A proposal to amend the BVI Business Companies 2004 has been introduced in the BVI’s House of Assembly. The proposal, together with the BVI Business Companies Regulations 2012 has been published in the BVI Gazette. Changes are anticipated to become effective by the end of 2012.
Most of the suggested amendments are minor changes, where the most interesting changes are:
The amendment will make it explicitly clear that the Registrar, when considering whether to allow a company name, is not to be concerned with the legal rights any person or company has to the name or to the use of the names (regardless if this arises out of trade or service mark legislation in the BVI or elsewhere or under common law).
Foreign character names
The regulations contain a detailed provision for the registration of an additional foreign character name for a BVI company. This will require a notarized statement by a “person with the necessary competence” confirming the translation and meaning of the foreign character name when applying for registration.
Reuse company names
The regulations will allow for a company name to be reused once that BVI company has been dissolved (or moved from the BVI to another jurisdiction) after a period of seven years.
The amendment proposes that the liquidation of a solvent BVI company will commence on the registration with the Registry of a notice of appointment by the voluntary liquidator, rather than at the time of resolution to appoint the voluntary liquidator. In addition, the Regulations determine that BVI companies which are regulated entities (excl. funds) will be required to appoint a licensed insolvency practitioner as voluntary liquidator.
The amendment proposes an application to restore a BVI company (e.g. by paying the outstanding license fees, etc.) will need to be made within 7 years of the company being struck off (opposed to current 10 years) before the company will be dissolved.
Listed company and funds regulations
The amendment will enable regulations to be made to exclude or modify the provisions of the Business Company Act in relation to listed BVI companies and BVI companies operating as funds.
These we feel are the most relevant proposals. Should you require more information on the proposals, please do not hesitate to contact your VBK account manager(s) or just post a response to this blog.