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  Belize
Belize Offshore Company Overview

Belize became a British Crown Colony in 1862 and became independent in 1981. Belize is now a parliamentary democracy.

The government of Belize is fully committed to the ongoing development of Belize as a leading offshore jurisdiction. Through regular consultations with the private sector, the government ensures that its policies and legislation continue to meet the needs and interests of the international financial community in an environment which engenders trust and confidence.

The Belize International Business Company (IBC) is the most popular form of offshore corporate structure. An IBC is formed under the International Business Company Act 1990 and generally must conduct its trading and business outside Belize. However, Belize's legislation also allows an IBC to carry on a number of activities within Belize. Belize offshore companies are used for a variety of tax planning and international investment purposes.

Key Corporate Features

General

Type of entity:

IBC

Type of law:

Common

Shelf company availability:

Yes

Our time to establish a new company:

2 Weeks

Minimum government fees (excluding taxation):

US$100

Taxation on foreign income:

Nil

Double taxation treaty access:

No

Share capital or equivalent

Standard currency:

US$

Permitted currencies:

Any

Minimum paid up:

US$1

Usual authorised:

US$50, 000

Directors or Managers

Minimum number:

One

Local required:

No

Publicly accessible records:

No

Location of meetings:

Anywhere

Members

Minimum number:

One

Publicly accessible records:

No

Location of meetings:

Anywhere

Company Secretary

Required:

No

Local or qualified:

No

Accounts

Requirement to prepare:

Yes

Audit requirements:

No

Requirement to file accounts:

No

Publicly accessible accounts:

No

Other

Requirement to file annual return:

No

Change in domicile permitted:

Yes

Belize General Information

Belize (formerly British Honduras) is a scenically beautiful, independent country located on the Caribbean seaboard of Central America. Belize has an area of approximately 23,026 sq km, and is bounded by Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south.

The administrative capital of Belize is Belmopan, but the major commercial centre is Belize City, which is located on the eastern coast close to the major international airport.

» Population
The total population of Belize is around 300,000 of which some 60,000 live in Belize City. The population of Belize is ethnically diverse and includes descendants of the original Mayan culture and people of Caribbean, Caucasian, Chinese and East Indian descent.

» Political Structure
Belize has a long history of peace, stability and democracy. It became a British Crown Colony in 1862 and achieved complete self-rule in 1981. Belize is a member of the British Commonwealth, the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement. In Belize, executive authority is exercised by the Cabinet under the leadership of the Prime Minister, subject to approval by a 28 member Senate with the majority appointed on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

There are two main political parties; both parties are committed to the economic development of the country and the encouragement of overseas investment.

» Infrastructure and Economy
Belize's unspoiled environment with cays and barrier reef make it a popular destination for eco-tourists, whilst its clear unpolluted waters are excellent for swimming, diving, fishing and other aqua sports. The country also offers a unique mix of unspoiled woodlands, caves, rivers, mountains, waterfalls and jungle, in addition to a wealth of Mayan archaeological sites. There are also forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, marine resort areas and the world's only jaguar reserve.

Major exports are sugar, bananas, citrus products, fishery products, garments and timber and wood products. The offshore finance industry is generating an increasing proportion of national income.

» Language
The official and spoken language is English.

» Currency
The Belize Dollar (BZ$).

» Exchange Control
Offshore activities are exempted from exchange control.

» Type of Law
Common Law. Based on English Company Law.

» Principal Legislation

* International Business Companies Act, 2000.

* Limited Life Companies Act, 1999.

Belize Company Information

» Type of Company For International Trade and Investment
The Belize International Business Company (IBC) or the Belize Limited Life Company (LLC).

» Procedure to Incorporate
Registered Agent delivers the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association to the Bellize 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
English.

» Shelf Companies Available
Yes.

» Time to Incorporate
2 Weeks.

» Name Restrictions
Any name that has already been incorporated in Belize, 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 that 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 Licence
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, Sociýt?Anonyme, Sociedad Anýnima, Gesellschaft mit beschrýnkter Haftung or the relevant abbreviations.

» Disclosure of Beneficial Ownership to Government Authorities
No.


Compliance

» Authorised Share Capital
The usual authorised share capital of a Belize Company is US$50 000divided 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, shares of no par value, preference shares, redeemable shares and shares with or without voting rights.

» Taxation
A Belize International Business Company does not pay any tax on its world-wide profits to Belize authorities.

» Double Taxation Agreements
Belize IBC's may not be used to access any of Belize's double tax agreements.

» Licence Fees
Companies with an authorised capital up to US$50 000 pay the sum of US$100 per year.

Companies with a share capital over US$50,001 pay the sum of US$1,000 per year.

Companies, which have some or all of their shares with no par value, pay the sum of US$350 per year.

» Financial Statement Requirements
Whilst there is no requirement to file audited accounts with the authorities, a company is required to keep financial records that reflect the financial position of a company.

» Directors
The minimum number of directors is one. Directors may be natural persons or bodies corporate. They can be of any nationality and need not be Belize resident.

» Company Secretary
A company secretary is not a requirement under the Act, but a secretary is normally appointed to facilitate signing obligations.

» Shareholders
The minimum number of shareholders is one.

 


 
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