Belize Offshore Company Facts
Belize offshore company has always been an excellent option for entities and individuals who want to diversify their investments and protect wealth. The formation of an offshore company entails establishing a business in a jurisdiction that is different from where the principals of the parent company reside.
One rule about these companies is that they are not allowed to transact any business within the country of formation.
Therefore these investors do not form these companies to expand their markets in the new jurisdiction but to take advantage of its favorable business laws.
These advantages include tax benefits, robust asset protection laws, political and economic stability, excellent confidentiality, and a stress-free company registration process.
When it comes to choosing the best jurisdiction for your offshore company, there are always considerations to make. Your choice will depend on the goals you want to achieve by establishing this company. Do you need a tax haven, do you want to protect your assets better, or do you want to protect your privacy?
For whatever reason, you will need to research so as to identify the country that offers that specific benefits before you can consider others. For those who are interested in establishing a Belize offshore company, learn more here about the registration process and requirements, benefits, and different business structures available.
Belize Offshore Company
Belize is a part of the north coast region of Central America.
The country has become a popular destination when it comes to the formation of offshore companies by investors from all over the world. It numerous advantages for these foreign investors, of which being a tax haven has been the most attractive.
A few years ago, Belize’s reputation when it comes to offshore banking was ruined for a moment due to a liquidity crisis when Central Bank revoked Choice Bank’s license. Choice Bank was one of the banking institutions in the country, offering international banking and investment services. It provided favorable conditions for opening an offshore bank account.
Well, we know that this doesn’t sound so pretty, but we had to inform you because you might find this information somewhere else and get scared before you understand the jurisdiction in detail. Now, while this is unpleasant news, the good news is that other banks are offering the same or even better services in Belize.
For instance, Caye International Bank (opens in a new tab) could be a perfect choice for your offshore company. The bank was recently awarded recognition as the most outstanding Offshore Bank in Central America.
The banking sector may have been disrupted a little bit, but this does not mean it is all lost for foreign or domestic investors. Another bank to consider for offshore businesses is the Belize Bank (opens in a new tab). Apart from this, there are other numerous benefits why you should consider Belize as your next destination for offshore company formation.
But before you tap on these, get to understand the process of registering a Belize offshore company.
Registration of an International Business Company (IBC) in Belize
The main corporation that you can establish in Belize is an International Business Company (IBC) operating under Belize International Business Companies Act, 1990. This legislation was amended in the year 2019. IBCs are common in almost all jurisdictions across the world.
Belize provides a friendly business environment for investors who aspire to register an IBC in the country regardless of the activities as long as it is legal.
6 Registration requirements for an Offshore Company in Belize
Placement of a preliminary order
To begin the registration process of your offshore company in Belize, you need to fill a form through an agent as a pre-order. This form shows all the details required for the full formation of your company, including the costs involved.
Your agent will then check if every aspect is correct, and if need be, they will ask for a revision of the forms to ensure all legal particulars are as accurate as possible.
This pre-order is only required for the collection of information, and if you are not sure of the specific needs or the kind of company you want, always ask for help and direction from your licensed registered agent.
Name of the company
The next thing you need to do is identifying a company name and check for its approval through the registrar of companies in Belize. This name must be unique and not similar to any other existing business in Belize. It must also be neutral, whereby it does not indicate that it’s for an offshore company.
Some agents have some pre-approved names company names, and you might consider asking for help from them if you are having problems identifying a name for your offshore company.
Settling the bills
Once your company name gets approved, you need to pay for the services offered by your agent. The agent will immediately begin the registration process for your offshore company in Belize upon receiving the payment. The fee you pay includes the governmental registration fee and your registered agent fee in Belize.
Actual company registration
The agent will begin by preparing articles and a memorandum of association for your IBC based on the details you provided thorough the pre-order. Preparation of these documents gets done as per the requirements of the Belize International Business Companies Act.
Once they are ready, they will be filed with the registrar of companies — Registry of International Business Companies in Belize (opens in a new tab). Other details required include the approved name and official address, which can be the registered address for this agent.
The registrar of companies will issue a certificate of incorporation with 24 hours once all these requirements are met.
Preparation of statutory documents
Your statutory documents need to be notarized, and Apostille requirements fulfilled. This may take about three to five days for everything to be in order. Once they are ready, you can decide to ask for their delivery to your preferred address through a courier or keep them with your agent in Belize.
And Finally Belize Offshore Company is ready
Once the registration process is done and you have received the documents, you are required to sign them all. Your Belize offshore company is ready for you.
These documents include confirmation of company members, company declaration, and document storage address, among others. Also, remember you are required to pay a renewable annual fee to the Belize government.
You will pay this fee to your registered agent, together with the administration fee owed to the agent, and they will submit it to the necessary authorities. You must pay this fee on time every year to avoid losing the good standing status of your offshore company in Belize.
If you don’t, you are liable to pay a 50 percent penalty, and if by the end of the year the fee and this penalty are still outstanding, the registrar of the company will strike-off your company from the register.
Belize offshore company formation IBC – INFOS
Time for incorporation
Offshore company formation in Belize is among the fastest offshore destinations when it comes to the time taken to incorporate an IBC. It can actually take a few hours for the completion of the new IBC registration. The reason behind this efficiency is the availability of an excellent computerized system introduced by the Belize company registry. More time is only taken due to the name approval process and delivery of documents.
As stated earlier, you are required to pay a government fee to obtain a license for your intended business activity. The average fee paid by most IBCs in Belize is $150 every year. However, the amount depends on the number and type of authorized capital that a company owns.
For instance, those whose capital is less than $50,000 will pay $100 and a renewable fee of $150. When the capital exceeds the $50,000 mark, the annual fee is $1000. Finally, IBCs, whose shares have no par value, is expected to pay $350 every year.
The professional fee you pay to the agent depends on the agent you chose.
Every IBC in Belize is considered as a legally separate person and therefore has similar rights and powers similar to that of an individual in the country.
During registration of an IBC, you do not need to provide any personal details to the registrar of companies. It is only the registered agent helping you with offshore company registration (opens in a new tab), who will get to know this information and is required to keep it private and confidential.
The only documents required are articles and a memorandum of association. However, this information may be disclosed when the need arises, especially if the company or its members are facing a lawsuit. It is necessary for investigations.
It can also be disclosed in circumstances where Belize has signed sharing agreements with other countries, such as tax information exchange agreement, double taxation agreement, or to fulfill FACTCA and CRS regulations.
You need an official registered address for your IBC in Belize. It doesn’t mean that the officials of the company are required to be present in the country to run it, but it is essential for official communication. Your agent in Belize will assist in ensuring that everything in that office is running smoothly.
However, depending on the type of business activity you plan to embark on, you can also use the office of this agent as your official address.
Offshore companies in Belize are allowed to conduct any business they wish as long as they are legal businesses. The only restriction is that the company is not allowed to transact with locals, whether individuals or entities.
The only time the company is allowed to trade within the country is when trading with another offshore company.
Every IBC formed in the country is exempted from paying taxes by default. Belize is a tax haven, making it one of the best destinations for offshore structures.
Maintenance of financial records
Belize IBCs are not required to declare their financial statements nor file tax returns. After all, they are not paying any tax. However, a company may decide to keep these records for bench-marking and internal reviews for growth.
A Belize IBC requires at least one director who can either be a local or foreigner. He can also be an individual or an entity. The choice is all yours. You need at least one shareholder, and no maximum limit is set in this regard.
Finally, Belize IBCs are not required to elect a company secretary. The government has made these rules as simple as it can to encourage more foreign investors in the country.
An IBC is allowed to have both registered and bearer shares, which are further divided into different special assignations in the company. When it comes to guidelines on authorized and issued share capital, Belize has not set any limit on the number nor the value.
Benefits of a Belize offshore company
Stable currency and economy at large
Belize’s economy is thriving day by day, and it has the second-best per capita income in entire Central America. This is a healthy economy, and a healthy economy comes with a stable currency. The ratio of the Belize dollar to that of the US stands at 2 to 1, and it has remained in this position for a very long time. This stability makes Belize a perfect jurisdiction for an offshore company.
Belize is a tax paradise
Belize has proven to be one of the truest tax havens in the world. No offshore IBC is required to pay tax on incomes earned overseas. Therefore any capital gain, interest made, dividend, or revenues are totally tax-exempt.
Favorable business legislation
Belize government is determined to attract as many foreign investors as possible, and that is why they have ensured that the business environment is excellent and friendly for everyone.
For instance, the incorporation process is quite easy, with no accounting or auditing requirements, no taxation, or minimum capital requirements, among other benefits.
Privacy and confidentiality
For those investors looking forward to protecting their privacy and avoid public scrutiny, Belize is the place to establish your offshore company. Your personal details will not appear in any public record, and this information can only be disclosed if you are facing a criminal investigation, which is quite understandable.
There are no restrictions on currency movement, and this gives you the freedom to move currency in and out of Belize without violating any business law. And remember, no requirement to report any currency transfer you conclude with your offshore company.
Belize Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Apart from an International Business Company (IBC), you can also opt for a Belize Limited Liability Company (LLC) as a form of business corporations in the country. Belize LLC combines two business vehicles, namely a partnership and a corporation. It comes with greater benefits as compared to IBC since the owners enjoy the benefits of both business structures.
However, just like IBC, an LLC is not allowed to transact with locals.
- It is governed by Belize International Limited Liability Companies Act, 2011.
- Belize LLC comes with great asset protection benefits, which is why it is a famous business structure for most offshore companies.
- Its members are not personally liable for the company’s debts unless there exists a legal agreement that says otherwise.
- They are also given extraordinary power to make managerial decisions in the company.
- The company, together with its members, are not liable to pay any tax on any income earned outside the country.
- The assets of a Belize LLC are adequately protected from creditors even if any of its members owe them money. They are only attached to this member and, therefore, cannot influence any decision in the company. Also, foreign judgments against any of these members are not enforceable on that member until a new ruling is made in a Belize court.
Difference between Belize IBC and LLC
- LLC is a smaller entity than IBC because it comes with only one or two owners
- It is easier and faster to register an LLC as compared to IBC which takes several days before completion
- With an IBC, you are allowed to retain earnings at the end of the year, but with LLC, profits and expenses must get settled within every calendar year
Belize offshore company the bottom line
Whether you want to start an IBC or LLC in Belize, the investment comes with significant advantages. Talk of being a tax haven, excellent privacy, easy and fast incorporation, and asset protection policies, among other benefits.
Belize is one of the most popular offshore jurisdictions in Central America, and if you were contemplating this destination, you got more than enough information here for your consideration.
Go ahead and establish your offshore company.