BVI announces amendment to the BVI Business Companies Act


Amendment will strengthen the BVI’s reputation and appeal as a leading global financial centre

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) Government has announced an amendment to the BVI Business Companies Act, Revised Edition 2020, which will come into force on 1 January, 2023.

The amendment was passed by the House of Assembly on 21 July, 2022, and gazetted on 12 August, 2022, and seeks to bring the Act up to date following an extensive review and consultation with the financial services industry.

The new amendments to the Business Companies Act will serve to strengthen transparency within the financial services industry and reinforce compliance with international standards. 

The new amendments will include the provision for a company engaged in a charitable or non-commercial activity to seek approval for a name ending, to ensure proper segregation and accountability of the company’s commercial business from its charitable or non-commercial business; the ending of the bearer shares regime; the phasing out of struck-off companies, and the requirement for companies to file annual financial returns.  

In addition, as part of the BVI’s continuing efforts to ensure compliance with established standards related to anti-money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing, the Act makes provision whereby a list of directors of a company can be made available upon request. 

The amendment also includes the advance notice of continuation outside the British Virgin Islands to ensure that, while a company is free to continue outside the British Virgin Islands, it should have an obligation to provide advance notice of such intention to its members and creditors, and the requirement for voluntary liquidators to be persons who live within the British Virgin Islands, which will facilitate the collection and retention of a liquidated companies record within the territory. 

Elise Donovan, CEO of BVI Finance, comments: “The amendment to the BVI Business Companies Act has been made after extensive consultation with the financial services industry. The new Act will further strengthen the reputation and appeal of the BVI as a leading international financial centre operating with the highest regulatory standards and underpinned by a modern and robust legislative framework.”