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Belize IBC Offshore Company Information

Belize Offshore Company Overview

Belize became a British Crown Colony in 1862 and became independent in 1981. Belize is now a parliamentary democracy.

The government of Belize is fully committed to the ongoing development of Belize as a leading offshore jurisdiction. Through regular consultations with the private sector, the government ensures that its policies and legislation continue to meet the needs and interests of the international financial community in an environment which engenders trust and confidence.

The Belize International Business Company (IBC) is the most popular form of offshore corporate structure. An IBC is formed under the International Business Company Act 1990 and generally must conduct its trading and business outside Belize. However, Belize's legislation also allows an IBC to carry on a number of activities within Belize. Belize offshore companies are used for a variety of tax planning and international investment purposes.

» Key Corporate Features
» Belize General Information
» Belize Company Information
» Belize Compliance

» Information Downloads
» Statutory Information Downloads

Key Corporate Features

Type of entity: IBC
Type of law: Common
Shelf company availability: Yes
Our time to establish a new company: 1 Day
Minimum government fees (excluding taxation): US$100
Corporate taxation: Nil
Double taxation treaty access: No
Share capital or equivalent
Standard currency: US$
Permitted currencies: Any
Minimum paid up: No minimum required
Usual authorised: US$50,000
Minimum number: One
Local required: No
Corporate Directors Permitted Yes
Publicly accessible records: No
Location of meetings: Anywhere
Minimum number: One
Publicly accessible records: No
Location of meetings: Anywhere
Company Secretary
Required: Optional
Local or qualified: No
Requirement to prepare: Yes
Audit requirements: No
Requirement to file accounts: No
Publicly accessible accounts: No
Requirement to file annual return: No
Change in domicile permitted: Yes

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Belize General Information

Belize (formerly British Honduras) is a scenically beautiful, independent country located on the Caribbean seaboard of Central America. Belize has an area of approximately 23,026 sq km, and is bounded by Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south.

The administrative capital of Belize is Belmopan, but the major commercial centre is Belize City, which is located on the eastern coast close to the major international airport.

» Population

The total population of Belize is approximately 321,000 of which some 70,000 live in Belize City. The population of Belize is ethnically diverse and includes descendants of the original Mayan culture and people of Caribbean, Caucasian, Chinese and East Indian descent.

» Political Structure

Belize has a long history of peace, stability and democracy. It became a British Crown Colony in 1862 and achieved complete self-rule in 1981. Belize is a member of the British Commonwealth, the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement.

Belize is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy which recognises HM Queen Elizabeth II as head of state represented by a Governor General who must be a Belizean national. The National Assemby is composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Senate has 12 members and the House of Representatives comprises of 29 members, directly elected at intervals of no longer than five years. The prime minister and cabinet have executive power.

There are two main political parties; both parties are committed to the economic development of the country and the encouragement of overseas investment.

» Infrastructure and Economy

Belize's unspoiled environment with cays and barrier reef make it a popular destination for eco-tourists, whilst its clear unpolluted waters are excellent for swimming, diving, fishing and other aqua sports. The country also offers a unique mix of unspoiled woodlands, caves, rivers, mountains, waterfalls and jungle, in addition to a wealth of Mayan archaeological sites. There are also forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, marine resort areas and the world's only jaguar reserve.

Major exports are sugar, bananas, citrus products, fishery products, garments and timber and wood products. The offshore finance industry is generating an increasing proportion of national income.

» Language

The official and spoken language is English but Spanish is widely spoken.

» Currency

The Belize Dollar (BZ$).

» Exchange Control

Offshore activities are exempted from exchange control.

» Type of Law

Common Law. Based on English Company Law.

» Principal Corporate Legislation

International Business Companies Act, 1990, amended 2000.

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Belize Company Information

» Procedure to Incorporate

Registered Agent delivers the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association to the Registry together with the appropriate fee.

» Restrictions on Trading

Cannot trade within Belize or own real estate there. Cannot undertake the business of banking, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, company management or registered office facilities for Belizean incorporated companies.

» Powers of Company

A Company incorporated in Belize has the same powers as a natural person.

» Language of Legislation and Corporate Documents


» Shelf Companies Available


» Time to Incorporate

One day.

» Name Restrictions

Any name that has already been incorporated in Belize, or is so similar as to cause confusion. Any name which in the opinion of the Registrar is considered undesirable, obscene or offensive. Names such as royal or imperial and any name that suggests the patronage of Belize Government.

» Language of Name

A Belize IBC can be incorporated using any language. Chinese language incorporations with Chinese documentation are very popular.

» Registered Office Required

Yes, must be maintained in Belize at the address of a licensed management company.

» Names Requiring Consent or Licence

Bank, building society, savings, loans, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, trust, trustees, Chamber of Commerce, university, municipal or their foreign language equivalents or any name in English or a foreign language that may suggest association with the banking or insurance industries.

» Suffixes to Denote Limited Liability

Limited, Corporation, Incorporation, Société Anonyme, Sociedad Anónima, Aktiengesellschaft or the relevant abbreviations.

» Disclosure of Beneficial Ownership to Government Authorities


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» Authorised and Issued Share Capital

The usual authorised share capital is US$50 000 divided in to shares with or without par value. From 15th April 2013 the share capital of IBC's may be increased up to a maximum of US$10 million without reference to the Registrar General. However any requests for a higher capital must be submitted to the IBCR with the following information.

  1. Present Share Capital of the Company
  2. Proposed increase
  3. Reasons for the increase
  4. Source of funds
  5. Notarised bank statements showing that the money to pay for the increase is available
The share capital may be expressed in any currency. The minimum issued capital may be one share of no par value or one share of par value.

» Classes of Shares Permitted

Registered shares, shares of no par value, preference shares, redeemable shares and shares with or without voting rights.

» Taxation

A Belize International Business Company does not pay any tax on its world-wide profits to Belize authorities.

» Double Taxation Agreements

Belize is not a party to any double tax agreements.

» Licence Fees

Companies with an authorised capital up to US$50,000 pay the sum of US$100 per year.
Companies with an authorised share capital over US$50,001 pay the sum of US$1,000 per year.
Companies with some or all of its shares of no par value, pay the sum of US$350 per year.

» Financial Statement Required

Whilst there is no requirement to file audited accounts with the authorities, a company is required to keep financial records that reflect the financial position of a company.

» Directors

The minimum number of directors is one. Directors may be natural persons or bodies corporate. They can be of any nationality and need not be Belize resident.

» Company Secretary

A company secretary is not a requirement under the Act, but a secretary is normally appointed to facilitate signing obligations.

» Shareholders

The minimum number of shareholders is one.

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Information Downloads

 Belize Fact Sheet 70KB 
 Enquiry Form 34KB 
 Order Forms 131KB 

Statutory Information Downloads

Access to this statutory material is provided by the International Tax Planning Association. Access to other laws relating to international tax planning is available to members on the Association's website, www.itpa.org.

How to Proceed

If you would like to discuss your requirements with one of our consultants,
please contact us.

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Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the details contained herein are correct and up-to-date, it does not constitute legal or other professional advice. OCRA Worldwide does not accept any responsibility, legal or otherwise, for any errors or omission.

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