Forming A Company in Belize
- Incorporation time: 1 days
- Shelf companies: Yes
- Accounting: No
- Secretary: No
- Nominee Shareholder: Yes
- Nominee director: Yes
Belize is a country with a population of over 310,000, located to the South of Mexico, and is member of the Commonwealth. It is the only English-speaking country in South America; it declared its independence from the United Kingdom in 1981. Its official language is English, although the majority of the population speaks Spanish.
An offshore centre
Belize is renowned for the speed of establishing companies and the preservation of the anonymity of their members. However, the very exotic nature of this destination can curb trade with Europe. International Business Company is the form of offshore company in the country, most of the time with limited liability and governed by the Belize IBC Act.
The creation of an IBC is not subject to any lower limit of share capital or citizenship requirement. In addition, an IBC may not do business with players located in Belize or even hold property there, which must therefore be leased if necessary. However, some activities may nevertheless be conducted with residents of Belize (lawyers, accountants, etc.). Setting up a company is subject to incorporation costs of 100 USD or 1,000 USD, depending on its share capital. All company information is held by a resident agent (compulsory for the creation of the company), who is bound by the Law to never disclose it.
Belize is still classified by the OECD as a non-cooperative territory, but this jurisdiction may be of interest, provided that it does not charge clients for services such as messaging or consultancy, service provision and other intangible services, which could cause them tax problems. In this instance, you may use a British company as a gateway.
The various types of companies
In Belize, a company can be created in one day.
Different tax rates
Belize-based companies pay no tax. A general sales tax (GST) has been implemented on goods and services sold in the territory. Income tax is as follows :
|Personal income (USD)||Tax rate|
|0 – 10,000||0%|
|10,001 or more||10%|
There are no accounting standards in Belize, companies are free to keep their accounts however they wish, without any obligation to publish them.
The jurisdiction in detail
Belizean agriculture is the second largest force in the country’s economy. Banana farming is the largest employer and sugar cane accounts for 50% of exports. Each year, the European Union imports 42,000 tonnes of sugar from Belize. There is also a great deal of fishing. The agricultural sector employs 19.5% of the active population, compared to 17.9% for industry.
However, services are the mainstay of the economy, of which 16% are related to tourism. Tourism is very popular because the country has outstanding natural assets: a pleasant climate, the longest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere and safe waters for diving, 127 islands, rivers which are ideal for rafting, jungle and Mayan ruins.
Finally, in terms of industry, oil reserves discovered in 2005 generate 4,000 barrels per day.
Access to and functioning of the market
Goods can be transported to Belize by the 3,000 kilometres of road, only 500 of which are tarmacked. Waterways are mostly shallow and extend to almost 1,000 kilometres. The main ports are those of Belize City, Big Creek, Corozol and Punta Gorda. The country also has 4 tarmacked airports.
The minimum wage in Belize is 228 EUR per month.
As part of the Commonwealth, the Head of State of Belize is the Queen of the United Kingdom who appoints the Governor (Sir Colville Young) to represent her. However, the executive power is actually held by the Prime Minister (Dean Barrow) and the Council of Ministers. For its part, the legislature is bicameral. It is composed of the House of Representatives with its 29 members elected for five years and the Senate and its 8 members.
The two major parties in Belize are the United Democratic Party and the People’s United Party.