Companies in Belize

Belize has an extremely interesting corporate regime. In a nutshell, there is no tax on foreign-sourced income for Belize IBCs (international business company limited by shares) and LLCs (company owned by percentage ownership). There is also no gift tax, inheritance tax, wealth tax, capital gains tax, so basically, no taxes of any kind.

But that's not all, Belize IBCs can be formed with just one foreign director and owner, making it the simplest and the fastest (24 hours) corporate structure available in Latin America.

And that's not it. There is no open register of shareholders or directors, which makes the jurisdiction virtually unique. There is also no mandatory accounting, but Mundo does recommend accounts to be held.

If you're a cautious investor, you may think that the regulator is a pushover, but that's not the case. Regulatory authorities are thorough and tough. KYC rules are sufficiently strong to detect fraudsters or criminals.

Nevertheless, if you believe in the common law system, low taxation, fair competition, and full freedom of trade, welcome to Belize.

Belize is one of the few offshore jurisdictions that allows its IBCs to do business locally, but in turn, you have to pay huge taxes. Just kidding, you only need to pay somewhere between 1% to 3% corporate tax.

This was due to OECD pressure over Belize, which has, in turn, at least temporarily, taken Belize away from most blacklists.

What are Belize companies useful for? Basically everything. Holding structures for assets; brokerage accounts and investments; online trading companies; bitcoin and crypto traders, and general investment and trading entities.

Belize is one of the most underrated jurisdictions in the Americas. It has a trustworthy, well-established banking business, fantastic trust, and foundation options for asset protection, tax optimization opportunities for foreigners, and offers a stable political and economic frame.

Belize is way more than sandy beaches, spicy sun, and crystalline water.

It offers terrific corporate structures for businesspeople and investors.

Belize has one of the best tax regimes for foreign investors in the Americas, with little to none business regulations and a wonderful level of anonymity. However, it does that without sacrificing a solid regulatory framework and has an incredibly safe and stable environment from which to run a business.

In Mundo, we are authorized service-providers in Belize. We work in a joint venture with one of the top corporate service providers in Belize. Thus, we can directly help you get the best out of business in Belize.

You may ask yourself: well if I'm not a touristic investor, why should I be interested in opening a business in Belize?

You should probably know the country is one of the top IBC (International Business Company) jurisdictions in the world, which is a fully tax-free structure, as long as you don't do business with locals.

And if your company doesn't qualify for IBC? You have an amazing option in the LLC, which serves for asset protection purposes.

As usual, we can help you with both of them.

The International Business Company (IBC)

In Belize, IBCs are innovative. In many places, IBCs aren't allowed to do business locally. That's not the case with the Belizean IBCs. They are corporate structures that can:

·       Be established by both residents and non-residents

·       Do business locally and with Belizean residents

·       Own land in Belize

·       Hold shares in Belizean businesses

As usual, if IBCs in Belize don't conduct business with locals (the only exception is another Belizean IBC that also doesn't do business with locals), they don't pay any Belizean taxes. That's right; IBCs are entirely tax-free in Belize.

You may be interested in doing business with locals. In that case, the IBC must file a tax return. Nevertheless, the taxes are meager:

·       3 % corporate tax on income under BZ$ 3m (US$ 1.5m)

·       1.75 % corporate tax on income over BZ$ 3m

And that's only on regular trading income. Capital gains, dividend, and interest income are tax-free, and all payments to non-residents are fully withholding tax-free. Thus, if you're dealing directly in Belize, you still can do it almost tax-free.

Until not so long ago, Belizean IBCs didn't have much physical presence requirements. Nonetheless, that changed recently. You'll need:

1)    A determinate number of qualified individuals that do the main income-generating activities of the business from Belize

2)    Expenses consistent with the business' size

3)    Bookkeeping in Belize

4)    Primary control and management from Belize

Nevertheless, equity holding companies are exempt from such provisions.

IBCs are easy to incorporate, and virtually any type of business can be incorporated in Belize as an IBC. The fact that they solely require one director and one shareholder means that a sole trader can incorporate an IBC for tax optimization.

The IBC is widely recommended for a wide range of businesses:

·       Service and trading companies

·       Holdings

·       Companies receiving income from intellectual property

·       E-Commerce

·       Inheritance management

·       Consulting and advisory

·       IT

The process to incorporate an IBC in Belize is easy:

1)      Pick a name for your company.

2)   Then, complete the official documentation required for establishing the IBC, such as providing details of shareholders and directors.

3)     Provide a property statement with information that confirms your identity, address, and your ownership over the company (all documents must be notarized and translated).

4)      After submitting everything, pay the service fee, which depends on the size of the IBC, but it's relatively affordable.

5)      Wait for the confirmation of the registry. In general, it takes a bit more than 24 hours.

That's it! You have your IBC. As we said, we're partnered with one of the best service providers in Belize. We can help you incorporate an IBC swiftly in Belize, contact us for more information

The Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Belize has a wide array of corporate structures:

·       Private company

·       Limited liability company

·       Limited life company

·       Joint venture and cooperative

·       Partnership

·       Sole proprietor

·       Public investment company

·       International business company

·       Trust fund

The last two are probably the ones foreign investors use the most. We've just discussed the IBC, and we talk about trusts in this section.

Let's turn our focus to the Limited Liability Company (LLC). It's an ideal structure for those seeking to protect their assets without funds our foundations.

Generally, LLCs are a combination of corporations and partnerships. They both avoid unlimited personal liability, like corporations, and are also tax transparent, avoiding multiple taxation, like partnerships.

International LLCs share similar limitations on doing business with locals with IBCs, but they are a fantastic asset protection vehicle.

Part IV of the LLC Act shows the best asset protection elements of the international LLC in Belize:

·       Only Belizean courts decisions are valid against LLC and its managers.

·      Creditors that wish to bring action against an LLC property have to deposit half of the amount claimed or $50,000 whichever is higher. This protects LLCs by imposing a tough financial restraint over anyone trying to bring action.

·     LLCs can be managed by their shareholders or by additional managers. If the LLC is managed by persons located in a different jurisdiction than the shareholders, they offer even better asset protection.

The law is vigorously directed towards discouraging bringing action against LLCs and shielding the company and its beneficiaries.

As with the IBC, international LLCs are free from taxes, duties, and exchange control in Belize, with the only exception of the transfer of property in Belize and shares in local companies, which must pay stamp duty.

Other corporate structures

Nonetheless, you may truly want to do business in Belize, and not just from Belize, but globally.

Belize has a largely untapped tourist and agroindustrial potential.

But you must know that incorporating such a business may take a bit longer. A business that both operates in Belize and largely sells and buys products and services to local residents can take six weeks. That isn't ideal, but the process is transparent. And believe us, it's worth it. That is also a terrific possibility for foreigners that seek to live in Belize and start a small business.

The process has nine main steps:

1)    Find a place for your company

2)    Pick a name and verify if it's available in the Business Registry

3)    Submit the statutes, memorandums, and articles of association

4)    Receive a trade license. The fee will depend on what you're paying for the commercial space.

5)    City council inspection

6)    Obtain a working permit (except if you're a permanent resident)

7)    Open a corporate bank account (We can help you with that, check out our banking section)

8)    Register on the social security service and tax authorities

9)    Register for the business and general sales tax

What can we do for you?

In Mundo, along with NTL, we have more than two decades helping our clients protect their assets.

Belize is one of the most undervalued jurisdictions. Silently, it has created a perfect legal and economic framework for investors. We have helped plenty of investors to protect their assets and optimize their taxes effectively in this gorgeous country.

We can help you incorporate an IBC, and international limited company, and a regular company that operates in Belize.

Want top-level tax planning? Go for the IBC. Want ideal asset protection? The international LLC is your choice. Want to receive amazing benefits from Belize's touristic and agro-industrial potential? We can assist you in establishing a trading company in Belize!

We have an unmatched network of experts and partners. We can help you open and operate a business in Belize, and also open a corporate or personal bank account with the best offshore bank in Belize.

Want to incorporate a business in Belize and obtain incomparable tax and asset protection benefits? Enquire now!

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