The changes effected in December 2015 with regards to record keeping obligations for companies and limited partnerships aim to ensure that the BVI remains compliant with OECD requirements.
The record-keeping rules have been amended to include a more exact definition of the financial records that must be kept by such companies or partnerships. All registered companies, as well as new companies, are affected by this change.
Every BVI Company always has had, and continues to have the obligation to maintain records that:
Section 98 of the BVI Business Companies Act 2004, as amended by the BVI Business Companies (Amendment) Act 2015, provides that:
Under Section 98(2), companies must still meet their existing statutory obligation to keep records that are sufficient to show and explain a company's transactions. Additionally, the records must, at any time, enable the financial position of the company to be determined with reasonable accuracy.
Section 98 (7), as most recently amended, provides that records and underlying documentation must include the following:
Even though the requirement to keep accounts does not imply that BVI Companies are obliged to produce and maintain financial statements, it does mean they are required to keep accounting records such as invoices, contracts and similar documents in relation to the above.
Sanctions for non-compliance with the record-keeping rules
A company that contravenes its statutory record-keeping obligation under the BCA commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of US $50,000. This fine has been raised from the prior penalty of US $10,000.
Obligations of BVI Registered Agents
The registered agent shall keep and maintain a record of the place or places outside the Virgin Islands at which the company keeps its records and underlying documentation and such record shall include the name of the company and the address of the person who maintains and controls the company’s records and underlying documentation. Also, whenever required to do so by the Commission or any other competent authority in the Virgin Islands acting pursuant to the exercise of a power under an enactment, the registered agent shall request from the company, records and underlying documentation in respect of the company.