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Doing business in Belize : Guide

Staff Reporter | 11:42 PM |

Formal registration of companies has many immediate benefits for the companies and for business owners and employees. Legal entities can outlive their founders. Resources are pooled as several shareholders join forces to start a company. Formally registered companies have access to services and institutions from courts to banks as well as to new markets. And their employees can benefit from protections provided by the law. An additional benefit comes with limited liability companies. These limit the financial liability of company owners to their investments, so personal assets of the owners are not put at risk. Where governments make registration easy, more entrepreneurs start businesses in the formal sector, creating more good jobs and generating more revenue for the government.

Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Belize. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with up to 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected from World Bank: Doing Business 
No.ProcedureTime to CompleteAssociated Costs
1Conduct a name search at the Companies’ Registry1 dayno charge
2Register company statutes and memorandum and articles of association at the Companies’ Registry2 daysBZD 500 for the certificate of incorporation + BZD 10 filing fee, BZD 50 registration fee + BZD 12 (x 2) for registering the statutes and memorandum + BZD 13 to register the directors to act on behalf of the company
3Submit application to City Council for a trade license1 dayno charge
4Receive inspection from City Council inspector20 daysno charge
* 5Pay for the trade license at the City Council1 day (simultaneous with procedure 4)25% of the annual rental value of the business premises
6Make a company seal2 daysBZD 50-200
7Register the company for business tax at the income tax department10 daysBZD 150
* 8Register the company for general sales tax (GST) at the GST office2-3 weeks (simultaneous with procedure 7)no charge
* 9Register the employees with the Social Security Board2 days (simultaneous with procedure 7)no charge
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.