Cost of services
|Service Description||Without nominee services||With nominee services|
|Company incorporation, including state fees||✓||✓|
|Registered office address for 1 year||✓||✓|
|Set of documents with Apostille||✓||✓|
|Sending of documents (from the jurisdiction and from nominee director)||✓||✓|
|Nominee director and/or shareholder (issue of one power of attorney with Apostille)||✓|
|Total cost of registration||1100 $||1600 $|
|Annual maintenance||1000 $||1500 $|
- Belize is situated in Central America to the southeast of Mexico. Belize became independent in 1981 and is now a member of the British Commonwealth (in past Belize was a British colony). The capital of Belize is Belmopan, the main business center is Belize City. The official language is English, Spanish is also commonly spoken. National currency is the Belize dollar.
- Belize legislation, including corporate and contract law, and judicial system are based on English Common Law.
- Tourism and sector of international corporate services make up a large proportion of the national economy.
- Belize is a traditional and popular tax-free jurisdiction. A Belize offshore company is one of the most cost-efficient instruments in terms of expenses for formation/purchase and annual maintenance.
- There are no foreign exchange control and no limits on cash flow movements.
- Belize is included in the Offshore Zones List of the Ministry of Finance of Russia No. 108н, and the Instructions List of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation No. 1317-У.
Key features of a Belize international business company (IBC)
- The Belize IBC is governed by the international Business Companies Act, Revised Edition 2000.
- Any company names are allowed except a name that is identical with or nearly resembling the ones of the registered companies. A name is not accepted if it contains the words “Building Society”, “Chamber of Commerce”, “Chartered”, “Cooperative”, “Imperial”, “Municipal”, “Royal”, or the words similar to the above said, or the words that suggest the patronage of the Queen or a Royal Family or Belize government. The words “Assurance”, “Bank”, “Insurance” or “Trust” in the name of the company require an appropriate licence.
- The names must end with the words reflecting the legal form of the company (the possible endings are “Limited”, “Corporation”, “Incorporated”, “Societe Anonyme”, “Sociedad Anonima”, “Aktiengesellschaft”, or abbreviations “Ltd.”, “Corp.”, “Inc.”, “S.A.”, “A.S.”, “A.G.”).
- The IBC companies are required to have a registered office (address) and a registered agent in Belize.
- The shareholders of a Belize company may be individuals or corporations of any residency. There is no fixed minimum for authorized/paid-up share capital. The standard authorized share capital of the company is 50,000 USD. The international Business Companies Act (art. 18) provides for compulsory prepayment of the shares issued by the company. There are par value and no-par value shares.
The issue of bearer shares, as well as conversion of bearer shares into registered shares or exchange of registered shares for bearer shares are prohibited.
- The minimum number of directors in the company is one (individuals or corporations of any residency).
All meetings of the company may be held at any place and with any frequency. The companies are required to keep all minutes of the meetings of directors and shareholders of the company, copies of resolutions approved by its directors or members in safe custody.
- The companies are required to keep a corporate seal. Imprint of the seal should be kept at the registered office of the company.
Taxes and fees
The Belize IBCs are exempt from all local taxes.
The IBC companies may not conduct business in Belize. However, such companies may open accounts at banks of Belize, rent offices in Belize, hold meetings of directors and of members inside Belize, employ services of local registered agents, lawyers, accountants, keep all corporate financial records.
The companies must pay only an annual fee. In case of failure to pay the fee in due time (until July 31 of a respective year) penalties are charged to the outstanding amount with following striking-off of the company from the register (however, provided that all the fees and penalties are settled, the company may be restored in the register).
Financial statements and accounts
The IBC companies are not required to file accounts and audit reports to state authorities.
However, Belize enacted the Accounting Records (Maintenance) Act in 2013. According to the Act the accounting records include financial statements, ledgers, receipts, contracts, invoices and all records and documents related to all and any transactions of the company, its assets and liabilities.
These accounting records must show and explain the Company’s transactions; and enable the financial position of the Company to be determined with reasonable accuracy, and enable to prepare financial statements based on the records.
Belize companies are required to keep records of their financial transactions and keep all relevant financial (accounting) documents at the office of the registered agent in Belize, or at any other place inside or outside of Belize as determined by the directors of the company, and in such case the directors are required to notify the registered agent of the actual address (or of its change) where the financial documents are kept by a special resolution.
The registered agent is obliged at the request of a competent state authority of Belize to provide it with all relevant financial documents of the company (regardless of the place of their storage) in times indicated in the request.
Confidentiality and international information exchange
Companies must prepare registers of directors and beneficial owners that are to be kept in a registered agent’s address in Belize. Generally, the information from these registers is confidential and is not subject to public disclosure.
The only open information is contained in the Certificate of Incorporation and the Memorandum & Articles of Association copies of which are kept by the Registrar of Companies.
As of 2014 Belize is a member of the Tax Information Exchange Agreement together with the following countries and territories: Australia, Great Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Mexico, Norway, the Netherlands, France, Finland, Greenland, the Faroes. Also, there are agreements signed, but not in force, with Belgium, Poland, Portugal, Sweden.
Belize has entered into Double Taxation Agreement with the following countries and territories: Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Barbados, Great Britain, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago.
From September 2013 Belize became a member of multilateral mechanism for exchange of tax information provided by Convention of the OECD on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (revised edition of 2011).
In June 2013, the Belize government unilaterally took under control the Register of International Business Companies and the Register of the Sea-crafts of Belize (earlier thereof were administered by a specialist company Belize International Services Limited (BISL) under an agreement executed with the government). Although it raised concerns in business community (including in connection with the almost simultaneous ratification of the OECD Convention), it should not be considered as an example of nationalization, as in most countries such functions are exercised by public (state) agencies, and in this relation the mentioned measure aims to improve image of Belize in terms of its compliance with international standards.