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Want to start a business in Belize? We provide an easy to follow guide on essential requirements, tax code, banking, acquiring real estate and other useful information for the prospective entrepreneur.
The World Bank places Belize at number 152 in the ranking of 183 economies on the ease of starting a business index.
This is not very encouraging when you consider that the country is in the dubious company of Suriname, Guyana and Haiti.
But Belize is making efforts to clean up its act and make for a more attractive business environment – and it faces serious challenges.
Poverty, government corruption and inefficiency bog down an antiquated and cumbersome business regulatory apparatus and that can turn away even a determined investor.
For the bold however, doing business in Belize can be rewarding as the country has many unexplored opportunities.
Government trade promotion groups such as BELTRAIDE are doing reasonably well at providing information and hand holding for new investors, and trying to streamline the start up of new business ventures.
The prospective investor should be aware that Belize is a poor country and this is reflected in everyday life by no end of stumbling blocks that investors coming from First World countries should be aware of.
Telephone and Internet access fees for example are astronomical, electricity supply is erratic and expensive, and applying for land is a tedious process that can take years. In summary,
Belize is a very Third World country where progress shuffles forward at mañana speed. Any investor will be well advised to hire a competent accountant or attorney to help start up.
A good professional will be able to guide you through the process and help you determine the best corporate, accounting and tax structure for your new venture.
Belize a well established offshore banking jurisdiction, but businesses operating in Belize cannot ordinarily benefit from these tax free structures.
A business operating in Belize is onshore and subject to a myriad list of taxes and fees. But any business in any country can be legally structured to derive benefits from two or more jurisdictions – one or more of which can be an offshore entity.