BVI Annual Financial Returns: Important Update for Clients

Following significant amendments to the BVI Business Companies Act which came into force on 1 January 2023, we understand that the BVI Financial Services Commission has now finalised the Annual Financial Return (AFR) form which every BVI company is required to prepare and file annually with its Registered Agent.

On 2nd March 2023, the BVI Business Companies (Financial Return) Order was published, which outlines the necessary details about the AFR form, filing deadlines and entities exempted from this requirement. In summary, the AFR must include a simple balance sheet and income statement, following the format specified in the Schedule to the Order (click here to view the Schedule).

The following issues are also worth noting in brief:

  • Companies are required to file their AFR with their Registered Agent within 9 months of their due date. Companies with a calendar year financial period are therefore required to file their first AFR with their Agent no later than 30th September 2024
  • Companies currently in liquidation are not required to prepare an AFR for any financial periods in which the company is in liquidation. However, AFRs must be filed for all relevant financial years before the commencement of the liquidation.
  • If a company fails to provide the AFR to the Registered Agent, the Agent must notify the BVI Financial Services Commission of this within 30 days after the deadline of its submission. Non-compliance with the AFR filing requirements constitutes an offence and is subject to penalties. Furthermore, the company’s good standing may be compromised, and it could even face being struck off by the Registrar.

How Rooks Rider Solicitors LLP can help

Considering these new obligations, we strongly recommend that you begin reviewing the financial records of your BVI Company at the earliest opportunity.

We are not able to advise on BVI law or assist directly in relation to the new requirements, but are regularly in touch with a wide range of experts in the jurisdiction who can assist here.

Any queries should be directed to Chris Cooke, Karen Methold or Robert Drysdale in the first instance.

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