Company Formation Belize
Updated on Friday 08th July 2022
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Offshore Company Formation in Belize
In Belize, the increasing proportion of national income is generated by the offshore finance industry.
There are many reasons for a foreign investor to set up an offshore company in Belize, such as: 0% corporate tax, no dividend tax, high degree of confidentiality and freedom from certain reporting obligations.
Many offshore Belize companies are used as holding companies in order to minimize tax.
Steps for company formation in Belize
The most common type of company for international holding, investment and trade is the International Business Company (IBC).
The first step for starting a company in Belize is to provide 3 company names as per client’s choice. The names submitted will be checked by the Belize authorities and availability thereof will be confirmed in the shortest of time.
Every foreign investor should be informed that the incorporation of a Belize company is a very straightforward procedure, provided that the following conditions are met:
- the client provides a series of identification documents, among which we mention passport copies of the shareholders and directors and utility bills showing the address of the clients;
- the name of a company limited by shares incorporated in Belize must be unique must not resemble with the name of an existing company - the termination LTD or a series of similar ones must be added to the name;
- the registration office has to be in Belize at the address of a licensed management company;
- a limited liability company established in Belize is based on the Memorandum of Association.
The document must contain the name and the address of the company, details regarding the authorized capital, details regarding the shares, the purpose of opening such a company and the fact that it’s a limited liability company.
Also, each member must state the number of owned shares (not less than 1).
As a result of depositing the Memorandum of Association and the Articles of Association to the Belize Companies Registrar, the company receives a unique registration number and a certificate of registration.
The offshore registration of a company in Belize takes approximately 3 days since the moment we have received all the necessary documents.
The shareholders can select the amount of the share capital, but this amount doesn’t have to be deposited.
There are no limitations in regards to the nationality of the shareholders and directors. Belize’s law offers the possibility of nominee shareholders and directors (service provided by BridgeWest).
What are the rights and obligations for tax resident companies in Belize?
Offshore incorporation can have numerous benefits, especially when it comes to the taxation of a company. The same applies in Belize, which offers numerous tax exemptions on taxes that are customarily charged in other jurisdictions.
Below, you can find out some of the main elements of opening a company in Belize:
- one can have residency rights, as well as the right to property ownership;
- there is an exemption on the taxation of dividends and interest obtained from bonds;
- the stamp duty does not apply;
- it is necessary to obtain a license from the International Financial Service Commission;
- the official language of the documents issued by the company is English;
- the company can engage in any business activities, with the exception of those specified by the law.
What are the accounting obligations of a Belize company?
All companies have to maintain certain accounting documents; this will also create specific accounting obligations, such as reporting to the local institutions. For a Belize company, it is necessary to submit annual tax returns.
Companies must also maintain their accounting documents, but an audit is not mandatory unless specific thresholds are met.
For instance, this can be required by the Commissioner of Income Tax in the case in which the company reaches a yearly threshold of $ 6 million. You can find out more details concerning this subject from our consultants in company formation in Belize.
Requirements for offshore company formation in Belize
The minimum number of shareholders or directors is 1. The shareholders of a company established in Belize can be either natural persons or legal entities.
Any person of any nationality or residence can be director or shareholder in a Belize company. It’s mandatory for a company limited by shares to have a registered office in Belize before starting the commercial activities (service provided by BridgeWest).
Services provided for Belize company incorporation
Our consultants in company formation in Belize can offer the following services, including the possibility of opening an offshore bank account:
- drafting the articles of association (necessary for company incorporation in Belize) - the articles of association of the Belize company can be signed through power of attorney;
- drafting all other documents required for the incorporation of the Belize company - these documents include specimen signatures, special forms provided by the Company Registration Office in Belize, passport copies etc;
- offering a registered office in Belize for your company - the registered office may be any address where the Belize company declares to have its headquarters and it can be a P.O Box;
- setting up a bank account for your Belize company.
Belize key facts
Belize is an independent country located in Central America, ethnically diverse and with an environment popular for its beauty. Belize is considered by many a tax heaven for the local entrepreneurs, encouraged by the fiscal policy to develop businesses.
A Belize International Business Company cannot undertake the business of banking, insurance, assurance or reinsurance. A Belize International Business Company can be incorporated using any language, while the language of the legislation and corporate documents has to be English.
The normal authorized share capital is US$ 50,000 divided in to shares with or without par value and it can be expressed in any currency. Investors interested in offshore company formation in Belize must also know the following with regards to the registration of the IBC:
- the IBC operates under the rules of the Belize International Business Companies Act, adopted first in 1990 and amended in 2000 and later on, in 2011;
- the IBC is required to pay an annual fee of $250 to the Belize Government;
- for companies with a capital below $50,000 with par value shares the annual fee is $200 in the 1st year of activity and from the 2nd, it increases to $250;
- the fees can increase to $350 – 1,000, depending on the capital and the type of shares the company has;
- it is also important to know that the process of company formation in Belize can be completed in only 24 hours.
What international agreements are recognized in Belize?
Belize is the signatory state of many international treaties, agreed upon with various countries around the world. For instance, Belize has signed Tax Information Exchange Agreements with countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom, France or Mexico.
This type of treaty ensures a high level of investor protection, as the disclosure of information is limited. Thus, the Belize authorities can disclose information to the tax or financial authorities of other countries only in certain situations.
The country has also signed treaties for the avoidance of double taxation with several countries, such as Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Austria, as with other offshore jurisdictions, such as St. Kitts and Nevis.
Investors who want to set up a company in Belize will need to open a corporate bank account, typically referred to as offshore bank account. This right is also granted to foreign individuals, who can set up the account if they comply with the banks’ requirements.
With regards to bank accounts in Belize and the disclosure of information on the financial situation of an account holder, it is important to know that Belize banks will do so in accordance to certain treaties.
Here, one has to know that Belize will do so in accordance to 3 main legislations. The 1st is the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, the 2nd is the Common Reporting Standard and the 3rd, the Automatic Exchange of Information.
The legislation that regulates the income taxes for companies incorporated in Belize is the Income and Business Tax Act. The local laws are based on the English Company Law. An IBC doesn’t have to pay any tax on its world-wide profits to Belize authorities.
Bridgewest provides company formation services in Belize. Please contact our team of specialists in company incorporation in Belize for any additional information and prices.