Top Reasons to Invest in Belize Real Estate
Reasons to Invest in Belize
-Ownership is the same for non-citizens as it is for the citizens.
There are many opportunities to invest here in Belize. Belize’s Government focuses on providing an enabling environment for private enterprises so that Both local and foreign investors become interested in investing in Belize. In 1990 a series of legislation was enacted to allow a range of incentives for people looking to invest here. There are a variety of incentives and different incentives require different requirements. Some different incentives are; import duty exemption, a tax holiday, or both combined. Benefits depend on the different types of incentives given to the potential buyer or investor. The authorities become favorable to activities that are export-oriented because they increase the employment rate and also the development of local, technological infrastructure. Belize’s Government supports joint ventures and partnerships as a preferred mechanism, nevertheless, a 100% foreign ownership of the enterprise is allowed. Highly skilled personnel can be imported to enhance the Belizean labor force and is facilitated providing that the nationals are established with appropriate training programs. Almost always, Belize’s Government wishes to have one national placed with a highly skilled foreigner hired by the company.
Several developed countries have made some agreements with Belize to not only help the country and its people but they can also benefit from it and some are:
- Some Belizean goods can enter Canada Duty-Free.
- There is preferential treatment from the U.S. under the CBI (Caribbean Basin Initiative)
- Also preferential market access to the CARICOM (Caribbean Common Market)
- Under the lomé IV Convention it has duty-free access to the EU for certain commodities such as bananas and sugar.
- There are a number of incentives that the Government of Belize offers so that inward investment is attracted. Some investment incentives are:
- Offers special incentives for retirees.
- 100% foreign ownership of land and company assets.
- Encouragement of joint ventures with local entities.
The Fiscal Incentives Act of 1990 relates to tax holidays and duties. The tax holiday period is normally a five-year duration from the date of production. There is also a provision that the Minister of Economic Development can, on application by the company in a fit and proper case, review the company’s operations and renew the tax holiday period for a further term not to exceed 10 years. Furthermore, a company that falls under agriculture, agro-agriculture, mariculture, etc. that operation is only for export and also highly labor intensive, can receive up to a 25-year tax holiday. Incentives that fall under this section in the Act can also allow exemption from income tax under the Income Tax Act, also including the repatriation of dividends and profits. This Act permits duty exemptions to companies that are granted an approved enterprise order to bring items into Belize, not paying import duty and revenue replacement duty. Some items include machinery, equipment, plants, specialized tools, building materials, utility and transport vehicles, spare parts for plants, plant-related machinery, agricultural machinery, fixtures and fittings, office equipment and appliances, and basically any other raw materials. Other items for the use of the approved enterprise. The exemption period is for up to 15 years, with a potential extension of 10 years, and is subject to ministerial review. Many factors are considered when looking at an extension proposal: profitability on investment, local value addition, foreign exchange earnings and /or foreign exchange savings, creation of employment, new technology transfer, industry locations, a destination of the final products, and level of investment, in addition, Belize enjoys the stability of a long-standing, democratic tradition and also has an independent judiciary. Belize’s exchange rate has been fixed for 25 years. The repatriation of profits and dividends is the norm here.
Belize’s Export Processing Zones (EPZs), for some businesses, provide substantial benefits for investors. Those who take the advantage of EPZs often end up being the ones from the business of tourism, agriculture, mariculture, distribution, and also the light industry. In Belize, the benefit that these three trade zones have is a way to motivate foreign trade and investment. For the investors the advantages are:
- Exemption from the supplies control act and its regulations.
- Dividend tax exemption in perpetuity
- The opportunity to open foreign currency bank accounts in Belize and abroad.
- Exemption from import and export duty as taxes on capital gains, sales and consumption, property, trade turnover, foreign exchange, and transfer.
- An income tax holiday of 20 years with an option to extend and deduct losses from profits following the period of the tax holiday.