In 1990, Belize introduced the Belize International Business Companies Act which allows the formation of Belize International Business Companies (Belize IBCs) also known as offshore companies. It is a structure that is tailored ONLY for offshore investors or non-residents who wish to minimize their tax responsibilities and gain confidentiality. An investor, an entrepreneur, a professional may use this vehicle for many purposes such as international trades; asset protections; purchasing and selling of goods, purchasing real estate anywhere in the world; hold bank accounts in Belize and elsewhere; own vessels, licensing or franchising intellectual properties; commission arrangements and any other activities that is considered legal in Belize.
Because of the flexibility and simplicity of a Belize IBC structure, Belize has come to known as one of the favored offshore destinations in the world. Since 1990 to January of 2015, Belize has incorporated 151,960 Belize IBCs. The incorporation is very fast and simple once the application is processed successfully. The Registry only requires that a Memorandum and Articles of Associations be filed to register an IBC. All documents are in English. Therefore, doing business is very easy. Also, Belize IBCs are not subject to paying local taxes in Belize except annual maintenance fee which is due in January of each year. Compared to our competitors our fees are very affordable.
To learn more about the process, benefits and requirements, please feel free to contact us.
The Belize Limited Liability Company or Belize LLC is a fairly a new product that came into effect in Belize in 2011. It is an option provided by the International Financial Service Providers to potential investors who want to operate a business in the international arena or who want to set-up the Belize LLC for asset protection or tax planning.
The Belize LLC is modeled after the Cook Island LLC Act of 2008 and the Nevis LLC law of 1995. It is a hybrid between a corporation and a partnership. This means that multiple level taxations may be avoided and no member of an LLC will be held personally liable for the debt of an LLC unless a personal guarantee or a special arrangement exist.
Belize LLC’s are not subject to paying taxes, duties and exchange control in Belize unless relating to transfer of property situate in Belize such as any shares in a local company. So if you are a non-resident and interested in setting up a Belize LLC, feel free to contact us and we will be pleased to assist you with the process.
Nevis is a corporate domicile used worldwide by professionals, institutions and other intermediaries. The Nevis Business Corporation Ordinance 1984 is widely recognized as a modern, flexible statute which is well-suited to the needs of international tax, business and individual planning. Based upon American corporate law and practice, the Ordinance also contains many features of British corporate law. For this reason persons familiar with either or both types of corporate statutes find the statute very easy to use.
SIGNIFICANT FEATURES OF THE NEVIS BUSINESS ORDINANCE 1984
No taxes are levied in Nevis on income earned outside of the jurisdiction by a Nevis company.
Financial returns need not be prepared or filed in Nevis.
No minimum capitalisation requirements before commencing business.
Shareholders, directors and officers can be of any nationality and reside anywhere.
No annual or other reports by shareholders or directors are required to be filed in the public records of Nevis.
Beneficial ownership information is confidential.
Bearer shares are permitted subject to be held by an approved custodian.
Changes of shareholders, directors or officers do not have to be reported to the Registrar of Companies.
Shares may be in registered or bearer form. Bearer shares must be held in the custody of an approved custodian.
Shares with par value may be denominated in any currency.
A managing director may be appointed to direct the day-to-day activities of the company.
The secretary of the company can be a corporation or an individual.
Companies may serve as directors. Alternate or substitute directors may be appointed.
Shareholders and directors may act by unanimous consent, without a meeting.
Shareholders and directors can attend meetings through the use of proxies.
A company’s records and its principal office may be located anywhere.
A corporation formed in another jurisdiction may redomicile to Nevis.
NEVIS LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANIES (LLC) The Nevis Limited Liability Company Ordinance, 1995 is a modern and comprehensive statute which includes many of the provisions found in comparable LLC legislation in jurisdictions such as Delaware. The Ordinance complements the Nevis Business Corporation Ordinance 1984 which is frequently used in international planning by advisors worldwide.
SIGNIFICANT FEATURES OF NEVIS LLCs No taxes are levied on income of an LLC earned outside of Nevis.
Members of an LLC may be individuals or business entities of any nationality or domicile.
No annual or other reports by members are required to be filed in the public records of Nevis.
The LLC’s records may be located anywhere in the world.
LLCs may amend their articles of organisation, merge or consolidate with other domestic or foreign LLCs or other business entities.
Foreign LLCs or other business entities may transfer their domicile to Nevis.
LLCs may have limited life.
LLC members may assign their interests to other parties unless otherwise restricted.
Sole member LLCs are permitted.
Management of the LLC may be by the members or by managers appointed by the members. Members are not liable for the obligations of the LLC.
CONTENTS OF LLC ARTICLES OF ORGANISATION The Standard LLC articles of organisation state the following:
The name of the LLC which must contain the words “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “LLC” or “L.L.C.”.
That the LLC is formed under the Nevis Limited Liability Ordinance 1995.
The latest date on which the LLC is to dissolve (optional).
The statutory registered agent’s address must be in Nevis.
Whether the LLC is managed by managers exclusive of the members or by all the members in their capacity as members.
Any other provision not inconsistent with Nevis law which the organisers elect to appear in the articles of organisation.
In Belize, Trust Law was enacted on May 18th, 1992. It is governed by the Trust Act, Chapter 202 of the Laws of Belize with substantial amendments in 2007 in relation to International Trust. According to the Belize Trust Act, “A Trust exists where a person (known as a “Trustee”) holds or has vested in him, or is deemed to hold or have vested in him, property which does not form, or which has ceased to form, part of his own estate.
(a) for the benefit of any person (known as “a beneficiary”)whether or not yet ascertained or in existence; or
(b) for any valid charitable or non-charitable purpose which is not for the benefit only of the trustee; or
(c) for such benefit as is mentioned in paragraph (a) and also for any such purpose as is mentioned in paragraph (b).
For a Belize International Trust (‘BIT”) there are three main parties. They are the Settlor, the Trustee and the Beneficiary. The Settlor is the person or an entity that creates the Trust. The Trustee is the person or an entity that is created for the sole purpose of managing, protecting and preserving the assets vested under the trust for the beneficiary. The Beneficiary is the person or an entity that is created to receive the benefits of a trust in due course.
There are many reasons for establishing a BIT. Some of the reasons are confidentiality, estate planning, tax planning, preservation of wealth, shun forced heirship, holding shares in a company and holding bank accounts in the name of the trustee for the trust. However, the main benefit is Separate Ownership. When assets are placed under a trust, potential creditors of the Settlor do not have access to the assets because the assets are no longer part of the Settlor’s estate. However, a trust would be considered fraudulent and invalid if a Settlor establishes a trust to evade existing creditors.
BITs are also recommended because Belize is an English speaking country so the language is not an issue since it is spoken widely. BITs are exempted from paying taxes in Belize. However, if one receives payment as an income from a BIT it may be subject to paying taxes in their country.
Let us know if this is an entity you wish to set-up to protect your assets for your loved ones. Call us or make an appointment and we can discuss in detail!
In 1999, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) introduced a program called the Qualified Retired Person (QRP) program. It is specifically designed for individuals who want to retire in Belize and at the same time enjoy all the services offered through the international financial service sector.
Since the commencement of the program, there has been a significant growth in applicants wanting to obtain the QRP status in Belize mostly due to many persons looking to live in a peaceful and stress free environment. In addition to stress free living, English is the official language; United States and Mexico are close by; the Belize dollar is stable due to strong democracy, pegged to the United States Dollar and strict Central Bank of Belize regulation; and of course, the subtropical climate all year around!
So, if you or anyone you know who is looking to live and retire in Belize, we encourage you to apply for the QRP program. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us for details and we would be pleased to assist you!