US Virgin Islands
Company formation in brief
The constitutional status of the US Virgin Islands in terms of taxation and customs control is a territory outside the laws of the United States. The provisions of the US tax treaties do not apply to the territory of the USVI, which is treated as a separate tax jurisdiction. However, the provisions of many other treaties concluded by the United States apply to individuals and legal entities of the USVI.
US Virgin Islands is not a tax haven or offshore jurisdiction, but USVI companies (or corporations) could be established as "USVI Exempt Companies" with partial or full exemption from local and US federal income taxes.
To meet a tax-exempt status, the USVI Exempt Company should not conduct business in the USVI or the United States of America, and individuals who are residents of the USVI or the USA may not own more than 10% of the USVI Exempt Company capital.
USVI Exempt Companies are regulated by the USVI Corporate Code which is based on the Delaware Corporate Code of 1953.
A company is entitled to have a sole shareholder, but must have at least 3 directors and 3 officers (president, treasurer, and secretary) in its structure. All directors and shareholders can also be officers. A president must also be a director.
A capital of the USVI Exempt Company can not be less than US $ 1,000. Shares can be issued with and/or without nominal value (in practice, capital is represented as shares with no nominal value). Issuance of bearer shares is not allowed.
Each USVI Exempt Company is obliged to appoint a professional resident agent to provide a company with its registered office address.
The US Virgin Islands is the only jurisdiction under the USA flag which allows redomiciiliation of companies to and outside the USVI. When moving to the USVI, a foreign company that does not have tax-exempt status may decide to obtain one subject to the above conditions.
A transfer of a USVI company to another jurisdiction is possible only if legislation of the new jurisdiction allows such redomiciliation.
Moving to a new jurisdiction does not relieve a corporation from obligations that it had in the USVI before redomiciliation, but after the move, a corporation will not be longer a subject to the subsequent payment of USVI annual fees (which, depending on a type of activity, is at least US $150 per year, but for the USVI Exempt Company such annual fee is US $1000).
All USVI companies file declarations with and pay taxes to the USVI Bureau of Internal Revenue. All rates, forms, and applicable rules are the same as implemented in the USA.
The USA and USVI have signed an agreement regulating information exchange and mutual tax support to prevent tax evasion.
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