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FAQs

Q1

What is an International Business Company (IBC)?

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An International Business Company, or an IBC as it is commonly referred to, is a legal entity with limited liability normally used as an international financial investment vehicle and is not subject to any taxes in Belize.

Q2

Why should I use Belize to establish an IBC?

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Belize is a popular jurisdiction for offshore company formation due to its English-based legal system. The IBC legislation was based on the British Virgin Island model. In addition, full-ranged, high-tech and international banking services empower Belize as an ideal jurisdiction for offshore business.

Q3

Do I have to visit Belize to incorporate my company?

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No. All the necessary forms and due diligence information can be submitted via email with hard copies to follow by mail.

Q4

How long does it take to set up a company in Belize and what are the costs?

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A Belize IBC is incorporated within 24 hours of your request. Costs involved include the Annual Government license fee of US$100 or a standard company and the respective Registered Agent and Registered Office charges, which vary from Agent to Agent. Contact ICS for a quotation.

Q5

In what languages can an IBC be incorporated?

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A Belize IBC may be incorporated in any language provided that a properly translated English version is also submitted upon registration. Additionally, a Belize IBC may have an authorized share capital in a foreign currency.

Q6

Are Bearer Shares allowed?

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Yes, Bearer Shares are allowed; however, the share certificates must be held in the safe custody of the licensed Registered Agent in Belize.

Q7

Can I establish a bank account with my Belize IBC? If so, where?

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Yes. As its own legal entity, a Belize IBC may open and operate an international bank account anywhere in the world including Belize. There are several banks in Belize that offer international bank accounts in various currencies for Belize IBCs. ICS has extensive experience in setting up bank accounts for clients and different entities and can offer assistance in this area.

Q8

Do I have to visit Belize to establish a bank account for my IBC?

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No. All required documentation and communication can be conducted via electronic means, and hard copies of documents can be sent by mail.

Q9

What is required from me to incorporate a company?

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The International Financial Services Commission, Belize’s international financial services regulator, requires that all Registered Agents know the clients they are doing business with. Therefore, it is the agent’s responsibility to get as much information on the client in order to be comfortable conducting business. A standard list of required documentation includes a copy of a form of ID (usually passport), utility bill as proof of residence, a professional reference from a banker or an attorney.

Q10

What level of Confidentiality can I expect?

Confidentiality is one of the many attributes of a Belize IBC. No information pertaining to the identity of directors & shareholders is filed in any public register in Belize. Filing requirements are limited primarily to memorandum and articles of association, name of registered agent and address of registered office.

Q11

Are LLC’s incorporated in Belize?

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Yes, Belize now offers the establishment of LLCs as another vehicle for international finance. ICS can assist you in setting up your Belize LLC. Visit our Order Now page to get started.

Q12

Can anyone get information on my IBC?

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No. The only information filed at the IBC Registry is the Memorandum and Articles of Association and Certificate of Incorporation. Searches on IBCs may be conducted by a licensed Belize Registered Agent and search results only provide the name of the company, registration number, date of incorporation, name and address of registered agent and authorized share capital.

Q13

If I have an IBC in another country, can I have it registered in Belize?

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Yes. This procedure is called “Continuation”, or “Re-domiciliation”. The IBC Act provides for companies incorporated in a jurisdiction outside of Belize to be continued in Belize, as long as it satisfies the requirements prescribed for a Belize IBC.

Q14

Does the authorized capital need to be paid-up?

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There is no requirement in Belize for the authorized capital to be paid-up.

Q15

Am I required to keep financial records on my IBC?

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Yes. The Accounting Records (Maintenance) Act now requires all Belize entities to keep financial records. These may be kept at an address within our outside of Belize and the address it is kept must be recorded with the Belize Registered Agent of the company.

Q16

What are the advantages of using an IBC?

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The main advantages are: (a) zero or absolute minimum taxation on profits and capital gains; (b) confidentiality, due to no sensitive personal information registered on public file; (c) protection, due to confidentiality provisions enshrined in the law and regulations; (d) corporate flexibility: no paid-up capital, no requirement to declare operational objects, minimum requirements on directors and shareholders, speedy incorporation, and so on; (e) simplicity of management – shareholders` meetings can be held anywhere, and also by electronic means, the corporate decision making process is extremely flexible; (f) minimum reporting – no audit, no tax reporting, no financial information on public file; (g) strong asset protection provisions incorporated within the respective laws.

Q17

May I be the only shareholder and also serve as director of my IBC?

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Yes, you can act as both Shareholder and Director for you IBC.

Q18

May I have another company holding shares in my offshore company?

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Yes, other companies can hold shares in a Belize company, but as the Registered Agent, we will require certified copies of all corporate documents as evidence of existence and good standing as well as evidence of the Directors and owners of that company.

Q19

What are the annual renewal fees?

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Annual renewal fees include the Government license fee and the Registered Agent and Office fees.
When are the annual renewal fees due?
Each Belize IBC is due for renewal at the beginning of each year and has until the end of July to settle renewal fees before penalties are levied.

Q20

What happens if I don’t pay the annual IBC renewal fees?

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If the annual renewal fees for an IBC are not settled within the year it is due, the company is struck off the register at the IBC registry and should not legally conduct any business. This struck off status is published in the Government Gazette for public notification. If the renewal fees are still not paid three years after the company is struck off, the Registry automatically dissolves the company. At any point within the struck off period, the company may restore its name to the register by settling all due and outstanding fees.