Located in the north eastern Caribbean, the British Virgin Islands are a British Overseas Territory enjoying internal self government in a stable political environment. The legal system is based on English common law and the US dollar is legal tender within the islands. There are no exchange control regulations and entities established by and for international clients can operate from a tax neutral base in the BVI. This international business represents over 50% of the economic activity of the islands (tourism being the other major industry) and has led to the development of a comprehensive infrastructure of legal, accounting, banking and other skills.
The BVI is the recognised leader in offshore corporate activity with the largest companies registry in the offshore world. The BVI Business Companies Act forms the basis and impetus for this growth and the jurisdiction has been rightly praised for offering quick, flexible and cost effective solutions for many offshore structuring plans. Trust, Partnership, Mutual Fund and Insolvency legislation also has all been passed within recent years allowing the BVI to take its place as a premier international business jurisdiction serving a truly global client base. Legislation catering to private trust companies allows the BVI to be leader in this area and this, together with the unique Vista trust concept (creating the possibility of greater settlor control of trust assets), ensures that the BVI remains a preferred trust jurisdiction.