BVI Continues to Dominate International Company Formations


The annual international company incorporation survey for 1997 conducted by the Offshore Investment magazine shows that the British Virgin Islands continued to dominate the world offshore company formation market during the year. With almost 300,000 companies on register the BVI IBC is now one of the most used and accepted offshore companies in the world. In 1997 the territory formed approximately 50,000 new companies. Forty jurisdictions are covered by the survey and the countries listed with more than 4,000 offshore companies formed in 1997 are as follows:-

  • Jurisdiction

  • Companies Formed in 1997

  • Companies on The Register at 311297

  • British Virgin Islands

  • 50,000

  • 260,364

  • Bahamas

  • 18,455

  • 68,755

  • Cayman Islands

  • 7,124

  • 37,919

  • Cyprus

  • 4,231

  • 31,400

  • Isle of Man

  • 6,481

  • 41,147

  • Panama

  • 15,000

  • 350,000

A few countries declined to reveal the number of companies formed. Companies formed under laws and jurisdictions with more tradition "onshore" type regulations (such as Hong Kong and Ireland) are not included above. It is clear that the BVI continues to be the overwhelming worldwide choice for corporate domicile

Did you know......

That section 16 of the International Business Companies Act provides that a company that amends its Memorandum or Articles must submit to the Registrar of Companies an extract of the resolution of members or the resolution of directors amending the Memorandum or Articles, as the case may be, certified as a true copy by (a) the solicitor engaged in advising the company; or (b) the registered agent named in the Memorandum of the company, and the Registrar must retain and register the certified copy of the extract of the resolution.

It is useful to note that the act of filing the extract of the resolution is the act of the company who may chose to have the resolution certified by its registered agent or solicitor. While the company could theoretically file the certified document itself (say by a director), the practice of the Registrar is to only accept documents filed by the agent named in the company's memorandum or a reputable local solicitor (with the written consent of the Registered Agent) because of the practical problem of being sure that the document is authentic in circumstances where there is no way of identifying any other representative of the company.

This Newsletter on legal and other matters of general interest to the BVI is published as a service to the Territory and is not intended for sale.Past editions are posted on the internet at www.owomfg.com. Matters can be dealt with only in summary form and it is not intended that readers will act on the information without further consultation. We make no express or implied warranty regarding any information contained herein. This law firm or our lients may have an interest in some or all of the cases discussed.