Due diligence in the british virgin isands: a company search in the BVI


The British Virgin Islands (also known as BVI) are widely recognized as one of the most important international financial jurisdictions, not just in the Caribbean but also globally.

However, additional information may be accessed through a British Virgin Islands company formation agent with the consent of their client or by court order. This is similar to the situation that exists in the Cayman Islands, where the documents that are publicly available for a BVI business company (BVI BC) differ from what can be found in the United States.

Information That May Be Obtained From the Public Record

The BVI Registrar of Businesses is the place to go to receive general information about companies that have been founded in the British Virgin Islands. This includes details such as the company’s registration number, registered office, date of creation, status, and authorized capital.

In the public record, you could also discover the following information pertaining to a BVI BC:

  • Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association: Comparable to the Articles of Incorporation that you would find for a company based in the United States, a Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association for a company based in the British Virgin Islands contains additional information on the way the company is governed. (This is something that would typically be included in the corporation bylaws in the United States.)
  • The Company’s Certificate of Incorporation: A single-page certificate proving that an organization has been legally registered as required.
  • Obtaining a Certificate of Good Standing This is an option for the business so long as its yearly register cost has been kept current and paid in full. This Certificate would display the current status as well as the registration information.
  • A Record of the Charges: Mortgages and levies may be found by a quick search of the firm. (A ‘charge,’ which is more typically used in UK law, signifies any sort of a security interest over property registered to the business on the public record.) BVI firms are obliged to develop and maintain an internal record of charges in accordance with the legislation. These fees are often listed in the company’s register, although this is not always the case.

Confidential but Required Business Information

In 2016, the BVI Business Businesses Act was revised to add a provision that stipulated all companies based in the territory be required to provide a copy of their register of directors to the BVI Registrar. This was done in an attempt to include more identifying information for each director. Unless the corporation decides to make it accessible to the public, the public cannot see this information at any time.

The register of members of a BVI company is not required to be lodged with the BVI Registrar; nevertheless, information (such as name, nationality, address, ID number, and so on) about the business’s beneficial owners is required to be uploaded to the Beneficial Owner Secure System (BOSS) Portal. Even if the business’s registered agent and the appropriate authorities are the only ones who have access to BOSS, the company still has the option of filing their register of beneficial owners with the Registrar for whatever reasons they see fit. If they do, then everyone who is performing a search will be able to access it immediately.

When conducting research as part of the due diligence process, it is possible to gain access to general information regarding a BVI company registration, as well as a company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association, Certificate of Incorporation, Certificate of Good Standing, and Register of Charges, all of which are contained within the public record. There is a possibility that more information may be obtained via the business’s BVI registered agent; however, authorization from the target firm is often necessary in order to gain the release of papers from the registered agent. (It is important to note that if you are successful, the registered agent will be the appropriate person to notarize these papers.)

Fintech Harbor Consulting can help with company registration in the BVI as easily as company registration in USA.

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