Belize

Belize is a country located on the north eastern coast of Central America. It is the only country in the area where English is the official language, although Kriol and Spanish are more commonly spoken.

Belize is a parliamentary democracy, a Commonwealth realm, and therefore a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

The state economy is mainly based on small private enterprises engaged in agricultural and merchandising activities. In the last years tourism, constructions and provision of financial services have developed significantly.

Non-residents of Belize pay income tax in Belize solely on income derived from activities conducted within the jurisdiction. Income tax is levied at the rate of 25%. In 2011 a new tier system for personal income tax was launched, with new allowances. There is no capital gains, gift, or inheritance tax in Belize. Social-security contributions are payable. Stamp duty is levied at different rates in different situations.

The standard rate of the corporate tax is 25%. Withholding tax is levied at a rate of 25% on non-resident entities’ relevant activities. A business tax is levied at variable rates on trade, professionals, banks, groups of companies, estate agents’ commissions, casinos, and certain types of vehicles.

It is possible to incorporate the following types of companies in Belize: sole proprietorships, general partnerships, limited partnerships, private limited companies, LLCs, joint ventures and cooperatives, as well as public investment companies. However, the most popular types of companies chosen by foreign investors are international business company and trust, which are analyzed below.

Advantages of Belize company incorporation:

  • Belize IBC’s offer a high degree of privacy. Belize will not disclose its banking or fiscal information to any foreign party. Client confidentiality is entrenched in business and corporate legislation. In terms of potential risk of information disclosure to foreign governments Belize is probably one of the securest and most confidential of offshore jurisdictions.
  • No tax at all except for annual government fees, which has to be paid on time to keep a Belize offshore company registered
  • Belize IBC’s are free from any reporting requirements including annual audits
  • No requirement for a company secretary
  • A bank account can be open for an offshore company in Belize without directors being present
  • The time scale of incorporating a Belize IBC is very quick
  • Low cost of a Belize company incorporation

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