British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission

Is a Company Right for You

You should also consider obtaining advice on whether a company is the best way for you to run your business or affairs and if so, how the company should be structured to meet your specific requirements.  

Case Study: Smith incorporates, but Turnbull doesn't

Cousins Ashburn Smith and Clarence Turnbull both have small trucking companies in the BVI, for which they each got their trade licenses in 2005.   Ashburn Smith decided to also incorporate his business as a company that same year, but Clarence Turnbull decided that incorporating was too costly.   Although their trucks had limited insurance, neither insured their trucking business.  Smith and Turnbull own their own homes and do the same type of business with very similar expenses and profit margins. They don’t compete with each other, but both get petty contracts from Government and other businesses around the BVI.   As a sheer coincidence, both got into serious accidents with their trucks and other vehicles in 2009.  Both were sued by the other drivers in the accidents and were found liable for negligent driving.  They were ordered to pay huge damages.   As a result of having to pay damages they could not afford, both lost their trucking businesses.  Ashburn Smith’s business became insolvent or bankrupt but he was able to rebound and start a new business.  Clarence Turnbull’s business also went bankrupt and a lien was put on his home to meet the outstanding damages.  The difference between them is that Ashburn Smith’s personal assets were protected from liability because he incorporated his business, while Clarence Turnbull’s personal assets were not protected from liability because of his decision not to incorporate.  Ultimately, the cost of not incorporating was extremely high for Turnbull.