Belize offshore jurisdiction

Offshore industry and financial services description.

BELIZE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS COMPANIES ACT
CHAPTER 270

PART XIII

General

131.-(1) The Minister shall appoint a person to be Registrar of International Business Companies.

(2)The Registrar may, with the approval of the Minister, appoint one or more persons to be Deputy Registrar of International Business Companies.

(3)The Minister may make regulations with respect to the duties to be performed by the Registrar under this Act and in so doing may prescribe the place or places where the office for the registration of International Business Companies is located.

132.-(1) A company incorporated under this Act may elect to submit for registration by the Registrar certified copies of any of the following registers:-

(a) its share register;

(b)   its register of directors; or

(c)   its register of mortgages and charges.

(2)A company that has elected to submit for registration a copy of a register shall, until it otherwise notifies the Registrar pursuant to subsection (3), submit for registration any changes in a register by submitting for registration a copy of the register containing the changes.

(3) A company that submits for registration a copy of a register with the Registrar may elect to cease registration of changes in the register by so informing the Registrar in writing.

(4) If a company elects to submit for registration any register pursuant to subsection (1), then, until such time as the company informs the Registrar pursuant to subsection (3) that it elects to cease to register changes in any register, the company is bound by the contents of each copy register submitted to the Registrar, which shall be prima facie evidence of its contents.

133. A company incorporated under this Act may submit to the Registrar for registration-(a) any document or copy of a document creating a mortgage, charge or other encumbrance over some or all of its assets;

(b) any document or copy of a document amending any document referred to in paragraph (a); and

(c) any document releasing or discharging a mortgage, charge or other encumbrance over any or all of its assets,

and the Registrar shall retain and register the document or, as the case may be, the copy thereof.

134.-(1) This section applies only to companies to which Part IX applies, and a company incorporated under this Act shall be deemed to be not resident in Belize for the purposes of the Exchange Control Regulations 1976.

(2) The expression “body corporate” in Regulation 28 thereof shall exclude any company comprised in a PIC Group.

(3)Part III of the said Regulations shall not apply to securities issued by a company incorporated under this Act or by a company comprised in a PIC Group.

(4)For the purposes of this section, a company which becomes a company comprised in a PIC Group by reason of any transaction shall be deemed to be a company comprised in a PIC Group immediately prior to and during the course of such transaction.

135. Any certificate or other document required to be issued by the Registrar under this Act shall be in such form as the Minister may approve.

136.-(1) The Registrar shall, upon request by any person, issue a certificate of good standing under his hand and seal certifying that a company incorporated under this Act is of good standing if the Registrar is satisfied that-(a) the name of the company is on the Register; and (b) the company has paid all fees, licence fees and penalties due and payable.

(2) The certificate of good standing issued under subsection (1) must contain a statement as to whether:-(a) the company has submitted to the Registrar articles of merger or consolidation that have not yet become effective;

(b)   the company has submitted to the Registrar articles of arrangement that have not yet become effective;

(c)   the company is in the process of being wound up and dissolved; or

(d)   any proceedings to strike the name of the company off the Register have been instituted.

137.-(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of section 93, a person may:-(a) inspect the documents kept by the Registrar pursuant to this Act; and

(b) require a certificate of incorporation, merger, consolidation, arrangement, continuation, dissolution or good standing of a company incorporated under this Act, or a copy or an extract of any document or any part of a document, of which he has custody, to be certified by the Registrar; and a certificate of incorporation, merger, consolidation, arrangement, continuation, dissolution or good standing or a certified copy or extract is prima facie evidence of the matters contained therein.

(2) A document or a copy or an extract of any document or any part of a document certified by the Registrar under subsection (1) is admissible in evidence in any proceedings as if it were the original document.

138.   Any document required or desired to be filed or registered with the Registrar under any provision of this Act may be filed or registered in any language other than the English language, provided that it is accompanied by a certified English translation, and every such English translation shall be treated as the authoritative text.

139.   A company incorporated under this Act shall not be a resident of Belize for the purposes of any order made pursuant to section 50 of the Income and Business Tax Act.

140.   For the purposes of determining matters relating to title and jurisdiction but not for purposes of taxation, the situs of the ownership of shares, debt obligations or other securities of a company incorporated under this Act is in Belize.

141.-(1) A company incorporated under this Act may, without the necessity of joining any other party, apply to the court, by summons supported by an affidavit, for a declaration on any question of interpretation of this Act or of the Memorandum or Articles of the company.

(2) A person acting on a declaration made by the court as a result of an application under subsection (1) shall be deemed, in so far as regards the discharge of any fudiciary or professional duty, to have properly discharged his duties in the subject matter of the application.

142. A judge of the Supreme Court may exercise in chambers any jurisdiction that is vested in the court by this Act, and in the exercise of that jurisdiction, the judge may award costs as may be just.

143.-(1) Where a duty is imposed by this Act on any company incorporated under this Act, or on any director, secretary or officer thereof, then any such company, director, secretary or officer who commits a breach of such obligation commits an offence and shall, unless some other penalty is specifically provided, be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars, and if it is a continuing offence, to an additional fine of fifty dollars for every day such breach continues.

(2) Where at the commencement of this section1 a company incorporated under this Act other than an existing public investment company holds shares, debt obligations or other securities in a company incorporated under the Companies Act, or has any of its shares, debt obligations or other securities beneficially owned by any person or company resident in Belize, it may after such commencement continue to hold such shares, debt obligations or other securities or continue to allow its shares, debt obligations or other securities to be beneficially owned by persons or companies resident in Belize, but subject to the following conditions:-(a) it shall not acquire any more shares, debt obligations or other securities in a company incorporated under the Companies Act;

(b)   it shall not issue any further of its shares, debt obligations or other securities to any person or company resident in Belize except to a registered agent in a nominee capacity; and

(c)   it shall not enjoy any exemption from taxes or duties under section 130 of this Act.

144.-(1) The fees and penalties prescribed in this Act may from time to time be varied by the Minister by Order published in the Gazette.

(2) Any Order made under subsection (1) shall, as soon may be after the making thereof, be placed before the National Assembly and shall be subject to negative resolution.

1 This section was added by Act 14 of 1995.

145.   The Minister may make regulations for the better carrying out of the provisions of this Act and for prescribing anything that needs to be prescribed.

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30/09/2006
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10/08/2008
The 20th General Assembly of the Caribbean Organization of Tax Administrators (COTA) met in Belize for a conference held in the end of July. Belize and other 15 Caribbean countries were represented at this 4-day conference.
11/07/2008
A cheque for USD 12.5 million was presented by the Ambassador of Taiwan, His Excellency Ting Joseph Shih, to Belizean Prime Minister Barrow.
30/06/2008
In the end of June, the Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow spoke on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) at a New York conference on the Caribbean 2008 about the issues of trade and investment.
25/05/2008
The BELTRAIDE is sending a delegation to the II SICA-Brazil Business Forum that will be held in San Salvador on May 29.
17/05/2008
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left Belize for Taiwan. He will visit Taipei to attend the inauguration of a new President of Taiwan Ma Ying-jeou.
16/05/2008
The National MSME Policy will be presented to Belize's Minister for Economic Development, Commerce and Industry, and Consumer Protection, to make Belize more competitive in the Commonwealth.
13/04/2008
Prime Minister Dean Barrow paid several important international visits to Miami. He met with World Bank officials, attended the Annual Meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank, and he met with the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) officials.
12/04/2008
Moody's Investors Service said that Cayman's maintenance of its favorable government foreign currency bond rating shows the economic resilience of this offshore jurisdiction in the face of uncertainty that surrounds the US economy.

12/04/2008 According to the announcement made by the Government of Belize on April 10, two important Memoranda of Understanding have been recently signed by the jurisdiction.

28/03/2008
Prime Minister Dean Barrow returned to Belize from Washington. He met with President Bush, President of the Inter-American Development Bank Mr. Luis Alberto Moreno, and Secretary General of the Organization of American States His Excellency Jose Miguel Insulza.
06/03/2008
Belize will benefit from an additional allocation of EUR 7.8 million granted by the European Commission as apart of continued support for the improvement and modernization of the jurisdiction's sugar and banana industries from the EU.
20/02/2008
The UDP had won general election in Belize, and the Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow, has made an official announcement of a new cabinet.
07/02/2008
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service has announced the launch of Action Plan for the coming year.
28/01/2008
A new regulatory body - Belize Land Transportation Authority - has been formed with a view to improve Belize's growing transportation industry.
12/12/2007
Three Belizean organizations - the Human Services Department, the National Garifuna Council and the Museum of Belize - received funding from UNESCO.
15/11/2007
The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment of Belize and the Energy and Environment Partnership with Central America (EEP) will organize the 10th Regional Forum on Renewable Energy that will be held on November 20-22, 2007 in Belize.
14/09/2007
MoneyGram International has decided to extend its operations to Belize. To offer an affordable and convenient money transfer service to its customers, the company chose 3 agents - Belize Bank, Omni Networks and Fultec Systems.
08/08/2007
According to the announcement made by the Ministry of National Development, the European Commission Delegation in Jamaica has sent the official confirmation that a grant of Euro 11.8 million (BZ$ 32.5 million) will be given to Belize under Envelope "A" of the 10th European Development Fund.
05/08/2007
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), the main government agency, has announced that Belize's Investor Manual was launched on July 26, 2007 by the Minister of Finance, National Development and Public Service, the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Said Musa and BELTRAIDE.
16/07/2007
As far as providing accurate, efficient and trustworthy data on Belize has been one of the crucial objectives of the government of Belize, it needed to launch the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). On July 3, the launch of the Statistical Institute of Belize was announced by the Government.
03/07/2007
Belize was visited by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. On June 29, 2007, he went directly from Mexico to San Pedro with a view to attend 2 sub-regional summits.
20/06/2007
The President of the United Mexican States, H.E. Mr. Felipe Calderon Hinojosa has been invited to Belize by Prime Minister of Belize, Right Honorable Said Musa. The Mexican President is planning to visit Belize on June 29-30, 2007.
13/06/2007
The opening of the newest branch of Scotiabank in Punta Gorda to offer a full range of personal and business banking services to residents of Punta Gorda and the surrounding villages has been recently announced.
27/04/2007
Belize has signed Cooperation Agreement with Central American Court. The agreement between the Supreme Court of Belize and the Central American Court of Justice has been signed by Chief Justice of Belize, Abdulai Conteh, and the President of the Central American Court of Justice, Dr. Ricardo Acevedo Peralta.
15/03/2007
Fitch Ratings has assigned an "A'" rating to Belize Sovereign Investments III Limited Notes (BSI III). The rating assigned to BSI III notes is substantially supported by the financial strength of the insurance provider and by the default probability of the Belize's government.
02/03/2007
The closure of debt exchange has been announced in Belize. The bonds to be issued will replace 98% of Belize's commercial external debt. Under the new plan, Musa expects to save USD 301 million in debt servicing costs.
19/01/2007
Minister of Education and Labour Hon. Francis Fonseca announced at a press conference that the minimum wage for agriculture workers will increase by 25% and for shop assistants and domestics by 33%. The changes were announced on January 17 and will take effect on April 1.
29/12/2006
In the end of December, an open letter addressed to the international financial community was published by the International Monetary Fund. The IMF has welcomed the progress, which Belize authorities have made.
18/12/2006
The Belize Government has launched an offer to exchange the country's outstanding commercial indebtedness in return for new USD bonds that will be issued by Belize.
08/12/2006
The Inter-American Development Bank announced that it had approved a USD 25 million fast-disbursing loan for Belize to support its government's agenda of reforms regarding restoring macroeconomic and financial stability, improving its business climate and raising investors' confidence.
31/10/2006
Belize will take part in changing Caribbean economy as it will be represented by its Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Said Musa, at an upcoming conference in London called "Transforming the Caribbean Economy - new avenues for investment".
30/09/2006
The Government of Belize signed an Association Agreement with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration. The agreement enables Belize to be incorporated to CABEI as a non-founding Beneficiary Member.
28/09/2006
The Government of Belize admitted last week that it was close to default and will have to restructure is debt, although a deficit of GDP was reduced from 9% to 3% in just two years. The Prime Minister Said Musa denies the forthcoming devaluation.
01/12/2005
The Central Bank of Belize announced that United Exchange International Bank is not licensed to provide banking and financial business in or from within Belize.