New BVI Requirements

British Virgin Islands (BVI) published the BVI Business Companies (Amendment) Act, 2022 on August 12, 2022, introducing some significant changes for BVI companies which come into effect beginning January 1, 2023. The new requirements ensure enhanced compliance principles that will observe international standards, and follow an extensive review and consultation with practitioners within the financial services industry.

The changes have direct implications for entities registered within the British Virgin Islands, a brief summary of the most relevant changes:

  • The establishment of the obligation to file financial returns (to be called Annual Returns) with an entity’s registered agent, in a required format and within a specified time period (first filing due in 2024).
  • Current Directors’ names will be available via a search mechanism on the Registry system (searches will only be possible on Company names, not directors, and access to the search mechanism will only be available to companies registered to use the VIRRGIN system. Company searches will show the names of the directors of a Company). The Register of Directors will also include alternate director names.
  • A new requirement for voluntary liquidators to be a resident of the BVI (or in the case of joint liquidators, at least one of them must be a local resident). There are also additional provisions aimed at facilitating the collection and retention of liquidated company records within the BVI.
  • These changes also include the introduction of clearly defined fines for non-compliance, which could have both an economic impact and affect a company’s good standing.