Offshore Trusts in Belize

To date, trusts established in Belize are not subject to income and corporate income taxes. Trust property and transactions that are made on behalf of the trust are exempt from the stamp duty of exchange control.

Under the legislation of the state, an offshore or international trust is a trust in which:

- the founder is not a resident of Belize;

- nobody of the beneficial owners of the trust is a resident;

- trust assets do not include real estate or lands of Belize;

- trust is managed according to the laws of Belize;

- if the trust in Belize is created as a purpose/special one, then its purpose is pursued outside this country.

Registration of trusts in Belize

Trusts established in Belize are registered with the Registrar of International Trusts of Belize. For registration, the application is required in writing with the following mandatory information:

  • name of the trust;
  • date of establishment and date of registration of this trust;
  • name of the trustee;
  • if there is a protector, it is necessary to specify his name;
  • address and name of the trust agent;
  • purpose of the trust is indicated if desired.

In Belize, they are loyal to confidential information on trusts, and the Registrar does not oblige to provide disclosed information about the founders, beneficial owners and trust assets, nor it is necessary to provide the Trust Deed.

To register a trust, in addition to the application, you must file an affidavit approved by a notary public or an appropriate official. Upon completion of registration, the trust receives a Certificate of Registration.

Trusts established in Belize can operate for 120 years and during this period they are allowed to accumulate their income.

Questions of confidentiality.

The laws of Belize ensure the preservation of confidentiality for trusts created or operating in the territory of the country. The trustee has the right to store information about the status and quantity of trust assets. But there are a number of situations when he/she is obliged to provide confidential information to the court authorities, beneficial owners or the founder, namely:

  • if the Prosecutor General needs such information on the charitable trust;
  • to any beneficial owner, based on the conditions of the trust;
  • to a specific charitable institution, for the benefit of which the trust was created.

The registrar has no right to transfer the information on the trust that is available to it to anyone without a written permission from the trust agent or trustee of the trust. However, upon the written request of the head of the Public Prosecutions Office, the head of the Financial Intelligence Unit or the Belize Police Commissioner who confirm the extreme need for this information to investigate a crime or a court case, the Registrar provides such data without agreement with the trust agent.

The Registrar does not have data on the assets of the trust, its beneficial owners and the founder, as well as any financial and personal information. The foregoing information is available only by the trustee of the trust, and it is strictly confidential.

Protection of offshore trusts in Belize.

In Belize, there are measures for immediate protection from the procedure of alienation of property to deceive creditors. There is no restriction on the minimum period of time during which it is necessary to create a trust before submitting claims to it by creditors. There is a significant difference between the law of Belize and other offshore jurisdictions, which are limited only by shortening of the period for the commencement of actions to alienate property in order to defraud creditors, whereas in Belize, provisions for the alienation of property which purpose is deception of creditors are completely abolished. It is an instant protection that allows to avoid lawsuits filed by creditors, heirs or spouses. It should be noted that such protection does not apply in case of imprisonment, incorrect influence, misleading, deceit or error of the founder.

In relation to trusts established under the laws of Belize, the court of this country does not distinguish or take into account claims against the property of these trusts formed in accordance with the laws of other countries or by orders of courts of other jurisdictions, namely:

- personal or property consequences of marriage or its dissolution;

- inheritance rights under the will or without it;

- established shares of spouses or relatives;

- lawsuits of insolvent creditors.

Also, in Belize, compulsory execution or enforcement of a court decision without a re-trial procedure is not applicable to the trust.

Financial activities of trusts in Belize.

Supervision of trustees and issuance of licenses to them in Belize are carried out by the Committee of International Financial Services.

Under the laws of Belize, in order for a trust to be able to provide its services in the sphere of international finance, it must have a license of the Committee, and in order to receive it, it must confirm the competence of its employees, have a serious system of control and capitalization.

Taxes of the trust in Belize.

Based on the fact that the beneficial owners and the founder of the trust in Belize are not residents, and the assets of the trust do not have real estate located in Belize, such trusts are exempt from corporate tax and stamp duty associated with the transfer of trust assets.