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British Virgin Islands Economic Substance

Updated: Feb 25

British Virgin Islands Economic Substance

The BVI Economic Substance (ES) regime was introduced in 2019 to address concerns about tax avoidance and ensure companies operating in the British Virgin Islands have a genuine economic presence. It applies to companies and limited partnerships that are tax resident in the BVI and carry on any of the nine "relevant activities" defined in the legislation. These activities include:

  • Banking business

  • Insurance business

  • Shipping business

  • Fund management business

  • Finance and leasing business

  • Headquarters business

  • Holding business

  • Intellectual property business

  • Distribution and service centre business

Companies that are subject to the ES regime must demonstrate that they have adequate economic substance in the BVI. This means that they must have:

  • A physical presence in the BVI, such as an office or employees

  • Qualified employees with the necessary expertise to carry on the relevant activity

  • Adequate expenditure in the BVI related to the relevant activity

  • Board meetings held in the BVI with a quorum of directors physically present

Companies that fail to meet the ES requirements may be subject to penalties, including sanctions and strike-off from the BVI register.

The BVI ES regime is a complex piece of legislation, and it is important for companies to seek professional advice to ensure they are complying with the requirements.

How Bestar can Help

British Virgin Islands Economic Substance

General information on how Bestar might assist with BVI Economic Substance (ES) compliance for Hong Kong companies:

Compliance Assessment & Gap Analysis:

  • Assess if your company falls under the BVI ES regime based on activities and tax residency.

  • Analyze your current economic substance in the BVI, identifying areas for improvement.

  • Compare your current practices with the ES requirements to identify gaps in compliance.

Developing a Tailored Compliance Plan:

  • Create a customized plan that addresses your specific needs and addresses identified gaps.

  • Guide you on establishing a physical presence in the BVI, if necessary.

  • Assist with hiring qualified employees or outsourcing services to meet ES criteria.

  • Advise on incurring appropriate expenditures related to your BVI operations.

Ongoing Support & Reporting:

  • Assist with filing required ES returns and reports to the BVI authorities.

  • Monitor changes in BVI ES regulations and keep you informed.

  • Provide ongoing guidance on maintaining adequate economic substance.

  • Offer general tax advice related to BVI and Hong Kong tax implications.

Contact Bestar for details on our specific services and how we can assist you with BVI Economic Substance compliance for your company.

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