Belize Offshore Company Formation
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Belize International Business Company (IBC) Incorporation
A Belize based Offshore Company or International Business Company (IBC) offers prospective individual and corporations an ideal environment to form an offshore company. Belize enacted the Companies Act in 1990 that created the legal structure for the offshore sector, which was further amended in 2000 to provide for added layers of flexibility and confidentiality which further strengthened the business environment and created more areas of investment for global investors.
Since then its has become one of the top destinations for offshore business formations and places to open an offshore bank account due to its strict confidentiality and non-disclosure laws, ease of procedures, and prominent location. Belize is a paradise for potential customers not only because of its tropical location and vibrant culture, but also because of its stable political and economic systems, supportive Common law legal framework, and its highly connected infrastructure.
Belize is a popular offshore jurisdiction and has some of the most flexible corporate requirements and supportive legal framework in the world, making it one of the most popular and secure offshore destinations. With low start-up costs, complete confidentiality and multiple layers of anonymity in a stable and low risk environment, its no wonder that Belize is one of the pioneers of offshore business formations.
Belize also offers a variety of different offshore formations products and financial licenses, such as a Belize Trust, which is a great alternative to the more expensive albeit more popular Cook Islands Trust, and a Brokerage Licence for the holding and trading of securities and forex
For more information on the Advantages of Belize as an Offshore Financial Center, click here.
Table of Contents:
- Advantages of a Belize Company Formation
- Top Uses
- Key Corporate Features
- Registration Package
- Belize Company Formation Requirements
- Corporate Taxation
- Corporate Details
Update: As of December 2019
Belize has made significant changes in its offshore industry in accordance with the OECDs directive against money laundering. Some of the most significant changes in the IBC corporate tax code include:
1. Removal of the ring-fencing feature of the IBC making all IBC apart of the domestic tax regime
2. Belize IBC are now able to conduct business within Belize as well as buy real estate, hold shares and conduct business with local Belize residents
3. As being apart of the local domestic tax regime all IBCs must no file annual tax returns
4. All IBCs are now under the domestic tax regime which is determined by the business activity and income (still there are 0% capital gains tax for non-residents)
5. All IBCs in Belize must apply for a Tax Identification Number
Advantages of a Belize Company Formation
Forming an International Business Company (IBC) in Belize has many advantages including, but not limited to:
- Asset protection
- Flexible currency holdings
- Fast IBC Registry
- No reporting or accounting requirements
- Robust and diversified national economy
- Only country in Central America having English as its official language
- No currency restrictions
- Exemption from Capital Gains
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Belize has very stringent confidentiality laws, greatly ensuring the privacy and the continuity of the country’s offshore banking sector. An offshore company can be made for any legal purpose and for any legal activity that are within the law and the company’s charter.
Some of most popular uses of a Belize IBC are, but not limited to:
- Asset protection Company
- Real Estate Holding Company
- Tax planning
- International financing
- Assent Protection
- Investment Company
- Financial Management
- General Commercial Trading
Key Corporate Features
|Belize IBC||Corporate Details|
|Type of Entity||Limited by Shares|
|Type of Law||English Common Law|
|Governed by||International Business Companies Act of 1990|
|Registered Office in Belize||Yes|
|Shelf company availability||Yes|
|Our time to establish a new company||One business day|
|Minimum government fees (excluding taxation)||USD $100|
|Access to Double Taxation Treaties||Yes|
|Share capital or equivalent|
|Standard currency||US Dollar |
Belize dollar (Official currency);
fixed to USD $1 = $2 Belize
|Minimum paid up||No minimum|
|Usual authorized||Any amount (USD $50,000 optimal)|
|Bearer shares allowed||Yes|
|No par value shares allowed||Yes|
|Publicly accessible records||No|
|Location of meetings||Anywhere|
|Corporate directorship allowed||Yes|
|Publicly accessible records||No|
|Corporate shareholder allowed||Yes|
|Location of meetings||Anywhere|
|Local or qualified||No|
|Requirements to prepare||Yes |
|Requirements to file accounts||Yes|
|Publicly accessible accounts||No|
|Recurring Government Costs|
|Minimum Annual Tax||USD $100|
|Annual Return Filing Fee||USD $100-$1000 depending on the amount of authorized capital |
(*See Corporate Details section below for details)
|Requirement to file annual return||No|
|Migration of domicile permitted||Yes|
- Government Registration Fee (First year)
- Registered Office Address (First year)
- Registered Agent Services (First year)
- Company Secretarial Maintenance
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Memo & Articles of Association
- Appointment of 1st Directors
- Consent Actions of the BOD
- Share Certificates
- Register of Directors
- Register of Officers
- Register of Shareholders
- FREE Phone and/or email consultations
There are few requirements needed to establish a Belize IBC.
- Filing requirements are limited to a Memorandum, Articles of Association, and name an address of registered agent
- A Registered Agent will deliver the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association to the Registry together with the appropriate fee
- Any individual or group of individuals may incorporate a company·
An IBC based in Belize is not required to pay any tax on its operations outside the country. Tax exemption includes, but is not limited to:
- Taxes on all income
- Taxes on all dividends
- Taxes on capital gains
- Taxes on all royalties and compensations;
- And taxes on all interests and rent.
There is a Business Tax on any business or enterprise that earns more than $75,000 a year; however, this tax does not apply to income earned outside the country, and therefore does not include any activities or operations of an IBC (due to the restrictions of carrying out business outside of the country).
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Security and Confidentiality
A Belize IBC is allowed to have nominee directors and shareholders to give another layer of anonymity, the details of which are not part of public record. A Belize IBC is protected from any expropriation orders by any foreign governments. Additionally, any changes of directors or shareholders are not required by Registry.
Liability is limited to the amount of the nominal value of the shares
Usual Authorized Share Capital
An IBC with an authorized share capital of up to US$50,000 must pay a licensing fee of US$100 per year. For any authorized share capital of more than US$50,000, the licensing fees increase to US$1,000 per year.
Financial Statements Required
A Belize IBC is not required to file financial statements
The appointment of a company secretary is not mandatory
A Belize IBC must have a minimum of (1) one Director, which may be an individual or a corporate entity
There must be one (1) shareholder, either and individual or a corporate body
Powers of the Company
Companies incorporated in Belize have equal power as that of a natural person.
Double Taxation Treaties
No double taxation treaties with any other country
Registered Office Required
Every Belize IBC must have a registered office
There are no mandatory local presence requirements
Language of Name
English is the official language in Belize, though it is possible to incorporate an IBC in any language
Capital may be expressed in any currency
Meetings of directors or shareholders may take place anywhere in the world by proxy
Filing and Auditing of Accounts
There are no requirements to file accounts or to have accounts audited. Public filing is limited to certificate of incorporation, memorandum and articles of association, registered office and name and address of registered agent.
Belize based offshore IBC must not engage with any business activities within Belize
The name of a Belize IBC may not contain the words “Building Society”, “Chamber of Commerce”, “Chartered”, “Cooperative”, “Imperial”, “Municipal”, “Royal”, or any word that suggests the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen of England or of a member of the British Royal Family.
Double Tax Conventions and TIEA’s
Belize has Double Taxation agreements (DTC’s) with: Antigua & Barbuda, Austria, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, and the United Kingdom.
Additionally, with the aim of being removed from the OECD grey list, like many other offshore financial centers in the Caribbean, Belize was pressured into signing TIEA’s (Tax Information Exchange Agreements) with: Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Greenland, Iceland, India, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, and United Kingdom.
Annual Government Fees
There is a one-time registration payment of US$100. There is also an annual renewal fee:
- An IBC with an authorized share capital up to US$50,000 must pay a licensing fee of US$100 per year
- An IBC with an authorized share capital US$50,000 or more must pay a licensing fee of US$1,000 per year
- An IBC with some or all of its shares of no par value, must pay a licensing fee of US$350 per year.
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