Belize is a nation on the Eastern coast of Central America. It is one of the largest tourist destinations in the world, and thus offers endless booming opportunities in the tourism industry. It shares its borders with Central America and the Caribbean which turns out to be very beneficial for trade agreements. The nation is inexpensive for rental or purchase of real estate properties. The government of Belize provides incentives to companies/organizations that work for the betterment and enhancement of its economy and thus provides tax holidays and exemptions on import-export duties. Since the nation holds a huge untouched area, it offers a wide range of undeveloped land which is ideal for crop markets. Belize is also rich in agriculture and has citrus, banana, rice, papaya, and chocolate as some of its main crops which are rapidly expanding its import-export industry.
Why Set Up a Business in Belize?
Belize has a robust business environment and a legal entity can be established in Belize by both residents and non-residents. There is no local or foreign restriction for company formation in Belize other than a primary difference of a non-resident owning a company must get approval from the Central Bank. Few benefits of establishing your business in Belize include;
- Full Incorporation completed within two weeks
- Relatively inexpensive set-up and annual renewal fees
- No minimum capital requirements
- Only one shareholder or director is required
- Your presence is not required in Belize for incorporation as a non-resident
- No foreign exchange control
Business Registration Procedure in Belize
If you are looking for a guide to company registration in Belize, you are on the right platform. Just follow these simple steps stated below and you’ll be all good to go with your company setup in Belize.
1.Select a Business Structure
The first and foremost thing an incorporator should decide upon is the type of business entity he/she wants to form. In Belize, one generally opts for one of two types of business entities:
Free Zone Company
Belize currently has two free zones namely (1) Export Processing Free zone and, (2) Commercial Free Zone. Export Processing Zone is suitable for manufacturing, processing, and assembly line businesses. On the other hand, Commercial Free Zone is more suitable for Commercial office, warehouse, manufacturing, financial, insurance, and banking services.
It is a tax-free corporation designed for carrying out all forms of businesses in the country. Belize Offshore Companies are incorporated for a variety of tax planning and international investment purposes. It is currently the most popular form of business structures in Belize.
2.Find the Location
Once the incorporator decides which business structure he/she wants to opt, the next step is to find a strategic location. Once the location is decided, the incorporator must submit an application to the Commissioner of Lands and wait for their approval. The registered office must be located in Belize and the principal office address (business address) may be in any country.
3.Register a Business Name
In the next step, the incorporator should register its business name. This is done at the Belize Companies Registry and usually takes a processing time of 3 hours. Remember that your company name must be unique and different. It must not be identical to any established company currently operating in Belize. The name will be rejected if it includes the following
- Similar name to that of an established company
- Indecent, offensive, or objectionable
- Contains the words “Building Society”, “Chamber of Commerce”, “Chartered”, “Cooperative”, “Imperial”, “Municipal”, “Royal”, “Assurance”, “Bank”, “Insurance” or “Trust”
- Suggests a patronage of the Queen or a member of the Royal Family
4.Submit Necessary Documents and Get the Incorporation Certificate
The next step is the incorporation of the company, which includes the submission of required legal documents such as Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association, which again is done at the Belize Companies Registry. Once the application has been reviewed, a certificate of incorporation is issued within 3 hours.
5.Apply for a Trade License
The next step is to apply for a trade license. Any company operating in Belize must have a license. The incorporator shall go to the Belize City Council for the Trade License Application. The application is approved based on the recommendation of the Trade Licensing Board.
6.Apply for Work Permit
The next step is to apply for a work permit. The immigration department is in charge of providing work permits. For obtaining a work permit, the incorporator shall be a resident of Belize or must have been resided in Belize for a period of 6 months at least otherwise the incorporator is not eligible to get a work permit.
7.Register with the Social Security
The next step is to register with the social security. This act is controlled by the Belize Social Security Board (SSB) and ensures to take care of employee's health in case of an accident or sickness.
8.Register for Goods and Services Tax (GST)
The next step is to register for the general sales tax (GST) which is applied at a rate of 12.5% on all goods and services in Belize. This is done at the Department of GST and is a mandatory step.
9.Get the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
The last and final step is to register for business tax in order to get the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and to get a certificate of registration.
Documents Required for Business Setup in Belize
- Certified true copy of passport of all the individual shareholders, directors, and beneficial owners by a Notary Public, Accountant, or a Lawyer
- Certified true copy of the address proof of all the individual shareholders, directors, and beneficial owners
- True copies of Memorandum and Articles of Association
- Latest annual returns and audited financial statements (branch and representative office)
- Certificate of Name Registration
These are the simple and streamlined steps that must be followed while setting up a company in Belize. Since Belize is a developing nation, it offers a broad spectrum of opportunities to foreign investors. So, if you are looking to establish a business in Belize then look no further as our advisors at Business Setup Worldwide are here to assist you with the drill. We provide all types of support services one seeks while forming a company. If you want to know more on company formation or company registration in Belize do contact us – we’d be happy to help!