Ownership and Control of my Offshore Company
If somebody investigates my offshore company, what data can be obtained from the Registry of Companies in the BVI?
Anyone can access the publicly available information of the companies: the company name, registration date, registration number, Registered Office address and the name of the Registered Agent. There is an option, available to any BVI Business Company, that – only if it wants – it can submit its Register of Directors and/or the Register of Shareholders to public file as well. If this has been done, then the information on directors and/or shareholders would also be publicly available. However, this latter filing is an option, and would only have been done under express instructions from the beneficial owner(s) of the company.
Since recently, the BVI Registry also requires the identities and addresses of the beneficial owners of all companies to be filed. This information is on file, but it’s not publicly available under any circumstances.
Only in very specific cases this confidential information can be provided to domestic and foreign law-enforcement agencies. Such information can and will be provided by the BVI under very strict formalities prescribed by the relevant bi-lateral or multi-lateral international information exchange agreements, to those foreign governments which have negotiated and concluded such agreements with the British Virgin Islands. This procedure is quite efficient and is routinely used in criminal investigation cases, which certainly includes investigations of money laundering, terrorist financing, corruption, financial crime and any other criminal wrongdoing in general. In itself, this is a clear deterrent against even attempting to use an international business company for any criminal or malicious purpose, as opposed to use it for genuine international trade and services.