Business Companies Act 2004...more

Cayman and BVI sign MOUs with 25 European countries

Cayman and BVI financial services regulators have announced Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with 25 European countries which will enable the continued marketing of Cayman Islands and BVI funds throughout the majority of...more

Australian Securities & Investment Commission In The Matter Of Northwest Resources Limited V Craigside Company Limited BVI Company...

This case, Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) in the matter of Northwest Resources Limited v Craigside Company Limited BVI company number 74124 named in the Schedule [2013] FCA 201 considered when it is...more

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