The BVI is the most popular jurisdiction amongst offshore-savvy investors. The British Overseas territory has, in the last 20-30 years, revised the law in a bid to attract more companies to do business and regard it as one of the top offshore financial centres in the world. The advantages of the BVI are enormous ranging from English Common Law, English language, US dollar currency, foreign affairs protected and governed by the British Government and most importantly having access to the final appeal to the Privvy Council in London, England.
Apart from the above, the BVI has had loads of benefits to offer to international investors. First, BVI companies are allowed to be incorporated with foreign names, the first common foreign that is used for incorporation in the BVI would be Traditional Chinese in Hong Kong. In fact, the BVI Financial Services Commission has a Hong Kong desk that facilitates financial and business services between these two territories. Hong Kong has the largest percentage of companies incorporated and operated out of the BVI.
Second, the cost to incorporate a company in the BVI is relatively reasonable compared to other jurisdictions, such as the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. This has driven international investors to set up a holding vehicle for businesses that can be used for a number of reasons, including holding property in London, England, which has proven to be the most popular method amongst investors.
Third, the law in the BVI has been revised by the BVI Government to offer regulations and judgments that are impartial, fair and transparent. Any commercial disputes can be seeking justice within the Commerical court system that delivers the right decisions and verdicts.
Fourth, BVI companies are easy to be listed as respected vehicles in major markets, including Hong Kong, Singapore, London, New York, amongst others. Fifth, secured financing in the BVI is also simple which allows investors to secure finance in an efficient way using company assets as collateral. The BVI legal system is committed to registering leveraging assets and developing a company law in place that protects investors from all walks of life, whether you are a small business owner or a hedge fund, you will be protected to complete a transaction regardless of your nationality, the size of business and type of business activity.
Last but not least, trust structures in the BVI have been modified to accommodate the changing demand for trust services. Vista trusts have enabled investors to keep a certain control in business while allowing them to pave the way for business succession. For example, in a family dispute after the vista trust has been set up, the trustee is responsible for managing the trust based on the trust deed and is free to be interfered with by any of the family members, who think they have the power to inherit. However, the trustee’s role in a Vista trust is limited to a certain amount of activities, as set out by the trustee, which in turn maximises the direct control of the trustee within the trust but at the same time protecting the trust from any prying-eye parties, such as family members. That means the trustee or his/her company director carries out the maximum duty on the trust while passing the business to the right person.
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