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FAQs

 

Are there legislative provision for re-domiciliation in and out of the Virgin Islands?

The BVI Business Companies Act, 2004 contains provisions for domiciliation/re-domiciliation to and from the Virgin Islands (BVI). If the new insurer (seeking re-domiciliation to the Virgin Islands) desires to use the same name (as currently used in the foreign jurisdiction if it is available) an application must be made to the BVI FSC for name approval. An application would also be required to be submitted for approval to carry-on insurance business in or from within the BVI.

What are the capital adequacy guidelines for Trust Licence holders?

Under the Banks and Trust Companies Act, 1990 General Trust Licence holders are required to have a minimum fully paid up capital of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars (US$250,000) or its equivalent in foreign currencies, or such sum as the Commission, by order determines, and has deposited or invested a sum of money as may be specified by the Commission but not to exceed $100,000.

Applicants for a Restricted Trust Licence are not subject to capital requirements.

What are the licensing requirements for a bank?

The legal requirement for obtaining a banking licence in the Virgin Islands is governed by the Banks and Trust Companies Act, 1990. Section 3 of this Act provides that no person or company incorporated in the Virgin Islands shall carry on banking business from within the Virgin Islands, unless that person or company has obtained a licence under this Act. Further, section 4(4) of this Act states: "If the Commission is satisfied that an application to carry on banking business is not against the public interest and that the applicant is a person qualified to carry on banking business, it may grant the application and issue to the applicant a licence subject to such terms and conditions as it thinks fit."

What happen after my 10 day Name Reservation has expired if I haven't incorporated the company?

After the inital name reservation period expires, your option for immediate re-reservation of the name is to exercise the 90-day Name Reservation. The initial name reservation cannot be extended for further complimentary 10-days immediately but you can do this after a further 10 days have past.

Will documents that have not been officially submitted be honoured by the Registry?

The Registry of Corporate Affairs cannot honour transactions that have been saved or confirmed by agent staff or authorised signatory and not submitted. Documents must have a valid VIRRGIN receipt OR the appropriate Registry Form for acceptance as filed.

How do we discharge a charge that was filed under the IBC Act?

Under Schedule II, Part V, paragraph 38(2) of the BVI Business Companies Act, a company that is re-registered under Part II or III may apply to register a charge that was created prior to the company's re-registration. Where the charge no longer affects the company's property, the company may file a notice under section 165 of the BVI Business Companies Act. Once a notice is duly filed, a certificate is issued by the Registrar indicating the date and time on which the notice was filed.

BACKGROUND STATEMENT

What is the effect of transitional provisions in an enactment? How do they relate to the other provisions in the same enactment?

Essentially, transitional provisions in an enactment (principal or subsidiary) outline precisely when and how specified operative parts in the enactment are to take effect. They are designed to facilitate a transition from an existing regime to a new regime.

As Thornton (in his book titled “Legislative Drafting”) outlines, “The function of a transitional provision is to make special provision for the application of legislation to the circumstances which exist at the time when that legislation comes into force”. Transitional provisions in an enactment therefore give effect to existing scenarios/matters by outlining how (and when) they should be treated and modify the application of the substantive provisions in the enactment. They must therefore not be read in isolation and, unless they are specifically excluded with respect to existing scenarios/matters, they must be given effect.

Section 248 of the BVI Business Companies Act, 2004, (“BVIBCA”) specifically provides that “the transitional provisions set out in Schedule 2 apply” and that Schedule has the heading “Transitional Provisions”. The effect of the Schedule is to outline how companies under the old regimes (CapCo and IBC) would be treated or transitioned into the BVIBCA and, unless otherwise specifically excluded, the transitional provisions apply to those companies and matters relative to them to the exclusion of any other provision in the Act. Division 5 of Part IV of Schedule 2 of the Act is headed “Bearer Shares in Grandfathered Bearer Share Companies” and thus all bearer shares within the scope of a company which qualifies as a grandfathered bearer share company would fall to be treated in accordance with the terms of that Division as opposed to any other provision of the Act (unless specifically stated otherwise).

Consequently, a grandfathered bearer share company whose memorandum is amended by virtue of the operation of law in accordance with the terms of paragraph 34A (1) of Division 5 of Part IV of Schedule 2 would effectively have its bearer shares disabled (unless “revived” by a court order under paragraph 35 (4)). Indeed paragraph 35 outlines how an existing bearer share of a grandfathered bearer share company is to be treated and the consequences flowing therefrom.

In this context, the provisions of sections 38 (2) and Division 5 of Part III of the Act relate only to bearer shares that are not the subject of transition; they cannot be read to override the transitional provisions relative to bearer shares in a grandfathered bearer share company. To read this subject differently would be negating the purpose and effect of the transitional provisions and the whole purpose and intent of a transitional provision in an enactment.

Are application fees and approval fees payable in respect of applications for the appointment of a director or functionary of a public fund?

With effect from January 1, 2011, the application fee for the appointment of a director of a public fund is $150 and the approval fee for the appointment of a director of a public fund is $250. There is no application fee or approval fee for the appointment of a functionary of a public fund.

How many insurance managers are in the British Virgin Islands?

Current statistics on insurance managers (and Insurance sector generally) may be found in the most recent edition of the BVI FSC Statistical Bulletin.

At the end of 2013 there were 14 insurance managers licensed to carry on insurance business as an insurance manager in the BVI.

What are the capital adequacy guidelines for Company Managers?

Under the Company Management Act, 1990, a Company Manager is required to have a minimum paid up capital of twenty five thousand dollars (US$25,000).

What are the different types of banking licences issued by the British Virgin Islands?

There are three banking licences issued under the Banks and Trust Companies Act, 1990; a General Banking Licence, a Restricted Class I Banking Licence and a Restricted Class II Banking Licence.

What happens when I file an appeal on a name?

Once the Name Appeal is processed by the Registry, the system will return an email confirmation that includes the proposed name, name reservation number, status and time remaining on the reservation period.

Will the Registry make changes to name reservations on an agent's behalf?

Please reserve names exactly as you would like them to appear on the company’s documents. The Registry cannot make changes to name reservations or to applications for incorporation on the agent’s behalf.

Did the company numbers change?

All companies that were automatically re-registered will now have the number 700,000 appended to their original company number. For example company number 1 was changed to company number 700,001, company number 567 was changed to company number 700,567, etc.

If the owners of bearer shares of a grandfathered bearer share company failed to deposit them with a custodian or to convert them to or exchange them for registered shares before 31 December, 2009 what options are now available?

The Act provides a clear solution under paragraph 35(4) of Division 5 of Part IV of Schedule 2 (Schedule 2). The company or a person interested in the bearer share may apply to the Court to extend the transition date. The Court hearing the application may extend the transition date by such further period or periods not exceeding one year in total as it considers fit.

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