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BVI Trust



The British Virgin Islands (BVI) consist of a group of islands geographically situated in the Caribbean.  The capital is Road Town, located on the Tortola island which is the largest island, and the approximate population is around 35,000. The BVI is a British Overseas Territory with a legal system based on mainly English common law.


A Trust comes into existence when an individual or a legal entity (Settlor) gratuitously transfers the legal ownership of assets (Trust Property) to another person or persons (Trustees) to hold for the benefit of other person(s) termed as the Beneficiaries or for a specific purpose. The Trustees have an equitable obligation, which bind them to hold and deal with the trust property in accordance with the terms of the trust.


BVI trust is regulated by the Trustee Ordinance Act 1961 (as amended) and has been supplemented by the Special Trust Act 2003 (as amended) to provide for VISTA legislation regulating the unique VISTA trust.




BVI trusts are exempt from any taxes provided that no beneficiaries are resident in the BVI and that the trust does not hold any assets in the BVI or carry out business activities in BVI.


Types of Trusts             


  • Fixed Interest Trust

  • Accumulation and Maintenance Trust

  • Discretionary Trust

  • Revocable Trust

  • Charitable Purpose Trust

  • Non-Charitable Purpose Trust

  • VISTA Trust


Trust Migration


Trusts can migrate to and from BVI. For example Trusts in Jersey, Mauritius, Guernsey or Isle of Man and other jurisdictions can migrate to BVI and vice versa.




The settlor of a discretionary trust can appoint a protector to vet over the controls placed around core powers of the trustees, whether dispositive or administrative. The trustee must have the consent of the protector to proceed with some specific transaction.


Key features of a BVI Trust


  • Possibility for the Settlor to leave on or before his death letters of wishes setting out how he/she would wish the trust to be administered

  • Anti-forced heirship rules

  • Recognition of Purpose Trusts and VISTA Trusts

  • Possibility to accumulate income for any period during the duration of the trust

  • No perpetuity rules for Charitable Trusts (360 years)

  • Trust instrument may contain power to vary terms of trust.

  • May hold real estate properties in BVI

  • No disclosure of the trustees’ deliberations, the name of the Settlors and the Beneficiaries unless there is an order from the court for the purpose of enquiry relating to trafficking of narcotics & dangerous drugs, arms trafficking or Money Laundering


Uses of BVI Trusts


  • Assets protection and succession planning

  • Forced heirship

  • Confidentiality and privacy

  • Prevention of division of assets/protection of control over family business

  • Philanthropy




VISTA trust is unique and is regulated by the Virgen Islands Special Trusts Act 2003 as amended. VISTA trust is a modern trust mostly used by settlors who wish to have control over administration and management of underlying investments and companies.


VISTA trust is usually created by settlors where the trust intends to hold shares in underlying companies for long term or indefinitely and trustee cannot intervene in the affairs of underlying companies save in special circumstances.


VISTA trust can only hold shares in BVI companies. In case, the trust intends to hold shares in a non-BVI company, the shares will be held by a intermediate company in the BVI.


Steps for setting up a BVI Trust include:


  • Completing Trust Application Form

  • Provide KYC documents on all parties (Settlor, Protector and Beneficiaries)

  • Execution of Trust Deed

  • Transfer of the Initial Trust fund to the Trustee


Premier Global Fiduciary Services DMCC is here to advise you how best to set up a BVI Trust and discuss all support services required. If you are interested in setting up a BVI Trust or for guidance and additional information, please feel free to contact us on or call us on +97144696707. Know more about our Services.

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