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International Business Companies
Reyes Retreage LLP's international financial services portfolio is handled by its sister company, LOYAL OFFSHORE LIMITED. You can obtain further information and forms at www.loyaloffshore.com.
The International Business Companies Act, Chapter 270, Laws of Belize provides for the formation of international business companies (a.k.a. IBCs or offshore companies) which are limited liability corporate entities. Under Belize law, an IBC can be formed to carry on any object or business not prohibited by law. The versatility of IBCs essentially extinguishes the sometimes impeding ultra vires principle. There are no legal restrictions on foreign persons or entities being shareholders and/or directors of IBCs. Some of the more salient benefits of forming an IBC are as follows:
- Cost efficient
- Shareholding confidentiality
- Exemption from local taxes where activities are carried on outside Belize
- Exemption from exchange control regulations where activities are carried on outside Belize
- Dividends paid to shareholders are exempt of tax
- No registration requirements for issuance or transfer of shareholding
- Formation with share capital in any foreign currency
- Single or multiple shareholders and/or directors
- Ability to hold board meetings abroad
It is to be noted that foreign companies may be converted into IBCs provided they meet the requirements and the relevant paperwork is filed. IBCs can be formed within one business day of receiving the completed application form together with the requisite documents. We also offer a large range of other ancillary services relating to the status and operation of IBCs.
Belize's Trust Act, Chapter 202, Laws of Belize is regarded as one of the most modern pieces of trust legislation worldwide as it codifies into one body of law, much of the English common law trust principles. Under this Act any property can be held on trust and a settlor may also be a beneficiary and protector of the trust. The Belize trust is an excellent asset protection mechanism and this is illustrated at section 7(6) of the Act where it states:
Where a trust is created under the law of Belize, the Court shall not vary it or set it aside or recognise the validity of any claim against the trust property pursuant to the law of another jurisdiction or the order of a court of another jurisdiction in respect to -
- the personal and proprietary consequences of marriage or the termination of marriage;
- succession rights (whether testate or intestate) including the fixed shares of spouses or relatives; or
- the claims of creditors in an insolvency.
Furthermore, Belize legislation concerning the reciprocal enforcement of judgments does not apply to a Belize trust therefore any party wishing to initiate a claim against trust assets must commence fresh legal proceedings in Belize.
Belize trusts also enjoy a great deal of confidentiality as there is no requirement for the trust instrument to be registered and in any event the Trust Register is not open for public inspection except with the authorization of the Trustee. The trust, as an offshore staple, has been tried, tested and proven.
International Financial Services
As a compliment to the growing international financial services industry, Belize passed the International Financial Services Commission Act, Chapter 272, Laws of Belize. This Act created the International Financial Services Commission ("IFSC") which is charged with: (1) the promotion and growth of the international financial services industry; (2) oversight and regulation of IFS providers and (3) providing advice and consultations to the Government on the regulation of the IFS industry. The Act also provides for the following list of international financial services:
- Formation or management of international business companies or other offshore companies
- Trust formation and management of offshore trusts and provision of trustee services
- International asset protection and management
- Money transmission services
- Payment processing services
- Trading in foreign exchange
- Trading in financial and commodity-based derivative instruments and other securities (e.g. futures, options, interest rates, foreign exchange instruments, shares, stock, contracts for differences, etc.)
- Money brokering
- Money lending and pawning
- Money exchange
- Safe custody services
- Accounting services
- Brokerage, consultancy or advisory services in any of the above services
A party wishing to carry on any of the above activities must obtain a license from the IFSC. The Act stipulates that all applications for a license must be routed through an attorney at law or an IFSC licensee. The application entails filing prescribed biographical affidavits for all directors, shareholders and officers as well as payment of an annual license fee. Also, the requisite paid up capital must be deposited with a local financial institution.
Qualified Retired Persons Program
Belize offers a very attractive retirement package to foreigners via its Retired Persons (Incentives) Act, Chapter 62, Laws of Belize. Under this program, a foreigner 45 years of age or older (as well as his/her dependants) can retire in Belize without the need for any permit or residency status. All persons who have been designated a Qualified Retiree shall be entitled to import his or her household and personal effects; and approved means of transportation such as motor vehicle, light aircraft and personal boat free of all import duties and taxes.
A Qualified Retiree shall be exempt from the payment of all taxes and levies on all income or receipts, which accrue to him or her from a source outside of Belize. Also a Qualified Retiree shall be entitled to own an international business company, establish an international trust and maintain an offshore bank account.
In order to qualify for this program the applicant must submit the application along with the requisite documentation together with proof that the applicant is in receipt of at least US$2,000.00 per month. Contact us for further details and literature on this program.
- Limited Liabilty Companies
- International Foundations
- Offshore Bank Accounts
- Limited Liability Partnerships
- Foreign Currency Escrow Services