Belize IBC’s, Belize Corporations, Belize Trusts

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General Introductory and Offshore Tax Information

Belize offshore business entities can be listed among the offshore structures that guarantee the possibility of fully benefiting from owning an offshore business entity. The recent events and discussions regarding the ‘crack down on tax havens’ moved many offshore tax shelters to review their fiscal regimes, which did not only lead to the imposition of taxes on offshore business entities but empowered organizations that seek to undermine offshore privacy.

In keeping, however, with the call to rid the global financial systems of its ills, amendments to existing laws for Belize offshore business entities and new enactments against financial crime are an integral part of Belize offshore financial sector.

By forming an offshore business entity in Belize, tax exemption from exchange controls, income tax, corporate tax, withholding tax on dividends and interests, stamp duty and capital gains is guarantee. Full exemption from estate, succession, property death and inheritance tax is also available. An annual license renewal fee as prescribed by the laws of a specific offshore business entity is payable to the relevant government authority.

Belize Offshore Business Entities:

  • Belize International Business Company
  • Belize Limited Duration Company
  • Belize International Offshore Trust
  • Belize International Offshore Bank
  • Belize International Insurance Company
  • Belize Protected Cell Companies

Belize International Business Company (IBC)

Features:

  • Belize international business companies were established under the International Business Companies Act 2000 (Chapter 270)
  • IBC’s are formally incorporated by filing Memorandum and Articles of Association with the Registrar
  • An IBC’s memorandum states the company’s name, authorized share capital and purpose
  • Belize IBC’s may not carry out business with persons resident in Belize
  • Belize offshore business entities may not own interest in real property located in Belize
  • An IBC is only permitted to lease property or an office from where business is conducted from within Belize
  • Banking, insurance or reinsurance business is carried only if given licensing for these operations
  • A Belize offshore business entity that makes bank deposits or establishes professional relations with lawyers, accountants, investment advisers, trust companies or accountants are not viewed a s doing business in Belize
  • Annual meetings may be held in Belize
  • Belize IBCs can own vessels registered in Belize

Belize Limited Duration Company (LDC)

Features:

  • Belize Limited duration companies are regulated by the International Business Companies Act 2000
  • An application must be made to register an IBC as a Limited Duration Company
  • An LDC is Belize offshore business entity whose maximum duration must be stated in the Memorandum and not exceed 50 years from the date of registration
  • A Belize LDC must be registered as a company before presenting application to Registrar
  • A special resolution must be prepared by the company formalizing the change to an LDC
  • An LDC’s name must include endings “Limited Duration Company” or “L.D.C.”

Belize International Offshore Trust

General Features:

  • Belize international trusts governed by the International Trust Act
  • Exemption is given from taxes if the beneficiaries and settlor are not resident in Belize
  • Belize international trust land or property must be located in a foreign jurisdiction
  • After having continued to Belize, a trust may not be made void, invalid or unlawful by any provision of the former jurisdiction’s laws
  • A Belize offshore business entity which is an offshore trust is formed by oral declaration or a written instrument such as a will or codicil
  • Belize international trusts have a maximum duration of 120 years from the date of creation, except if terminated before that date
  • All exempt trusts formed prior to the passage of the International Trusts Act were required to reregister under the Act

Types of Belize International Trusts

  • International Trust
  • Charitable International Trust
  • International Unit Trust

Charitable Trust

  • Belize international charitable trusts share the same features as the regular/ordinary international trust but has a different purpose
  • As a charitable offshore business entity in Belize must be established only for charitable purposes such as poverty reduction, religion, preservation of the environment and advancement of social justice and education

Unit Trust

  • An international unit trust is a Belize offshore business entity created by an instrument in writing

Belize International Offshore Bank

Features:

  • The Belize Offshore Banking Act was passed in 2000
  • Belize offshore banks transact with non-resident individuals and corporations only
  • The capital of a bank is generally expressed both in US dollars and any other currency agreed upon by the Central Bank
  • Offshore banking may be done by a foreign company with the use of a subsidiary that has been incorporated in Belize or a branch which is administered separately from any branch or subsidiary holding a banking license in accordance with the Bank and Financial Institutional Act

Types of Belize International Offshore Banking Licenses

Unrestricted “A” Class Offshore Banking License

  • The minimum capital requirement for an offshore bank is US $500,000
  • The minimum capital requirement for a Belize foreign bank is US $25,000,000
  • Allows for doing unrestricted banking business
  • An office must be operated and maintained in Belize

Restricted “B” Class Offshore Banking License

  • Prohibits Belize offshore banks from accepting deposits or any other form of valuable property from the public

Belize International Insurance Company

Features:

  • Belize international insurance company must have a registered office from where it is subject to doing business
  • The International Insurance Act was enacted in 2000
  • Belize international insurance companies are offshore businesses which may maintain an office in another location after having sought the Supervisor’s written consent
  • Insurers engaged only in captive insurance may not exceed more than thirty per centum of business unrelated to captive insurance
  • Belize international insurance companies are required to maintain books and records at the registered office
  • Insurers involved in long-term insurance business may set up various accounts with regard to the premiums that it receives for the provision of insurance contracts and annuities on human life
  • A company may not be licensed as an international insure unless it is capable of meeting the stipulated paid-up capital
  • Applicants for international insurances can only be a company, syndicate, mutual society or a pool

Belize Protected Cell Companies

Features:

  • Belize Protected Cell Companies are regulated by the Protected Cell Companies Act 2000
  • A company may immediately be formed as a protected cell company
  • A company which is already duly registered may convert into a protected cell company
  • This Belize offshore business entity may have assets of this may be either cellular or non-cellular
  • Protected cells may form one or more cells to protect and segregate cellular assets
  • Each cell is required to have its own name
  • Protected cell companies may issue and create shares
  • The name of a cell must include the ending “Protected Cell Company” or “PCC”.
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