Opening a Bank Account in the British Virgin Islands: An Overview
The British Virgin Islands is a well-regulated and quite popular jurisdiction wherein companies are formed and managed in large numbers for all manner of international business purposes. It’s an excellent “company” jurisdiction. One of the most important compliance required after the registration 0of Company in BVI is opening a corporate bank account for carrying out the day-to-day activities of the business.
BVI laws governing banking jurisdiction are relatively strict. For instance, the effective Banks and Trust Companies Act of 1990 (subsequently amended in 2018) provides 3 categories of banking licences for BVI offshore banks: a general banking licence, a restricted Class I banking licence and a restricted Class II banking licence.
Various Benefits of Opening a Bank Account in the British Virgin Islands
The various benefits of opening a bank account in BVI are discussed below
Sound Banking System
The banks in the BVI jurisdiction are quite stable and have really low debts. They are better capitalised and keep a lot of cash on hand. The banks in BVI are much more responsible for holding custody of cash or other assets.
A Stable Government
The laws in the BVI are based on the English Common laws, and its government has a long history of being politically stable along with providing alluring offers to offshore companies.
No Need for a Personal Visit
Opening an offshore bank account might be difficult and time-consuming, but the non-requirement of personal visits for such bank account opening is a relief for entrepreneurs. Some offshore company owners tend to open offshore accounts independently, but this approach invites undesired scrutiny and the risk of potential personal tax liability.
BVI's government provides great flexibility to act quickly on the entrepreneur’s account in terms of transferring money or moving assets.
One of the most attractive factors for offshore companies to the BVI is the absence of the tax. Companies don't need to pay taxes on capital gains, inheritance tax, value-added tax, sales tax, gift tax, or corporate tax. The only monetary payment is the fee for a business license to the country's go9vt annually.
The jurisdiction doesn't have any tax treaties with other nations, thereby providing financial privacy to the account holders, where all the financial transactions and client information is kept highly confidential. Breaching such laws will have severe penalties.
Absence of any Currency Exchange Fees or Limitations
Owning any foreign currency is a nice way of risk diversification and protecting purchasing power. Here in BVI, the government doesn't charge any fee for currency exchange, and there isn't any limitation to the number of exchanges.
Internet Banking Facilities and International Credit Cards
Today, most banking services are carried out through online mediums, which means that business transactions can occur at any point in time.
Any investor intending to open an offshore bank account in the BVI will be facilitated with an easy account process backed by international credit cards. Investors can also enter into forex trading and earn huge returns on their investments.
Reputable and Established Banking Jurisdiction
The destination has never been blacklisted by the OECD, which clearly provides that the jurisdiction has a great reputation among business investors. Checking if a location is blacklisted or not at the initial phase helps the entrepreneurs to make a perfect call, as it may hinder the overall reputation of the business entity registered.
Eligibility Criteria to be fulfilled for opening a bank account in the British Virgin Islands
The entrepreneur must fulfil the below-mentioned eligibility criteria for opening a Bank Account in the British Virgin Islands.
- The minimum deposit and balance on the account must be at least 100 thousand euros, while 30 days are provided for contribution. Commissions for incoming payments are not provided.
- There aren't restrictions on outgoing transactions, but prior to transferring, the entrepreneur should consider the amount of fee for the conversion into cash.
Documents Required for Opening a Bank Account in the British Virgin Islands
- Bank account application forms
- Bank statements
- Bank reference letter
- Certified copies of passports and address proofs of all directors/shareholders.
- Business plan
- Business trading proofs (sales/purchase orders, invoice)
- Certified copies of BVI company documents
- Government certification of company good standing status.
Procedure for Opening a bank account in the British Virgin Islands
Choosing the Bank
The entrepreneur must choose the bank best suited to the business needs of the company.
Filing the Application and Submitting the Documents
After choosing the right bank for the company, the entrepreneur must proceed with filing the application along with submitting the requisite documents.
Providing the other information
The entrepreneur must provide any other information as asked by the banks. There might be a need to provide the information of the beneficial owner at the time of making the arrangements, and specimens are also required in most cases.
Depositing the Capital
One of the crucial steps in the procedure for opening a bank account in the British Virgin Islands is to deposit the capital in the bank.
Compliance with the Requisite Regulations
The British Virgin Islands is a signatory state to the FATCA, i.e. the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and the Common Reporting Standards (CRS), and the compliance requirements with regard to the same must be met by the entrepreneur.