Establishing a company in Belize

Belize is a small country in Central America sharing borders with Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west. It lies along the Caribbean Sea and has long sandy coastlines. Its population is 330,000 citizens. It gained its independence from the British in 1981, and unlike other Central American countries the spoken language is English – a fact that facilitates the establishment of companies there and saves on translation costs.

  • The “Great Blue Hole”, 46 miles east of the Belize shores, is an impressive and unique submarine sinkhole of perfectly round contour. Its depth is 125m, the diameter is 300m, and it draws scuba and snorkeling buffs from around the world.
  • Although the state population is only 300,000, it is incredibly diverse, including ethnic groups that are previous African slaves, Maya descendants that have mingled with the European immigrants, pure Maya tribes and many others.
  • The area of Belize is 22,966 km2, only 2,196 km2 larger than the State of Israel.
  • Its geography is characterized by swamp plains in its northern regions, the Maya Mountains in the south, and a huge barrier reef along its Caribbean coastline, already declared an UNESCO world heritage site. The climate is tropical with occasional hurricanes.

The economy of Belize is based principally on agriculture and tourism, although its construction sector has also been booming in recent years. Belize enjoys political stability, a government that incentivizes economic development, and encourages the registration of foreign companies.

Foreign companies wishing to set up business in Belize must meet several requirements, and adhere to some restrictions: they may not be active in banking, insurance and other related areas, and may hold only certain assets within the state. They are not permitted to own shares in local companies or real estate. On the other hand, foreign companies registering there enjoy 0% corporate tax, a speedy registration process, all paperwork and documentation in English, complete confidentiality and no requirement to submit financial reports.

General Information


Type of company

IBC – International Business Corporation

Relevant Companies Law

Belize International Business Companies Act 1990

Offices

Belize law requires companies to provide a local office address

Language of original incorporation documents

English

Finance and Taxation


Currency

Belize dollar (BZD)

Corporate tax rate

0%

Standard share capital

50,000 USD for par value shares, although no-par value shares may also be issued to increase company share capital to the required limit by paying a separate government fee

Office Holders


Company Secretary (Secretary)

 
Obligation to appoint company secretary

Not required – the company may appoint a secretary

Obligation to appoint local secretary

Not required

Type of entity that may function as company secretary

Individual and/or company

Director

 
Obligation to appoint company director

Required

Obligation to appoint local company director

Not required

Minimum number of directors

Minimum -1, maximum - 10

Type of entity that may serve as company director

Individual and/or company

Shareholders

 
Obligation to register shareholders

Required

Obligation to register local shareholders

None

Minimum number of shareholders

1

Type of entity that may register as shareholder

Individual and/or company

Type of shares

Registered shares

Accessibility of Information


Company registrar

Information regarding office holders is not accessible to the public

Annual Assembly and Reporting


Obligation to hold annual assembly

Not required

Obligation to prepare financial reports

Required

Obligation to submit financial reports

Not required

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