Belize (formerly British Honduras) is an independent democratic Commonwealth country located on the Caribbean seaboard of Central America. Since independence from Britain in 1981, it has enjoyed a stable and democratic Government. The cabinet, under the leadership of the Prime Minister directs the policy of the Government which consists of the Prime Minister and ministers chosen by him from an elected House of Representatives and an appointed Senate. Although there are fairly high rates of tax for resident persons and companies in Belize, it now offers tax-free IBCs by virtue of the IBC Act 1990. This legislation is modelled on the earlier British Virgin Islands legislation and as the annual Government fees are only $100, whereas the equivalent fee payable in BVI is US$300. Belize is likely to become an important offshore corporate domicile.
FEATURES OF BELIZE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS COMPANY (IBC)
Type of Company for International Trade and Investment
International Business Company (IBC).
Procedure to Incorporate
Registered Agent delivers the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association to the Registry together with the appropriate fee.
Restrictions on Trading
Cannot trade within Belize or own real estate there. Cannot undertake the business of banking, insurance, assurance or reinsurance.
Powers of Company
A Company incorporated in Belize has the same powers as a natural person.
Language of Legislation and Corporate Documents
Shelf Companies Available
Time to Incorporate
One day, but a further two days are required for the release of documentation from the Registry.
Any name that has already been incorporated or is so similar as to cause confusion. Any name which in the opinion of the Registrar is considered undesirable, obscene or offensive. Names such as royal or imperial and any name which suggests the patronage of Belize Government.
Language of Name
A Belize IBC can be incorporated using any language. Chinese language incorporations with Chinese documentation are very popular.
Registered Office Required
Yes, must be maintained in Belize at the address of a licensed management company.
Names Requiring Consent or License
Bank, building society, savings, loans, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, trust, trustees, Chamber of Commerce, university, municipal or their foreign language equivalents or any name in English or a foreign language that may suggest association with the banking or insurance industries.
Suffixes to Denote Limited Liability
Limited, Corporation, Incorporation, Société Anonyme, Sociedad Anonima, Gesellschaft mit beshränkter Haftung or the relevant abbreviations.
Disclosure of Beneficial Ownership to Authorities
Authorized Share Capital
The normal authorized share capital is US$ 50,000 divided in to shares with or without par value. The share capital may be expressed in any currency. The minimum issued capital may be one share of no par value or one share of par value.
Classes of Shares Permitted
Registered shares, bearer shares, shares of no par value, preference shares, redeemable shares and shares with or without voting rights.
Bearer Shares Permitted
An International Business Company does not pay any tax on its world-wide profits to Belize authorities.
A minimum number of one shareholder is required and either registered or bearer shares may be issued. No details of the shareholders appear on the public file but upon the issue or transfer of bearer shares a professional intermediary, such as ourselves, are required to retain physical custody of the bearer shares on behalf of our clients. A Register of Shareholders must be kept at the registered office address of the company in Belize.
A minimum of one director is required and corporate directors are permitted. In addition, there is no restrictions on the nationality of the directors. Details of the directors do not appear on the public file.
No annual return or accounts need be filed. It should be noted that penalty fees of up to 50% of the annual Government fee will be incurred if the license fee is not paid when due
There are no specific statutory provisions governing secrecy in relation to companies but English Law, which applies within the jurisdiction, does impose a common law duty on professionals to keep the affairs of their clients confidential.
BELIZE COMPANY REGISTRATION AND MAINTENANCE FEES
Our registration fee together with the current year maintenance fee for a company with a share capital no more than US$50,000 is USD700 excluding delivery fee. In particular, the fee covers:
The registration fee together with current year maintenance fee for a company with a share capital more than USD50,000 is USD1,600.
Documents to be provided by client for incorporation
The whole incorporation process could be finished in 2 weeks.
Annual maintenance cost for company with a share capital of no more than USD50,000 for second year onward is US$500 which covers annual license fee, annual registered agent and annual registered office fees.
Annual maintenance cost for company with a share capital of more than USD50,000 for second year and thereafter is US$1,400 which covers annual license fee, annual registered agent and annual registered office fees.
Regardless the date of incorporation, the second-year annual maintenance fee is due for payment on April next year. Annual Maintenance Fee thereafter is due for payment on April each year.
Other Services (Optional)
Provision of nominee director: USD350 each/per annum
Provision of shareholder: USD250 each/per annum
Certificate of Good Standing: USD180
Certificate of Incumbency: USD18