IBC’s which have been incorporated in Belize enjoy all the usual features normally associated with such companies and some additional advantages which are unique to Belize.
One of the most important features is that a Belize IBC is a zero-tax entity and as such is free from income tax on its income. In addition, there is no estate duty or stamp duty on the transfer of shares in IBC’s by non-resident persons. IBC’s formed in Belize are exempt from any exchange controls and have limited liability.
1) Cost Advantages
There are significant costs advantages in choosing Belize to promote to incorporate an IBC over other Caribbean countries with similar legislation. The incorporation fee and annual fee is substantially less in comparison to other countries – US$100 for companies with registered capital of up to US$50,000.
In addition, an International Business Company formed in Belize may benefit as a result of economies arising from the following cost factors:
No minimum capital requirement
No requirement for audited accounts
No requirement for filing an annual return; a share register, minutes of meeting, copies of resolutions, and a seal are all that is required
No requirement for the appointment of a local director or secretary; a Belize registered office and registered agent together with a minimum of one director are the only requirements
No requirement to hold annual general meetings; all meetings may be held anywhere in the world and directors and shareholders may participate by telephone and confirm acceptance of resolutions by letter, fax and telephone.
2) Flexibility Factors
The current IBC legislation in Belize provides for a high degree of flexibility in the method of structuring a company and in the way that structure may be adapted to meet an organization’s changing needs. For whilst a company may begin its existence for a particular purpose, it can in most cases be utilized to deal with other types of transactions.
The key features of the legislation are as follows:
- Only one shareholder is required
- Registered shares or bearer shares may issued as well as voting and non-voting shares; shares with or without a par value; and shares denominated in any currency
- Shares can be purchased into treasury and can be readily redeemed
- Another company can be director of an International Business Company
- Continuation and Re-domiciliation to and from other jurisdictionsThe memorandum and articles can be amended by a simple resolution of shareholders, or directors, providing the articles allow for this and a copy of the resolution is sent to the Registrar with the relevant fee.
- A choice of various corporate designations are available for the company name (including “Limited”, “Corporation”, “Incorporated”; “Societe Anonyme” etc) and abbreviations may be used.
In addition, a Belize International Business Company can be formed and registered in approximately one hour. All that is required is to file signed copies of the memorandum and articles of association together with the relevant incorporation fee in $US with the Registrar. Once the Registrar has confirmed compliance, a certificate of incorporation will be issued and the IBC will be registered accordingly and all relevant documents will be couriered within 24 hours.
The ease and speed of the formation of Belize IBC’s does not in any way derogate the shield of confidentiality provided by the legislation. The share register and records of the company remain closed to the public and may only be inspected by a shareholder. The only documents which are accessible to the public are the Memorandum and Articles of Association and the Certificate of Incorporation.
Moreover, there are no restrictions on nominee shareholders and bearer shares can be issued.