The Registry of Corporate Affairs primarily administers the BVI Business Companies Act and is responsible for ensuring that entities doing business in and from within the Territory are duly registered and that the Register of Companies is properly maintained.

The Intellectual Property Unit within the Registry of Corporate Affairs is responsible for administering all laws relating to intellectual property in the British Virgin Islands.

Responsibilities currently include the registration and post registration filings under the Trade Marks Act, The Registration of UK Trade Marks Act, and The Registration of UK Patents Act.

For further information, contact:

Myrna Herbert, Director
Registry of Corporate Affairs
Tel: +1 (284) 494-1324 or 284-494/4190, ext.2008/9
Fax: +1 (284) 494-5016

Trade licenses

Government encourages local, foreign and joint business ventures in the Territory.
To operate a business in the Virgin Islands, a trade license is required.

For further information and application forms, contact:

Karia Christopher, Director
Department of Trade, Investment Promotions and Consumer Affairs
Tel: +1 (284) 494-3701, ext.2008/9
Fax: +1 (284) 468-2918

Work Permits

To work in the BVI, individuals from outside the Territory including UK citizens are required to apply for a work permit which is issued by the Department of Labour and Workforce Development.
Work permits are issued only when there are no qualified BVIslanders and Belongers to perform the job in question. Applicants are required to apply through their sponsor or potential employer.

There are different requirements for temporary, self-employed, renewal, and standard work permits.

For more information, contact:

Mervin Hastings, Ag. Labour Commissioner
Department of Labour and Workforce Development
Tel: +1 (284) 468-3701, ext. 4708-4713

Shipping Registry

The Virgin Islands Shipping Registry seeks to ensure that Virgin Islands ships can safely, securely and efficiently enjoy the freedom of the seas and the support of a vigorous and effective Maritime Administration.

We will achieve this through:

• Implementing the Maritime policies of the Government covering shipping operations, safety of life at sea, security and the prevention of, and response to, pollution from ships;

• Implementing and enforcing the regulations applicable to all Virgin Islands vessels on both domestic and international routes, and for all vessels navigating in the territorial waters of the Virgin Islands;

• Developing and adopting appropriate standards of training, evaluation and certification for Virgin Islands seafarers and on-shore staff in accordance with the respective needs of international and domestic shipping and the BVI maritime industry; and

• Providing timely, accurate and appropriate information and advice to the Government, public and private sector organisations and the general public.

For more information, contact:

John Samuel, Director
Virgin Islands Shipping Registry
Tel: +1 (284) 468-3701, ext. 4708-4713

Investment Opportunities

The British Virgin Islands is one of the most desirable places in the Caribbean to work and invest. The twin economic pillars of tourism and international financial services contribute more than 70% of GDP. There is also some limited light industry,agriculture and fishing.

Estimates for 2006 report GDP per capita at $38,975. The BVI offers:

  • Leading international corporate domicile
  • Competitive administration costs
  • Tax exemption for International Business Companies
  • No capital gains, gift or wealth taxes and no death duties
  • No exchange controls
  • An established trust law
  • Good communication worldwide
  • Minimum of bureaucracy and red tape.
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British Virgin Islands London Office