Belize (formerly British Honduras) is an independent democratic Commonwealth country located on the Caribbean seaboard of Central America. Since independence from Britain in 1981, it has enjoyed a stable and democratic Government. The cabinet, under the leadership of the Prime Minister directs the policy of the Government which consists of the Prime Minister and ministers chosen by him from an elected House of Representatives and an appointed Senate. Although there are fairly high rates of tax for resident persons and companies in Belize, it now offers tax-free IBCs by virtue of the IBC Act 1990. This legislation is modelled on the earlier British Virgin Islands legislation and as the annual Government fees are only $100, whereas the equivalent fee payable in BVI is US$300. Belize is likely to become an important offshore corporate domicile.
Characteristics of Belize IBC
IBCs pay no taxes in Belize.
A minimum number of one shareholder is required and either registered or bearer shares may be issued. No details of the shareholders appear on the public file but upon the issue or transfer of bearer shares a professional intermediary, such as ourselves, are required to retain physical custody of the bearer shares on behalf of our clients. A Register of Shareholders must be kept at the registered office address of the company in Belize.
A minimum of one director is required and corporate directors are permitted. Details of the directors do not appear on the public file.
No annual return or accounts need be filed. It should be noted that penalty fees of up to 50% of the annual Government fee will be incurred if the licence fee is not paid when due
Incorporation can be achieved within 72 hours but it does take approximately 1 week for documents to arrive from Belize. We do, however, keep ready-made companies in stock available for immediate purchase.
Restrictions on Name and Activity
Names must end with one of the following words, or abbreviations thereof - Limited, Corporation, Incorporated, Societe Anonyme or Sociedad Anonima. The following words, and their associated activities, cannot be used: Assurance, Bank, Building Society, Chamber of Commerce, Chartered, Cooperative, Imperial, Insurance, Municipal and Royal.
As a matter of local company law the company MUST maintain a registered office address within Belize and must also appoint a Belize resident as registered agent. We would generally provide these services as part of the domiciliary service fee.
There are no specific statutory provisions governing secrecy in relation to companies but English Law, which applies within the jurisdiction, does impose a common law duty on professionals to keep the affairs of their clients confidential.
Registration and Maintenance Fees
Our registration fee for a comapny with a share capital less than US$50,000 is US$868. The fee covers first year licence fee, first year registered agent fee and first year registered office fee.
Annual maintenance cost for second year onward is US$700 which cover annual licence fee, annual registered agent and annual registered office fees..