International Business in Belize

International Business Climate

Belize is a new tax haven with investor-friendly advantages. In its continued effort to encourage investment, the Belize Government has enacted laws to allow for the incorporation and operation of International Business Companies (IBCs) and Public Investment Companies under the IBC Act of 1990, the Fiscal Incentives Act, the Export Processing Zone Act, and the Commercial Free Zone Act. One major benefit for IBCs is complete exemption from some provisions of the Income Tax Act.

Tax Exemptions include:

  • All income of an IBC
  • All dividends of other distributions paid by an IBC to persons residing in Belize or elsewhere
  • All interest, rents, royalties, compensations and other amounts paid by an IBC to persons who are not residents in Belize
  • Capital gains realized with respect to any shares, debt obligations, or other securities of an IBC by persons who are not resident in Belize

Under the Fiscal Incentives Act, a minimum investment of $125,000 must be made to qualify for a development concession. Concessions are evaluated based on the investment's contribution to the Belizean economy and its appropriateness in terms of the government's development plan.

Investment incentives include:

  • Tax holiday periods for up to 25 years
  • Exemption from import duties on capital equipment as well as on imports for export production
  • Guaranteed repatriation of initial investment as well as profits and returns from capital gains
  • Carrying forward of net losses incurred during the tax holiday is permitted upon expiration of the holiday  

The length and extent of a development concession is determined by several factors, including:

  • The extent of local value added
  • The projected profitability of the enterprise
  • Foreign exchange earnings or savings
  • Employment opportunities created
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