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Belize

Tax Haven Jurisdictions

Synopsis:

Former British Colony located in Central America. Gained full independence from the United Kingdom in 1981 but has remained part of the British Commonwealth. Territorial disputes with neighbouring Honduras has resulted in a continued British military presence. Modem 1BC' legislation introduced under the International Business Companies Act, 1990. Territory known for selling it's passports.

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Location

Central America with Mexico to the North and Honduras to the East. Approximately the size of the Principality of Wales with a population of 256,000

Relationship with the UK

The British military presence provides a continued strong relationship with the U.K., however, the U.S. is showing growing interest.

Advantages of Belize IBC Company

  • There is no minimum capitalization requirement. By convention the standard nominal share capital is US$50,000.00. However, capital can be expressed in any currency.
  • An IBC is required to have a registered office and agent in Belize, the registered agent must be licensed with the necessary professional qualifications and must be either a qualified barrister, solicitor, chartered accountant or other person or entity deemed suitable to hold an agent license.
  • Bearer shares: Most IBC companies issue bearer shares, however, registered shares are also possible. Shares can be issued with or without par value.
  • Only one director is required. A company may serve as director.
  • Only one shareholder is required. Again, this can be a company. There are no nationality requirements for either post apart from the caveats relating to indigenous residents.
  • The register of shares/company register must be kept at the registered office. Beneficial ownership details need not be revealed. The register is not open to the public. All other documentary information relating to the company can be kept outside of Belize.
  • Full exemption from local taxes including stamp duty.
  • Confidentiality guaranteed by statute.
  • The company name must end in: Limited, Ltd, Corporation, Inc, Sociedad Anonima, SA or a similar ending which will identify it as having limited liability.
  • Transfer of Jurisdiction: IBC legislation permits foreign companies to be re-domiciled in Belize.
  • No accounts or annual returns have to be filed with the Government, with the exception of the annual franchise tax required to be filed by the registered agent.

Taxation

As stated, Belize IBC companies are totally tax free save in respect to the annual franchise tax.

How to Incorporate Belize IBC Company

The company registration procedure for Belize IBC's is very straight forward with only the need to submit basic company registration forms together with standard Memorandum & Articles of Association.

An IBC must always maintain a local registered agent and office. The registered agent must be either a qualified barrister, solicitor, chartered accountant or other person/entity deemed suitable to hold an agent license. There is no restrictions on the objects of an IBC save that they cannot be publicly quoted (this requiring a different process) must only conduct legal activities and cannot perform banking or insurance activities without the requisite license.

Corporate Requirements

Name: The name must end in Limited, Ltd, Corporation, Inc, Sociedad Anonima, SA or a similar ending which will identify it as having limited liability.

Capital: There is no minimum capitalisation. By convention the standard nominal share capital is US$50,000.00. However, capital can be expressed in any currency.

Registered office agent: As stated, the local agent must be licensed with the necessary professional qualifications. A company register must be kept at the registered office in Belize but any "identifying" information relating to beneficial ownership can be deleted.

Amendments: Amendments can be made by resolution at Board level and/or as specified in the Articles of Association. Meetings can take place anywhere in the world and may even be conducted by telephone.

Books, records and common seal: Only non sensitive information need be kept at the registered office. There is further no need to maintain company accounts other than those deemed necessary by the Board of Directors. All other documentary information relating to the company can be kept outside Belize. The company seal is generally supplied with the company.

Powers of attorney: All legal powers of the company can be delegated to third parties unless otherwise specified by the Articles of Association.

Certificate of good standing: Supplied by the Registrar of Companies.

Register of shares: Must be kept at the registered office. True ownership details need not be revealed. The register is not open to the public.

Bearer shares: Most IBC companies issue bearer shares, however, registered shares are also possible.

Directors/Officers/Shareholders: All directorship, officierial and shareholder positions can be held by either corporate or non corporate bodies. There need only be one director and shareholder. Directors are not required to be shareholders of the company. There are no nationality requirements apart from the caveats relating to indigenous residents.

Transfer of Jurisdiction: IBC legislation permits foreign companies to be re domiciled in Belize

Annual Fees and Government Taxes

Apart from registered office, agent and, if applicable, nominee fees the only other fee will be the annual franchise tax which is based upon the authorised share capital of the company. In synopsis, companies with an authorised share capital of less than US$50,000.00 need only pay an annual tax of US$100.00. Those with an authorised capital over US$50,000.00 pay US$1,000.00.

Penalties for non payment: Non payment of the annual franchise tax will result in the company being struck off the register.

Approximate company registration fees: Accepting capitalisation below US$50,000.00 a standard IBC with nominees and a local agent/registered office will cost approximately US$1,500.00. Powers of attorney are often included within this price.