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Belize Foundations

The key to Establishing Businesses in Belize

Key Features

  • Completely tax-tree – no income tax, stamp duty, estate taxes, capital gains or withholding tax.
  • The foundation council is responsible for the administration of the assets in the foundation. The powers and obligations of the council are set out in the foundation charter. Neither the foundation council nor its members have a personal ownership or title to the endowment.
  • Having only one member is permitted (if only one, it must be Belize member). The member can be a corporate entity.
  • The founder may be a beneficiary.
  • A protector may be appointed to oversee the activity of the foundation council. (The protector may not be a beneficiary or a council member)
  • Documents and information kept at the registry can only be disclosed to the registered agent or by the council members (or by their authority in writing)
  • No foreign exchange control.
  • The foundation is a legal entity with separate rights and liabilities distinct from its members and managers.
  • No statutory accounting or auditing records need to be filed in Belize. Although accounting records are to be kept by the foundation.
  • Members are not personally liable for the debts, obligations or liabilities of the foundation.
  • Only judgments delivered by a court in Belize are enforceable against a foundation.
  • Members can fully participate in the management of the foundation
  • Minimal Restrictions

  • Succession and Estate Planning
  • Charitable purposes
  • Hold bank accounts, fixed deposits, investment plans and any other financial or commercial title.
  • As a vehicle to set up pension schemes
  • Hold shares of other companies or legal entities.
  • Own of real estate and any other movable or immovable property or goods.
  • Own intellectual property.
  • Other commercial and financial activities.
  • The founder cannot be a resident of Belize
  • None of the Beneficiaries of the foundation can be a resident in Belize
  • The foundation endowment does not include any land situated in Belize or the shares of any company beneficially owning any land situated in Belize other than property used for office/administration of the foundation or where books /records of the foundations are prepared or maintained.
  • International Foundations Act, 2010
  • Accounting Records (Maintenance) Act

Compliance

Know Your Client – for any founder and council member (and beneficiaries as applicable)

  • Valid photo-bearing identification, with unique identifier, (e.g. passport, social security card or driver’s license along with a passport or social security card).
  • An address, evidenced by a recent utility bill;
  • Contact details, e.g. telephone number, fax number, email
  • Signature evidence
  • Purpose and nature of business activity
  • The original or a certified copy of the Certificate of Incorporation; Memorandum and Articles of Association, copies of registers of directors, officers and shareholders, including their addresses
  • Mailing address
  • Contact telephone and fax numbers
  • Certificate of Good Standing
  • For every individual being a director, officer and/or shareholder (and authorized agent), the customer information as listed under Natural Persons above.

Belize foundations are not required to file an annual return. However, it is a requirement that the foundation keep reliable accounting records with reasonable accuracy. The foundation is to provide its registered agent with a written record of the physical address of the place(s) where the accounting records are kept and notify the registered agent of any change thereto within fourteen (14) days. The accounting documents and records shall be retained for 5 years and readily made available to the registered agent on request.

  • A current list of the full name and last known business, residence or mailing address of each member and manager;
  • A copy of the initial articles of organization and all amendments thereto;
  • Copies of all operating agreements (if any) and all amendments thereto, including any prior operating agreements no longer in effect;
  • Copies of any agreements relating to capital contributions;
  • Copies of all membership certificates issued, if any (but membership certificates shall not be required);
  • An impression of the limited liability company seal, if any (but a limited liability company shall not be required to obtain a seal); and
  • Such other documents required by any law in Belize to be kept by the registered agent.

The adoption of an official seal is required. An impression of the seal must be kept at the registered office.