Steps to Setup Business in Belize for Foreigners in 2020

Belize, an emerging country from the Southernmost part of the North American Continent, offers a wide range of businesses in its region with prospects of immense opportunities and potentially high returns. Often addressed as the country located in the Central American Region, Belize technically is based on the southern shores of the North American Continent. Ringed around by some prominent countries like Mexico and Honduras, Belize is commonly considered as a left out country in the region. Defying this behaviourism, Belize sees itself as a developing nation with no shortage of resources within its borders. Belize has a vast range of natural resources and wonders with many tourist spots across and at offshores of the country. The Caribbean Sea adjoins the eastern boundaries of the country, making it accessible to several islands in the area.

Conveniently reachable from both American continents with having just a few hours flights from prominent countries like the USA and Canada. Belize offers considerable opportunities for businesses to grow up and rise in their territory. Having ample spaces in its mainland area, travelling across Belize is much more comfortable with the country has a formidable amount of lagoons and over 450 islands with contrasting sizes. Setting up a business in Belize can be a very feasible decision for foreign investors.

These are the simple steps you need to follow if you are planning to open a business in Belize

Ground Planning

Setting up a business on any part of the globe requires a blueprint or structured planning of the business to be proposed. The process includes investors being aware of business ethics like getting an idea of business prospects that may develop in the region. The company executive needs to be mindful of what businesses are growing in a particular area. Thus making an overview of the sector in which they want to trade their money to get profitable returns. Business opportunities in Belize are quite vibrant, with many productive industries like manufacturing plants, production houses, processing workshops, and others. Commercial offices, warehouses, insurance firms, banking services are other business options that one can consider investing money in. Deciding the appropriate sector for investment is crucial because it depends upon where and how the person wants to set up the company.

Selecting Company Type in Belize

Belize has two zones that allow businesses to set up in the country. The zones are meant for different industries that can be constructed depending upon the type of company. The investor needs to decide which sector to choose for business and then has to pick the land location for the business accordingly. The two zones on which companies can be built upon are Free Zone and the Offshore.

These zones are suitable for both large and small businesses. The total market reach of any company will highly depend on the size and type of business. The country does have a large population density, hence targeting the local audience may not prove that beneficial for any business. However, the country welcomes a large number of tourists across the year. So, aiming to serve more tourists can be a good approach and can earn you profitable results.  

Free Zone Companies in Belize

Building up a company in Belize free zones can be beneficial for individuals who can invest or set up production and manufacturing plants. Commercial and consultancy firms can also be opened in these zones. 

Offshore Companies in Belize

Offshore locations are generally the most preferred ones for foreign investors because businesses opened on offshore locations need not require to file any taxation returns. Companies at these locations are exempted from paying taxes. So, anyone planning to open businesses in this region prefers offshore locations due to investment purposes.

Documentation and Company Registration

Setting up a business in Belize needs you to take all the legal work permits and business-related formal documentation is also required. These may include several government formalities like legal paperwork, company registration, location proofs, etc. The best way to get known about all government regulations is to consult a Belizian Lawyer. Also because the local lawyer is more likely to be aware of do’s and don’ts in case of any business-related queries. It can take between 40-45 days to complete all necessary processes.

You may require a number of prerequisites for any particular business, which are:

  • Location proof of your business
  • Company registration as a local branch
  • Work permit
  • Registering with General Sales Tax
  • Applying for Tax Identification Number
  • Trade license paperwork  

Apart from all the paperwork and government permissions, the company needs to be registered under the Belizean government body Belize Company Registry, Belmopan. All the new businesses need to register their name under this body and get their business name. The Belizean government doesn't allow foreign companies to run without first registering. The application cost for company registration in Belize is $25.

Obtaining a Trade License and Tax Reforms

This is considered the last step which includes the government bodies. After all the paperwork and registration processes you need to obtain a trade license for the business. The company needs to apply for the trade license at any local or city council. The Trade licensing cost depends upon the rental value of the company on an annual basis. The companies are given a time period of 30 days to pay off the bills.

The company also needs to register under the Income Tax Department of the Belize government and needs to pay taxes accordingly. The taxes in Belize is only collected if the company's revenue crosses the BZD75,000. Other businesses must need to register with the General Sales Tax Department for taxable activities.

So, these are compulsory processes that any foreign business needs to complete in order to set up their company in the region. Apart from these, businesses may also require getting used to the work culture and business ethics in order to maintain a successful business. Funding of business can also be an important issue and one can see its business blooming in the region if they follow proper approaches.

We here at Business Setup Worldwide helps entrepreneurs and upcoming business ideas to develop in the area. We have a team of experts who are eager to help you with business-related queries regarding various sectors and are glad to provide assistance in such a case. You can contact us anytime with any business-related query. We can be a great help!

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