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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the advantages of British Virgin Islands offshore services?
  • The British Virgin Islands are considered to be one of the most reputable offshore jurisdictions in the world, with over 1 million Companies registered
  • Sound commerce, financial services and telecommunications infrastructure
  • BVI is a British Overseas Territory with a long history of political stability
  • BVI Law is based on the British Legal System and the English Common Law
  • The court system final appeal is to the Privy Council in the United Kingdom
  • BVI Financial Services Commission has maintained tight regulatory environment to safeguard the globally-respected integrity of the jurisdiction
  • At the same time, British Virgin Islands laws are considered among the most innovative, flexible and user-friendly of all the credible offshore financial centers in the world
  • Major global banks are represented in the British Virgin Islands, including FirstCaribbean International Bank (a subsidiary of CIBC)
  • BVI local currency is the United States Dollar
Q. What are service Delivery Times?
  • All orders that require surface delivery will be delivered within five (5) business days of their receipt
  • Please notify us if special considerations are required for surface delivery on weekends, and our staff will make every effort to accommodate your request
Q. What is the typical process for incorporating offshore in the British Virgin Islands?
A. At Crescent, a typical offshore incorporation cycle consists of the following key steps:
  1. Incorporation request
  2. Eligibility check conducted by Crescent
Q. What are the advantages of offshore investing?
  • Offshore investing provides a wide range of investment strategies that capitalize on advantages offered outside of investor's home country. The vast majority of offshore investing is perfectly legal. Depending on your situation, offshore investing might offer numerous advantages
  • More than half of the world's assets are held in offshore jurisdictions and many prominent firms have invested offshore. Reputable offshore jurisdictions usually have high political and economic stability and fairly sophisticated and stringently managed regulatory environment. Respectable offshore financial institutions offer trustworthy and time-tested mutual funds
  • Some offshore jurisdictions (tax havens) charge little or no tax, especially to the locally incorporated companies, even if their owners reside elsewhere and the mutual funds themselves are invested in other jurisdictions
  • Offshore investing ensures asset protection -- i.e., individuals or corporations concerned about extortion or lawsuits might transfer their assets to an offshore entity, which protects them from arbitrary capture or from domestic politico-economic turmoil
  • Many offshore jurisdictions have laws ensuring strict corporate and banking confidentiality, except for illegal activities established through court's decisions
  • In some countries regulations restrict which international funds can be sold. Offshore accounts are typically more flexible, allowing diversification of investments, and unlimited access to all major exchanges
Q. What is a holding company?
  • A holding company is a corporation that owns part of the voting stock in other firms -- active companies with assets, people and business operations
  • A "pure" holding company does not produce goods or services and has no employees
  • A parent company is a particular type of the holding company that owns enough voting stock in other firms (subsidiaries) to allow it to control their management and operations, by influencing or electing its board of directors
  • A bank holding company is a type of the holding company that has a license to operate in specified jurisdictions, controls one or more financial institutions, and is being closely supervised by the corresponding states financial regulatory agencies
Q. What are the advantages of creating a holding company?
  • Holding companies allow the ownership and control of a number of different companies
  • Holding companies can facilitate succession planning and income splitting with family members
  • By creating additional layer of asset protection, holding companies allow the reduction of risk for the owners. This can be achieved by removing the earnings from the operating company to the holding company (so creditors cannot get them), and subsequently reinvesting them back into the operating company as a secured creditor
  • In some jurisdictions holding companies permit more sophisticated tax planning, i.e., by taking tax-free dividends from an operating company, thus postponing the personal tax until the time when it is most advantageous to the owner
  • As the parent company holds the stock in the subsidiary as assets on its books, it can be used as collateral for additional debt financing
  • The owners who plan to sell their operating company with significant cash in the bank can distribute those earnings to the holding company ("safe income distribution"), thus postponing the capital gains tax they have to pay on the eventual sale of the shares
  • Holding companies allow cash-flow financing between two mutually independent operating companies, i.e. by moving earnings from a cash rich company to a cash poor one through a common holding company. This might be especially advantageous if the operating companies reside in separate states with different tax rates
Q. How can I legalize a commercial or personal document so that it would be recognized in a foreign country?
  • To be officially recognized by a government agency in a foreign country, a personal or corporate document must be certified (e.g., before an international shipment is allowed into the country). For countries that belong to The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (i.e., see a list at, the legalization procedure is streamlined with the use of "apostilles". An apostille is typically assigned to the original produced by a government agency or after the endorsement of its copy by a local Notary Public, or after notarization of the original if it was issued by a non-government organization. Still, obtaining a valid apostille might be a complex multi-step process, especially if the document must be translated to another language. Each individual apostille, with its standard stamp and a unique registration number, would be recognized at any country that belongs to The Hague Convention
  • If a country is not a signatory to The Hague Convention, legalization procedure for a foreign document is typically even more lengthy and complicated, less defined and often depends on the type of the document being certified. After notarization, a document might have to be authenticated by the government of the issuing country or receive a Certificate of Authentication from the corresponding Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Consequently, it must be legalized by the embassy or consular staff of the country in which the transaction occurs (usually before the document has been sent to the country of its final destination), and such a legalized document is only valid in that country
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