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Establish your own Belize offshore company
Belize is way more than sandy beaches, spicy sun, and crystalline water.
It offers terrific benefits for businesspeople and investors.
It has one of the best tax regimes for foreigners in the Americas, with reduced business regulations and a good deal of anonymity. Still, it has a solid regulatory framework, especially for an offshore jurisdiction, and is a safe and stable place from which to create and run a business.
You may ask yourself: well, I'm not a touristic investor, why should I be interested in opening a business in Belize?
The answer is simple: the country has had the IBC (International Business Company) figure for years, which has been its star on corporate structures.
And the IBC is an entirely tax-free corporate structure in Belize.
What if you're looking for something even less regulated? Well, you can still establish an LLC that can serve as an asset protection vehicle.
And we can help you with both in Mundo.
The International Business Company (IBC)
In December 2018, the National Assembly of Belize passed amendments of its IBC, Income and Business Tax, and Stamp Duties tax.
The law changed many features, meaning that today, IBCs can:
As usual, if IBCs in Belize don't do business with local companies and individuals (the only exception is doing business with another IBC that doesn't do business with local companies and individuals), the don't pay any Belizean taxes. You read that right, IBCs are entirely tax-free in Belize.
You may also ask: well, what if IBCs do business with locals or other IBCs that also do business with locals? They must file a tax return and pay taxes in US Dollars. However, they pay microscopic taxes.
Still, their capital gains, dividends, and interests are tax-exempt, and payment to non-residents is exempt from withholding taxes, which means that if you are interested in dealing directly in Belize, you still may obtain significant benefits from doing so.
Yet, the IBC law is currently under review. This means taxes may increase to somewhere between 10 and 15% and there might be an increase over substance requirements.
The incorporation process is reasonably simple. The main requirement is having a registered office in Belize with a certain degree of physical operations (more on that ahead).
In general, they don't have trading restrictions as most of their business is international. Until not so long ago, they were forbidden from trading with Belizean persons. However, as we explained, that has changed, and now they can do it as long as they file a tax return and pay a meager corporate tax rate.
The physical presence requirement also changed recently. It can be satisfied in the following manner:
However, pure equity holding companies are exempted from the physical presence provision.
IBCs are simple to incorporate, and practically any business can be incorporated as an IBC in Belize. The fact that they only require one director and one shareholder means that a sole trader can establish an IBC for tax optimization purposes.
The IBC is ideal for a wide array of businesses:
The process to establish an IBC in Belize is simple:
The Limited Liability Company (LLC)
As you may know, Belize has a variety of corporate structures:
The last two are the ones used the most by international investors. We have already discussed the IBC, and we talk about the trust fund in this fantastic article about the Belizean trusts.
However, we want to focus here on the Limited Liability Company (LLC). Why? Because this business structure is ideal for those that want to protect their assets without using funds or foundations.
Further, it will give you all the benefits you'd expect from a typical offshore corporate structure while the LLC law is not under review and will not likely be in the short-term.
As you know, LLCs as a corporate structure originated in the US a while ago and are usually available in most offshore jurisdictions. However, Belize came somewhat late to the party, as its LLC legislation was finally established in 2011. Still, the Belizean laws provide incredible asset protection possibilities through LLC, which isn't generally common in most jurisdictions.
LLCs are a hybrid between a corporation and a partnership. Corporations generally avoid unlimited personal liability of shareholders but lead to taxation over multiple levels of the earnings of the corporation. A limited liability partnership avoids multiple taxation but requires unlimited liability of at least one general partner.
LLCs, at the same time, avoid multiple level taxation and limits the liability of its members only to the extent they've made to the company. The members of an LLC don't have any personal responsibility for the company's debts unless it has been previously arranged.
Part IV of the LLC Act provides most of the elements of asset protection:
The law is frontally directed towards discouraging litigation against LLCs and protecting the company and its beneficiaries. However, you must know that International LLC has similar limitations that IBCs regarding doing business in Belize.
As with the IBC, LLCs are exempted from taxes, duties, and exchange control in Belize, excepting transfer of property in Belize and shares in local companies, which aren't exempted from stamp duty.
Other corporate structures
However, you may actually do business in Belize, and not mainly from Belize, but internationally.
Belize has a ton of touristic and agro-industrial potential, and investors know that.
But you have to know that establishing such businesses in Belize takes a while longer. Opening a business that can operate in Belize and buy or sell products and services to citizens and local residents may take about six weeks. Still, the process is transparent, and the country has a developing, stable economy that can bring significant benefits for investors. It's also a fantastic option for foreigners wishing to retire in Belize but still want to operate a small business.
The process has ten steps:
Why Belize? Six Reasons to Start a Business in Belize
Privacy to operate your business
This is one of the main drivers of foreign investors to Belize. The country respects individuals and corporate privacy. That means owners and board members don't have to disclose their identity, and they can reserve the discloser of financial information such as profits, losses, and major transactions.
Setting up an offshore structure or a local business in Belize is cost-conscious. In particular, establishing an IBC or an International LLC is a fantastic possibility because of its affordability, especially when compared to other offshore jurisdictions. That means Belize is a good target for mid-level investors and businesspeople, as they wouldn't have to break the bank to achieve a fair level of asset protection and tax planning.
Top tax regime
Capital gains on any income, whether it is generated out of Belize or in Belize is entirely tax-exempt. All income generated outside of Belize is tax-free. Furthermore, the participants of the QRP program don't pay income tax or customs duties.
If you establish an IBC or an LLC in Belize, your company is fully tax-exempt in Belize, which is a fantastic tax planning opportunity as long as you comply with the physical presence requirements.
The LLC was established mainly for asset protection purposes. It protects the company and its shareholders from actions against the properties of the company. Individuals can manage them from a different jurisdiction than the shareholders, and only Belizean court judgments are enforceable against LLCs. All this means that Belizean International LLCs offer top asset protection for their beneficiaries and are a terrific option for those wanting to protect their assets without establishing trusts or foundations.
Fantastic for Latin Americans
Belize is in Central America, which means it's ideal for Latin American investors and businesspeople. Panama is probably the first jurisdiction on this side of the world that comes to your mind. However, Panama is generally a way more costly jurisdiction, and opening a bank account is fairly tougher than in Belize.
Furthermore, Panamanian banks and corporate services are somewhat restricted to Venezuelans and Cubans, even if they show they are legit businesspeople and not linked with organized crime, which is a fallback of the sanctions imposed over their governments. That's not the case with Belize. As long as you show you are legit, you can enjoy all the legal, economic, and tax benefits of establishing a corporate structure in Belize.
Terrific banking business
Banks in Belize are obliged to keep a 24 % liquidity ratio, which is way higher than in most countries. This helps the banking industry to be amazingly stable. This fact, the tax optimization opportunities, the banking secrecy, and the top services the country offers through different bank accounts and investment vehicles, make the banking industry in Belize one of the most underrated in the Americas.
Who are we, and what can we do for you?
Many financial experts have been forecasting the end of offshore services for decades.
And they've always gotten it wrong.
Yes, to be sure, in today's world, there are lesser and lesser places where investors, high net worth individuals, and businesspeople can protect their assets and distribute dividends.
But there are still freedom havens such as Belize that gives you plenty of flexibility and asset protection possibilities.
And that's where we come in.
In Mundo, along with NTL Trust, we have 25 years helping our clients protect their assets.
Belize is one of our favorite jurisdictions. Quietly, it has created a legal and economic framework that is perfect for investors. A Belize company will take your tax planning strategy to the next level.
We can help you open an IBC, and international LLC, and a business that operates from Belize.
Want top-level tax planning? Let's work with an IBC. Want the best asset protection? You have an international LLC. Want to reap amazing benefits from Belize's touristic and agro-industrial potential? We can help you open a company in Belize!
In all this time, we've built an unparalleled network of experts and partners. Aside from helping you open and operate your business in Belize, we can also help you open a bank account with the top offshore bank in Belize.
Do you want to know more about our banking services? Check our banking article right here!
Whatever your priorities are, in Mundo, we can help you open a business in Belize, and we have the experience and connections to do so swiftly and without problems for you.
Want to establish a business in Belize and benefit from terrific tax and asset protection benefits? Enquire now!
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