A Belize International Business Company (“IBC”) is one of the most popular types of offshore corporation used worldwide for tax planning and asset protection purposes. It is a private company which is designed to engage into any international business activity.
A Belize IBC is formed under the Belize International Business Companies Act. This piece of legislation was initially adopted in 1990 and further extended and amended in 2000. Belize IBC Act is considered internationally as one of the most modern and user-friendly offshore corporation legislations available today.
Essentially, the main requirement is that a Belize IBC must not pursue business within the territory of Belize although it may enter into business with other Belize IBCs.
Taxation and Regulatory Aspect
Profits made by a Belize IBC are tax exempt in Belize.
No withholding taxes. All income generated by a Belize IBC when distributed out as dividends, interest payment, rent, royalties or professional fees payable to a non Belize resident person, do not carry any withholding taxes.
Capital gains realised with respect to any shares, debt obligations or other securities of a company incorporated under the Belize IBC Act by persons who are not persons resident in Belize, are exempt from all provisions of the Belize Income and Business Tax Act.
A Belize International Business Company is also exempt from any stamp duty on its transactions. All instruments relating to transfers of any property to a company incorporated under the Belize IBC Act; all instruments relating to transactions in respect of the shares, debt obligations or other securities of a company incorporated under the Belize IBC Act; and all instruments relating in any way to the assets or activities of a company incorporated under the Belize IBC Act, are exempt from the payment of stamp duty.
A Belize International Business Company is for all legal purposes a separate legal person, and possesses the same commercial rights and powers as a natural person.
Fast registration compared to many other IBC Registry in other jurisdictions.
It has extensive features protecting the confidentiality of its owners and is not subject to any onerous reporting requirements.
Confidentiality is one of the key benefits of the Belize International Business Company. At registration, no information whatsoever is filed on public record on the company beneficial owners, directors and shareholders. This information remains only known to the licensed Registered Agent, who is bound by the law to keep it completely confidential. The internal corporate records of the IBC as the Registry of Members, Registry of Directors and the Corporate Minutes and Resolutions, are all kept by the Registered Agent and are also confidential.
The only documents of a Belize IBC held on public record are the Memorandum and the Articles of Association. These documents do not contain any indication as to the actual beneficial owners, directors or controllers of the company
No reporting requirement to the authorities in Belize.
Belize is the only country in Central and South America having English as the official language. It is easily accessible by sea and air, has modern telecommunications.
Possibility of issuing both Registered and Bearer Shares
A Belize IBC may have a minimum of one shareholder, one director, both of whom may be the same person. There is no requirement to have any Belize-resident directors or shareholders. Foreign individuals or corporations may hold shares in a Belize IBC or act as its directors. Corporate directorship (the directors` function in a company executed by another company) is expressly allowed.
Apart from the director, the company is not obliged to appoint any other officers, however it may certainly do so, if needed.
Belize IBC is a completely tax-free offshore company, for as long as it complies with a few easy conditions. These conditions are listed in the Article 5 of the Belize IBC Act, where the requisite characteristics of the Belize IBC are stated. Belize IBC may not
- carry on business with persons resident in Belize;
- own an interest in real property located in Belize, except for a lease of property for office purposes;
- carry on a banking business unless it is specifically licensed to do so;
- carry on business as an insurance or a reinsurance company, insurance agent or insurance broker, unless it is specifically licensed to do so;
- carry on the business of providing the registered office for other IBC`s;
- carry on trust business, unless it is specifically licensed to do so;
- carry on collective investment schemes, unless it is specifically licensed to do so;
- not hold shares, stock, debt obligations or other securities in a BVI domestic (non-IBC) company;
- issue its shares, stock, debt obligations or other securities to any person or company resident in Belize, except where such shares are held by the licensed Registered Agent or its affiliate in a nominee capacity.