Belize


The history of Belize dates back thousands of years. In the past nearly the whole western part of today’s Belize was occupied by the Maya until they left it in 895. At the beginning of the 16th century when the first Europeans (Spanish) put foot here, some tribes of Maya still inhabited the seaside. Spanish tried to get into the inland area, but they had to give up because of the strong resistance from Maya. In 1638 the British started to colonize Belize. In 1786 Spain and Britain signed a convention according to which Belize belonged to Spain. Since 1840 British began to call Belize – British Honduras and in 1862 they declared it a crown colony. During the economic crisis of the 1930s colony’s economy was at the verge of breakdown due to the significant decline in demand for timber in Great Britain. Except from the disasters caused by mass unemployment came the consequences of the hurricane of 1931. Economic situation improved during the World War Two, however after the war it came into stagnation again. In 1964 the colony got internal autonomy, and 1973 it changed its name into Belize. Full independence was granted to the country on September 21, 1981.

Service packages

Двигайте таблицу
Service item Express Standard Optimum
Company registration
Legal address per year
Secretarial services for the first year
Fees and duties for the first year
Apostilled bound set of incorporation documents
Compliance fee
Nominee service per year
Bank Account Pre-approval
Price

1 790 USD

3 155 USD

3 655 USD

I want to order «»

Contact method: and / or

Core Services

1 790 USD

— Incorporation

including incorporation tax, state registry fee, including Compliance fee

включены

— Annual government fees

Stamp Duty and Registrar incorporation fee

1 380 USD

— Corporate legal services

including registered address and registered agent, NOT including Compliance fee

110 USD

—Delivery of documents by courier mail

DHL or TNT, at cost of a Courier Service

535 USD

— Apostilled set of Statutory documents

Optional services

375 USD

Nominee Shareholder

Paid-up “nominee shareholder” set includes the following documents

Related services

310 USD

Tax Certificate

Company’s tax residence certificate for access to double tax treaties network

260 USD

Certificate of Good Standing

Document issued by a state agency in some countries (Registrar of companies) to confirm a current status of a body corporate. A company with such certificate is proved to be active and operating.

260 USD

Certificate of Incumbency

Compliance fee

Compliance fee is payable in the cases of: renewal of a company, liquidation of a company, transfer out of a company, issue of a power of attorney to a new attorney, change of director / shareholder / BO (except the change to a nominee director / shareholder)

150 USD

Basic

simple company structure with only 1 physical person

50 USD

For legal entity in structure under GSL administration

additional compliance fee for legal entity in structure under GSL administration (per 1 entity)

100 USD

For legal entity in structure not under GSL administration

additional compliance fee for legal entity in structure NOT under GSL administration (per 1 entity)

250 USD

For client with high risk Status

Cost of incorporation, including first year servicing 1790
Cost of nominee director services per year, including an apostilled set of documents 990
Cost of nominee shareholder services per year, including an apostilled set of documents 375
Cost of annual service, starting from the second year 1380
Open account in 28693
Incorporation timescale for a turnkey company 2 weeks
Country 26738

General information shortly

Двигайте таблицу
Total area Population Capital Unemployment Corruption perceptions index rank
22.966 кв. км 334.297 (2013) Belmopan 12.1% (2013) 109 (2008)
Location Central America
National currency Belizean dollar
Conditional reduction of currency BZD
Against USD 0.5
Climate, average max and min t° tropical trade-wind; the average temperature is about +26°С
Time difference from Moscow - 10 hours
Dialing code +501
State language English
Ethnic groups Belizean Creole people 21%, the Maya 11%, the Garifuna people 6% and others
Literacy rate 76.9%
Credit rating B-
Government type parliamentary democracy
Executive branch Government (cabinet of ministers) with a Prime Minister as its head
Legislative branch bicameral National Assembly ( Senate and House of Representatives)
Judicial branch Magistrates Court, the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal
GDP per capita rank 95 (2012)

Corporate info

Двигайте таблицу
Shelf companies permitted Legal system Incorporation timescale for a turnkey company Cyrillic alphabet permitted in company name Local registered office
Yes based on English Common Law 2 weeks No Yes
Types of entity Sole Proprietorship; General Partnership; Limited Partnership; Private Company; Limited Life Company; Public Investment Company; International Business company; Trust Fund; Joint Venture and Cooperative; Branch; Representative office
Incorporation timescale for a new company 1 day
Company suffix Limited, Corporation, Incorporated, Society Anonyme, Sociedad Anonima, Aktiengesellschaft or related abbreviations: Ltd., Corp., Inc., S.A., A.S., A.G.
Sensitive words Building Society, Chamber of Commerce, Chartered, Cooperative, Imperial, Municipal, Royal or similar words; Assurance, Bank, Insurance, Trust; words suggesting the patronage of Her Majesty or that of a member of the Royal Family, or a connection with the Government of Belize; indecent, offensive or objectionable words
Local registered agent Yes
Information to be kept at the registered office register of shareholders and directors, minutes, resolutions, memorandum and articles of association, booking accounts and common seal imprint
Seal required, type of seal yes, imprint of a common seal must be kept at the registered office
Redomiciliation (to, from) permitted permitted

Director and secretary

Двигайте таблицу
Minimum number of directors Residency requirements for directors Corporate directors permitted Disclosure to local agent Disclosure to public
1 No Yes Yes No
Directors’ meetings/frequency/location No requirements/ anywhere
Company secretary required No
Residency requirements for a secretary No
Qualified secretary required No
Corporate secretary permitted No

Shareholder and beneficiary

Двигайте таблицу
Minimum number of shareholders Residency requirements for shareholders Corporate shareholder permitted Disclosure to local agent Disclosure to public
1 No Yes Yes No
Meetings/frequency/location No requirements/ anywhere
Beneficiary info disclosure to No

Shares and share capital

Двигайте таблицу
Minimum authorized share capital Minimum issued share capital Minimum paid share capital Authorized capital payment deadlines Bearer shares permitted
No requirements No requirements No requirements No requirements Yes
Issued capital payment deadlines No requirements
Standard currency US dollar
Standard authorized share capital 50000
Standard par value of shares 1
Shares with no par value permitted Yes

Taxes

Двигайте таблицу
Min. rate for corporate tax Capital gains tax VAT Withholding tax Exchange control
No 12.5% 15%/15%/25% No
Personal tax 25%
Corporate tax (in detail) Income tax is paid only in the oil sector. Other companies pay business tax, calculated as a percentage of revenue.
Capital gains tax. Details There is no capital gains tax in Belize.
VAT. Details GST is similar to VAT. The tax rate is 12.5%.
Other taxes Social contributions, Property taxes

Accounts

Двигайте таблицу
Requirement to file accounts Publicly accessible accounts Audit required Requirement to file Annual Return Publicly accessible Annual Return
No No No No No
Requirement to prepare accounts Yes
Double tax treaties network 14
Tax Exchange Information Agreement network 20
OECD member No
Offshore/onshore status according to the RF laws Yes

GENERAL INFORMATION

General info

Belize is a country located on the northeastern coast of Central America which was called British Honduras till 1973. Belize is bordered on the north by Mexico, to the south and west by Guatemala and to the east by the Caribbean Sea.
With 22,966 sq.km of land and a population of only 334,297 (2013), Belize has the lowest population density in Central America. As for ethnic groups, the Mestizos make up to 50% of the population, the Belizean Creole people – 21%, the Maya – 11%, the Garifuna people – 6% and others.
The capital city is Belmopan. It is the only country in the area where English is the official language, although an English creole (Kriol) and Spanish are more commonly spoken.
Official currency is Belize dollar (BZD). One US dollar is equal to 0,5 BZD.
Climate of Belize is tropical trade-wind. The average temperature is about +26°С with some insignificant changes by seasons. Rain season lasts from May to July, dry season lasts from January to May. Hurricanes from the Caribbean Sea with showers and floods play a devastating role in Belizean life.
Time difference with Moscow is -10 hours.
Literacy rate is 76.9%.
Calling code of Belize is +501.

History

The history of Belize dates back thousands of years. In the past nearly the whole western part of today’s Belize was occupied by the Maya until they left it in 895. At the beginning of the 16th century when the first Europeans (Spanish) put foot here, some tribes of Maya still inhabited the seaside. Spanish tried to get into the inland area, but they had to give up because of the strong resistance from Maya. In 1638 the British started to colonize Belize. In 1786 Spain and Britain signed a convention according to which Belize belonged to Spain. Since 1840 British began to call Belize – British Honduras and in 1862 they declared it a crown colony. During the economic crisis of the 1930s colony’s economy was at the verge of breakdown due to the significant decline in demand for timber in Great Britain. Except from the disasters caused by mass unemployment came the consequences of the hurricane of 1931. Economic situation improved during the World War Two, however after the war it came into stagnation again. In 1964 the colony got internal autonomy, and 1973 it changed its name into Belize. Full independence was granted to the country on September 21, 1981.

Government Type

Belize is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy. Belize is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, represented in Belize by the Governor-General.
The executive power is held by Prime Minister of Belize, who is head of government, acting as advisor to the Governor-General. Prime Minister is the leader of the party who obtained the majority of votes at the parliamentary election, held once in 5 years. Cabinet ministers are members of the majority political party in parliament.
The legislative power is assigned to the bicameral National Assembly of Belize which is composed of a Senate (12 members appointed by the Governor-General for a 5-year term) and a House of Representatives ( 31 members, popularly elected).
The judicial system includes the Magistrates' Court, the Supreme Court (Chief Justice), and the Court of Appeal. Members of the independent judiciary are appointed. There are also a Family Court and a Quick Trial Court.

Economy

Belize is an agricultural country. 22.5% of the population is engaged in agriculture which gives 22.5% of the GDP, 14.8% are in industry with 15.2% contribution to the GDP. The rest of the population is engaged in the service sector.
The third part of the population lives below poverty line, and expenses largely exceed income. Belize’s economy had depended on the prices of the export products for a long time. It was mainly timber. Then the economy was slightly diversified, and now bananas and citrus cultures give two thirds of returns from export. By the end of 1970s the country came to self-provide its population with rice. The share of industrial products increased. It was mainly clothes and timber products. At present, Belize’s economy is based primarily export of petroleum and tourism which has gained a greater importance recently. Belize is visited by 300 thousand tourists annually, attracted by cultural sites of the Maya civilization on the Yucatan peninsula. The most popular import items are cars and equipment.
The major trading partners of Belize are the United States, Mexico, the European Union, and Central America.

CORPORATE INFORMATION

Legal system

Legal system of Belize is based on English common law, supplemented by local laws. Economic legislation is aimed at attraction of foreign investment. The country is one of the centers of offshore business. Among the main corporate laws are Companies Act, International business companies act, etc.

Types of entity

Under the legislation of Belize, the following types of commercial entities may be established in Belize to carry on business:
  • Sole Proprietorship;
  • General Partnership;
  • Limited Partnership;
  • Private Company;
  • Limited Life Company;
  • Public Investment Company;
  • International Business company;
  • Trust Fund;
  • Joint Venture and Cooperative;
  • Branch;
  • Representative office.

The most common structure is the International Business Company (IBC). It is possible to buy a shelf company of this type or to incorporate a new one. The Registry timescale to incorporate a new company is 24 hours. The timescale for a new turnkey entity is two weeks.

REGISTRATION

Company Name

The requirements to the company names in Belize are the following:
  • the name of a company should include a suffix to denote the type of entity: “Limited”, “Corporation”, “Incorporated”, “Society Anonyme”, “Sociedad Anonima”, “Aktiengesellschaft” or the related abbreviation: “Ltd.”, “Corp.” “Inc.”, “S.A.”, “A.S.” or “A.G.”;
  • it shall be registered in Roman script, but a company may elect to register as an alternative name an accurate translation of the name registered in Roman script, and which name may be expressed in any script;
  • it should not be identical or similar with an existing company name;
  • it should not contain the words “Building Society”, “Chamber of Commerce”, “Chartered”, “Cooperative”, “Imperial”, “Municipal”, “Royal”, or a word conveying a similar meaning, or any other word that, in the opinion of the Registrar, suggests the patronage of Her Majesty or that of a member of the Royal Family; or a connection with the Government of Belize or its department, except with the approval of the Registrar in writing;
  • it should not be indecent, offensive or, in the opinion of the Registrar, objectionable;
  • it should not contain the words “Assurance”, “Bank”, “Insurance” or “Trust”, or any or their derivatives or cognate expressions, unless it is licensed to carry on such business or activities.

Company registration

To register an IBC in Belize, you need to go through the following procedure:
1. Obtain an approval of a company name from the Registrar
A company has a right to reserve a name for 90 days for future adoption.
If business name is available, a Certificate of Business Name Registration will be issued.
2. File Articles and Memorandum of Association to the Registrar
The Memorandum must include:
  • the name of the company;
  • the full address within Belize of the registered office of the company;
  • the name and full address within Belize of the registered agent of the company;
  • the objects or purposes for which the company is to be incorporated;
  • the currency in which shares in the company shall be issued;
  • a statement of the authorised capital of the company;
  • information on shares.

The Articles and Memorandum must be subscribed to by a person in the presence of another person who must sign his name as a witness.
Upon registration a Certificate of Incorporation signed and sealed by Registrar is issued.
After registration a company which employs one or more persons must register for social security with the Belize Social Security Board. The application must be made within 7 days of employing an employee.

Restriction of Activities

There are a number of restrictions on the activities of business companies. The IBC act prohibits an IBC from:
  • carrying on business with persons resident in Belize;
  • owning an interest in real property situated in Belize, except lease property for office purposes;
  • carrying on banking business, insurance or reinsurance business;
  • carrying on the business of providing offices for companies.
  • carrying on trust business;
  • carry on collective investment schemes;
  • other.

A company that wilfully contravenes the above requirements is liable to a penalty of $500 for each day or part of it during which the contravention continues, and a director who knowingly permits the contravention is liable to a like penalty.

Local registered office

Every Belize company must maintain a registered office address in Belize. The Registrar will receive notice of the situation and any change of the registered office. Failure to comply with this requirement will subject the company to a fine not exceeding twenty-five dollars per day for each day of non-compliant business.
The following information and documents shall be kept at the registered address: register of shareholders and directors, minutes, resolutions, including resolutions consented by directors, shareholders and officers, memorandum and articles of association, and common seal imprint. According to the latest changes in the Belizean law, it is also required to keep accounting records at the registered office or a resolution on another place within or outside Belize.

Seal

From the date of incorporation mentioned in the certificate of incorporation the body corporate known by the name in the memorandum shall have a common seal, its imprint should be kept at the registered office. Failure to comply with this requirement will subject the company to a fine not exceeding twenty-five dollars per day for each day of non-compliant business.

Redomicile

The redomiciliation of companies either to or from Belize is permitted.

COMPANY STRUCTURE

Directors

A Belize company is required to have a minimum of one director who can be a natural person or a body corporate, resident or non-resident.
There is no requirement to hold directors’ meetings in Belize or elsewhere.
Director’s details are disclosed to the local agent but do not appear on the public file.

Secretary

A company secretary is not a requirement.

Shareholders

Belize companies may have one or more shareholders, individuals or corporations of any nationality or residence. Nominee shareholders are permitted.
The law does not require to hold Annual General meetings. If necessary, meetings of shareholders (and directors) may be held by phone or other electronic means. Shareholders (and directors) may vote by proxy.
Shareholders’ details are disclosed to the local agent but do not appear on the public file.

Beneficiary

The identity of the beneficial owner of a Belize company is treated as strictly confidential and must be disclosed only to the registered agent who is bound by the law to keep it secret.

Share capital and shares

The share capital of an IBC can be denominated in any currency. There is no minimum authorized share capital and no mandatory timeframes for it to be paid up, also, there are no requirements to the size of issued share capital and paid share capital, but shares must be paid up at their issue. Usually the share capital is US$ 50,000 which is divided into 50,000 shares of US$1.00 each. Shares with no par value are permitted, as well as bearer shares, but the latter can only be held in custody of a local registered in Belize.

TAXATION

Personal income tax

The income tax is charged at a flat rate of 25%.
There are non-taxable thresholds of income, revised from time to time.
There is no separate tax on capital gains.

Corporate income tax

Until recently, Belize has had a preferential tax regime for international business companies. Then the country transitioned to a territorial tax regime, which was also changed.
In 2020, corporate taxation has seen significant changes. Corporate income tax is only paid in the oil sector. Other companies pay business tax calculated as a percentage of revenue. In some cases, when the business tax is higher than the corporate income tax calculated at the rate of 25%, or the company has losses, some additional deductions can be used. The rate of such “turnover” business tax varies depending on the type of income (from 0.75% to 19%). Overseas passive income (dividends, interest, royalties and net capital gains) is taxed at the rate of 5%; foreign tax credit of these payments is available.
Companies can be exempted from business tax on passive income if they can prove that they are tax residents of another country (which is not on the EU blacklist) and do not have a permanent establishment in Belize.

CFC rules

There are no CFC rules in place.

Withholding tax

Withholding tax on dividends and interest is 15% and on some other payments (technical and management service fees, rental payments) is 25%.

General sales tax (GST)

GST is similar to VAT. The tax rate is 12.5%.

Social security contributions

The employer and the employee pay social security contributions on employment remuneration.
The general rate is 9%, of which 1.69% is payable by the employee and 7.31% by the employer.
With an increase in employment remuneration, the rate for an employee rises to 3.91%.

Property taxes

Sales of immovable property are subject to special taxes. Land taxes depend on a number of factors and range from 1% to 1.5%. Taxes on immovable property are paid as a percentage of its rental value / rental income.
There are other taxes and fees.

Exchange control

There are generally no restrictions on foreign exchange transactions. However, there are special rules for making foreign exchange transactions.

ACCOUNTS

Adoption and coming into force of Act on Accounting records (2013)

Before keeping accounting records was not necessary, and it was decided by Directors if to keep those records. Since coming into force of Act 18 on Accounting records (Maintenance) of 9 October, 2013, every entity, including IBC shall keep its accounting records.

Requirement to keep accounting records

According to the new Act, every company registered in Belize should keep its accounting records within Belize at its registered office or, as the case may be, at the office of its registered agent in Belize, or at such other place within or outside Belize as may be determined by its directors or other competent persons.
In case the accounting records are kept outside Belize, a company should provide its registered agent with written resolution on address of the other place where the accounting records are kept and notify the registered agent of any change of the address within 14 days.
All accounting records shall be maintained and retained for a period of not less than five years.

List of documents required to be kept

As there is no unified understanding of the term “accounting records” among different jurisdictions, we consider it important to place the list of the documents which are included into the accounting records according to Belizean legislation:
  • financial statements
  • general and subsidiary ledgers;
  • sales slips
  • contracts and invoices
  • records and documentation relating to an entity’s assets and liabilities, all sums of money received and expended and the matters in respect of which the receipt and expenditure take place, all sales and purchases, and all financial transactions.

Form of keeping the accounting records

The accounting records should be accurate and easily accessible within a reasonable time frame and readily available to comply with court orders, requests for exchange of information and so on.
There are no statutory requirements to the form of keeping the accounting records, but we recommend our clients to follow the international standards of IFRS.

Where to submit the accounting records?

Accounting records are not required to be submitted, but they can be requested at any time by the competent authorities (Minister of Finance or Financial Secretary), as well as the registered agent for the purpose of checking the compliance with the law.

Who should prepare the accounting records?

There are no statutory requirement on who should prepare the accounting records.

Sanctions

It shall be the duty of the registered agent to obtain accounting records and provide it to the competent authority in Belize upon request within the time specified in such request.
If a registered agent fails to obtain accounting records, the following sanctions are imposed on him or a company:
  • a fine not exceeding $10,000;
  • revoke of the certificate of registration or incorporation or the license of such entity.

Notably, the registered agent is most likely to make the company pay the fine.
In all cases where a default is made, the entity concerned shall be struck off the relevant Register, provided that if the default is rectified within a reasonable time, the entity may be restored to the Register.

Changes in business practice of registered agents in Belize

Due to the changes of the law, registered agents in Belize are bound to make some changes into their activities. To comply with the law they have to request for accounting records or a resolution about the address of the other place of keeping the records. Most part of the agents prefer the latter. Please click Services and Documents to view the sample of resolution .

Annual Return

Generally speaking, Annual Return is a short review on the current state of the company, which is prepared by the company secretary annually. As a rule it includes the following information:
  • Incorporation information (registration date, registered address);
  • Information about directors and their resignation;
  • Information about secretaries and their resignation;
  • Information about registered capital, nominal value of shares and amount of issued shares;
  • Information about shareholders and share transfer.

As for Belize, Belize International Business Companies are not obliged to prepare or file Annual Return.

Tax returns

Business tax is normally paid monthly, and a business tax report is submitted monthly as well.
The deadline for filing a corporate income tax return is 31 March.

SPECIAL PURPOSE ENTITIES

Belize offshore trusts

A Belize International Trust and its trust property is permanently exempt from income and business tax, and all instruments relating to the trust property or to transactions carried out by the trustee on behalf of the trust are exempt from stamp duty. Moreover, the trustee of a Belize International Trust shall be exempt from exchange control with regard to the trust property and to all transactions carried out by the Trustee on behalf of the Trust.
As defined by the Belize Trusts Act, an “International Trust” or “Offshore Trust” is a trust where:
1) the settlor is not resident in Belize;
2) none of the beneficiaries are resident in Belize;
3) the trust property does not include any land situated in Belize;
4) the law of Belize is selected as the proper law of the trust ;
5) in case of a purpose trust, the purpose or object of the trust is to be pursued or performed outside of Belize.
International Trusts must be in writing, properly filed and registered with the Registrar of International Trusts in Belize. The following information is registered and maintained by the Belize Registrar of International Trusts in respect to every International Trust:
  • Name of the trust;
  • Date of settlement of the trust;
  • Date of registration of the trust;
  • Name of the trustee;
  • Name of the protector (if any);
  • Name and address of the trust agent.

Purpose of the trust may also be stated in the application, but is not mandatory.
Notably, the Registry does not require the Trust Deed itself to be filed, neither does it require revealing any details whatsoever about the settlors and beneficiaries of the trust, nor any information about the trust assets.
An International Trust is registered in Belize by means of the Trust Agent filing a specific application form and affidavit, following which the International Trust is issued with a numbered certificate of registration.

Confidentiality of offshore trusts

The Belize Trusts Act provides for substantial confidentiality provisions in respect to all trusts registered or created in Belize. At the same time the Act sets forth a number of provisions under which the settlor, the beneficiaries and the protector of the trust may obtain sufficient information as regards the state of affairs of their Trust.
Generally, the trustee of a trust has a duty of confidentiality. Subject to limited exceptions as provided in the Trusts Act and subject to the terms of the trust, the trustee of a trust shall keep confidential all information regarding the state and amount of the trust property or the conduct of the trust administration.
At the same time, a Trustee is bound to provide full and accurate information as regards the state and amount of the trust property and the conduct of the trust administration to:
  • the Court;
  • the settlor or protector of the trust;
  • in the case of a trust established for a charitable purpose, to the Attorney General;
  • subject to the terms of the trust, any beneficiary of the trust who is of full age and capacity;
  • subject to the terms of the trust, any charity for the benefit of which the trust is created.

The Registrar shall not disclose any information contained in the Register to any person without a written authorisation of the trustee or the trust agent. Exceptions are written requests made by the Director of the Belize Public Prosecutions Office, the Director of the Belize Financial Intelligence Unit, the Commissioner of Police or other regulatory or enforcement authority in Belize, certifying that such information is reasonably required to facilitate a criminal investigation, prosecution or proceeding, whether in Belize or elsewhere, including an investigation into locating the proceeds of crime and any proceedings for the enforcement of a confiscation or forfeiture order made in Belize or elsewhere.
Notably, the Registrar of International Trusts does not hold any information as regards the trust assets, the names of the settlors, beneficiaries or other parties to the trust (except for the Trustee) or any other substantial financial or personal information. All such information is only held on file by the Trustee, and subject to stringent confidentiality provisions.

Legal Protection

Belize is one of the few if not the only country where immediate protection is available against the so called “proceedings for fraudulent conveyances”. There is no minimum period of time for which the Trust must be established before it cannot be attacked. Unlike trust legislations in other offshore jurisdictions which simply reduce the period of limitation for initiating proceedings for fraudulent conveyances or transfers, the trust law of Belize has actually repealed the provisions against fraudulent conveyances in relation to a trust. Such protection is immediate and while it can be set aside for duress, fraud, mistake, undue influence, misrepresentation or incapacity of the settlor, it cannot be set aside even if made for the avoidance of claims by spouses, heirs and creditors.
Where a trust is created under the law of Belize, the court shall not vary it or set it aside or recognise the validity of any claim against the trust property pursuant to the law of another jurisdiction or the order of a court of another jurisdiction in respect to –
  • the personal and proprietary consequences of marriage or the termination of marriage;
  • succession rights (whether testate or intestate) including the fixed shares of spouses or relatives;
  • the claims of creditors in an insolvency.

Further, the reciprocal enforcement of judgments legislation does not apply to a trust in Belize so that fresh proceeding would need to be brought in Belize in every instance involving a Belize trust.

Regulation of Trust Firms in Belize

The Belize International Financial Services Commission licenses and supervises Trustees in Belize.
All practitioners in the offshore industry, including Trustees, must be licensed by the Commission before engaging into any of the international financial services. The Commission is the regulatory body for the offshore sector and has developed a rigorous set of criteria that an applicant must satisfy before being licensed. In particular, any Trust firm must prove a high standard of staff competence and integrity, have adequate internal system of controls and procedures and must be substantially capitalized.

Taxation of trusts

Provided that the settlor is not resident in Belize during a tax year, that none of the beneficiaries are resident in Belize during that year, and that the trust property does not include any land situated in Belize, exemptions include:
  • the income of the trust;
  • no stamp duty is payable on all instruments executed in that year and relating to the trust property or to transactions carried out by the trustee on behalf of the trust.

Duration of trusts

The maximum duration of a trust (other than charitable trusts) under Belize law is 120 years from the date of its creation. Trust income may be accumulated for a period not exceeding the maximum duration of the trust.

International law relations

Двигайте таблицу
Party to the Hague Convention (Apostille) Legal system Double tax treaties network OECD member Offshore/onshore status according to the RF laws
Yes based on English Common Law 14 No Yes

Public authorities and legal acts

Двигайте таблицу
List of laws and regulations
Act name Scope of law
Companies Act company incorporation
Partnership Act partnerships
Limited Liability Partnerships Act limited liability partnerships
Trust Act trusts
International Business Companies Act IBC
Cooperative Societies Act joint ventures, cooperatives
International Financial Organization Act international financial organizations
International Insurance Act international insurance
Offshore Banking Act offshore banking
Business Names Act ompany name
Copyright Act copyrights
Patents Act patents
Trade Marks Act trade marks
Commercial Free Zone Act commercial free zones
Trade and Investment Development Service Act trade and investment development
Income Tax Act income tax
Exchange Control Regulations Act exchange control
Money Laundering (Prevention) Act money laundering prevention
Accounting Records (Maintenance Act) accounting records maintenance
Tax treaties entered Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom
Tax Exchange Information Agreement (TEIA) Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Greenland, Iceland, India, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom
List of state regulatory authorities
Government of Belize http://www.belize.gov.bz/
Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry http://www.belize.org/
Belize Trade and Ivestment Fund http://www.belizeinvest.org.bz/
Belize Companies and Corporate Affairs Registry http://belizecompaniesregistry.gov.bz/
Department of General Sales Tax http://www.gst.gov.bz/
Income Tax Department http://www.incometaxbelize.gov.bz/
Customs and Excise Department http://www.customs.gov.bz/
Judiciary of Belize http://www.belizejudiciary.org/web/
Bar Association http://www.belizebar.bz/
Central Bank of Belize https://www.centralbank.org.bz/home
Financial Intelligence Unit http://fiubelize.org/

    Legal Partner of Review:

    CITITRUST International Inc.

    An international financial services provider working in Belize since 1989. Being the premier provider in its field, CITITRUST International Incorporated specializes in the incorporation of International Business Companies and trusts in Belize

    CITITRUST

    Consultants

    YOUR CONSULTANT

    If you are ALREADY a GSL customer

    Write or call now

    Sign up for a consultation

    c  !

    Your question was successfully sent to the GSL office.

    — In the near future you will receive a detailed answer to it. Typically, the response rate does not exceed 24 hours.

    — If your question is urgent, you can always contact me on the office or mobile phone number listed on the site or chat on Skype.


    Regards, If you are ALREADY a GSL customer YOUR CONSULTANT

    Contact method: and / or

    Aniko Sebok

    GSL Law & Consulting Lawyer, Head of UK GSL office

    Office phone:

    +44 207 002 1307

    Write or call now

    Sign up for a consultation

    c  !

    Your question was successfully sent to the GSL office.

    — In the near future you will receive a detailed answer to it. Typically, the response rate does not exceed 24 hours.

    — If your question is urgent, you can always contact me on the office or mobile phone number listed on the site or chat on Skype.


    Regards, GSL Law & Consulting Lawyer, Head of UK GSL office Aniko Sebok

    Contact method: and / or

    Valerija Filipova

    GSL Law & Consulting Lawyer, London Office

    Office phone:

    +44 207 822 8592

    Office phone:

    +44 207 822 8594

    Write or call now

    Sign up for a consultation

    c  !

    Your question was successfully sent to the GSL office.

    — In the near future you will receive a detailed answer to it. Typically, the response rate does not exceed 24 hours.

    — If your question is urgent, you can always contact me on the office or mobile phone number listed on the site or chat on Skype.


    Regards, GSL Law & Consulting Lawyer, London Office Valerija Filipova

    Contact method: and / or

    I want to order «»

    Contact method: and / or
    RU EN