Registering a Company in Belize – Starting and Setting Up Your Business

Corporate Information and Legal System

In Belize the legal framework follows English law principles and is supported by specific local rules. The economic policies aim to encourage investments positioning the nation as a popular hub for offshore commercial operations.

Important statutes governing businesses, in the country are the Companies Act and the International Business Companies Act.

Types of Entities in Belize

business startup

According to the laws, in Belize, kinds of business entities can be set up for conducting commercial activities:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • General Partnership
  • Limited Partnership
  • Private Company
  • Limited Life Company
  • Public Investment Company
  • International Business Company (IBC)
  • Trust Fund
  • Joint Venture and Cooperative
  • Branch
  • Representative Office

The International Business Company (IBC) is widely. You have the option to either purchase a ready made company of this kind or set up a new one. Setting up a Belize company can be done within 24 hours whereas creating a fully operational entity usually requires around two weeks.

Company Name Registration

To officially name a business in Belize you need to meet these criteria;

  • Choose a suffix that indicates the type of entity, such as “Limited,” “Corporation,” or “Incorporated.”
  • Use the script for the registered name although you can opt for an alternative script if desired.
  • Ensure that the name is unique and distinct from any existing company names.
  • Avoid using prohibited terms like “Building Society ” “Chamber of Commerce ” or any words suggesting ties to the Royal Family.
  • Make sure the chosen name is appropriate and free from indecency, offensiveness or objectionable content.
  • Refrain from using restricted words, like “Assurance ” “Bank,” “Insurance,” or “Trust” unless authorized for activities.

Procedure for Company Registration in Belize

procedure for registration

To set up an IBC business in Belize here are the steps you need to follow;

  • Get approval for your company name from the Registrar, which can be reserved for 90 days.
  • Submit the Articles and Memorandum of Association to the Registrar providing information about your companies address, registered agent, authorized capital and shares.
  • Upon registration you will receive a Certificate of Incorporation signed and sealed by the Registrar.
  • If you have employees register with the Belize Social Security Board within 7 days.
  • Make sure to comply with regulations on business activities such as dealing with Belize residents or owning property in Belize.
  • Maintain an office address in Belize where specific documents and records must be stored.
  • Get a seal for the company and keep its imprint at the registered office.
  • Companies can relocate to or from Belize as, per regulations.

Failure to comply with registration requirements may result in fines or penalties.

Company Structure


  • A Belize company must have at least one director, who can be either a natural person or a body corporate, and may be a resident or non-resident.
  • Directors’ meetings are not required to be held in Belize or elsewhere.
  • Director details are disclosed to the local agent but are not publicly filed.
Company Structure


  • A company secretary is not mandatory.


  • Belize companies can have one or more shareholders, who can be individuals or corporations of any nationality or residence.
  • Nominee shareholders are allowed.
  • Annual General Meetings are not required. Meetings can be held by phone or other electronic means if necessary.
  • Shareholders’ details are disclosed to the local agent but are not publicly filed.


  • In 2017, Belize introduced the Beneficiary Registry through amendments to the International Business Companies Act.
  • Registration agents are responsible for maintaining and keeping the registers, and the Register of Beneficiaries must be filed with the relevant state body.
  • Access to the Registry of beneficial owners is restricted and available only to the competent authorities of Belize upon request.
  • Information collected about the beneficiary includes full name, date of becoming a beneficiary, address, date of birth, position held, and details of the beneficial interest.
  • Failure to provide or maintain beneficiary data incurs a fine of USD 500 per day, while intentional submission of invalid beneficiary information results in a fine of USD 50,000.

Share Capital and Shares

  • The share capital of an IBC can be in any currency, with no minimum authorized share capital required.
  • There are no mandatory timeframes for share capital to be paid up, and no requirements on the size of issued or paid share capital.
  • Typically, the share capital is USD 50,000, divided into 50,000 shares of USD 1 each.
  • Shares with no par value and bearer shares are permitted, with the latter held in custody by a local registered agent in Belize.

Is Belize Considered a Jurisdiction for Activities?


Yes Belize is known as a tax haven and an offshore financial hub. It is popular for its tax policies and strict regulations on bank secrecy making it an appealing location for foreign investments and offshore business operations.

However it’s worth noting that Belize has been actively working to improve its reputation and comply with tax standards in recent years. These efforts might have resulted in changes to some of the benefits traditionally associated with Belize as a financial center potentially leading to increased scrutiny from international tax authorities.

Can Foreigners Establish Businesses in Belize?

Certainly! Foreigners are permitted to launch businesses in Belize. The process of starting a business as a resident mirrors that of a resident. This involves registering the company with the Registrar of Companies obtaining any licenses and fulfilling other regulatory requirements.

What Are the Taxation Rates, in Belize?

Belize maintains a moderate tax system. The corporate tax rate is set at 25%. Personal income tax ranges from 0% to 25% depending on the income level. The value added tax (VAT) rate stands at 12.5%.

Besides that there are taxes such as stamp duty and property tax in Belize but they tend to be lower compared to other countries.

Can You Obtain Citizenship in Belize Through Investment?

Definitely. Belize offers a Citizenship, by Investment program that allows individuals to obtain citizenship by investing in the country’s economic growth projects.

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