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Offshore: Belize

Belize International Business Company (IBC) becomes increasingly popular offshore legal entity due to one of the highest level of privacy protection, quick incorporation and inexpensive annual fees.

 

The Belize IBC is governed by the International Business Companies 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.

 

  • Exempt from all local taxes

  • Inexpensive annual support

  • No requirements of a minimum paid up capital

  • Information about corporate directors, officers, shareholders and beneficial owners is not filed with the Belize Registry and not available to the public

  • Any individual and legal entity may become a shareholder, director and officer

  • No foreign exchange control.

 

MAJOR ADVANTAGES OF BELIZE IBC
FORMATION AND STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS

CORPORATE NAME

The word "Limited", "Corporation", "Incorporated", "Society Anonyme" or "Sociedad Anonima" or “Aktiengesellschaft” or the abbreviation "Ltd", "Corp", "Inc" or "S.A." or "A.S." or "A.G." must be part of the name of every Belize offshore IBC.

 

A suggested corporate name is not acceptable in the following cases:

  • Confusingly similar to a name of the already existing Belize company

  • Contains the words “Building Society”, “Chamber of Commerce”, “Chartered”, “Cooperative”, “Imperial”, “Municipal”, “Royal”, “Assurance”, “Bank”, “Insurance” or “Trust”

  • Suggests a patronage of the Queen or a member of the Royal Family

  • Indecent, offensive or objectionable.

 

OFFICE ADDRESS AND LOCAL AGENT

Registered office address must be located in Belize. Principal office address (business address) may be in any country.

Each company has to have a local registered agent authorized by the Belize government.

 

Our fee includes Belize registered office address and registered agent for the first year.

 

SHAREHOLDERS

There is no Belize residency requirement. Shares could be issued to any individual or company.

 

A minimum of one shareholder is required. Just one share for US$1.00 could be issued to that shareholder.

 

If you need a nominee shareholder, our company provides such services.

 

DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS

Any individual or legal entity (corporation or LLC), who is a resident of any country may be appointed as a director and officer of Belize offshore company.

 

One person could hold all positions, such as directors, president, secretary and treasurer. However, if you would like to have several directors in your Belize IBC, there is no problem. We could appoint any number of directors from a minimum of one to a maximum of ten.

 

If you need a nominee director and officers, our company is able to provide nominees. However, in most cases it's preferable to be appointed as a director of your own Belize company. It simplifies dealing with banks, suppliers and customers and makes the annual renewal fee cheaper.

 

AUTHORIZED CAPITAL

Authorized capital of US$50,000 divided into 50,000 registered shares of US$1.00 each is considered as the standard authorized capital. Such capital keeps the incorporation and annual cost of Belize offshore company at a minimum level and perfectly fits business needs of 99% of our clients.

 

Authorized capital of Belize IBC is the amount, which the company may receive from its shareholders in consideration for the issued shares. For example, if a company has an authorized capital of US$50,000 divided into 50,000 registered shares of US$1.00 each, the company is allowed to issue up to 50,000 registered shares and receive from its shareholders not less that US$1 for each issued share.

 

Belize offshore legislation offers a great level of flexibility. Belize companies could have any fixed amount of authorized capital starting from US$1 or have no authorized capital at all. When a Belize offshore company is incorporated, the authorized capital is stated in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.

 

Belize IBC is not obliged to issue all its shares for the total amount of authorized capital in any mandatory time frames. The company could issue just one share for US$1.00 to a single shareholder and remaining shares or any part of them could be issued any time in the future. All issued shares must be paid up by shareholders.

Authorized capital affects the government incorporation fee and annual fee.

The lowest incorporation and annual government fee of US$100 is applicable, when IBC has authorized capital up to US$50,000.

 

The highest incorporation and annual government fee of US$1,000 must be paid, when authorized capital exceeds US$50,000.

 

If Belize IBC has no authorized capital and all its shares have no par value, the government fee is US$350.

 

TAXES

Belize IBC is exempt from all local taxes including income tax, capital gain tax, dividend tax, and stamp duty on transfer of corporate shares, and other property.

 

ANNUAL FEES

Each Belize IBC must pay the annual renewal fee starting from the second year. Our annual fees are listed in the Fee Schedule.

 

PUBLIC RECORDS

Information about all persons connected to Belize IBC is completely private.

The Memorandum and Articles of Association is the only document filed with the Belize Registrar. This documents does not include any information about corporate directors, officers, shareholders and beneficial owners. It lists only name of the Belize registered agent and Belize registered office address.

 

Our company offers Nominee services, as an extra layer of privacy protection.

 

ACCOUNTING AND AUDIT REQUIREMENTS

There are no statutory requirements of audit for Belize international business companies.

 

In October 2013 Belize enacted the Accounting Records (Maintenance) Act. According to the Act all international business companies are required to maintain accounting records and keep them in any place within or outside of Belize as may be determined by the Board of directors.

 

There is no requirement to file tax returns with the Belize tax authority or any other Belize government organization. As a result, your Belize company will get a great advantage - on one side the requirement to keep accounting records creates onshore image for the company, but on other side the company is not required to file tax returns and pay taxes in Belize, which in fact preserves its offshore essentual nature.

 

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Annual meetings are not required. Board of directors may decide to conduct an annual meeting of shareholders in any place inside and outside of Belize.

 

ABOUT BELIZE

Introduction

Belize is a nation on the eastern coast of Central America, with Caribbean Sea shorelines to the east and dense jungle to the west. It's known for its beaches, eco-lodges, scuba diving and sportfishing. Offshore, the massive Belize Barrier Reef, dotted with hundreds of caves, hosts rich marine life. Belize’s jungle areas are rich with Mayan ruins. Belize is known for its its extensive coral reefs, and punta music.

 

Capital: Belmopan

Population: 331,900 (2013) World Bank

Continent: North America

Official language: English

 

Belize is considered a Central American and Caribbean nation with strong ties to both the Latin American and Caribbean regions.[9] It is a member of the Caribbean Community(CARICOM), the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and the Central American Integration System (SICA), the only country to hold full membership in all three regional organisations. Belize is a Commonwealth realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state.

 

Political Structure

Belize is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. The structure of government is based on the British parliamentary system, and the legal system is modelled on the common law of England. The symbolic head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title Queen of Belize. The Queen resides in the United Kingdom, and is represented in Belize by the Governor-General. Executive authority is exercised by the cabinet, which advises the Governor-General and is led by the Prime Minister of Belize, who is head of government. Cabinet ministers are members of the majority political party in parliament and usually hold elected seats within it concurrent with their cabinet positions.

 

The bicameral National Assembly of Belize is composed of a House of Representatives and a Senate. The 31 members of the House are popularly elected to a maximum five-year term and introduce legislation affecting the development of Belize. The Governor-General appoints the 12 members of the Senate, with a Senate president selected by the members. The Senate is responsible for debating and approving bills passed by the House.

 

Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Parliament of Belize. Constitutional safeguards include freedom of speech, press, worship, movement, and association. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

 

Members of the independent judiciary are appointed. The judicial system includes local magistrates grouped under the Magistrates' Court, which hears less serious cases.

The Supreme Court (Chief Justice) hears murder and similarly serious cases, and the Court of Appeal, hears appeals from convicted individuals seeking to have their sentences overturned. Defendants may, under certain circumstances, appeal their cases to the Caribbean Court of Justice.

 

Foreign Relations

Belize is a full participating member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, Organization of American States (OAS), Central American Integration System (SICA), Caribbean Community (CARICOM), CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), Association of Caribbean States (ACS),[29] and the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which currently pertains only to Barbados, Belize and Guyana. In 2001 the Caribbean Community heads of government voted on a measure declaring that the region should work towards replacing the UK's Judicial Committee of the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice. It is still in the process of acceding to CARICOM and SICA treaties, including trade and single market treaties.

 

Belize is an original member (1995) of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and participates actively in its work. The pact involves the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) subgroup of the Group of African, Caribbean, and Pacific states (ACP). CARIFORUM presently the only part of the wider ACP-bloc that has concluded the full regional trade-pact with the European Union.


Infrastructure and Economy

Belize has a small, mostly privatised enterprise economy that is based primarily on export of petroleum and crude oil, agriculture, agro-based industry, and merchandising, with tourism and construction recently assuming greater importance.[51] As of 2007, oil production was 3,000 bbl/d (480 m3/d) and as of 2006 oil exports were 1,960 bbl/d (312 m3/d). The country is also a producer of industrial minerals.[61] In agriculture, sugar, like in colonial times, remains the chief crop, accounting for nearly half of exports, while the banana industry is the populations's largest employer.

 

The new government faces important challenges to economic stability. Rapid action to improve tax collection has been promised, but a lack of progress in reining in spending could bring the exchange rate under pressure. The tourist and construction sectors strengthened in early 1999, leading to a preliminary estimate of revived growth at 4%. Infrastructure remains a major economic development challenge;[62] Belize has the region's most expensive electricity. Trade is important and the major trading partners are the United States, Mexico, theEuropean Union, and Central America.

 

Belize has five commercial banks, of which the largest and oldest is Belize Bank. The other four banks are Heritage Bank, Atlantic Bank, FirstCaribbean International Bank, and Scotiabank(Belize). A robust complex of credit unions began in the 1940s under the leadership of Marion M. Ganey, S.J., and is a continuing resource for the betterment of the peoples across economic and cultural lines.

 

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