In order to meet the standards of the increasingly regulated environment as well as the OECD requirements, Belize has adopted changes in its International Business Companies Act.
The amendments are highlighted below:
• Abolition of bearer shares
Bearer shares are now prohibited. Companies with bearer shares must convert them to registered shares by July 2018, otherwise the shares will be considered void. Non- fulfillment of this requirement will result to a penalty of US$5,000 per day.
• Register of beneficial owners
The register of current beneficial owners must be kept at the registered office of the company. No historical information is required to be disclosed. It is important to note that this register will only be kept at the registered office and there is no requirement to be filed at the Companies Registry. Companies that do not comply with this new legislation will be imposed with a penalty of US$500 per day.
• Register of directors
All companies are required to produce a register of directors which shall be maintained at the registered office of the Company. Already registered Companies have up to July 2018 to file the Register of Directors. Failing to do so will result to a penalty of US$25 per day.
Belize companies have the option to pay taxes and obtain Tax Identification Number.
• Reinstatement of companies
Companies can now be reinstated within 5 years from the strike off date. Following the 5 years period the company has to apply to court.