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Company Establishment in Belize: A Guide for Beginners

 Belize is a Central American island that became independent from the British Crown in 1981. Its economy relies on tourism and agriculture, with two more pillars being offshore industry and banking services. Why should you register your business in Belize? First of all, this is a fiscal paradise, with no taxes paid whatsoever on the condition that you generate 100% of your income abroad. Second, this is an excellent jurisdiction in terms of asset protection. Third, the country is a great choice if you are planning to work in the American market. Sounds interesting? Let’s look at the details. Remember, though, that beginners rarely succeed in company incorporation at one go and usually lose a lot of money before they do it. Fortunately, professionals can help you. Do not hesitate to delegate business registration if your expertise is not high enough, and you will definitely save your time, money, and effort!

Company Establishment in Belize: Main Benefits

All the traditional perks associated with an offshore destination are sure to be found here:

  • The residence of company owners and directors is of no importance: nationals of all countries are welcome.
  • You will pay no tax on royalties, interest, added value, dividends, or profit on the condition that you conduct all your business operations outside Belize.
  • If you hate bureaucracy, you will probably be happy to discover that Belizean authorities do not demand that you submit any financial or tax reports.
  • Belize does not impose any currency control, so you are free to move any amounts in and out. 
  • Third parties have no access to the register of the company beneficiaries, so your confidentiality is sure to be on a high level.
  • There is no need to have your documentation audited.
  • The legal framework in Belize relies on the common law.
  • There are many offshore jurisdictions that are sanctioned (blacklisted) by OECD and FATF, which creates additional barriers to business operations and banking there. Belize is on the white list, though, which gives you opportunities to freely cooperate with any country. 

The excellent news is that non-resident Belizean companies can be established online, and the fees involved are quite affordable (including the cost of subsequent company management which should also be taken into consideration). It usually takes from five to fourteen days to get a fully operational company.

Belize is an excellent destination for companies that engage in leasing activities, factoring, intellectual property ownership, financial management, and similar kinds of operations.

Starting a Business in Belize: The Downside

It is an open secret that the status of an “offshore” jurisdiction casts a certain shadow on the company’s image and reputation. For example, it will impede the process of setting up a business bank account for a company established in Belize. Many banks frown upon companies formed in offshores – even the whitelisted ones that comply with all international regulations. Don’t get discouraged, though: you can get recommendations on how to set up a bank account in this case if you follow the above link and contact an expert.

In addition, tax exemption does not come for free, and you have to comply with the following rules:

  • A registered local legal address (office) is an obligatory requirement.
  • Making profits in the territory of the island is not allowed.
  • No business with local residents.

If the area of a company’s activity is insurance or banking, you will be required to get a license to work legally, and it is not the easiest thing to do.

If you form an International Business Corporation (IBC) in Belize which possesses an IFSC license, one of the mandatory requirements is having economic substance in the state. You will have to comply if you have a distribution, holding, shipment, leasing, banking, insurance, and similar kinds of companies established in Belize. On the other hand, not all entities have to comply with this requirement (you can follow the link and talk to an expert to find out whether your business is required to meet certain criteria). 

Each jurisdiction where you decide to form a company has its disadvantages. The question is whether the advantages outweigh them and whether these drawbacks are something you can put up with. As far as Belize is concerned, if you adhere to a number of simple rules, you will draw a lot of benefits from the destination. 

Asset Protection in Belize

If you want bulletproof asset protection, welcome to Belize! The best thing about the destination is that it does not recognize the decisions of foreign courts. What does it mean for your capital? Well, if a creditor (or a relative) files a lawsuit against you in a foreign country, wins it, and comes to Belize to seize your assets, he or she may get an unpleasant surprise. The procedure has to be started all over again – this time in Belize, and it will be extremely difficult to win it as there are a lot of administrative barriers. It practically means that your assets will remain intact in 99.99% of cases, and this is one of the pearls of Belize that wealthy individuals and company owners really appreciate.

Company Establishment in Belize

Here are the stages of the procedure:

  • Choose the company type. The most popular ones are trusts and IBCs.
  • Select the business area. There are business fields which require a license, such as insurance, reinsurance, and banking services.
  • Register a legal address. Your official address will be within Belize, and you can have operational offices anywhere on the planet. 
  • Register the company name. Make sure the name is unique and it does not contain any insulting words, or words like Royal, Imperial, and so on.
  • Collect a package of documents for company registration and submit it to appropriate authorities in Belize. Keep in mind that you will need to pay a registration fee.
  • Create a business bank account to make your entity a fully functional business. You have a difficult thing to do: choose a reliable bank that will accept a Belizean company. You will have to study a lot of information or contact an expert using the above link to find out which possibilities exist.

Interested in a Belizean company? Want to know what other options exist? Welcome to the portal (by clicking on the above link) and explore our practical articles. Do not hesitate to use the live chat to get professional advice. Belize may be an ideal destination for your business!

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