The Popularity of British Virgin Islands Entities In and Out of an Emerging Latin America

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Burns, Michael and McConvill, James (2011) The Popularity of British Virgin Islands Entities In and Out of an Emerging Latin America. Original Law Review, 7 (2). pp. 28-58. ISSN 1449-9053


The British Virgin Islands (“BVI”) is the world’s premier offshore jurisdiction for the incorporation of business companies, and anecdotally the most popular offshore jurisdiction used in investment structures in and out of Latin America. There are currently close to half a million active BVI companies, and around 1 million companies have been incorporated since the enactment of the BVI’s international business companies legislation now almost thirty years ago. One of the key reasons for the BVI’s popularity, in Latin America and across the world, is that it offers flexible corporate law rules, which is very useful for joint venture projects and for straightforward vehicles to hold assets and raise finance. Whilst providing for flexibility, it is also important to the BVI’s success that it maintains a reputation as being a responsible international financial centre. In addition to exploring the position of offshore structures in Latin America, and the use of BVI companies for projects rooted in Latin America, this article looks at some key commercial law reforms in the BVI over the last few years which have entrenched the BVI’s position as a leading, credible international financial centre. These reforms are designed to take BVI one step further in embracing and complying with international best practice policies and standards. This article dissects and discusses these reforms, and observes that while an extra layer of regulation has been applied to BVI companies through recent reforms, the BVI remains an attractive jurisdiction for international business companies.]

Item type Article
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Law
Historical > FOR Classification > 1801 Law
Historical > SEO Classification > 9404 Justice and the Law
Keywords ResPubID24244, foreign investments, British Virgin Islands, law reform, corporations law, company law, businesses, international finance
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