COMPANY STRUCTURE AND REGISTRATION PROCEDURES IN THE BVI


Should I register my offshore company with bearer shares or registered shares?

Although BVI legislation still permits existence of bearer shares, they have entirely lost their original meaning. Anonymity of the owner of bearer shares and quick ownership transfer (only by giving over the certificate itself) have been eliminated. Even if You choose to configure your BVI Business Company with bearer shares, you will never see the share certificates! The law requires that all bearer shares must be "immobilized", meaning that the share certificates must remain with a licensed custodian, together with a written indication as to the actual identity and address of the owner of such shares. Likewise, the transfer of the bearer shares will not be valid until identification documents and proof of address of the new owner are delivered to the custodian of the shares.

The initial and annually recurring Government fees are much higher for companies having bearer shares. Finally, most banks in the world would refuse opening account for an offshore company with bearer-shares.

Altogether, bearer shares in practice do not differ much from Registered Shares, yet are substantially more expensive and imply legal and practical encumbrances. For the reasons above, we do not recommend registering the companies with bearer shares.