Belize

Description

Belize is located on the eastern coast of Central America in the Caribbean region and is seen as one of the most popular jurisdictions for offshore company registration. The Belize authorities assured players in the international financial field that local requirements would meet business needs in the long run.

The country’s infrastructure is excellent, the bank sector is highly developed. Belize is close to the North-American countries and also from the neighbouring Mexico. The Corozal Free Zone is located between Belize and Mexico, which is one of the most popular tax-free zones. Companies founded in the Corozal are tax exempt for ten years and if they employ local workforce, the tax exemption can be extended.  Belize as a sovereign country is a full participating member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, Organization of American States (OAS), Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). Belize national currency is Belize Dollar (BZD). It has a fixed exchange rate with US Dollar, which is USD1.00 = BZD2.00. US Dollars are widely accepted by most businesses in Belize. It is the only Central American country where the official language is English. Its laws are based on the English common law.

With some exceptions, a company registered in Belize can only carry out its economic operations outside Belize while its profit is exempt of tax. This is why Belize is widely known as a fixed taxation location as offshore companies only need to pay a small amount of tax every year specified in advance, which does not depend upon the profit they make. Apart from this fixed tax, companies have no other tax liabilities. Since companies registered in Belize do not need to pay taxes on their profits, they do not need to submit an annual report or a tax return to the local authorities either.

The Companies Act of 1990 is the law based in modern legislation which provides IBC Companies formed in Belize with extended privileges and guarantees absolute confidentiality. Belize can not be found on any international organization’s black or grey list.

Belizean IBCs are:
– exempt from taxes on all income of an IBC
– exempt from taxes on all dividends paid by an IBC
– exempt from taxes on all interests, rent, royalties, compensations and other amounts paid by an IBC
– exempt from taxes on capital gains on shares, debt obligations or other securities of an IBC by non-residents

There are no currency restrictions. Meetings of shareholders and/or directors may be held in any country and may be attended by proxy. There are no citizenship or residency requirements for directors, officers or shareholders.

The Belizean law on discretion is very strict. Information about beneficial owners, shareholders, directors and officers is not filed with the Belize government, and not available to the public. The process of incorporation can be done very quickly and all administrative tasks related to the operation of the company can be carried out quickly and efficiently. There is no requirement for equity. The offshore company is only required to have one manager and one shareholder at the time of registration, who can also be foreign persons. There are no restrictions on whether they should be legal entities or natural persons. The local court of registration does not keep a record of the data of the manager or the shareholder. The company must have an address in Belize, which is its official address. The company is entitled to transfer its official address to another country at any time.

Regional features

  • Continent: America
  • Minimum paid-up capital: None
  • Local manager required: No
  • Disclosure of beneficial owners: No
  • Audit obligation: No
  • Obligation to submit an annual report: No
  • EU VAT ID available: No
  • Tax system: Fixed taxation