If you are hoping to start a company in Belize, you'll have several classification options. However, one of the most popular is the IBC, or International Business Company. Starting an IBC offers a number of benefits, but there are also some limitations. These are the five things you should know before you start your own IBC in Belize.
1. An IBC Can't Conduct Business Within Belize
One of the key things to be aware of when starting an IBC in Belize is that the company itself will be prohibited from doing business with residents of the country.
That is to say, you can't start a local coffee shop in Belize City and hope that it will become an IBC, nor can you establish a commercial real estate business or lease property within the country.
However, you can headquarter your international business, taking advantage of the benefits that Belize offers to foreign business owners who are conducting their operations across the globe.
2. An IBC Isn't Subject to Tax
Arguably the biggest reason that establishing an IBC is so appealing has to do with the tax benefits of this particular type of company. In Belize, an IBC won't be subject to any social security taxes, income taxes, capital gains taxes, withholding taxes or even stamp and duty taxes.
In fact, an IBC doesn't even need to apply for a business license. These significant tax savings can make moving a business to Belize a savvy move.
3. IBC Ownership is Determined by Stock Share Certificates
Ownership of an IBC is very different from other companies, such as an LLC. IBC ownership is clearly determined by stock share certificates. Each stock share is worth a very specific amount of money as well as a specific percentage of the company.
If you want to limit ownership, you could retain 90 percent of the stock shares and dole out the remainder to partial investors. This ensures that ownership is very straightforward and there is no confusion regarding who owns how much of the venture at any given time.
4. IBC Financial Record Disclosure Isn't Required
Another tremendous benefit of establishing an IBC in Belize is that the disclosure of financial records isn't a requirement.
An IBC can keep their records anywhere across the globe, not necessarily in Belize, and they can opt not to have annual general meetings if they aren't convenient.
They can also keep their financial records private, if desired, and secure the financial privacy and anonymity of both their holdings and their business activity over the course of each year.
5. Licensed Agents Can be the Key to a Successful IBC
Before you dive into the process of establishing an IBC, consider the benefits of licensed agents who can guide you through the process.
Agents at Georgetown Trust, for instance, can serve as licensed agents to form an IBC in Belize, serve as the nominee officers for the IBC and handle any related financial matters such as starting a bank account for the IBC.