Belize

Introduction

Belize is known as a country with beautiful nature in Central America. It has ecologically clean waters which wash reefs untouched by civilization. It also has forests, rivers, waterfalls and jungle, as well as historical sites of Mayan civilization which attract many tourists from all over the world. In 1862, Belize was declared a British colony and was known as British Honduras. It became an independent nation in 1981. The country is ruled by a Prime Minister who is elected by a Senate.

Belize is practically the only country in region of Central America where the official language is English.

Frequent flights connect the country with such cities as Houston, Miami and New Orleans. The administrative capital of Belize is the city of Belmopan. However, the main commercial centre is Belize City which has a population of around 60,000.

Incorporation and management of IBC companies in this country is regulated under the International Business Companies Act 2000 which provides for full exemption of IBC companies from taxation.

Features and Advantages

  • Strict privacy laws. Belizean corporate and business legislation provides for the highest level of client confidentiality. Belize does not disclose its banking or fiscal information under any information-exchange agreements to any foreign parties on reason of suspected tax evasion. The jurisdiction has not signed the U.S. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.
  • Excellent communications. Belize can be easily accessed by sea and air from Central and North America.
  • Belize offshore companies (IBC’s) may be used for financial management, investment holding, ship or property ownership, share ownership of other companies, leasing of assets, copyright and/or licensing, and for commercial trade activities.
  • Belize IBC’s are totally exempt from all local taxes including stamp duty.
  • Only one shareholder is required and only one director who could be a corporation, and need not be resident of Belize. There is no public filing of the information about shareholders, corporate directors, officers and beneficial owners. There are no restrictions as to the location and time of meetings of shareholders and/or directors. Also, they may attend meetings by proxy.
  • It is not required to file accounts or to have accounts audited. The requirement for public record of information is limited to certificate of incorporation, memorandum and articles of association, registered office and name and address of registered agent.
  • Due to modern and computerized IBC Registry, the process of incorporation of Belize offshore companies is very simple and takes very little time. Besides, there is easy company administration and quite low annual fees.
  • There are no requirements of a minimum paid up capital.
  • Capital of the company may be expressed in any currency. Offshore activities are free from foreign exchange control.
  • Easy procedure of transferring IBC’s to and from the jurisdiction of Belize.

Summary

General Information
Total area – 23,026 sq km
Population – 350,000
Political Status – Parliamentary Monarchy
Capital – Belmopan
Official Language – English
Official Currency – Belizean Dollar (BZD)
Time Zone – GMT – 6

Company Type
International Business Company (IBC)

Directors/Officers
Belize IBC companies require a minimum of 1 Director, who may be a natural person or a corporate body from any legal jurisdiction.

Each Belize IBC company must file a Register of Directors with its registered agent Belize.

Shareholders
Belize IBC companies require a minimum of 1 shareholder, who may be a natural person or a corporate body from any legal jurisdiction.

Each Belize IBC company must file a Register of Members with its registered agent of Belize.

Secretary
There is no statutory requirement for a Company Secretary to be appointed.

Authorised Share Capital
Standard Authorised Capital = USD 50,000.

There is no statutory requirement for capital to be fully or partly paid on incorporation.

Company Names
The name of a Belize IBC company must end with the words “Incorporated”, “Corporation”, “Limited”, or suffixes such as “Inc.”, “Corp.”, “Ltd.”, “S.A.”, etc.

Company names containing restricted words such as “Bank”, “Insurance”, “Trust”, “Assurance”, “Imperial”, “Royal” etc. will not be permitted unless an appropriate national operating license has been obtained by the company.

Beneficial Ownership Information
Information with regard to ultimate beneficial ownership must be disclosed to the Registered Agent of the company and is held by the agent on a confidential basis.

Filing of Annual Return
There is no requirement to file an Annual Return.

Filing of Financial Statements
There is no requirement to file Financial Statements in Belize for IBC companies.

Corporate Taxation
Belize IBC companies are not subject to corporation tax in Belize.

Tax Treaties
Belize IBC companies are not subject to Double Tax treaties concluded by Belize with other countries.

Time Frame for Incorporation
1-2 working days