In 1990 an IBC Act was implemented that guarantees confidentiality, security and privacy for companies incorporated under this Act. This was followed in 1999 with the creation of the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC) along with The Central Bank of Belize are the two regulatory bodies for the offshore industry.
As its mandates stipulates the IFSC is responsible for promoting Belize as a center for international financial services, protecting and enhancing the reputation of Belize, formulating policies, and providing advice and assistance to the government on the regulation of such services. Coming out of this advice, an appropriate supervision unit known as the Financial Intelligence Unit was established in 2002. The IFSC is also responsible for collecting, sorting, and disseminating reliable and timely information on the changes and trends in these services.
Belize is one of the few jurisdictions that has enacted the Code of Conduct Legislation, whereby reports of money-launderings or illegal activities must be reported. The Code of Conduct legislation has benefited Belize by assuring potential customers that high standards of professional integrity will be practiced through compliance with these rules. Client verification procedures, such as the Know-Your-Customer approach, have been introduced as one measure to assure compliance. A list of service providers can be found on the IFSCs website. There are approximately 66 licensed providers; conducting business without a license is an offence.
Services of these providers include the formation or management of International Business Companies (IBCs), Offshore trusts, providing Trustee services, international asset protection and management, international insurance services and international collective investments.
A Belize IBC is exempted from all taxes. An Annual Government Fee must be paid to keep the IBC in good standing. These fees are payable by the 31st May starting from the second year of incorporation.
Directors and Shareholders
A minimum of one (1) director and shareholder are required. These can be the same person. They can also be physical persons or a corporate entity. The names of the Directors or Shareholders are not a part of public records.
Books & Records
A register of shares has to be kept and updated by the company. No accounts or information pertaining to the identity of shareholders or directors is required to be filed in the Registry. Nor is the IBC’s share register or other records open to inspection other than by its shareholders or by order of the Court upon the application of a shareholder. Nominee shareholders and directors are allowed. Nominee shareholder and director services are offered by Registered Agents.
Memorandum and Articles of Association are the only public filings.
Accounts & Reports
No requirement for keeping or filing annual accounts and/or reports is necessary.
Time Period for Company Formation
An IBC can be incorporated in twenty-four hours. Service providers also keep Offshore Shelf Companies for immediate delivery.
Restriction on the Company Name
One of the following words or abbreviation of the words must be contained in the name of the company: Limited, Corporation, Society, Anonyme, Sociedad Anonima or Aktiengesellschaft of Ltd., Corp., Inc., S.A., A.S. or A.G.
The following names cannot be included in the name of the company: Assurance, Bank, Building Society, Chamber of Commerce, Chartered, Cooperative, Imperial, Insurance, Municipal, Royal or Trust, any word which suggests the patronage of Her Majesty or any member of the Royal Family or of a connection to the Government of Belize.
A Belize IBC must maintain a local registered office and local registered agent in Belize. Statutory books and the company seal of the IBC should be kept at the registered office in Belize.
International Banking in Belize
The International Banking legislation was introduced in July 1996 and since that time several local banks have obtained licenses to offer international banking services to non-residents of Belize. These services include opening of Personal and Demand Deposit Accounts, Fixed Term Deposits, Letters of Credit, Collections, Bank Drafts, International Transfers, International Credit Card Services, Commercial Loan Facilities, Investment Services, Incorporation of IBCs, and Online Internet Banking.
What is most attractive about these services is the fact that there are no taxes levied on any bank transaction nor are there any foreign exchange requirements. The setting up of an account is quick and at no cost to the potential customer. AIBL is a high quality jurisdiction bank in Belize, we strictly adhere to the Know Your Customer principle, so that proper due diligence is done on every potential customer. Belizean citizenship or residency is also not a requirement to do international banking in Belize.
With all the advantages of establishing corporate entities and bank accounts in Belize, we invite you to experience our high quality services. At the same time, we would also like to extend an invitation to come and experience all the beauty that Belize has to offer. Our warm, pleasant, and hospitable people will be more than happy to share this beautifully kept secret of pristine mountains, wildlife, and aqua marine adventures with you. Belize is truly a complete mix of both business and pleasure with attractions and historical traditions that await your exploration.
AIBL is regulated and monitored by the Central Bank of Belize, the supervisory body for all Banks located in Belize; they set the standards for capital adequacy and liquidity requirements. For more information on Central Bank’s regulatory framework, kindly visit their website at www.centralbank.org.bz.