Belize company registration

DOING BUSINESS IN BELIZE IN 2018

Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has assisted our Clients with business registration in Belize. Our services include i) Belize business registration (offshore and onshore), ii) government license registration, iii) international or Belize corporate bank account opening, iv) employee recruitment, v) employee visa strategies and vi) office rental solutions.

Summary table of Belize company registration

SummaryInternational business companyFree zone company250 companyInternational foundationTrust
Also known asIBCExport processing companyLocal companyPrivate foundationAsset protection
Best use of company?Trading with global customersManufacturing and exportTrading with local customersTax planningAsset protection
How soon can you invoice Clients/sign sales contracts?2 weeks2 months4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks
How soon can you hire staff?2 weeks2 months4 weeks4 weeksCannot hire
How soon can you sign a lease agreement?1 week1 week1 week1 week1 week
How long to supply corporate bank account numbers?2 months2 months2 months2 months2 months
How long to supply company registration / tax numbers?2 weeks2 months4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks
Corporate tax rate on annual net profits?0%0%25%0%0%
Limited liability entity?YesYesYesYesYes
Government grants and tax incentives available?NoYesYesNoNo
Government approval required for foreign owners?NoNoNoNoNo
Resident director/partner/manager/ legal representative required?NoNoNoNoYes
Minimum paid up share capital?US$1US$1US$1US$1None
Can bid for Government contracts?YesYesYesNoNo
Corporate bank account location?Atlantic BankAlliance BankBelize BankFirst Caribbean BankScotiabank
Can secure trade finance?YesYesYesNoNo
VAT payable on sales to local customers?Cannot trade locally0%12.5%0%Cannot trade
Average total business set up engagement costs?US$7,300US$11,300US$10,350US$11,500US$11,150
Average total engagement period?2 months2 months2 months2 months2 months

Belize business setup summary

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  • Benefits of Belize company registration

    1. Foreign businessmen often choose Belize to register their offshore company because:
      • International business companies (IBCs) registered in Belize are free from local corporate income tax on their foreign-sourced income;
      • There are no capital gains tax in the country nor withholding taxes on dividend distributions or interest payments by IBCs;
      • Only one director and one shareholder of any nationality is enough to begin operations, and minimal capital required is just US$1;
      • Companies with an authorised capital of up to US$50,000 need to pay Government company renewal fees of only US$100 per year;
      • The documents necessary for IBC registration can be supplied in English, minimizing translation costs;
      • The local Income Tax Department does not require financial statements to be filed along with the annual return.
    2. Belize offers attractive investment promotion incentives, including:
      • Fiscal Incentive Program removing all customs duties for foreign investors. Both SMEs and Belize incorporated companies are eligible for this program;
      • There are no restrictions on foreigners owning real estate in Belize;
      • 20 years tax holiday and multiple operational incentives under the Export Processing Zone program.
    3. Belize is a great place for a US investor to buy real estate and retire because:
      • There are two major retiree programs (QRP and DRI) offering: i) exemption on personal taxation, ii) exemption on import duties for motor vehicle for 5 years and iii) dependent residence permit programs for close kin;
      • Real estate prices are one of the most affordable in the Caribbean and Central American regions;
      • The country is easily accessible from the USA. Important US travel hubs, such as Miami are just 2 hours away via plane;
      • English is native to the country and the primary business language.
    4. An International Business Corporation (IBC) in Belize is given ample security & confidentiality for its operation:
      • The disclosure of the details of the beneficial owners is not required;
      • No external authority is entitled to inspect the share register of a Belize IBC. In fact, it can be limited only to the shareholder of the company;
      • The assets are protected from confiscation or expropriation orders or similar actions by any foreign government.
  • Problems with Belize company registration

    1. The country’s market is very small with just above 350,000 people, offering little potential for growth for local-targeted business;
    2. Belize is commonly perceived as a tax haven, with lax enforcement of anti-money laundering/countering financing of terrorism regulation. Registering an offshore company in this jurisdiction will inevitably attract additional scrutiny from the tax authorities of the country of residency of our Clients;
    3. Using a Belize offshore company to evade tax and other illegal activities can send you to jail. It is important that our Clients are aware of their personal and corporate tax obligations in their country of residence and domicile and they will fulfil those obligations annually. Let us know if you need Healy Consultants’ help to clarify your annual reporting obligations.
    4. Belize IBCs are prohibited from trading with the locals of Belize both at an individual and at a corporation level. This is because the Belize IBCs are viewed as investment vehicles for foreign entrepreneurs, therefore, the Belize government aims to protect its economy through this regulation.
  • Best uses for a Belize company

    1. A Belize IBC is a tax-efficient vehicle to conduct global business or operate as a holding company;
    2. Investors interested to relocate and retire in the Caribbean Region and purchase real estate will find Belize as suitable destination.

Company registration

  • Time to incorporate: One week
  • Cost to set up: US$8,350
  • Minimum capital: US$1
  • Physical office required: No

Required appointments

  • Shareholders: 1
  • Directors: 1
  • Company secretary: Yes
  • Resident director: No

Key facts

  • Corporate tax rate: 0%
  • Corporate tax base: Territorial
  • Shelf companies: Unavailable
  • Main company type: Offshore IBC

Select corporate structure
Business set up guide
Resident director and shareholder services
Business set up strategy
Accounting and tax regulations
Compare similar North American countries
Visa and migration options

Contact us

For additional information on our company registration services in Belize, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Petar Chakarov, directly:
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