Belize

Where is Belize Located?

Belize (formerly British Honduras) is a scenically beautiful, independent country located on the Caribbean seaboard of Central America. Belize has an area of approximately 23,026 sq km, and is bounded by Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south.

The administrative capital of Belize is Belmopan, but the major commercial centre is Belize City, which is located on the eastern coast close to the major international airport Phillip S W Goldson International.

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What is the population of Belize?

The total population of Belize is around 300,000 of which some 60,000 live in Belize City. The population of Belize is ethnically diverse and includes descendants of the original Mayan culture and people of Caribbean, Caucasian, Chinese and East Indian descent.

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What is the main spoken language of Belize?

The official spoken language is English.

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What are entry requirements?

A valid passport is required for all visitors. Citizens of the United Kingdom, some Commonwealth countries, the European Union and the USA are not required to have a visa, provided they have a return ticket.

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What Currency does Belize use?

The Belize Dollar is the official currency of Belize (BZ$). The exchange rate is $1.00 US to $2.00 BZ.

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What exchange control restrictions are there in Belize?

Offshore activities are completely exempted from exchange controls.

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What time zone is Belize in?

Belize is one hour behind New York and six hour behind London England.

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What business hours does Belize keep?

Government hours: 8:00 am – 12:00pm, 1:00 pm – 5:00pm (4:30 on Fridays)
Banking: Mon. -Thurs. 8:00 am – 1:00 pm. Fri. 8:00 am – 4:30 pm.

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What type of law does Belize follow?

Belize follows Common Law, based on English Company Law.

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Does Belize have stable political structure?

Belize has a long history of peace, stability and democracy. It became a British Crown Colony in 1862 and achieved complete self-rule in 1981. Belize is a member of the British Commonwealth and The United Nations.

In Belize, executive authority is exercised by the Cabinet under the leadership of the Prime Minister, subject to approval by a 28 member Senate with the majority appointed on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

There are two main political parties; both parties are committed to the economic development of the country and the encouragement of overseas investment. The current governing party is The United Party with head of state being Queen Elizabeth II.

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Does Belize offer a stable infrastructure and economy?

Belize’s unspoiled environment with cays and barrier reef make it a popular destination for eco-tourists, whilst its clear unpolluted waters are excellent for swimming, diving, fishing and other aqua sports. The country also offers a unique mix of unspoiled woodlands, caves, rivers, mountains, waterfalls and jungle, in addition to a wealth of Mayan archaeological sites. There are also forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, marine resort areas and the world’s only jaguar reserve.

Major exports are sugar, bananas, citrus products, fishery products, garments, timber and wood products. The offshore finance industry is generating an increasing proportion of national income.

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What is the principal corporate legalization for International incorporations?

The Belize International Business Company (IBC) is the most popular form of offshore corporate structure. An IBC is formed under the International Business Company Act 2000 and generally must conduct its trading and business outside Belize. However, Belize’s legislation also allows an IBC to carry on a number of activities within Belize.

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What is the procedure to incorporate in Belize?

Registered Agent delivers the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association to the Registry together with the appropriate fee.

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What is the language of legislation in regard to corporate documents?

Corporate documents are written in English.

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What are the registered office requirements?

All Belize corporations must be registered by Registering Agents holding offices in Belize.

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Will I need name approval for my IBC?

Yes, we require you to submit three possible names in order of preference.

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Do you have shelf companies available?

Yes, Self companies can be made available if time is of the essence.

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How long does it take to incorporate in Belize?

Incorporation can be achieved within 72 hours.

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Are there any name restrictions?

A name that is similar to or identical to an existing company. Names of well known companies incorporated elsewhere or a name that implies government patronage.

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What languages can my company name be expressed in?

Names may be expressed in any language using the Latin alphabet. The Registrar may request a Spanish or English translation.

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What names require consent or a license?

The following words, and their associated activities, cannot be used with a license:
Bank, building society, savings, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, investment fund, trust or their foreign language equivalents.

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What Suffixes are used to Denote Limited Liability?

Names must end with one of the following words, or abbreviations:
Limited, Corporation, Incorporated, Societe Anonyme or Sociedad Anonima.

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Can the beneficial ownership of a Belize corporation be disclosed to outside authorities?

No, all corporate information is completely confidential.

Belize IBC Corporations offer “Bearer Shares”, allowing shareholders to maintain yet one more level of absolute privacy and confidentiality.

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What annual returns are required to be filed?

No annual return or accounts are required to be filed.

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What is the standard authorized and Issued Share Capital?

The normal authorized share capital is 50,000 US$ divided into shares with or without par value. The share capital may be expressed in any currency. The minimum issued capital may be one share of no par value or one share of par value.

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What Classes of Shares are permitted?

A minimum number of one shareholder is required and either registered or bearer shares may be issued. No details of the shareholders appear on the public file but upon the issue or transfer of bearer shares a professional intermediary, such as ourselves, are required to retain physical custody of the bearer shares on behalf of our clients. A Register of Shareholders must be kept at the registered office address of the company in Belize.

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How many directors our required are Belize incorporations?

A minimum of one director is required and corporate directors are permitted. Details of the directors do not appear on the public file.

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