Belize is considered a tax haven and it is one of the preferred offshore jurisdictions. The fast company incorporation process and the policies for financial privacy make this location very attractive to foreign investors.
Investors can open an anonymous company in Belize because this jurisdiction has a high degree of investor confidentiality protection and offer excellent financial privacy.
The Belize company formation process is an easy one that can be accomplished in one or two business days. This speedy incorporation procedure, along with the absence of taxes are two of the most important characteristics that make Belize an international offshore destination.
The most important advantages of the Belize anonymous company are the following:
•Quick incorporation: the company is easy to set up and only one founder is needed;
•Low taxes: according to local laws, the international business company pays very little taxes on its income;
•Minimal reporting: investors are also subject to a very light accounting and reporting regime;
•Flexibility: there are no requirements to keep the meetings in Belize or have local directors; management is flexible for this company;
•Investor protection: through the local laws and through the use of a nominee director, the privacy of the company owners is easy to achieve in Belize.
•Distinction: the anonymous company will have a legal identity and it will be different from its founders;
•International accessibility: the fact that the official language in Belize is English is very convenient for international investors.
An anonymous company registered in Belize as an International Business Company will benefit from all of these advantages listed herein. Its registration is simplified mainly because it can be incorporated by only one subscriber, there are no nationality requirements are the number of documents that are provided upon incorporation is limited, it includes the certificate of incorporation, the memorandum and the articles of association. There are no foreign exchange controls and the registration fee is low for new companies.
Recent changes to the income and business tax laws have introduced the requirements for filing an annual return and registering for tax identification purposes for some companies (as well as being subject to a very low tax rate). However, as per the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the International Business Company remains exempt from all forms of local taxation as well as exempt from the stamp duty.
Apart from the easy set-up, investors who open an offshore company in Belize will also find that banking is reasonably facile and that most company formation packages will also include the opening of a bank account (in international currencies). Company owners are not required to be present in Belize during the incorporation and bank account opening as this can be achieved through a representative.
Company directors in Belize can maintain complete anonymity because of the existing laws that do not require the disclosure of personal information for directors and shareholders upon registration. A resident agent is the only individual who needs to disclose information when the company is registered. One of our Belize company registration agents can help you during this stage.
Belize International Companies are incorporated under a special regime that grants these special benefits but also restricts their area of operation (they are constrained from doing business with Belize local companies). The main restrictions for an IBC in Belize are the following:
-they cannot conduct business in Belize or with Belize residents;
-they cannot own property in Belize;
-they cannot sell their shares, stocks or securities to Belize residents or Belize companies;
-the IBC cannot act as a holding company in Belize, meaning that it cannot hold stocks, stages or securities of Belize companies.
-the IBC cannot act as a registered agent for another IBC in Belize.
-the IBC cannot offer office space rental services to other companies, in correlation with the restriction on owning real estate.
In practice, these restrictions do not hinder the international business activities of an IBC and foreign investors who are interested in Belize company formation can engage in a number of activities, without any issues. An offshore company in Belize is ideal for many types of business purposes, such as e-commerce, international consulting services, international trading as well as international investment or international financial services. An IBC in Belize can be used as a holding company as long as it does not hold shares in Belize companies, as previously mentioned.
Investors who wish to open a company in Belize for any of these purposes can reach out to our agents for more information according to their selected business field.
Steps for opening an anonymous company in Belize
The following steps are the general ones for opening an anonymous company in Belize:
Choose a company name: the company must have an original name and a name check can be performed with the Companies Registry.
Draw up the company documents: our agents can provide complete assistance during this stage where the company’s Articles of Association are drawn up and prepared for submission together with the application form.
Apply for registration: the company’s documents, the application form and the details of the beneficial directors and shareholders (not to be disclosed) will be provided.
Open a bank account: the Belize offshore bank account can be opened once the company’s documents are issued after the incorporation is complete.
The incorporation process in Belize is a fast one, with no minimum capital requirements and the company can be registered with only one director and one shareholder.
Anonymity through a nominee director in Belize
For an added degree of anonymity, investors can choose our nominee director and nominee shareholder services. The nominee director is an individual or corporation that acts on behalf of the beneficial owner and this is a service that can offer the highest degree of anonymity for a company in Belize. By doing so, the beneficial owner will not be subject to the usual duties for this position and will not need to disclose his identity. The nominee director will, under an agreement with the beneficial owner, undertake the duties and liabilities as the company director, thus the company activities will not be related to the beneficial owner.
The main purpose of using a nominee director in Belize anonymity. By doing so, the identity of the beneficial owner is protected and there is no public or traceable direct relation between the beneficial owner and the offshore company.
Investors who wish to have direct control over their offshore company in Belize are subject to public disclosure when incorporating the company (although the information in the Register will not be available for public searches, the name will appear in the company documents). The beneficial owner who is also the company director will also be the one to represent the company in its transactions and will sign agreements and documents as needed.
Because many foreign investors who open a company in Belize wish to maintain a certain level of anonymity, it is often the case to use a specialized nominee director service. The individual or professional company that will act as the third-party director will do so under an agreement and by having agreed upon the level of involvement with the company. The nominee is not usually actively involved with the company’s operations and the regular business dealings as well as important business decisions. The beneficial owner is the one to handle the business decisions and the nominee is allowed to have certain powers as per a power of attorney which may be a specific or a general one. Another potential advantage of working through a nominee director model is that the beneficial owner can have certain tax advantages as he will remain anonymous as far as his profits through the offshore company are concerned.
The nominee director service can be accompanied by a nominee shareholder service for a unified anonymity of the beneficial directors and shareholders. Like in the case of the director, when using a nominee shareholder service, the true shareholders will maintain the highest level of anonymity. When investors do decide to take this additional confidentiality step, they must do so during the earliest steps during the incorporation of an anonymous company in Belize. When this is the preferred business model, it is advisable to seek specialized aid from our Belize company formation agents who specialize in anonymous companies. We are able to offer complete services for the appointment of both the nominee shareholders (which must take place upon the incorporation) and that of the nominee directors.
The nominee shareholder/nominee director scheme can be a preferred business model for some investors, however, it is advisable to control the level of involvement for the nominee director according to business type and business field. When scheduling a meeting with one of our agents for the purpose of opening an offshore company in Belize, you can mention these types of services.
Our company formation agents invite you to watch the following video on opening an anonymous company in Belize:
Belize financial privacy laws
Apart from its benefits in terms of taxation and the easy Belize offshore company formation process, this jurisdiction also has convenient financial privacy laws. There are no restrictions or limitations on the currency transactions in and out of the country and the bank account information may be disclosed only in very rare and specific cases, such as in case of criminal investigations and only if a court order is provided. Banks and registered agents in Belize must observe the relevant laws and international regulations for the disclosure of tax information under certain agreements and only upon formal request from the relevant authorities.
Banking confidentiality is supported in Belize; however, the country is a signatory state of the Tax Information Exchange Agreements. This means that signatory states use a system for freely exchanging tax information. Examples of agreements concluded between the Government of Belize and other countries for the purpose of information on tax matters include those with Portugal, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Greenland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Australia, and others. The Agreements include provisions for the disclosure/the exchange of tax information upon request. One of the signatory states (usually the second party to the Agreement) can request information that is considered relevant for the purpose of determining, assessing and collecting taxes, recovering and investigating tax matters as well as the prosecution of these matters. The rights of the parties remain safeguarded as long as they do not prevent or unnecessary delay the process of information exchange. Belize maintains a strong banking confidentiality, however, it now does so in line with the provisions of these agreements.
One of our agents can give you further details on the principles of confidentiality, investor protection, and anonymity if you wish to open an offshore company in Belize.
Belize is a beautiful Caribbean country that has a lot to offer to investors. Below, we present a few key statistics for this country:
-408,487: population in July 2019;
-169.5 million USD: the value of imports in August 2019;
-45.5 million USD: the value of exports in August 2019.
-domestic exports have risen by approximately 23 million USD in August 2019 compared to the same month in 2018.
Investors who need more information on the business environment and the conditions for companies, such as those for the International Business Company, can reach out to our agents. Some companies, depending on their business field, will need licensing and our specialists can help during this process. One example is for financial services providers in Belize that need to obtain the relevant license from the International Financial Services Commission. Between them, the financial sector and the tourism sector are the two most productive business sectors and many investors choose to establish a business that will engage in one of these activities. We can provide assistance for each of them.
Contact us for more information and assistance for company incorporation.
Call us now at +230 5252 6703to set up an appointment with our business consultants in Belize. Alternatively you can incorporate your company without traveling to Belize.
As a BridgeWest client, you will take advantage from the joint expertize of local company formation agents and international consultants. Together we will be able to offer you the specialized help you require for your business start-up in Belize.