SPECIAL LICENSE COMPANIES
BUSINESS ACTIVITIES REQUIRING SPECIAL LICENSE
According to Belize legislation various activities, especially different kinds of financial services, can be carried out by a company registered in Belize only if the company has obtained a Special License.
International Financial Services Commission (Licensing) Regulations 2007 list these activities for whose performance the Special License is required:
- Trading in Foreign Exchange (Forex, FX)
- Trading in financial commodity-based derivative instruments and other securities (futures, options, interest rates, shares, stock, contracts for differences etc.)
- Money transmission services
- Payment processing services
- Money brokering
- Money lending and pawning
- Money exchange
- Brokerage, consultancy and advisory services in any financial services
- Accounting services
- Safe custody services
- International asset protection and management
BENEFITS FOR REGISTERING FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANY IN BELIZE
- Tax exemption. There is no tax payable on any income or capital gains of a company incorporated in Belize as well as on all the payments that such company makes to persons who are not residents in Belize, like, dividends, interests, royalties, compensations or any other distributions. There is also no stamp duty payable on any transfer of property, any transaction regarding shares or other securities of the company or any other instruments or activities of the company.
IMPORTANT: all individuals should nevertheless be aware that receiving dividends or any other personal income from an offshore company may still be subject to tax in the country of their residence or citizenship. Therefore, a proper tax advice from a qualified tax specialist of the country of residence or citizenship of the individual should be obtained.
- Advantages over competitors. Previously described point of tax exemption gives the company registered in Belize various advantages comparing with competitor companies registered in high-tax jurisdictions:
- Faster growing: the company can reinvest all the money that it would pay in tax in a high-tax jurisdiction and this way it can grow faster;
- Competitiveness: not paying any taxes, the company will have lower expenses, this way it can reduce the prices of the products or services that it offers making them more affordable and gaining more customers.
- Simple licensing requirements. Although obtaining a Special License is not as simple and straightforward process as registering a regular IBC, it is much faster, simpler and requires less paperwork than obtaining licenses in most high-tax jurisdictions. There are only few requirements that the company willing to carry out financial services will have to comply with, especially the requirement of minimum paid-up capital and proper qualifications of the managing team of the company.
- Low level of regulations and simple documentary requirements are important not only at the moment of licensing, but also further on during the operation of the company. They permit high level of flexibility and faster operation. Furthermore, there is also no obligation of financial reporting which allows the company to avoid complicated and expensive accountancy organization. All financial information is to be kept as detailed as the owner of the company considers necessary and that is sufficient to determine the current financial situation of the company at any moment. The only exception is the obligation to keep the minimum capital paid and unimpaired at all times.
- Reliability of your company. Being licensed and under Government control has several great benefits especially regarding customer attraction. Licensed companies are always seen as more reliable and serious than no-licensed underground firms. Only serious business providers are willing and capable of going through the time and money-consuming licensing procedure and fulfil the capitalization requirements. While “being under Government control” in the case of company licensed in Belize does not mean strict Government supervision and financial control, the company is still licensed, complies with certain basic regulations and therefore is more reliable and capable to attract greater number of serious clients and investors than no-licensed company.
REQUIREMENTS TO APPLY FOR SPECIAL LICENSE
REQUIREMENTS OF PERSONAL CREDENTIALS
Any Belize-registered IBC can apply for the Special License to carry on above mentioned services. However, it is very important that the management team of the applicant company (directors, shareholders and other officers of the company) have proper knowledge and expertise in the business that the company is planning to carry on. This will be one of the main points that IFSC will evaluate when deciding whether to grant the license to the applicant or not. The applicant will have to prepare a detailed biographical Affidavit about each person involved in the company management giving details about their education, previous working experience and any other qualifications that may be relevant.
The IFSC Licensing Regulations also state specific capital requirements that the company will have to comply with. Each business activity mentioned above has its own requirements of minimum paid-up capital which range from USD 25,000 for accounting and asset protection services to USD 500,000 for trading in Foreign Exchange (Forex) and other financial instruments like derivatives, futures, options, shares, stocks etc. The capital will have to be deposited in a bank in Belize and maintained unimpaired at all times during the operation of the company.
The minimum paid-up capital requirements for the other financial services are as follows:
- Trading in Foreign Exchange (Forex, FX) and other financial instruments (futures, options, interest rates, shares, stock, contracts for differences etc.) – USD 500,000
- Money transmission, payment processing, money brokering, money lending and pawning, money exchange services – USD 75,000
- Safe custody, brokerage, consultancy and advisory services – USD 50,000
- Accounting services, international asset protection and management – USD 25,000
If you are considering starting a Forex trading, payment processing or any other financial service company, you will have to go through two steps:
- Company registration. This is a simple and straightforward procedure. However, several things will have to be kept in mind: elaboration of special Memorandum and Articles, special Government registration fee taking into account the minimum required capital, minimum of one director resident in Belize, mandatory bank account opening in Belize and some others. Other optional additional services, like nominee shareholders, business address and document administration etc. are available at your choice.
- Application for the license. In this step the applicant will have to complete and submit to the International Financial Services Commission the application of the company for the license together with the additional documents such as a business plan, financial projections, biographical affidavit and KYC documents for each person involved in the management of the special license company, evidence of capital, Anti-Money laundering procedures description and any other documents and information that the IFSC may request.
If you are seriously interested to start up a company for trading in Forex, derivatives, money processing or other financial services, Fidelity can help you to make it possible.
We will provide continuous assistance throughout the whole process of company registration and application for the license. We as Registered Agent will incorporate your company, prepare all the corporate documents for it and provide all the services necessary for your IBC. We will also provide you with the local presence in Belize (Belize business address, local director etc.).
When the company is incorporated, we will guide you through the application process to the IFSC for obtaining the Special License. We will give you preliminary evaluation, before we proceed to submit your application for the Commission.
Nevertheless, please note that the potential success of the licensing mainly depends on the character, professional experience and business background of the applicant. Considerable amount of work will have to be done by yourself (filling the forms, preparing necessary documents, elaborating the Business plan etc.). You will also be required to present the credentials of yourself and your team (directors, shareholders and officers of your company).
FEESThe total estimated cost for opening financial services company, including all the Government fees and the professional fees, ranges from USD 15,000 to USD 36,000. In particular cases the total cost may be higher depending on the financial services that the company is planning to provide and the optional additional services that the company is going to need.
For more details on fees or other information regarding Special License company formation in Belize, please, contact us.