Change of Physical Presence Requirement in Belize

In December 2018, the characteristics of an International Business Company (IBC) in Belize was substantially modified with regards to the definition of resident company and IBCs with special licenses are to comply with physical presence requirements.

On March 27th, 2019, another amendment was made to the International Business Companies Act, this time requiring all IBCs to institute mandatory physical presence, with the except of pure equity holding companies.

According to the amended laws, a pure equity holding company is defined as:
  • a holding body;
  • functioning as an acquiring or holding company for shares or equitable interests;
  • holds equity participation and earns only dividends and capital gains; and
  • does not carry on any commercial activity.

A pure equity holding company is not required to be physically present in Belize, though it is required to:
  • comply with filing requirements under the International Financial Services Commission Act, Chapter 272;
  • Income and Business Tax Act, Chapter 55 and the IBC Act;
  • have ‘adequate’ human resources and premises for holding and managing equity participations in other entities in the jurisdiction where such equity is held. Adequacy has not been defined and is to be determined on a case by case basis.
  • Comply with any other requirement set by the International Financial Services Commission.

The physical presence and managing agent regulations are in its final drafting stage and we will provide further information once they have been enacted.

For further information, please feel free to contact Anju Gidwani, Director of the Belize Office ( / +501 223 1037

Zetland Tax