This brief update provides an introduction to the new registration requirements in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) for non-profit organisations.
On 1 January 2013 the Non-Profit Organisation Act, 2012 (the “Act”) came into force which introduced the need for NPOs operating in the BVI to be registered under the Act.
The Act is part of the BVI government’s wider aim to implement regulatory regimes to prevent money laundering within organisations in the BVI.
2. The Act
The Act defines an NPO as “a body of persons whether incorporated or unincorporated, established solely or primarily for the promotion of charitable, religious, cultural, educational, social or fraternal purposes, or other activities or
programmes for the benefit of the public, or a section of the public and which raises or disburses funds in pursuance of its objectives primarily within the [BVI].”
Any organisation operating mainly or solely for the benefit of the public within the BVI may be caught by the definition of an NPO and will need to be registered under the Act. If you have any doubt as to whether your organisation requires registration under the Act, Forbes Hare is able to provide you with an assessment.
Those NPOs that existed prior to the Act coming into force have until 31 March 2013 to register. Those NPOs that started on 1 January 2013 or after will need to register before they begin operating in the BVI.
The Act imposes penalties for non-registration of up to six months imprisonment or a fine of up to US$10,000.
In order to be registered an application with supporting documents has to be submitted to the Board appointed under the Act to review such application. The application fee for newly formed NPOs is US$100 and for existing organisations it is US$50 if the NPO’s gross annual income does not exceed US$250,000 or US$100 if it exceeds that amount. Forbes Hare is able to provide you with assistance when completing the application for registration.
This legal guide is intended to be for the general information of the clients and professional contacts of Forbes Hare. It is not intended to be comprehensive.
If you would like to receive further information, or more detailed guides on a range of BVI legal topics, please do not hesitate to contact:
British Virgin Islands
DD: +1 284 852 1899