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Foundations in Belize


A foundation created in Belize is a separated legal entity. Private foundations in Belize may carry out businesses, may commercialize, purchase and sell properties, sue and be sued, enter into contracts, open bank accounts and keep assets in their own name.


The law of Foundations of Belize, enacted in 2010, sets forth the principles of offshore foundations in Belize. Such principles of offshore foundations in Belize are similar to the legislation of other private interest foundations from other jurisdictions. Under this law, a person or company may create an offshore foundation either for charitable purposes, without charitable purposes, for ordinary purposes or without a defined purpose.


Foundations in Belize may be set up by one or more persons or by a company with one member of the board. The process of creating or incorporating a foundation in Belize may take one week.


Advantages of the Foundation in Belize


• Foundations in Belize may be used with or without charitable purposes, with specific aims or without any defined purpose.

• When a foundation is used mainly not for charitable purposes, but a part of the foundation is used for a charitable purpose, it is considered to be a charitable foundation (without limits, no matter the amount). This is advantageous if the foundation is operating in a jurisdiction that offers refunds for taxes, credits or discounts to charitable foundations.

• Belize foundations may not be annulled or repealed (by resolutions of other jurisdictions) and they are not liable from foreign trials.

• Proceess and other issues derived from confrontation implying the participation in the foundation may be resolved through arbitration (may be resolved outside the courts).

• Belize foundations may exist in perpetuity without limits to the duration of the foundation.

• They are exempted from all taxes as long as the founder and the beneficiaries are not resident and the property and interests are not located in Belize.

• They have the same consideration as companies and usually they are known as corporative entities.

• Assets given as royalties to a Belize foundation constitute personal assets independently of the founder.

• They may carry out any civil or commercial transaction, except for activities that are not authorized in Belize or any business of financial services (unless the required license has been obtained).

• They may be dissolved on advice of the foundation if such powers have been authorized.

• They have no excessive service costs.

• You do not have to be in Belize in order to register your Foundation.


Uses of Foundations in Belize


A Foundation in Belize may be used:

• For protection of assets or planning of a succession with familiar or commercial purposes;

• As a Holding entity (business foundations);

• To have more confidentiality and discretion

• To be able to legally separate assets from personal possessions.

• For philanthropic reasons to the benefit of social groups and for charitable purposes

• To have professional contact with local suppliers of offshore services, lawyers, accountants, investment advisors, etc.

• To have meetings in Belize.


Characteristics of the Foundation in Belize


The foundational minute is the official document of the foundation in Belize. This document has all the pertinent details of the foundation, such as its name, purpose, the value of the initial property (it may not be lower than US$10,000.00) of the foundation, the name and address of the registered agent, the names and addresses of the main parties: members, beneficiaries. This letter must be submitted in English language or in any other language with a certified translation in English. The information of this letter is private and only some parts of this document are transcribed and kept in the registry.


The Belize foundation may have a series of private norms or instructions denominated by-laws to manage the administration of the foundation, the distribution of assets, the beneficiaries and other guidelines and policies. The Statutes are not revealed in the registration and are only available for members of the Board of the Foundation.


Foundations in Belize must have a Board, with at least one member (who may be either an individual or a legal person) with the responsibility of implementing the objectives and purposes of the foundation. A Foundation Offshore of Belize may not: Make commercial or business transactions with residents of Belize, have business interests in goods or real estate located in Belize, nor it may carry out its activity in the banking or insurance sectors, unless it possesses the respective license.


Requisites for an Offshore Foundation in Belize:


A Belize offshore foundation may be declared by one or more persons, either natural or legal.

At all times the foundation must:

• Have a registered agent in Belize.

• Have a resident secretary (who will appoint the resident agent to act as a secretary).

• Have a board of the foundation with one or more persons, either natural or legal.

• Keep a register of the Board members, the guardian, the secretary, the beneficiaries, and the auditor (if necessary) which will be in the custody of the secretary or registered agent.