BVI News

Business Licensing Act to make BVI more attractive for trade

Premier and Minister for Finance Dr Natalio Wheatley has noted that the Business Licensing Act, 2020 seeks to transform the business environment in the Virgin Islands by making it easier, more convenient, more efficient, and competitive for persons looking to register their business and engage in trade in the territory.

Dr Wheatley said the legislation seeks to modernise and streamline the registration process and remove unnecessary impediments from the system and enhance the overall efficiency of the process.

He added that he hopes it creates an environment that is more business-friendly and inviting to people who wish to engage in economic activities in the Virgin Islands.

“Increased participation and activity in the economy helps our economy to provide opportunities for our residents and Virgin Islanders. It helps our economy to grow, expand and develop and thereby create more opportunities while also increasing our resilience by promoting diversification,” Dr Wheatley said.

“You see as business activity increases, it triggers an increase in the traditional goods and services but as these activities expand you will see other demands and opportunities arise and this is where the entrepreneurial eye and the entrepreneurial spirit of our Virgin Islands people are known for coming into play. Spotting those new and emerging opportunities and jumping on them,” the Finance Minister said.

The Premier explained it has been a long-running conversation that the territory’s economy needs to diversify and expand by creating new industries and new areas of business activities. He added the Virgin Islands need to attract and develop more business and new businesses with locals.

“Of course, highly productive, and meaningfully engaged and thereby benefiting from their economy. Yes, we have a strong tourism product and a strong tourism industry which is one of our main economic drivers. Yes, we also have a strong financial services industry with a world-class product which is our second main engine. But because we have two powerful engines generating income and driving our economy, it does not mean we must sit back and say that is enough because it is not enough; especially in a dynamic and competitive global and regional economy,” Dr Wheatley said.


He admitted the shocks from the 2017 hurricanes and floods and the recent impacts of COVID-19 on international travel and tourism have put a spotlight on how risky it is for an economy to be highly dependent on a small number of revenue streams.

“Similarly, we have seen threats to our financial services industries, we have seen the revenues dip when certain changes are made to how the industry operates, not just in the Virgin Islands but how it operates in other jurisdictions as well. We have weathered the storms but that is not enough,” the Finance Minister added

“We must ensure our tourism and financial services remain vibrant and competitive, but we must look at what new opportunities can be created within those industries and what other opportunities and industries we can add to that basket. That is why we must look at the ease and efficiency of doing business in the Virgin Islands and how it compares with the ease of doing business in other jurisdictions,” Premier Wheatley continued.

The Premier said it is important to encourage competitiveness because the businesses the territory hopes to attract and develop in the Virgin Islands may be pushed to other jurisdictions because the territory does not offer a competitive business environment.

“Competitiveness is not just about price but about value and quality of experience. It is about fairness, accountability and integrity of the system and balance against unnecessary impediments,” Dr Wheatley said.


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  1. poor we says:

    Red carpet for outsiders…Red tape for bvislanders

    Like 8
    Dislike 16
    • So right says:

      Such idiots. They just don’t see tjat they are not helping locals by making it easier for foreigners to cito come in start businesses in the BVI which by any standard is equivalent to a very small or even town in those foreign jurisdictions

      • Actually...... says:

        There are a lot of “outsiders” contributing heavily to the economy with their businesses.
        A lot of locals do have business ideas and cant get them pass that, “an idea”.

        If you have a business find a young person you can pour into and help them start a business. Mentor, tutor and not spew negativity on a situation that can help the greater cause.

        Just my thoughts.

  2. Lmfao says:

    So do you still have to have a Belonger as your useless partner to open a business. Do you still have to show he owns 51%? Do you still have to have a Minister or other high ranking politician digging in your pockets to own a business. Same s**t different day. Governor please take the reins.

    Like 30
    Dislike 2
    • No changes says:

      I’m an expat and applied a few times since 2018. Had it declined because I needed a local partner, then because I was under a Work-Permit even though my current boss had written a letter saying he was fine with me seeking for my own trade license. I will keep trying…

    • Samson says:

      its 60%

    • Mandaschool says:

      When I listen to the complaints of some people, I suggest, run for office and fix it yourself. If you don’t like rules. Go some place else without rules.

      Like 4
      Dislike 3
  3. Rubber Duck says:

    The last thing business and enterprospise need is brain dead politicians like Slow and cr**ks like Fahie sticking their stupid noses in.

    None of the worlds successful economies have such acts. Only in the third world disasters do they have such rubbish

    The entire purpose of this appalling piece of legislation is to make it easier for the rats to get at the cheese.


    Kill this please, Mr Rankin.

    Like 25
    Dislike 3
  4. Pandora says:

    Whoaaa Cowboy! This act DOES NOT make it easier. In fact, it makes things considerably more cumbersome. People, please read the act before you let government decide. For private enterprise this is not a good Act.

    Like 19
  5. More words says:

    In regard to the new 2020 law please just tell us:

    1) What is the trade license fee? Does this fee apply to ALL persons or only a select few?.

    2) How long does it take to process a trade license application for any person?

    3) Does this act discriminate against persons from other countries outside the BVI? If yes then why?

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
  6. Its note the process says:

    The current process is simple its the ridiculously long approval time and unwillingness to issue new trade licences that is the problem. A new system wont fix the current attitude. With the economy in the soup why not freely issue trade licences to BVIslanders even if they intend to compete against your non performing cousin!

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  7. BuzzBvi says:

    This and the Investment Act already passed are the two worst possible pieces of legislation. There will be no outside investors that will want anything to do with the VI. Read them. Nothing is changing in the VI until we get rid of this way of thinking.

    Like 17
    Dislike 2
  8. keep it up says:

    lots of folk about end of leash. keep treating we all non born here like trash and we will rise, 20000, and trash the place.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  9. Me says:

    This is a horrible piece of legislation. People please read and talk about it to your District reps. It’s going to make trade and investment harder with all the new requirements. Remember there were meetings and the business owners were not happy. Dr. Wheatley talking one set of language to sound good but alas, this legislation if passed as is, will be disastrous.

  10. Hmph says:

    I haven’t read the act but one thing I will say is: They need to stop requiring new businesses to have a location before start up… like really?… If I don’t already have a space why would I secure one and I don’t know if I’m gonna get the license…And what if having the license will help with funding to get the said space?…

    • BuzzBvi says:

      They basically want you to engage in business and set up contracts for premises before you have a Trade Licence. That would be illegal. They are forcing businesses to act illegally to get a Licence. Strange things is the thinking in the VI.

  11. Truth says:

    What I have come to realize since the COI, Andrew Fahie Saga, etc…. there are people who ARE for the COI because they feel as though BVIslanders are too entitled, perhaps they feel as though they have too much and can not stand to see them prospering. If BVIslanders were all pool boys, janitors, garbage men, cleaners, struggling and living in a shed or living less than the PRIVILEGED… the COI won’t come close.

    Then there are some who ARE NOT for the COI because they will loose certain privileges (mostly financial).

    We all have biases. Some of the same people who are speaking about giving licences to their non performing cousins would probably do the same – far worst even. How many local businesses do you support?

  12. Shameful says:

    And where were you during the many public consultations to open your mouth. You prefer to hide behind a blog 1 year later.

  13. pass it says:

    Dem outsiders wanna come in and rape this country but it nah work

    Like 2
    Dislike 2
  14. Common sense says:

    Sadly, the BVI needs to bring in, and, appoint an International business brain to structure and operate the finance sector, we cannot continue to fudge it with an unqualified local. When the leader of a country is arrested on charges of drug related crimes, that takes the BVI off the list of territories the business world will consider to locate a corporation. Business 101.

    Like 1
    Dislike 6
  15. Notatall says:

    Stop speaking negatively about this country. You need to go to another country and dictate how things should be done. In a small place, there should be no free for all. Go to Dubai and tell the Kingdom how it should be run no. Only Rankin can run things, nuh? Where were you and they when our ancestors built this country with determination and willpower?
    Leave this island anytime, man.

    Like 7
    Dislike 4
    • Common sense says:

      You speak as if this is your country which is a regrettable mistake. This is a territory owned by the UK, hence the mother country deciding a Commission of Inquiry was necessary. Your leader sitting in a US jail is representative of everything you think you have achieved.

  16. Sigh says:

    Why do you expect? Andrew put a white foreigner to be chairman of the trade commission.

  17. How about.... says:

    There are a lot of “outsiders” contributing heavily to the economy with their businesses.
    A lot of locals do have business ideas and cant get them pass that, “an idea”.

    If you have a business find a young person you can pour into and help them start a business. Mentor, tutor and not spew negativity on a situation that can help the greater cause.

    Just my thoughts.

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