Economic Substance in the BVI

Economic Substance legislation in the British Virgin Islands requires certain entities that are incorporated or registered in the British Virgin Islands, and which conduct one or more of a set list of relevant activities, to comply with local substance requirements known as ‘economic substance’. The legislation follows closely the approach taken by the Crown Dependencies of the UK (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man) and the other UK Overseas Territories including Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

The following specifically defined activities are considered relevant activities and relevant entities must comply with the economic substance rules in the relevant jurisdiction. In order to help you to determine whether or not your entities are required to comply with economic substance requirements, our expert team of lawyers have developed an online classification solution, which users can access at their convenience for a flat fee.

The following specifically defined activities are considered relevant activities and relevant entities must comply with the economic substance rules in the British Virgin Islands. 

  • Banking business
  • Insurance business
  • Shipping business
  • Fund management business
  • Financing and leasing business
  • Headquarters business
  • Holding company business
  • Intellectual property business
  • Distribution and service centre business

For more complex structures

For more complex structures that do not fall very simply into the “in” or “out of scope” boxes, our legal team have been at the forefront of the development of the legislation in the BVI and are ideally placed to a perform a full review of your entities to determine and advise on all aspects of compliance with substance legislation and, where appropriate, what actions must be taken. Please contact one of the key contacts below for help or send an email by clicking here.

Establishing substance in the BVI

For clients that do need to establish and demonstrate substance in the British Virgin Islands we are perfectly positioned to provide bespoke and integrated legal and administrative substance solutions. We provide a full suite of governance, resident director and accounting services. We can also work with you to obtain trade licences, work permits, premises, specialist equipment, or dedicated human resources.

If you manage or own an entity that may be affected by substance rules based on the nature of its operations, please contact one of the key contacts below.

Economic Substance in the BVI