The BVI has a reliable legal and judicial system with a proven track record of defending offshore interests, especially against claims and requests originating from abroad.
BVI independent legal system is based on English Common Law, with a right of final appeal to the Privy Council in London. Policies and legislation are developed in the close consultation with the private sector, one of the objectives was to create a tax-free environment for offshore business.
BVI offshore and corporate legislation is solid, yet modern and very flexible. In fact, it is the model upon which much of the other Caribbean IBC formation legislation is based: quite a large number of jurisdictions have taken the British Virgin Islands IBC Act 1984 of the British Virgin Islands and adapted it to their circumstances without changing it a lot. These adaptations may be very effective, as in case in Seychelles or St.Lucia. However, BVI remain the most competitive and mature older tax haven which still introduces new replacements, as in the British Virgin Islands Business Companies Act 2004.
Many of the benefits of the British Virgin Islands flow from the combination of a very high level of flexibility and the outstanding confidentiality allocated in the legislation. The main characteristics of BVI corporate legislation:
- there is a requirement only one shareholder and one director (both may be private persons or corporate entities);
- corporate officers are not required;
- annual general meetings are not required;
- bearer shares are permitted;
- the company needs only keep those accounts and records that are considered appropriate by the Director(s).
- BVI authorities need not to be informed of the identity of the IBC's shareholders or directors.