OVERVIEW: A Look at the Approved Manager Regime in the BVI

The Approved Fund Manager regime in the British Virgin Islands has been in force since 2012 and was designed to cater to start-ups, but is equally attractive to established small and medium-sized funds. Until recently we could count the number of AFMs in the structures we administer on one hand. However this has changed rapidly over the last 6 months. Increasingly we find this regime to be of interest to managers of global funds or where managers require an additional leg to their investment advisory function, often for specific investment purposes.

BVI Economic Substance framework now fully operational

The International Tax Authority has informed all Registered Agents and legal entities with reporting obligations under the Economic Substance (Companies and Limited Partnerships) Act, 2018 and the Beneficial Ownership Secure Search System Act, 2017 that the Economic Substance portal as integrated with the Beneficial Ownership Secure Search system (BOSS(ES)s) went live on 12 June 2020.

Regulatory regime for closed-ended funds in the BVI

In line with other offshore jurisdictions and in order to comply with commitments to the EU, the BVI has introduced a ‘private investment fund’ regime by enacting the Securities and Investment Business (Amendment) Act, 2019 and the accompanying Private Investment Funds Regulations, 2019.

Economic Substance Requirements in the BVI

The Economic Substance (Companies and Limited Partnerships) Act, 2018 came into force on 1 January 2019 requiring British Virgin Islands companies and limited partnerships that are tax resident and carrying out ‘Relevant Activities’ to demonstrate economic substance. The new legislation, which applies to existing and new BVI entities, was introduced to address the concerns of the EU Code of Conduct Group and the OECD Forum on Harmful Tax Practices regarding economic substance.

This summary replaces our original release of 11 January 2019 and updates from 31 May 2019 and 16 July 2019 (respectively) to provide a consolidated overview of the key aspects of the legislation and guidance.