How To Choose The Name For BVI Business Company

  • Post category:BVI

A lot of emphasis is put on making sure that any BVI company’s name is used accurately when conducting business. A company’s name introduces and identifies it to the world, just like anything else, so it is important to get it right.

Choosing the Name for a BVI Business Company

LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR NAMES FOR A BVI COMPANY

FOR THE NAMES OF BVI COMPANIES, THE LAW SPECIFIES SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS

  • Up to 100 characters can be used in company names, including the standard QWERTY keyboard symbols and basic alphanumeric characters (except for currency symbols, which may only be used if they contain an accent or other diacritical mark, in which case the Registrar may decide to allow their use).
  • BVI businesses are required to choose a unique company name that differs from previously registered company names.
  • One of the following suffixes must appear in a company name: “Société Anonyme,” “Limited,” “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” “Sociedad Anonima,” or the abbreviations “Ltd.,” “Corp.,” “S.A.”, or “Inc.”
  • The company name can be in Chinese (Mandarin – Mainland China language), as a result, the country is one of the most favorite countries for Chinese, Taiwanese, and Hong Konger investors.
  • No word associated with the patronage of Her Majesty, a member of the Royal Family, Her Majesty’s Government, or any other local government or body incorporated by Royal Charter may be used in the company name.
  • The name of the particular type of business for which a license is needed, like banking or insurance. Therefore, terms like “fund,” “mutual funds,” “assurance,” “bank,” “banker,” “casino,” “council,” etc. cannot be used in a company name in the BVI.

RE-USE OF NAMES

Recycling company names seems unavoidable given that over a million companies have been incorporated in the BVI over the years. Generally, a company name may be used again under the following situations:

  • If a business changes its name, another business may use it or a name that sounds similar to it (1) if the first business agrees and the name change is a legitimate part of the sale of the business or undertaking, or if the two businesses are linked. (2) if the first company agrees, after three years, or (3) in any other case, after seven years.
  • If a business has changed its name, it can go back to the original name whenever it wants as long as the name is still available.
  • The name may be used again at any point if the original company dissolves.
  • If a business has exited the BVI, another business may use its name or a name that sounds similar, after seven years.
  • If a company that has been discontinued decides to reappear in the BVI, it may do so under its previous name, provided it is still available.
  • The name of an insolvent company, or one that is similar to it, may only be used again in situations where the liquidator or administrative receiver has sold the insolvent company’s business or where the BVI court has approved the use of the name. (1) A company that is (1) in liquidation or administrative receivership under the BVI Insolvency Act, 2003 (the Insolvency Act) or (2) has been dissolved following liquidation or administrative receivership under the Insolvency Act in the preceding two years

ADOPTION OF FOREIGN CHARACTER NAME

BVI companies can choose to use both an English and a foreign character name. While most choose to use only an English name, many do so at the time of incorporation or at a later date.

There isn’t a set list of foreign characters that can be used, but many names translate the company’s English name; although this isn’t strictly required. 

Any company can apply to register a foreign character name with the BVI Registrar of Corporate Affairs (the Registrar), and no two companies may register the same foreign character name (or names that are so similar as to mislead or confuse), in the same way that no two companies may be registered with the same English name.

Once the foreign character name is registered, the company’s constitutional documents must reflect both names. Additionally, the company must make sure that all written correspondence sent by it or on its behalf, as well as any legal documents executed by it or on its behalf (and evidencing or creating the foreign character name) clearly state the company’s full name, which includes both its English name and its foreign character name.

It is important to note that non-compliance exposes the business to penalties and a $1,000 local fine, but it does not make the obligations stated in the documents invalid or unenforceable. On the other hand, businesses are free to choose whether or not to put their foreign name on their company seal. 

SIMILAR NAMES BY MULTIPLE COMPANIES

Companies based in the British Virgin Islands have traditionally been prohibited from using names that are too similar to those of other companies in the region to avoid confusion or deception. But in recent years, the rule has been somewhat relaxed, giving the Registrar greater freedom to approve names that would typically be considered too similar when working with affiliated companies.

REGISTRAR DISCRETION IN APPROVING COMPANY NAME

It appears that the Registrar has extremely wide discretion in deciding whether or not to approve a proposed name, and she is not required to consider the existence of any trademark, service mark, or other intellectual property right related to the proposed company name.

Reach out to us at Relin Consultants – Leading Global Business Set Up Partners for further assistance with choosing the right name for your BVI business registration.

FAQs

How do I check the availability of a company name in the BVI?

The BVI Commercial Registry has information on businesses established in the British Virgin Islands. A company’s registration number, registered office, date of incorporation, status, authorized capital, and other details are all publicly available.

What are the naming requirements for a BVI Business Company?

BVI businesses are required to choose a unique business name that differs from previously registered company names. One of the following suffixes must appear in a company name: “Société Anonyme,” “Limited,” “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” “Sociedad Anonima,” or the abbreviations “Ltd.,” “Corp.,” “S.A.”, or “Inc.”

Can I reserve a company name before registering my BVI Business Company?

The first step for the applicant is to select a unique name for the proposed business. The selected name must then be reserved with the BVI Registry. However, the company name will be looked up on the submitted name by the BVI Commercial Registry.

Can I change my company name after registration?

Yes, the BVI company number name can be changed to another name at any time.

Are there any restrictions on using certain words in the company name?

The name of the particular type of business for which a license is needed, like banking or insurance. Therefore, terms like “fund,” “mutual funds,” “assurance,” “bank,” “banker,” “casino,” “council,” etc. cannot be used in a company name in the BVI.