Guide For Offshore Corporate Services In Belize

A sign board at Resort at Belize IslandGuide For Offshore Corporate Services In Belize

About Belize

Belize is a Caribbean country located on the north-eastern coast of Central America. Belize is bordered on the northwest by Mexico, on the east by the Caribbean Sea, and on the south and west by Guatemala.

Formerly known as British Honduras, Belize was the UK’s last colony on the American mainland and still maintains strong ties with Britain. It did not attain independence until 1981, when it became a Commonwealth realm with the British monarch as its head of state.

Belize is considered an upper-middle-income country. While no country can ever guarantee you that nothing will go wrong, Belize is generally a very safe country for visitors. The country is very rural in aspect, and even the largest municipality (Belize City) has only 70,000 inhabitants.

Belize’s jungle is home to wild cats, including jaguars and ocelots. 13. Apart from its historic archaeological sites, Belize is known for its scuba diving sites. The Blue Hole, one of the world’s most popular sinkhole, is one famous dive site here.

Many tourists hire a car for a couple of days and take off along the bumpy highways to explore inland areas and wildlife parks. Its strategic location in northern Central America makes Belize an easy two- hour flight from most U.S. destinations.

 

Infrastructure

In Belize, there are 1,594 miles of roads, 303 of which are paved. All the main towns and villages are linked to the capital, Belmopan, and to Belize City. Some roads, including major sections of highway, are vulnerable to damage or closure during the rainy season.

 

Economy

The economy of Belize is a small, essentially private enterprise economy that is based primarily on agriculture, tourism, and services. The cultivation of newly discovered oil in the town of Spanish Lookout has presented new prospects and problems for this developing nation.

Belize’s economy is predominantly agricultural, and it is vulnerable to volatility in world commodity markets. Efforts have been made to diversify from traditional export products such as sugar and timber into bananas, citrus concentrates, seafood and fish products.

 

Type of Law

Belize is a Common Law country with Parliamentary Democracy as their form of government which happens to be based on the British model. Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state and she is represented in Belize by Governor General.

Belize has a Constitution which divided the government into three branches including the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. Laws are made in the Legislative branch of government by its National Assembly. Belize achieved full independence on September 21, 1981 and is now a member of the British Commonwealth, the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement.

 

Central Bank

The Central Bank of Belize is the central bank of Belize, established in 1982. A. Joy Grant serves as the present Governor of the Central Bank of Belize. The Central Bank of Belize regulates Belize’s financial system, provides economic data and publications, provides services to the government and financial institutions, and issues Belize’s currency.

 

Anti-Money Laundering: ​FATF Status

The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) has issued a public statement identifying jurisdictions with strategic AML/CFT deficiencies that pose a risk to the international financial system. CFATF, one of the FATF-Style Regional Bodies, works closely with these jurisdictions to address these deficiencies.

Under the new Money Laundering – Terrorism (Prevention) Act (MLTPA), the Central Bank of Belize was designated the Supervisory Authority for commercial banks, international banks, financial institutions and credit unions and was given the power to issue sanctions for non-compliance with certain provisions of the Act.

Belize is a member of the Carribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF).

Member of Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF)

In November 1996, 21 members of the CFATF entered into a Memorandum of Understanding which now serves as the basis for the goals and the work of the CFATF. In this document, CFATF members agree to adopt and implement the 1988 UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances; endorse and implement the FATF Forty Recommendations and the CFATF Nineteen Recommendations; fulfill the obligations expressed in the Kingston Declaration as well as, where applicable, in the Plan of Action of the Summit of the Americas; and to adopt and implement any other measures for the prevention and control of the laundering of the proceeds of all serious crimes as defined by the laws of each Member.

 

Corporate Entities

A Belize IBC is a corporation formed pursuant to the stipulations of the Belize International Business Companies Act of 1990.

 

Taxation

Belize is a tax havens that allows individuals and corporations to legally reduce their tax liabilities. Belize does not share information with international taxing authorities, providing corporations and individuals with the utmost confidentiality.

U.S. residents must still report earnings to the IRS unless their company does business solely in Belize.

One of the most important features is that a Belize IBC is a zero-tax entity and as such is free from income tax on its income. In addition, there is no estate duty or stamp duty on the transfer of shares in IBC’s by non-resident persons. IBC’s formed in Belize are exempt from any exchange controls and have limited liability.

 

National flag of Belize IslandRegistration of offshore companies

IBC’s which have been incorporated in Belize enjoy all the usual features normally associated with such companies and some additional advantages which are unique to Belize.

The current IBC legislation in Belize provides for a high degree of flexibility in the method of structuring a company and in the way that structure may be adapted to meet an organization’s changing needs. For whilst a company may begin its existence for a particular purpose, it can in most cases be utilized to deal with other types of transactions.

In addition, a Belize International Business Company can be formed and registered in approximately one hour. All that is required is to file signed copies of the memorandum and articles of association together with the relevant incorporation fee in $US with the Registrar. Once the Registrar has confirmed compliance, a certificate of incorporation will be issued and the IBC will be registered accordingly.

General Features of Offshore Entities In Belize

Type of Entity

  • IBC

Minimum Government Fees (Excluding Taxation)

  • USD 300

Corporate Taxation

  • None on Foreign Profits

Double Taxation Treaty Access

  • No
Share Capital

Standard Currency

  • USD

Permitted Currencies

  • Any

Usual Authorized

  • USD50,000

Minimum Paid-up Capital

  • USD1.00

Bearer Shares Allowed

  • Yes

No Par Value Shares Allowed

  • Yes
Directors or Managers

Minimum Requirement

  • One

Requirement of Local Resident

  • No

Corporate Directorship Allowed

  • Yes

Public Access to Company Records

  • No

Required Location of Meetings

  • Anywhere
Members

Minimum Number

  • One

Public Access to Company Records

  • No

Required Location of Meetings

  • Anywhere
Company Secretary

Requirement of Company Secretary

  • No

Local or Qualified            

  • Not Required
Accounts

Requirement to Prepare

  • Yes

Audit Requirements

  • No

Requirement to File accounts

  • No

Public Access to Accounts

  • No
Annual Return

Requirement to File Annual Return

  • No
Others

Permission for change of Domicile

  • Yes

 

Specific Features of Offshore Companies In Belize

Currency

  • Belize Dollar (BZD)

Language

  • The official and spoken language is English.

Exchange Control

  • Offshore activities are exempted from exchange control.

Principal Corporate Legislation

  • International Business Companies Act, 2000.
  • Limited Life Companies Act, 1999

Type of Company for International Trade and Investment

  • Belize International Business Company (IBC) or the Belize Limited Life Company (LLC).

Restrictions on Trading

  • Cannot trade within Belize or own real estate in Belize.
  • Cannot undertake the business of banking, insurance, assurance or reinsurance.

Powers of Company

  • A company incorporated in Belize has the same powers as a natural person.

Language of Legislation and Corporate Documents

  • The language of Belize’s legislation and corporate documents is English.

Language of Name

  • A Belize IBC can be incorporated using any language.
  • Chinese language incorporation with Chinese documentation are very popular.

Requirement of Registered Office

  • Yes, Registered Office must be maintained in Belize at the address of a licensed management company.

Name Restrictions

  • Any name that has already been incorporated in Belize or is so similar as to cause confusion.
  • Any name which in the opinion of the Registrar is considered undesirable, obscene or offensive.
  • Names such as royal or imperial and any name that suggests the patronage of Belize Government.

Names Requiring Consent or Licence

  • Bank, building society, savings, loans, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, trust, trustees, Chamber of Commerce, university, municipal or their foreign language equivalents or any name in English or a foreign language that may suggest association with the banking or insurance industries.

Suffixes to Denote Limited Liability

  • Limited, Corporation, Incorporation, Societe Anonyme, Sociedad Anonima, Gesellschaft mit beschrankter Haftung or the relevant abbreviations.

Disclosure of Beneficial Ownership to Authorities

  • No

 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
  • Source of Information, Guidelines, Compliance, Laws, Rules & Regulations is from the relevant authorities of respective jurisdictions.
  • The Acts in respective jurisdictions are subject to change by the regulatory authorities.
  • We have published the guidelines with most updates from our Associate Firms.
  • The Customers would be notified with the updated Acts with oncoming changes if applicable when the Offshore services are rendered by us.

 

Please refer to our SERVICES for more information or CONTACT us if you wish to avail these or many other services.
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