Offshore incorporation in Belize
The Belize International Business Company (IBC) is the most popular form of offshore corporate structure. An IBC is formed under the International Business Companies Act Chapter 270 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2000 and is a tax free and exchange control free private limited company having its profit-earning activities conducted outside Belize. However, Belize’s legislation also allows an IBC to carry on a number of activities within Belize. Belize offshore companies are used for a variety of tax planning and international investment purposes.
Type of law
- International Business Companies Act, 1990.
- International Business Companies (Amendment) Act, 1995.
- Limited Life Companies Act, 1999.
- Type of Company for International Trade and Investment.
- International Business Company (IBC).
- Procedure to Incorporate.
- Registered Agent delivers the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association to the Registry together with the appropriate fee.
Powers of company
Language of legislation and corporate documents
Shelf companies available
Time to incorporate
Language of name
Registered office required
Names requiring consent or license
Suffixes to denote Limited Liability
Authorised and issued share capital
Classes of shares permitted
Abolition of Bearer Shares
The Belize IBC Amendment Act 2017 includes the abolition of Bearer Shares.
This amendment establishes the prohibition of the issuance and transferal of bearer shares. Going forward, any company that has bearer shares issued will have to be converted into registered shares and cancel all bearer share certificates. Any bearer shares which have not been converted or cancelled within the period will be cancelled.
Double taxation agreement
- Companies with an authorised capital up to US$ 50,000 pay the sum of US$ 200 per year.
- Companies with a share capital over US$ 50,001 pay the sum of US$ 1,000 per year.
- Companies, which have some or all of their shares with no par value, pay the sum of US$ 350 per year.
Financial statement required
Obligatory register of Directors
The Belize IBC Amendment Act 2017includes the notable changes for companies in Belize:
- Having an obligatory Register of Beneficial Owners.
- Having an obligatory Register of Directors.
Even though additional client information is required, this can be kept at the registered company office address. This change will also have relatively little effect on most companies. It is now a legal requirement to keep a Register of Directors and maintain a copy of the Register at the Registered Office.
All companies will be required to produce a Register of Directors and a Register of Beneficial Owners, both to be kept at the registered office in Belize and upon a request made by the competent authority, the registered agent must produce the requested registers within 24 hours of a request. The changes apply immediately on all new Belize incorporations, but existing companies have a 12-month grace period to comply with these new provisions of the law.
Obligatory register of Beneficial Owners
Historical information is not required; companies only need to disclose the current Beneficial Owners of a company.
The law stipulates that the Directors of the company must keep the information contained in the Register of Beneficial Owners up to date and accurate. This can be submitted in electronic form or any other method as approved by the Board.
A company that contravenes the requirement to produce the register of Directors will likely pay a penalty of USD $25 for each day of delay, and USD $500 per day of delay for the register of Beneficial Owners. To avoid such penalties, it is recommended to complete the Registers as soon as possible.
- There is no Belize residency requirement. Shares could be issued to any individual or company.
- A minimum of one shareholder is required. Just one share for US$1.00 could be issued to that shareholder.
- Nominee shareholder services are available.
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