Frequently Asked Questions

Belize economic substance rule

Certain Belize international business companies (IBCs) carrying on relevant activities or regulated under Belize IFSC Act shall be subject to the Economic Substance Act, 2019 in the Belize.

“Relevant activities” under the Belize ES regime include: Banking, Insurance, Fund management, Finance and leasing, Headquarters, Shipping, Holding company, and Distribution and service centers.

All in-scope IBCs under this regime must fulfill the compliance duties or economic substance test for each relevant activity they engage in.

Uncertain about whether your company is subject to Belize economic substance requirements? Check out our Belize ES Test now >>

Corporate taxation in Belize

Starting at 1 Jan 2020, a Belize IBC which carries on business in Belize will be subject to business tax on revenue at a rate ranging from 1.75% - 6% depending on business activities. IBCs which are tax resident outside of Belize will be exempt from corporate taxation.

Belize LLC is exempted from corporate tax or any form of Belize tax (income tax, business tax, withholding tax, asset tax, gift tax, capital gains tax, distributions tax, inheritance tax, estate duty) on assets or income generated from outside of Belize.

Belize LLC also gets exemption from duties and exchange control in Belize, except for the case of transfer of property located in Belize.

Business Activities for a Belize Company

As of Jan 2019, a new regime has come into effect that allows all IBCs to conduct businesses previously not permitted including:

  • Doing business with Belize residents;
  • Holding interests or own real property located in Belize
  • Owning shares in Belize local companies

Any IBCs licensed under IFSC must establish a physical presence in Belize and submit tax return annually.

Under the Belize International Limited Liability Companies Act, 2011, the LLC is prohibited from the following activities:

  • Conduct business with residents in Belize; or
  • Buy real estate or own real property’s interest located in Belize, except for a lease for the property being used as an office for members communication or keeping books and records;
  • Hold shares, stock, debt obligations, or other securities in another company incorporated under the Companies Act; or
  • Issue its shares, stock, debt obligations, or other securities to a Belizean resident or to any company incorporated under the Companies Act.

As long as an IBC carries on its business outside the jurisdiction, it would be deemed as not to be resident in Belize, and thus will not be subject to Exchange Control Regulations.

Corporate Structure

At least one director/shareholder is required.

Require at least a manager who can be of any nationality and either a person or a legal entity. The company must also appoint a minimum of one member who does not need to be a Belizean resident. Foreign legal entities are also allowed to become LLC members.

The company directors/shareholders can be individuals or body corporates. And there are no specific requirements on nationality or qualification.

An IBC may elect to submit to the Registrar for registration its registers of directors/shareholders. Consequently, the information is not released to the public However, the registers must be kept at the registered office and made available as per request by the competent authority.

Share capital

Except bearer shares, all IBCs are permitted to issue most types of shares i.e. voting & non-voting shares, common shares, preferred shares, redeemable shares…

There is no minimum registered or paid-up capital for a Belize IBC. The usual authorized amount is US$50,000. In addition, all issued shares have to be paid up in full. Similarly, there is also no requirement for minimum authorized capital for a Belize LLC.

Annual maintenance

Annual compliant obligations for non-resident companies in Belize are simple, the conditions include:

  • Maintaining one director/shareholder;
  • Maintaining a local registered agent and address in Belize;
  • Paying annual government renewal fee.
  • Filing annual tax return or confirmation of tax exemption

As for non-resident Belize LLCs, annual maintenance requirements include:

  • Maintaining one manager/member;
  • Maintaining a local registered agent and address in Belize;
  • Paying annual government renewal fee.

Belize LLC does not need to file an annual account, but is required to maintain its accounting record.

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