belize ibc

In-Depth Information about Belize

Locationbelize ibc

Belize is located on the Caribbean seaboard of Central America between Mexico and Guatemala. It has an area of approximately 9,000 square miles; 174 miles at its longest point by 68 miles at its widest point. Built in 1970, Belmopan is the capital of the country.

Political Structure

Belize became a British Crown Colony in 1862. In the early 1900’s, Belize had grown to nearly 40,000 inhabitants. But a destructive 1931 hurricane destroyed Belize City and by the 1930’s, the economy was so poor that the residents began to call for independence.

By 1954 voting rights were extended to all adults, and by 1961, England agreed to begin the process of setting Belize free. In 1973, the colony’s name was changed from British Honduras to Belize and on September 21, 1981, Belize’s Independence was declared.

Belize is now a parliamentary democracy similar to Canada or the United Kingdom and is one of the most stable nations in Latin America. It has never suffered a military coup, a revolution, or guerrilla warfare. Queen Elizabeth II is Belize’s head of state.

belize ibcEconomy and Infrastructure

Belize has a free enterprise system, although its government recently nationalized Belize Electric Limited (BEL), the nation’s largest utility, and the telephone company, Belize Telemedia Limited or BTL.

Belize’s economy is based on oil exports, fishing, agriculture, and tourism. There is a modern banking system and five large commercial banks in the nation.

There are excellent telecommunications: cell phone service, international cellular roaming service, high speed DSL, and full access to the Internet are widely available in Belize.

There are several major commercial banks in the Belize, which offer a full range of domestic and offshore services. The local currency is the Belize dollar which is tied to the US dollar at an exchange rate of BZ$2.00=US$1.00.

Airlines connect with major international routes through Miami, Houston and New Orleans. All major courier companies service Belize. Direct flights to Belize are available from several major U.S. cities, including Dallas, New York, Atlanta, Denver, and Los Angeles.

belize ibc

Language, Population and Culture

English is the official language of Belize. Official documents are written in English, and courts and government offices operate in English.

Though English is the official language, most people in Belize speak Spanish on a daily basis. The culture is Spanish with British political institutions. Most residents of Belize are of mixed Maya and Spanish ancestry. There is also a large minority of Creoles (people of mixed African and European heritage).

With a population of just 334,297 inhabitants, out of all the Central American countries, Belize has the lowest population density. Growing at just under 2% per year, the country’s population growth rate is one of the highest in the western hemisphere and the second highest in the region.

A substantial North American expatriate community has developed in recent years because of ease of immigration from the United States and Canada.

Belize’s legal system guarantees such basic rights as freedom of speech and religion. Although it is politically stable, Belize has suffered from a high rate of violent crime and drug trafficking in recent years.

Exchange Control

There is no exchange control on offshore business and banking activities in Belize.

Type of Law

As a former British colony, the law of Belize is derived from English Common Law supplemented by local legislation. The court system is also similar to that of England and the final Court of Appeal is the Privy Council in England.

Contract and commercial law is based on English Common Law. Offshore business can be carried out in a tax-free environment. An IBC cannot carry on business with residents of Belize, or own real estate in Belize.

Principal Corporate Legislation

Offshore corporations in Belize are regulated under the International Business Companies Act of 1990, which was amended in 2000.

It normally takes one business day to incorporate an International Business Corporation (IBC) in Belize provided the name is available. There is no requirement to reveal beneficial ownership to government authorities, and no annual report is required, but companies are required to maintain a registered office in the nation.

An IBC must have at least one shareholder and one director in Belize; there is no requirement for these individuals to be residents of Belize.

Taxation

An IBC based in Belize is not required to pay any tax on its operations outside the country. There is a Business Tax on any enterprise that earns more than $75,000 a year in Belize, but this tax does not apply to income earned outside the country.

Self-employed individuals that earn more than $20,000 a year are subject to the Business Tax if that revenue comes from activities in Belize. The Business Tax does not apply to income earned by individuals outside of Belize.

All firms that generate income from business activities in Belize have to get a Certificate of Clearance from the Income Tax Department. The Certificate is not required for IBCs as long as they confine their activities to offshore business.

 

Contact Us for A FREE Consultation

Benefits of Belize Offshore Company Formationsbelize ibc

 

– Speedy and simple incorporation for fast reaction to financial planning needs (one hour incorporation)

– Total exemption from all forms of local taxation including Stamp Duty

– IBC’s headquartered in Belize pay no taxes on profits earned outside the country

– Only one Shareholder is required – there is no public record of the Shareholder

– IBCs require only one Director who could be a corporation

– No residency or citizenship requirements for Directors of offshore companies

– Meetings of Shareholders and/or Directors may be held in any country, at any time and they may attend meetings by proxy

– No requirement to file accounts or to have accounts audited; public filing limited to certificate of incorporation, memorandum and articles of association, registered office and name and address of registered agent; companies in Belize are not required to have publicly accessible records.

– Capital may be expressed in any currency

– No minimum paid up capital requirements

– Offshore business activities are exempted from exchange control in Belize.

– IBCs may be used for financial management, investment holding, ship or property ownership, share ownership of other companies, leasing of assets, copyrighting and/or licensing, as well as general commercial trading

– Ease of transfer of companies to and from Belize

– Modern, flexible legislation for mutual funds, insurance and trusts

– No double taxation treaties with any other country

– Companies are not required to file an annual tax return

– The US dollar is widely accepted for business purposes in Belize; there is a flat rate of exchange for the US and Belize dollars: US$1 for $2 Belize

– English is the official language in Belize, though it is possible to incorporate an International Business Corporation (IBC) in any language in the nation; many Chinese language IBCs are incorporated in Belize

– Incorporated companies in Belize have the same legal powers as an individual

– The legal system in Belize is based on English Common Law and simple for anglo-based countries to understand

– Companies in Belize can maintain bank accounts in other popular tax havens

– Traditionally very welcoming for expatriates

– Under Belize’s retired persons’ incentive program, foreigners who are over 45 years old and have a monthly income of at least $2,000 are exempt from Belize’s income tax.

– Real estate is still very affordable in Belize; a person can buy a lot in a planned community in Belize’s Cayo District for just $25,000; a home with all the modern amenities can be built in such a community for just $100,000

– Belize has one of the world’s most pleasant climates; the average low temperature in the nation is 75° Fahrenheit in January and the average high temperature is 80° Fahrenheit in July

– Belize is a popular destination for yachting and water sports; in addition to 450 offshore islands and the Belize Barrier Reef, the country is a popular destination for scuba diving and deep sea fishing

Contact Us for A FREE Consultation

Why Choose Belize as an Offshore Tax Haven

Belize continues to be one of the Central America’s premier destination for offshore company formations. The country offers many tax advantages to both businesses and individuals.

Belize is a former British colony and a parliamentary democracy, much like Canada and Australia, with a long history of freedom and political stability. English is the official language, and the legal system is similar to that in the United Kingdom. Therefore, dealing with the government and understanding laws in Belize is simpler for most English-speaking people.

belize ibc

Those seeking offshore banking and corporate infrastructure in a stable, affordable tax haven close to the United States will find Belize optimal. It offers visitors and residents a great climate, an inclusive culture, and a high degree of economic freedom.

Contact Us for A FREE Consultation

Belize IBCbelize ibc

The Belize IBC was the first entity to be offered by the country as an International Finance and Investment vehicle and was thus the advent of the IFS industry in Belize. Although the country has developed immensely over the years and has introduced new legislation and new entities, the IBC remains a structure of great interest.

The Belize IBC is governed by the International Business Companies (IBC) Act Chapter 270 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2000 and is a tax free and exchange control free private limited company having its profit-earning activities conducted outside Belize. The Act is both modern and attractive and is designed to meet the various needs of sophisticated international investors. Additionally, the Act is very flexible and allows for the migration of companies into and out of Belize.

The incorporation process is carried out by the Belize IBC Registry which is fully computerized and modernized allowing for complete company incorporation within an hour. The registry also allows for Chinese Incorporations, and the shares held in a company may be denominated in any currency.

Due to its flexibility, the Belize IBC may be utilized for a variety of reasons ranging from property holding and estate planning to tax optimization as well as forming a part of an overall cross border wealth planning structure. It has extensive features protecting the confidentiality of its owners and is not subject to any onerous reporting requirements.

belize ibc

KEY CORPORATE FEATURES
General
Type of Company IBC
Type of Law Common
Shelf company availability Yes
Our time to establish a new company 1 day
Minimum government fees (excluding taxation) US$100
Corporate Taxation Nil
Double Taxation Treaty Access No
Share capital or equivalent
Standard currency US$
Permitted currencies Any
Minimum paid up No minimum required
Usual authorised US$50,000
Directors
Minimum number One
Local required No
Corporate Directors Permitted Yes
Publicly accessible records No
Location of meetings Anywhere
Shareholders
Minimum number One
Publicly accessible records No
Location of meetings Anywhere
Company Secretary
Required Optional
Local or qualified No
Accounts
Requirements to prepare Yes
Audit requirements No
Requirements to file accounts No
Publicly accessible accounts No
Other
Requirement to file annual return No
Change in domicile permitted Yes

belize ibc

Advantages & Top Uses of an Belize IBC

Forming an International Business Company (IBC) in Belize has many advantages including, but not limited to:

– The ability to conduct business without using your name

– Avoid paying taxes

– Asset protection

– Maintenance of privacy

– Flexible currency holdings

– Fast IBC Registry

– No reporting or accounting requirements

– No foreign information-exchange agreements on any grounds

– Client confidentiality

– One of the most secure and confidential offshore jurisdiction in the world

– Robust and diversified national economy

– Only country in Central America having English as its official language

– Exemption from taxes on all income

– Exemption from taxes on all dividends

– No currency restrictions

– Exemption from Stamp Duty

– Exemption from taxes on all interests, rent, royalties, and compensations

– Exemption from taxes on capital gains on shares, debt obligations and other securities

Belize has very stringent confidentiality laws, greatly ensuring the privacy and the continuity of the country’s offshore banking sector. An offshore company can be made for any legal purpose and for any legal activity that are within the law and the company’s charter.

Some of most popular uses of a Belize IBC are, but not limited to:

– Asset protection Company

– Real Estate Holding Company

– Tax planning

– International financing

– Assent Protection

– Investment Company

– Financial Management

– General Commercial Trading

However, there are several restrictions that are placed on IBCs. Offshore companies cannot:

  – Carry on business within Belize

  – Conduct activities in real estate

  – Hold shares, stock, debt  obligation or other securities in a local company

  – Issue shares, stock, debt obligation or other  securities to any natural person in Belize.

Requirements for Incorporation of a Belize IBC

There are few requirements needed to establish a Belize IBC.

– Filing requirements are limited to a Memorandum, Articles of Association, and name an address of registered agent

– A Registered Agent will deliver the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association to the Registry together with the appropriate fee

– Any individual or group of individuals may incorporate a company

Taxation of a Belize IBC

An IBC based in Belize is not required to pay any tax on its operations outside the country. Tax exemption includes, but is not limited to:

– Taxes on all income

– Taxes on all dividends

– Taxes on capital gains

– Taxes on all royalties and compensations;

– And taxes on all interests and rent.

There is a Business Tax on any business or enterprise that earns more than $75,000 a year; however, this tax does not apply to income earned outside the country, and therefore does not include any activities or operations of an IBC (due to the restrictions of carrying out business outside of the country).

belize ibc

Corporate Details of a Belize IBC

Security and Confidentiality

A Belize IBC is allowed to have nominee directors and shareholders to give another layer of anonymity, the details of which are not part of public record. A Belize IBC is protected from any expropriation orders by any foreign governments. Additionally, any changes of directors or shareholders are not required by Registry.

Limited Liability

Liability is limited to the amount of the nominal value of the shares

Required Capital

No minimums

Usual Authorized Share Capital

An IBC with an authorized share capital of up to US$50,000 must pay a licensing fee of US$100 per year. For any authorized share capital of more than US$50,000, the licensing fees increase to US$1,000 per year.

Financial Statements Required

A Belize IBC is not required to file financial statements

Company Secretary

The appointment of a company secretary is not mandatory

Directors

A Belize IBC must have a minimum of (1) one Director, which may be an individual or a corporate entity

Shareholders

There must be one (1) shareholder, either and individual or a corporate body

Powers of the Company

Companies incorporated in Belize have equal power as that of a natural person.

Double Taxation Treaties

No double taxation treaties with any other country

Registered Office Required

Every Belize IBC must have a registered office

Local Presence

There are no mandatory local presence requirements

Language of Name

English is the official language in Belize, though it is possible to incorporate an IBC in any language

Currency

Capital may be expressed in any currency

Meetings

Meetings of directors or shareholders may take place anywhere in the world by proxy

Filing and Auditing of Accounts

There are no requirements to file accounts or to have accounts audited. Public filing is limited to certificate of incorporation, memorandum and articles of association, registered office and name and address of registered agent.

Trading Restrictions

Belize based offshore IBC must not engage with any business activities within Belize

Name Restrictions

The name of a Belize IBC may not contain the words “Building Society”, “Chamber of Commerce”, “Chartered”, “Cooperative”, “Imperial”, “Municipal”, “Royal”, or any word that suggests the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen of England or of a member of the British Royal Family.

Double Tax Conventions and TIEA’s

Belize has Double Taxation agreements (DTC’s) with: Antigua & Barbuda, Austria, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, and the United Kingdom.
Additionally, with the aim of being removed from the OECD grey list, like many other offshore financial centers in the Caribbean, Belize was pressured into signing TIEA’s (Tax Information Exchange Agreements) with: Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Greenland, Iceland, India, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, and United Kingdom.

License Fee

There is a one-time registration payment of US$100. There is also an annual renewal fee:

– An IBC with an authorized share capital up to US$50,000 must pay a licensing fee of US$100 per year

– An IBC with an authorized share capital US$50,000 or more must pay a licensing fee of US$1,000 per year

– An IBC with some or all of its shares of no par value, must pay a licensing fee of US$350 per year.

Contact Us for A FREE Consultation

 

Belize Forex Brokerage LicenseBelize Forex Brokerage License

We receive many inquiries about a cost effective way to license forex brokerage services. Hence,  we thought we should expand on the viable low-cost Belize Forex Brokerage License option.

This vehicle represents one of the most inexpensive regulated brokerage options available anywhere in the world for setting up a forex (and/or securities) brokerage firm. Other relatively low cost options include BVI and Mauritius with lower paid-in capital requirements but higher regulatory hurdles to overcome. The New Zealand FSP also was a popular option but as of January 2015 the New Zealand FMA has been scrutinising all FSP applications for forex trading and have been delaying providing any decision.

Belize’s foreign exchange trading licence serves allows one to:

– Operate as a forex brokerage firm

– Provide an online trading platform for your clients to make their own trades

– Provide related services for your clients to open their own trading accounts with your firm

– Provide convenient access to their accounts via debit cards

– Provide additional full service brokerage options

– Provide managed forex trading options

Kindly note that prior to incorporating a company targeted to providing services in Foreign Exchange, the following procedures would apply:

1. Formulation of the Memorandum and Articles of Association, with special provisions to conduct the affairs of brokerage, with the required share capital

2. The Directors and Shareholders of the company may need to be available for visits with the Director General for interviews on the matter

3. The company will be asked to deposit it’s full capitalization ($100,000 required) in a local bank account during the course of the application process.  These funds must stay in one’s account for the full duration of the licence and the bank will be required to issue a Blocked Funds Letter confirming this.

4. Payment of the full US$500 application fee to the IFSC will be required to be paid upon submission of the application and this fee is non-refundable

5. Full due diligence on each director and beneficial owner of the company will also be required

Belize Forex Brokerage License

The above measures still do not determine the approval and granting of this licence and it will be up to the Director General to make his decision. However, if the background and experience of the principals is good, there is no reason to expect a decline.

If the application is turned down for some reason, all but the application fee and a very small service fee will be refunded out of the $17,500 total cost plus the pro-rated annual license fee.

Upon the approval of the license, the license fee will be pro-rated through to December of the current year and must be paid before the certificate is issued.  Thereafter, the renewal license fees of US$5,000 will become due first day of January of each subsequent year.

 No local directors are required and no physical operation or employees are required in Belize to operate such a licensed company.

Contact Us for A FREE Consultation