A Company in Belize for a Foreign National

Company in Belize for a Foreign National

Company in Belize for a Foreign National

Even though the Belizean legislation has undergone serious changes in recent years due to the international pressure applied to offshore jurisdictions, registering a company in Belize in 2024 still makes sense. People of all nationalities are eligible to apply for company incorporation in the country. A company can be registered within a week in Belize. Please note that since 2021, all companies have to have tax numbers and acquiring one costs around 500 euros.

Pluses and minuses of registering an offshore company in Belize

Optimizing the tax burden is one of the most important tasks for all entrepreneurs. It can be solved by putting your company in a jurisdiction where taxes are low or zero. Such countries are referred to as offshore zones and they attract businesspeople from all over the world. If you have business interests in Latin America, you should certainly consider incorporating a company in Belize.

The main advantage that Belize offers is the opportunity to register a company fast and in a confidential manner. There are other advantages too:

  • Affordable costs of company registration, purchase, and maintenance;
  • An opportunity to conceal the identity of the company UBO;
  • An opportunity to buy an offshore company remotely;
  • An opportunity to remain tax-exempt in Belize.

When you have a company in Belize, you can enter international business deals. However, besides advantages, Belize also has some disadvantages including the following ones:

  • A locally registered offshore company cannot do business with residents of Belize (it will be taxed if it does);
  • Offshore companies cannot own property in Belize (they will be taxed if they do);
  • You need a license to provide banking or insurance services;
  • Belize does not have a strong economy;
  • Belize is considered an offshore zone, which puts some restrictions on locally registered companies;
  • Some banks will not open accounts for Belizean companies.

On the one hand, having an offshore company brings some negative consequences. On the other hand, offshore business remains an attractive area because it brings some serious advantages too. The main advantage is zero taxation on the condition that you conduct all your business operations abroad.

You are not prohibited to do business with locals in Belize but you will be taxed in this case. The country’s legislation allows offshore companies to purchase property in Belize and let it on a lease but they will also be subject to taxation in this case. It is important to seek assistance from a knowledgeable consultant if you would like to set up a company in Belize. He or she can help you make full use of the tax benefits available in the country to foreign entrepreneurs.

How to start a company in Belize

Any foreigner can use the tax benefits available to businesses in Belize – there are not restrictions as to the nationality of the company shareholders. The same person or the same legal entity can simultaneously be the company shareholder and director. Nominee services are legal in Belize, which allows concealing the identities of the company UBOs.

General characteristics of Belize as an offshore zone:

Location of the countryCentral America
Money in useUS dollar and Belizean dollar
Purchase of ready-made (shelf) companiesPossible
Mandatory data to be kept in registersRegisters of shareholders and directors, minutes and resolutions, accounting books, company seals, founders’ agreements, articles of association
DirectorAt least one (no requirements for non-residents, no additional conditions on meetings)
SecretaryAny natural person (not a legal entity)
ShareholdersAt least one (no restrictions for non-residents or conditions on meetings)
BeneficiariesAll information is concealed
Authorized capitalNo minimum amount, no set payment terms

The fact that the US dollar is in free circulation in the country and all large banks offer an opportunity to set up UD dollar corporate accounts is one more argument in favor of Belize.

The company registration procedures are so plain in Belize that you could start a company there even without anybody’s assistance. However, most entrepreneurs seek professional support in the matter because a foreign country is a foreign country. Professional support helps avoid potential pitfalls.

Stages in registering a company in Belize

You have to go through the following stages when registering a company in Belize:

  • Do your homework: learn about the company registration process beforehand;
  • Find a reliable agent;
  • Sign a service agreement with him/ her;
  • Prepare the application documents;
  • Submit the application document package to the registrar.

Documents required for registering a company with nominees:

  • Share Certificate(s);
  • Declaration of Trust;
  • Information about shares and their transfer;
  • Registers of Directors and Shareholders;
  • Director Appointment Resolution;
  • Power of Attorney;
  • Personal information about the nominee director.

In addition to that, you will have to order a company seal, make copies of the application documents, and have them apostilled.

Nominee services are not obligatory, of course. You can open a company in Belize without nominees and the application document package is going to be much smaller in this case:

  • Application;
  • Company By-laws;
  • Director’s appointment.

Again, you will have to order a company seal, make document copies, and have them apostilled.

Your company registered in Belize has to have a unique name. Normally, foreign entrepreneurs have 2 or 3 variants for the company name in case one of the variants has already been taken. Alternatively, you can buy a shelf company in Belize that will already have a unique name.

Timeframes of registering a company in Belize

Theoretically, you could register a company in Belize within 1 or 2 days. In practice, however, you will have to spend 5 or more days to prepare the application documents and have an appointment with a notary. If you are registering a company remotely, courier delivery of the documents is going to take additional time. Thus, your company will be fully functional after two weeks or so.

If you want to have a company fast, you can buy one. It takes only a couple of hours.

How to pay nothing in taxes in Belize

If yours is a non-resident company, you are tax-exempt in Belize. However, you have to pay a fixed annual fee. It does not depend on how much profit your company makes but rather on how much authorized capital it has:

  • From 10 to 50 thousand dollars – 100 dollars per year;
  • More than 50 thousand dollars – 1,000 dollars per year;
  • Issuance of shares without par value – 350 dollars per year.

If you fail to pay the fee on time, you will be fined and your company will be blacklisted.

If yours is a resident company, that is, if it does business in Belize, a ‘business tax’ is due. Its rate depends on the type of business activities and it varies between 0.75% and 25%. Please note that the fiscal year starts on April 1 in Belize and ends on March 31.