International Business Company (Company limited by shares)
Belize is a central American country known for its English-speaking ability, and robust offshore environment. Belize is very well accustomed to setting up offshore companies and trusts, and you are in good hands to start a business in Belize.
Belize has a very quick incorporation process, in fact, probably the fastest IBC Registry in the world, your offshore international business company can be done in a few hours.
Under the Article 130 of the Belize IBC Act, Belize IBCs are exempt from taxes in Belize, with only a few simple pre-conditions – including that no business is done in Belize, not own real estate property in Belize, not hold share, stock, debt obligation or other securities in a local company and may not issue stock, debt obligation or other securities to any person in Belize or any local company.
Certain activities such as insurance, banking, reinsurance and trust formation, require licensing.
Belize IBCs do not face any reporting for local government. Startup costs and ongoing government fees are relatively low.
It is very easy to maintain a Belize IBC, and it is not required to visit the country for shareholders meetings, to have audits on the accounts or maintain a company secretary.
Belize will not disclose company’s banking or fiscal information. Client confidentiality is an important asset in the Belize corporate and business legislation.
Banking in Belize is easy – an account can be opened with a very small amount. Also, it is not necessary to show up in person. Banks in Belize offer merchant accounts and credit card processing.
The country has agreed to implement the OECD automatic exchange of information (AEoI) by 2018 and has signed tax information exchange treaties (TIEa) with 18 countries.
All in all, Belize is an excellent jurisdiction to incorporate an offshore company and its IBC a powerful structure for tax planning, financial management, asset protection, international trading, hold movable and immovable property and as a holding company, among others.
Country code – BZ
Legal Basis – Common law
Legal framework – International Business Companies Act of 1990 (As amended)
Company form – International Business Company (IBC) (Company limited by shares)
Liability - The liability of the shareholders for the company is limited to the amount of their respective shareholdings.
Business restrictions – An International Business Company may not carry out a business activity with residents of Belize, may not own real estate property in Belize, may not hold share, stock, debt obligation or other securities in a local company and may not issue stock, debt obligation or other securities to any person in Belize or any local company.
Share capital – The amount of the authorized capital can be freely determined at incorporation by the owners of the IBC. At their issue, the shares in an IBC must be paid up. Capital may be expressed in any currency.
Shares issued may be registered shares or bearer shares, and may be voting shares, non-voting shares, shares having more or less than one vote per share, shares that may be voted only on certain matters or upon the occurrence of certain events, shares that may be voted only when held by persons who meet specified requirements, no par value shares, common shares, preferred shares, redeemable shares and shares that entitle participation only in certain assets.
Bearer shares are allowed, but may only be kept in custody of the Registered Agent in Belize, who should also know the identity of the actual owner of the bearer shares.
Shareholders – International Business Companies may be formed by one or more shareholders, who can be either natural or legal persons and may be non-residents. Details of shareholders are not available to the public.
Directors – An International Business Company must appoint at least 1 director, who may be a natural or legal person and may be non-resident. Directors’ details are not disclosed in a public record.
Secretary – The company may appoint a secretary, but it is not mandatory. Secretary may be a natural or a legal person, resident or non-resident.
Registered Address – A company shall appoint a licensed registered agent and shall have a registered address and office in Belize.
General Meeting – An international business company need not hold AGM, and it can be held anywhere and by electronic means.
Electronic Signature – Permitted.
Re-domiciliation – Inward and outward re-domiciliation is allowed.
Compliance – Companies may maintain accounting records for 5 years, these may be kept anywhere and in any currency.
There is no requirement to file an annual return, financial statements nor a tax return.
International business companies are subject to a registration fee and an annual renewal fee. Companies with authorized share capital up to US$50,000 are subject to a registration/annual fee of US$100. Those with authorized capital over US$50,000 must pay a registration/annual fee of US$1,000. Companies with shares of no par value must pay a registration/annual fee of US$350.
- Shareholders not disclosed
- Directors not disclosed
- Corporate shareholders permitted
- Corporate directors permitted
- Local director required
- Secretary required
- Local secretary required
- Annual general meetings required
- Redomiciliation permitted
- Electronic signature
- Annual return
- Audited accounts
- Audited accounts exemption
- Exchange controls
- Common law Legal basis
- 1 Minimum shareholders
- 1 Minimum directors
- USD 1 Minimum issued capital
- - Minimum paid up capital
- USDAny Capital currency
- Anywhere Location of annual general meeting
- 2018 AEOI
Corporate income tax – Companies incorporated under the International Business Companies Act are not subject to taxation. All trading income, investment income, capital gains, compensations, rents and royalties derived from outside of Belize are tax-exempt.
No withholding tax is levied on dividend, interest and royalty payments to non-residents.
Other taxes – Tax residents and non-residents individuals are subject to income tax on their income derived from Belize. Income from foreign source is not subject to taxation.
Personal income tax rate is progressive up to 25%. Capital gains are tax-exempt.
Belize levies a real property tax of 12.5% of the annual rental value for an occupied property, and a 2% tax on the annual rental value for an unoccupied property. Property tax may not exceed 2% of the market value of the property. There is a land tax of 1% for unimproved lands.
There is a stamp duty on the transfer of assets, rates depend on asset class. Purchase of real property is subject to a 10% stamp duty.
- Offshore Income Tax Exemption
- Offshore capital gains tax exemption
- Offshore dividends tax exemption
- CFC Rules
- Thin Capitalisation Rules
- Patent Box
- Tax Incentives & Credits
- Property Tax
- Wealth tax
- Estate inheritance tax
- Transfer tax
- Capital duties
- 0% Offshore Income Tax Rate
- 3% Corporate Tax Rate
- 0% Capital Gains Tax Rate
- 0% Dividends Received
- 0% Dividends Withholding Tax Rate
- 0% Interests Withholding Tax Rate
- 0% Royalties Withholding Tax Rate
- 0 Losses carryback (years)
- 0 Losses carryforward (years)
- 25% Personal Income Tax Rate
- 30 Tax Treaties
Belize, formerly British Honduras, is a CARICOM and SICA member. Located in the northeastern corner of Central America, bordering to the north with Mexico and to the south and the west with Guatemala. The capital is the city of Belmopan and the most populated city is Belize City, which is also the main port of the country.
Although is the only Central American country with English as official language, its just over 380,000 inhabitants speak predominantly Spanish and Creole. Its currency is the Belize Dollar (BZD), which is currently pegged to the US$ (2:1), but most commercial establishments accept US dollars.
Belize is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. The Head of State is Queen Elizabeth II, who is represented in the country by the Governor General.
The executive power is headed by a Prime Minister, who heads the Cabinet of 13 ministers, plus 5 deputy ministers, who represent the majority political force of the Belizean Parliament.
The legislative power is bicameral, composed of a House of Representatives of 31 members democratically elected for a period of five years and a Senate of 12 members appointed by the Governor General from proposals of the Prime Minister, the leader of the opposition and of Various religious, economic and social institutions.
The Belizean economy is the smallest in the Central American region, but it is the third largest in GDP per capita, only after Panama and Costa Rica.
Belize has an economy based primarily on agriculture and services. Domestic industry is limited, constrained by relatively high-cost labor and energy, and a small domestic market.
Tourism attracts the most foreign direct investment although significant foreign investment is also found in the energy, telecommunications, and agricultural sectors. The stability of the currency is one of the attractions for foreign investment.
Belize's exports of goods and services account for over half of its GDP. The export products mainly consist of seafood such as shrimp, followed by sugar, citrus products, bananas and small manufactures.
Its Barrier Reef (longest in the Western Hemisphere), 127 islands, excellent fishing, safe waters for boating, scuba diving, and snorkeling, abundant jungle flora and fauna, and numerous Mayan ruins has bolstered tourism and ecotourism industry.
Belize is a well-known offshore jurisdiction for its privacy policies, tax advantages for non-residents and its full tax exemption for its domiciled International Companies. Although its banking sector is not as large as other offshore financial centers, it is gaining popularity in recent years.
Tax treaties Map
Belize International Business Company (IBC) – US$1,550.00 (All Included)
Belize Limited Liability Company (LLC) – US$1,750.00 (All Included)
We pride ourselves in providing the best possible professional service which includes our honest hassle free “No Hidden Fee” policy. Your incorporation package includes:
- Registration and Government Fees
- Bound set of Constitutional Documents
- Certified Copies of Constitutional Documents with Apostille for bank account opening
- Notarized Certificate of Incumbency with Aposttile
- Courier fees
- Registered Office & Registered Agent Service including all fees for calendar year
Time to form: 1 to 2 weeks.
All our incorporation services include a yearly consulting session, a dedicated account manager and access to our global network of trusted business services, including introductions to accountants, financial, tax and legal advisors at no cost.
Bank Account Options
- Belize Bank Account (Remotely) – US$300.00
- Offshore Bank Account* (Remotely) – US$300.00
- Bahamas Bank Account (Remotely) – US$500.00
- Mauritius Bank Account (Remotely) – US$500.00
- Labuan (Malaysia) Bank Account (Remotely) – US$500.00
- Curaçao Bank Account (Remotely) – US$500.00
- Singapore Bank Account (In-person) – US$900.00
- Hong Kong Bank Account (In-person) – US$1,200.00
- Cayman Islands Bank Account (Remotely) – US$900.00
- Crypto-Friendly Bank Account (Offshore, Remotely) – US$3,000.00
We include introductions to payment processors or merchant accounts with all of our incorporation services. Whether you just need standard credit card processing or specialized services for high risk processing, we are happy to help you with introductions that can empower your business.
*Offshore Bank Accounts: Belize, Puerto Rico, Nevis, Antigua, Saint Lucia. Other bank account options may be available depending on business profile and turnover.
Annual Fees (Payable 1 January) – US$950.00
- Government fee
- Registered Agent & Registered Office fee
- Nominee Director (1 year) – US$800.00
- Nominee Shareholder (1 year) – US$800.00
Click here to incorporate your Belize IBC.