Belize is one of the best-known offshore zones in the world. It offers some outstanding opportunities to business people wishing to extend their business operations to foreign countries. You can benefit very much from registering a company in Belize especially if you have business interests in the Caribbean and the Americas.
Advantages of Belize and economic benefits that it offers
The country is located in Central America but it is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations because it used to be a British colony. The authorities of Belize are loyal to foreign business people and they offer special conditions that are attractive for international entrepreneurs. If you decide to register a company in Belize, you will be able to enjoy the following advantages:
- English is the language of business in Belize (Spanish is often spoken in the streets).
- The economic and political situation is stable in the country.
- The shareholder register is closed to the public, which guarantees a high level of company owners’ confidentiality.
- Nominee services are allowed in Belize.
- With certain types of companies, bookkeeping is not required.
- The cost of company registration is affordable in Belize.
- Remote company registration is possible.
- There are no requirements as to the amount of the authorized capital.
- The state agencies work fast in Belize.
- You can set up a financial service company in the country.
- The number of annual fees and duties is small.
- The list of conditions that the company founders, shareholders, and directors have to meet is short.
- Tax incentives are readily available.
The last point is especially important for many entrepreneurs. If you register an LLC in Belize or an IBC, you are not going to be taxed on many types of income. Only the income derived inside Belize is going to be taxed.
The algorithm of company formation in Belize
Even though the bureaucratic machine works efficiently in Belize, registering a company in the country requires some special knowledge. You will be well-advised to request assistance of a professional who can help you with the following issues:
- Available forms of company ownership;
- Requirements to the company name;
- Ways to economize when registering a company in Belize;
- Choice of country to open a corporate bank account.
- Preparation of the application document package;
- Registering the company shareholders;
- Passing through due diligence procedures and other issues.
If you are not a resident of Belize, you are going to be unaware of certain nuances of the company registration process in the country. If you would like to register a company from the comfort of your home, you cannot possibly avoid hiring a specialist who would act on your behalf in Belize. As digitized and the modern world may be, a few personal meetings with state officials are going to be required anyway.
General information about Belize
Belize is a rather small country on the northeastern coast of Central America. Until 1973, the country was called British Honduras. Belize borders on Mexico and Guatemala. The eastern coast of Belize is washed by the Caribbean Sea.
The area of Belize is 22,966 km2 and the population is about 400,000 people. This is the least populous country in Central America. The largest ethnic groups include mestizos (50%), Creoles (21%), and Mayans (11%).
The capital of Belize is Belmopan. The official language in the country is English even though many people speak Belizean Creole and Spanish.
The official currency is the Belizean dollar and it costs approximately 50 US cents.
The climate of Belize is tropical and trade winds blow there. The average monthly temperature is about 26°C with little variation by season. The rainy season lasts from May to July, and the dry season from January to May. Hurricanes from the Caribbean Sea with heavy rains and floods can cause a lot of damage to the country.
Belize time zone – UTC/GMT -6 hours.
Literacy level – 76.9%.
Telephone code of Belize is +501.
History of Belize
The history of Belize goes back several thousand years. In the past, Mayans lived in the western part of contemporary Belize but they left the region in 895 AD. When Europeans (the Spanish) first landed there in the 16th century, some Mayan tribes still lived on the territory and they did not let the Spanish penetrate into inland Belize.
In 1638, the British started colonizing Belize. Spain and Britain signed a convention in 1786 that made Belize a Spanish overseas territory. However, the British started calling the country ‘British Honduras’ in 1840 and declared it their colony in 1862.
During the economic crisis of the 1930s, the economy of the colony was on the verge of collapse as a result of a sharp fall in demand for timber in Britain. A devastating hurricane of 1931 added to the country’s trouble caused by a high level of unemployment.
The economic situation improved in the colony during WWII but it stagnated again afterwards. In 1964, British Honduras became a self-governed territory and in 1973, the country was renamed to Belize. On September 21, 1981, Belize became an independent country.
State system in Belize
Belize is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy. The country is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
The Head of State is King Charles III of the United Kingdom, represented by the Governor General of the United Kingdom.
The executive power belongs to the Government headed by the Prime Minister. The leader of the party that wins the national elections becomes the Prime Minister of Belize. Elections take place every 5 years.
The legislative power belongs to a two-chamber Parliament. The Senate is the upper chamber (12 senators appointed by the Governor General) and the House of Representatives is the lower chamber (31 parliamentarians elected by the people of Belize).
The judicial power belongs to the Magistrates’ Courts, Supreme Court, and Court of Appeal in Belize.
Economy of Belize
Belize is mostly an agrarian country. About 22.5% of the population work in agriculture, 14.8% work in light and heavy industry, and the rest work in the service sector.
For a long time, the economy of Belize depended on the prices of exported goods, mostly unprocessed timber. Then the economy of the country was diversified a bit and today, bananas and citrus fruits amount to two thirds of all exports. The share of manufactured goods has also increased. Belize exports clothes and wood products.
Currently, oil export is one of the pillars of the economy of Belize. In addition, tourism is starting to play a more and more important role in the Belizean economy. Between 400,000 and 800,000 tourists visit Belize every year. They are attracted by the Mayan ruins and the wonderful nature of the country. Belize is still heavily dependent on machine and equipment imports. Its main trade partners are the USA, Mexico, the EU, and Central American countries.
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