Main Characteristics of a Company in Belize
General Background – Belize is a small country in Central America just near the Caribbean. The country borders Mexico and Guatemala. Belize was once part of the British colony and so most people there speak English. The population of the country is about 300,000 citizens and the land spans over 22,000 kilometers. Belize City is the largest city in the state and the main port city. The local currency is the Belize dollar.
Economy – Belize’s economy is based mainly on private transactions in the trading and agriculture sectors. Most of their agriculture stems from growing sugar, citrus and bananas. Export of sugar comprises about half of the total export from the country. In recent years the government has been trying to encourage more tourism in the region, building and establishing more foreign companies in Belize in order to increase the GDP.
Tax – Despite the relatively high local tax rate in Belize, foreign companies incorporated in Belize are exempt from tax for all income that does not originate from local activity. Therefore Belize is considered as a preferable jurisdiction and is a popular destination to incorporate a foreign company. Belize has no tax treaties with any other country.
Confidentiality – Belize is stringent with its confidentiality standards in that all the details regarding the shareholders of the company do not appear in the public registrar and remain confidentially with the agent who incorporated the company.
Name of the Company – Any name can be chosen for the company and can be in any language. One cannot use a name that already exists or is similar to a name that is already in use. There is a ban on the use of the following words: bank, trust, trustees, insurance, security, savings, loans, trading room, university, municipality or any words that are similar in other languages.
Shareholders – There must be at least one shareholder – either private or a corporation. Belize is stringent in its confidentiality and privacy of a company which is ingrained in the law of the state. The details of the shareholders do not appear with the local registrar. One can issue Bearer shares which must be entrusted with the company’s local representative. Bearer shares are shares that are not registered under any specific person and are physically held by the company’s shareholder.
Directors – Belize law requires at least one registered director, private or a corporation, no matter their citizenship. The directors’ names and details are confidential and do not appear in the public registrar.
Financial Statements – There is no obligation for a foreign company to submit financial statements.
Registering a Company in Belize
A Belize company formation proccess is done under the IBC – International Business Company category. It is illegal for a company in Belize to have any business transactions with the local residents, to own any tangible assets in the country, to hold any shares or bonds of a local company and is not allowed to practice in the banking, insurance and trustee sectors. A local representative and local address is required in order to incorporate a company in Belize but the process is relatively quick.
Our services include assistance in opening a bank account for a company incorporated in Belize in a wide range of banks worldwide. Contact us for more information.