Offshore Updates

BVI Update – Major changes in 2022 of the BVI Business Companies Act

Trinh Thi Tuyet Anh
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It is important to know that the British Virgin Islands (BVI) authorities enacted a certain number of amendments to the BVI Business Companies Act, 2004. These amendments will take effect on January 1st, 2023 with the following significant changes:

The Annual Return filing

All BVI companies will be required to file an annual financial return with their registered agent. The annual return shall be filed within 9 months following from the end of the financial year. In practice, the first deadline for companies with a year-end of 31 December 2023 for the filling therefore expected to be 30 September 2024.

Struck off and dissolved companies

Under the current law, a BVI company may be struck off the register of companies by the BVI Registrar of Corporate Affairs for certain reasons. It usually occurs due to failure to pay annual fees, or failure to retain a registered agent. The company will have a period of 7 years to restore its status or be automatically dissolved after that period.

From January 1st, 2023, BVI companies that fail to comply with its ongoing requirements will be dissolved immediately by the Registrar after a notice period. Dissolved companies will be able to apply for restoration within a period of 5 years without the need for a court order if certain requirements are met.

The names of directors are publicly available

Upon request and payment of a search fee, the names of a company’s current directors may be made available publicly on application to the Registrar via the BVI Financial Services Commission’s (“FSC’s”) online filing platform, VIRRGIN. Other information about the directors besides the names will not be produced on the search.

 

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