How to Open a Corporate Bank Account in Belize?

If you are a foreign investor wishing to open a corporate bank account in Belize, you are in luck, because the process is relatively simple. Some of the major banks in the small Central American country offer their clients the possibility of opening a corporate bank account online or over the phone.

Opening a bank account in Belize has several advantages for businesses, including tax exemption, thanks to the country’s banking confidentiality laws. This process is also necessary when looking to form a company in Belize. Foreigners should know which type of bank account best suits their needs, as they are divided into two categories: Class A and Class B.

Advantages of Doing Business in Belize for Investors

The ongoing expansion of multiple investment opportunities is key to Central America, particularly Belize. There is no doubt English being readily spoken in many nations, particularly in Belize, makes it much easier for investors in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia to conduct business. The lack of a language barrier is sometimes the main factor that attracts people to our area rather than looking elsewhere.

It’s far from just the convenience of being able to make business deals without the need for an interpreter. The physical proximity of Belize and the rest of Central America to the United States means investors can visit with greater ease. The ability to see the construction you’ve invested in up close and personal means a great deal. The same is true for being able to tour farms or check out the resort hotel that’s the result of investing efforts can also be rewarding.

There’s no doubt that real estate, commercial and residential opportunities, is one of the most prominent investments throughout the region. Growth in popular tourism locations means the need for adjacent resorts and hotels. It also means commercial enterprises for shopping and dining. Increased labor for the development also means more demand for residential properties.

Energy and agriculture are historically lucrative investments in Belize and other parts of Central America. This is not projected to change over the next several decades. Actually, the development of alternative energy has never been more robust. In terms of agriculture, trade agreements with other parts of the world are likely to keep the demand for production in Central America high for a long time.

Investment opportunities Belize?

The tourist trade continues to be a significant player in the economies of Belize and several other nations in Central America. While well established, the ongoing expansion means opportunities to enter into different land development projects. It also means an increased potential to establish companies that provide goods and services to people vacationing anywhere in the region.

Belize is well-suited for those seeking to identify and secure investments throughout Central America and the Caribbean. Banking regulations that provide security to investors, coupled with services and support offered by financial institutions, make adding an international component to a portfolio less of a risk while increasing the odds for higher returns.

Infrastructure is also an excellent investment in Belize and other Central American countries. A lot is happening, from communication options such as enhanced internet speeds to improved roadways. Investment in these areas of improvement is likely to lead to significant returns.

Choosing the Right Class of Corporate Bank Account in Belize:

Foreign nationals have to know which kind of bank account best fits their needs, as they are broken up into two categories: A Class and B Class.

  • A-Class – An unrestricted license that requires the account holder to establish, maintain and operate a business in Belize. This account can be part of a larger franchise or as an independent company. Regarding opening a corporate bank account in Belize, this type of account makes the most sense for those who plan to domicile in the country. 
  • B-Class – A restricted-license account with similar requirements and applications as the A-Class license, but limited to specific offshore banking activities as stated in the license. B Class bank accounts are tailor-made for companies that wish to take advantage of Belize’s favorable tax laws and a culture of privacy and confidentiality in the banking sector. 
Learn about the region's economy and the most relevant aspects of how to open a corporate bank account in Belize
Learn about the region’s economy and the most relevant aspects of how to open a corporate bank account in Belize

What documents do I need to open a corporate bank account in Belize?

In order to open a corporate account in Belize, foreign investors will need to present the following documents:

  • A notarized copy of your passport.
  • Filled-out and signed application form.
  • Proof of address or residency.
  • Copy of a utility bill.
  • 2 references.
  • A notarized certificate of incorporation.
  • Certificate of shareholders.
  • A notarized memorandum of association.
  • A letter of undertaking.

For those who wish to open a corporate bank account in Belize, it’s important to remember that the above is a general list of what banks may ask of new account holders. Some banks may require additional documentation, such as social security numbers (or the equivalent in your home country) company licenses, driver’s licenses, etc.

5 advantages of opening a corporate bank account in Belize have over other offshore jurisdictions

Here are 5 advantages that you have for opening a corporate bank account in Beliz:

  1. Tax-free or low-tax structure in place.
  2. A streamlined business registration process.
  3. Foreign investors can purchase real estate and own property.
  4. Privacy protection in banking and company membership.
  5. No need to domicile if you want to store offshore assets in the country.

1. Tax-free or low-tax structure in place

The tax regime is ideal for foreign investors who want to store assets and make international financial transactions from this offshore destination. Firms that open a corporate bank account in Belize are exempt from paying any taxes on financial transactions. There’s also no capital gains tax on earnings.

2. A streamlined business incorporation process

While business regulators in Belize are thorough, they don’t tend to put up obstacles to registering a business in the country, and unlike the rest of Latin America, they are not in love with bureaucracy. Once you open a corporate bank account in Belize, full incorporation of a business can be completed in two weeks.

3. Foreigners can purchase real estate and own property

Aside from the absence of taxes on capital gains and international business transactions, foreign investors can also enjoy tax-free property purchases. For those who open bank accounts in Belize, there are no estate taxes. What’s more, there are no restrictions against foreigners owning real estate or land in the country. 

4. Privacy protection in banking and company membership

Unlike other offshore jurisdictions that are subject to high levels of scrutiny, Belize has stringent laws protecting personal and business privacy. For example, board members and business partners are not required to disclose their identity if they are unwilling to do so. Specifically, for those who open corporate bank accounts in Belize, higher scrutiny is given to business funds that authorities suspect is from the proceeds of crime.

5. No need to domicile if you want to store offshore assets in the country

As mentioned above, the country is an attractive destination for international businesses that wish to keep much of their financial assets abroad in order to avoid funds being taxed in their home countries. Firms that open corporate bank accounts in Belize for offshore banking activity are not required to open a physical office inside the country. But it isn’t totally free – the annual banking license fees for offshore companies is $15,000 USD, with at least $1 million USD kept in the account. 

A Biz Latin Hub's map of Central America and Belize, a country where you might want to open a corporate bank account
Open a corporate bank account in Belize: A map of Central America and Belize, a country where you might want to open a corporate bank account.

Biz Latin Hub can help you with doing business in Belize

At Biz Latin Hub, we provide integrated market entry and back-office services throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, with offices in Bogota and Cartagena, as well as over a dozen other major cities in the region. We also have trusted partners in many other markets.

Our unrivalled reach means we are ideally placed to support multi-jurisdiction market entries and cross border operations.

As well as knowledge about opening a corporate bank account in Belize, our portfolio of services includes hiring & PEO accounting & taxation, company formation, bank account opening, and corporate legal services.

Contact us today to find out more about how we can assist you finding top talent or otherwise doing business in Latin America and the Caribbean.
If this article about opening a corporate bank account in Belize was of interest to you, check out the rest of our coverage of the region. Or read about our team and expert authors.

how can we help you opening a corporate bank account in latin america? a biz latin hub infographic.
How can we help your company open a corporate bank account in Belize

The information provided here within should not be construed as formal guidance or advice. Please consult a professional for your specific situation. Information provided is for informative purposes only and may not capture all pertinent laws, standards, and best practices. The regulatory landscape is continually evolving; information mentioned may be outdated and/or could undergo changes. The interpretations presented are not official. Some sections are based on the interpretations or views of relevant authorities, but we cannot ensure that these perspectives will be supported in all professional settings.
Craig Dempsey

Craig Dempsey

Craig is a seasoned business professional in Latin America. He is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of the Biz Latin Hub Group that specializes in the provision market entry and back office services. Craig holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering, with honors and a Master's Degree in Project Management from the University of New South Wales. Craig is also an active board member on the Australian Colombian Business Council, and likewise also active with the Australian Latin American Business Council.

Craig is also a military veteran, having served in the Australian military on numerous overseas missions and also a former mining executive with experience in various overseas jurisdictions, including, Canada, Australia, Peru and Colombia.

Receive the latest news and advice about expanding your business globally
Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest business news and advice about entity formation, legal entity compliance, accounting, back office and fiscal requirements. Receive the latest news and advice about expanding your business globally.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.