How to Register a Sole Proprietorship in Belize
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Belize is a Caribbean country on the northwest coast of Central America. This country is fortunate to have many cultures and languages, but the official language is English. Belize’s economy is based on agriculture and merchandising, and it also produces industrial minerals.
Disclaimer: Be aware that this article is not a substitute for legal advice. Please always check official websites or seek legal advice before you take action.
Sole proprietorship in Belize
A sole proprietorship is a business that is fully controlled by one person. That person is entitled to all profits and losses of the business, which means they have unlimited liability. The Government of Belize encourages foreign investors to operate in Belize with attractive incentives.
How to register a sole proprietorship in Belize
The first step in establishing a sole proprietorship is creating your brand and becoming recognizable in the market. To succeed in that, you should choose and register your business name. This step is essential, and the process is quite straightforward that takes no longer than a day. Undertaking this procedure takes place in the Companies & Corporate Affairs Registry in Belmopan. Requirements for business name registration are:
- Cover letter for requesting a business name and proof of the fee payment (USD 25)
- Form 1 completed
- Valid ID
For additional information and questions, you may send an email to this government address.
If you're not looking to become an independent contractor, but hire one - learn how you can do it compliantly in Belize.
Obtaining a trade license in Belize
The next step is obtaining a trade license. That is a requirement for every person that exchanges goods or services for monetary value. For this process, head to the City Council. Annual payment could be checked at the City Council website. The yearly trade license fee is usually calculated at 25% of the annual rental value.
Tax registration in Belize
After obtaining a trade license, you need to register with the Income Tax Department and Government Sales Tax Department for tax purposes. After completing the application forms, you will be issued a Tax Identification Number (TIN). This number is also used for General Sales Tax (GST). The tax is calculated on total revenues in all forms possible (cash or received or credited without any deduction for expenses). Taxation is referred to all individuals and businesses that meet the following criteria:
- Annual earnings over USD 75,000
- Individuals that have a self-employed profession, earning USD 20,000.00 or more per year
- Individuals making a business investment or earning form real or personal property
- Individuals engaged in the provision of personal services, such as travel agents or other agents
General Sales Tax (GST) registration
General Sales Tax (GST) in Belize is collected on business transactions at the point when the services are performed. The rates could be standard 12,5% or 0% (Zero-Rated). If you reach an annual taxable turnover of over BZ$ 75,000, you must register at the Department of Government Sales Tax. With this procedure, you don’t register the business, but yourself, as the person conducting the business activities. Only registered persons can charge GST on their supplies.
Social Security Registration in Belize
If you employ one or more persons, you must be registered for social security at the Belize Social Security Board. The registration must be submitted no later than a week after employing the first employee.