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Belize offshore company registration

Offshore Company SolutionsOffshore companiesBelize offshore company registration

Belize is located on the eastern coast of Central America, bordering with Mexico and Guatemala. It covers an area of approximately 23,000 sq km and has a population of around 365,000. Its capital is Belmopan but the main business centre is Belize City. The country’s official language is English and its currency is the Belize dollar.

 

Belize is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the Central American Integration System (SICA). The registration and supervision of Belize offshore companies is handled by the Registrar of International Business Companies.

Belize IBC (International Business Company)

Legal system

Belize uses English Common Law as the basis of its legal system.

Governing legislation

The registration and administration of Belize offshore companies is governed by the International Business Companies Act of 2000.

Company activities

Belize offshore companies may not undertake the business of banking, insurance, assurance or reinsurance. They may not trade within Belize or own real estate there. They are also not allowed to provide company management or registered office facilities for companies registered in Belize.

Belize offshore company registration timeframe

A Belize offshore company is normally incorporated within one day. Shelf companies are available if a company is immediately required.

Redomiciliation

The legislation in Belize allows both a company registered in Belize to continue in another jurisdiction and also a company registered elsewhere to relocate to Belize, provided this is allowed by its own governing legislation.

Information held on public record

The only information kept by the Registrar of International Business Companies and which is publicly available is the company’s memorandum and articles of association and details of its registered agent and registered office address. The company may voluntarily file any other information it wishes, which will then also become available for public inspection.

Company name

A Belize offshore company’s name may be in any language but it must be expressed in Roman characters.

 

The name may not contain any of the words “Building Society”, “Chamber of Commerce”, “Chartered”, “Cooperative”, “Imperial”, “Municipal”, “Royal”, “.com” or a word conveying a similar meaning. The words “Assurance”, “Bank”, “Brokerage”, “Education”, “Fiduciary”, “Foreign Exchange”, “Forex”, “Fund”, “Insurance”, “Investment Management”, “Lending”, “Trust” and “University” require specific licensing.

 

The name must end  in “Limited”, “Ltd”, “Corporation”, “Corp”, “Incorporated”, “Inc”, “Société Anonyme”, “Sociedad Anónima”, “SA”, “Aktiengesellschaft” or “AG”.

Share capital

The share capital can be denominated in any currency and each share may have any value. At least one share must be issued upon incorporation. Bearer shares are permitted but if issued, the share certificates will need to be lodged with the registered agent in Belize.

Shareholders

Belize offshore companies must have at least one shareholder, who can either be a natural person or another company. The use of nominee shareholders is possible if confidentiality is required.

Directors

The company must appoint at least one director at the time of its incorporation. The director can be a natural person, resident in any country or another company. Professional directors can be appointed if confidentiality is a concern. The same person is permitted to act as sole director and shareholder.

Shareholder and director meetings

Meetings of the company’s shareholders and directors can be held anywhere in the world in person or by telephone conference. There is no requirement for the company’s shareholders to hold an annual general meeting.

Registered office

Belize offshore companies are required to maintain a registered office in Belize, which is normally provided by the company’s registered agent. An imprint of the company’s common seal must be maintained at the registered office. If the company elects not to keep its statutory and financial records at the registered office, then the registered agent must be notified of the address where these records are kept.

Company secretary

There is no requirement to appoint a company secretary but the company may appoint one if desired. The secretary can be a natural person residing anywhere in the world or another company. The same person may act as the company’s sole shareholder, director and secretary.

Financial statements

The company’s directors are obliged to maintain proper books of account, however there is no obligation for the financial statements to be audited or filed.

Annual filing requirements

No annual filing obligations apply to Belize offshore companies.

Taxation

Belize offshore companies are not subject to any form of tax within Belize.

Double tax treaties

Although Belize has signed double tax treaties with a small number of countries, Belize offshore companies are not eligible for any benefits under these treaties.

Other considerations

Belize offshore companies are inexpensive to maintain and easy to administer. Combined with the absence of any taxation and the level of confidentiality they provide, Belize IBSs have become a popular vehicle for holding investments, owning real estate, providing consulting services and conducting e-commerce activities.

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