The Belize Offshore Company

Belize became a British Crown Colony in 1862 and became independent in 1981. Belize is now a parliamentary democracy. The government of Belize is fully committed to the ongoing development of Belize as a leading offshore jurisdiction for the incorporation of offshore companies. Through regular consultations with the private sector, the government ensures that its policies and legislation continue to meet the needs and interests of the international financial community in an environment which engenders trust and confidence.

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 1990 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. Belize offshore companies are used for a variety of tax planning and international investment purposes.

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.
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.

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, the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement. 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.

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.

The official language and spoken language is English. The currency is the Belize Dollar (BZ$). Offshore company activities are exempted from exchange control. The legal system is based on English Company Law.

Principal Legislation

o International Business Companies Act, 2000.

o Limited Life Companies Act, 1999.

the principle type of Company for International Trade and Investment is The Belize International Business Company (IBC) or the Belize Limited Life Company (LLC).

In order to incorporate a Belize company the Registered Agent must deliver the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association to the Belize Registry together with the appropriate fee.

Restrictions do apply to Belize offshore companies (IBC’s) – they cannot trade within Belize or own real estate there. They also cannot undertake the business of banking, insurance, assurance or reinsurance. An offshore company incorporated in Belize has the same powers as a natural person.

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