in Unitedville Village, Unitedville Village The single story at Mount Hope 2 bed 1 bath hardwood house on 7 1/2 acres, has been sold.
in Belize City, Belize City Announcing a rent/lease drop on 5 unit office space for rent at 3A Queen Street, a 2400 sqft 2 story. Now FOR RENT USD900 ML .
If you’re interested in renting your home or a room* through marketing platforms such as Airbnb, Booking.com. Canada Stays, TripAdvisors, etc) and thus become a Host, you Must:
- Register your accommodation with the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) before creating your listing on any online booking/marketing platforms. According to the laws of Belize, no person, firm, or company shall advertise their premises, inclusive of rooms, dwellings and others without first being registered with the BTB, as this constitutes an offence. See Section 5(1) of the Hotels and Tourist Accommodation Act, Chapter 285 of the Laws of Belize which reads
Section 5 (1): “No person shall,
(a) advertise in any form any premises;
(b) use any premises;
(c) hold out any premises, for the purposes of the business of a hotel or tourist accommodation unless such premises and the proprietor of such business are registered annually under this Act and a license is obtained by the proprietor from the Registrar in that behalf.”
Section 27(1) (a) of the said Act which states that “any person who without lawful excuse uses or advertises any premises as a hotel or tourist accommodation when such premises are not registered or when there is not in force a license granted to him by the Registrar authorizing him to use such premises for the business of a hotel or tourist accommodation commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or to both such fine and term of imprisonment.”
*ALL Category/Type of Accommodations including but not limited to, rooms, houses, vacation rental, apartments, villas, hotels, guest house, lodges, bed and breakfast, condominiums, cabin, cabanas must register with the Belize Tourism Board before advertising with any marketing and/or booking agents such as Airbnb, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Homeaway, Trip Advisor etc.
Kindly click on the following link to access BTB’s Accommodation Application Form and the Hotel and Tourist Accommodation Act (relevant laws). Visit us at Shepherd Belize Real Estate for more useful resources or engage Shepherd Belize Consulting services to guide and walk you through the process.
If you intend to start an operate a business in Belize, you must apply for a Temporary Employment Permit. The submission of the application is to be done at any Labour Department Office. For details on requirements and application process visit your nearest Labour Department. In order to submit a Temporary Employment Permit application with the Labour Department you must be residing in Belize, hold a valid passport, and a valid Belize visa. Click here for Belize Visa information.
Application for a Temporary Employment Permit is a 4-step process:
- Step 1: Submission of Application
Submit the application and supporting documents (which includes police report from the last county of stay), in person to the Department of Labor. Upon receipt of the application an interview date for the applicant will be provided. The applicant must attend an interview on the assigned date. Be mindful that the interview is not a guarantee that your application will be approved. The Labor Department will review the application and if additional information and documentation is needed, this will be requested. The application together with all supporting documents will be forwarded to the Special Branch of the Belize Police Department for them to conduct a security check on the applicant.
- Step 2: Notification of Application Status
Within 30 days of your application submission, you will receive a call from the Labour Department to inform on the status of your application, i.e., whether it was approved or denied. On approval of application, you must visit the Labour Department Office to receive a copy of the approval letter. On denied application, you must visit the Labour Department Office and receive a copy of your letter of denial and present yourself to the Immigration Office to update your legal status.
- Step 3: Visit the Immigration Office
You must visit the Immigration Office and bring along the approval letter for the permit to be processed. You will be informed of the temporary employment permit fees which must be paid at the Immigration Office. Thereafter you will need to go to the nearest Belize Tax Service Office to request an Income Tax Letter.
- Step 4: Issuance of Permit
You must present your valid passport, proof of payment and Income Tax letter to the Immigration Office as stated on the approval letter. The permit is issued immediately upon presentation of your Income Tax letter and confirmation of payment of the Temporary Employment Permit application fees.
The work permit is valid for one (1) year and upon expiration the applicant must apply again. After you have held a permit for two consecutive years, it’s possible to apply for permanent resident status.
Equipped with your Temporary Employment Permit and your Income Tax letter, you should then proceed to visit the nearest Social Security Office to register as a self-employed person or employer as the case may be.
Visit us at shepherd Belize real estate for more useful information about Belize for expats.
Visa entry requirements for Travel to Belize
Travelers must have a valid passport and an onward plane ticket for a 30-day Visitor’s Visa to be issued. Prior to expiration, an extension of the Visitor’s Visa can be obtained at any of the district Immigration Offices, for a fee of US$25.00 per month, after 6 months for a fee of US$50.00 per month. Citizens from the U.S.A., British Commonwealth (except India), Mexico, CARICOM, Costa Rica, Chile, Guatemala, Iceland, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, Tunisia, Uruguay, or nationals of a member state of the European Union do not require a visa. Kindly contact the nearest Belizean embassy, mission or consulate for information on countries that require and do not require a visa.
Any Belizean Embassy or Consulate can issue a visa at the cost of US$50.00 for single entry valid for 3 months or US$100.00 for multiple entries valid up to twelve months. If there is no Belizean Embassy or Consulate in your country, one can still be obtained through the nearest British Embassy or High Commission.
Nationals of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are required to pay a non-refundable application fee of US$100.00, in addition to an Entry Permit (Visa) which costs US$2,000.00. For nationals of India, Nepal, Thailand and Burma the application fee is US$250.00
Since visa requirements are subject to change, please contact the Belize Embassy or Consulate in your area.
An individual can apply for permanent residence after a legal presence in Belize for a minimum of one (1) year. During that period, you cannot leave the country for more than fourteen (14) days. Application fees range from US$500.00 to US$5,000 depending on the nationality of the applicant and will be paid upon approval. Permanent Residency Status application forms may be purchased at the Angelus Press Ltd., a stationery store with two outlets in Belize City and one in the City of Belmopan.
To acquire citizenship, applicants must be a permanent resident and have been a resident for a minimum of five (5) years, in accordance with the Belize Nationality Act of 1981. There is also a provision for the registration of minor children along with the applicant.
Applicants by virtue of Belize descent are required to fill out Section 4 and 5 of the application forms. Applicants with a Belizean spouse are required to fill out Form G application form. Application forms may be purchased at the Angelus Press.
Applications for Permanent Residence or Citizenship are to be accompanied by:
- Completed application form
- Proof of identification and nationality of applicant (translated as required)
- Birth Certificate
- Three recent passport size photographs of self
- Recent Police record form
- Country of origin
- Certificate of Health including HIV and VDRL tests for applicant
- Evidence of period of continuous legal residence for one/five years
- Police record and identification of reference (i.e. passport, birth certificate, voter’s ID)
- Inclusion of spouse: Item 2-7 are to be submitted in support if included in application
- In case applicants is married to a Belizean
- Marriage certificate
- Wife’s/husband’s birth certificate
- Spouse’s certificate of nationality (as applicable)
- Recent Local Bank Statement or otherwise where means of financial support is not indicated.
- Temporary employment permit if applicant wishes to engage in gainful employment
- Renunciation Form (as applicable)
You’ve already decided that Belize is where you want to spend your retirement years. However, you are not just ready to completely give up working. You’re thinking that running a small business that’s open for a limited number of hours per week would suit you just fine. In view of this, you would like to know how to go about establishing a business in Belize. While there may be some additional requirements based on the type of business you want to operate, these essentials will get you started. Let’s delve into the 10 Easy Steps to Opening a Business in Belize.
1. Location, Location, Location – Step one – Find a suitable location
With your business plan completed, your next order of business is to locate and secure a physical site for your business. It could be as simple as leasing office space, or it might mean securing a retail space. It all depends on the type of business you plan on operating. Guided by your business plan, you should pay close attention to factors such as the monthly rental cost, ease of parking and foot traffic for customers, and the limitations that may apply to redecorating the space.
2. Business name Registration
According to the Business Names Act, Chapter 247 of the Laws of Belize, every individual, firm, or company having a place of business in Belize must register their business name. This is the step which formalize your business in Belize. It is important to protect your business name as yours since this is a key means of identification in the eyes of the target market. This is a one time, one
day process undertaken at the Companies & Corporate Affairs Registry in Belmopan. You can do this either under the Business Name Act or the Companies Act depending on which one applies.
You must first check the current register to determine whether there are any existing businesses with the same or similar name. If there are, you will not be able to register your business under that name. For this reason, it’s a good idea to come up with several different potential names before consulting the registry. If you find that your intended name is already taken, go to the next one on your list of names until you find one that has not been taken. Your goal is to choose a name that’s available, easy for consumers to remember, and that people will readily associate with the goods or services that you plan on offering. Follow this link for a Business Name Availability (search) Form.
As indicated above, you can register your business under the Business Name Act or the Companies Act. If the latter is used you will need to submit your Company documents (Memorandums, and the Articles of Association) as well as proof of identity, proof of address, and the application fees. If the former is used, all you will need is proof of identity, proof of address, and the application fees. Remember that you should include your official company physical address and the business mailing address in the application. For ease of reference, click on the following link to access a printable checklist of what is required for a business name registration in Belize.
3. Trade License Acquisition
The law of Belize stipulates that any person exchanging a good or service for monetary value, i.e., operating a business in Belize, to obtain a trade license from the relevant local authorities to do so. This is obtained at the Town Board, City, or Village Council, as the case may be, by submitting; a copy of your Business Name or Company documents and Certificate in the case of a company, rental contract (if you are renting), proof of identity and address, completed application form and fees. Your application will be determined at one of four Quarterly meetings that are held throughout the year. There are provisions for you to pay for a Special Hearing if you missed one of the scheduled quarterly meetings and do not want to wait until the next scheduled meeting is convened. Annual payment is determined through a site visit of the premises during which evaluators determine an annual rental value of the space. Annual trade license fee is usually calculated at 25% of the assessed annual rental value.
4. Obtain a Temporary Employment Permit
Unless you are already recognized as a permanent resident in Belize, you must apply for a temporary employment permit if you intend to work in Belize. The submission of the application is to be done at any Labour Department Office. For details on requirements and application process visit your nearest Labour Department Office. In order to submit a Temporary Employment Permit application with the Labour Department you must hold a valid passport and a valid Belize visa. Kindly click on the following link for information on the Belize Temporary Employment (Work) Permit application process.
5. Open your Business Banking Account
Since you have been in Belize and have decided that this is the place for you to live, you may have already established a banking relationship at one of the local banks and thus have personal accounts
like checking, savings, and lifestyle accounts. It’s important that you do not use those accounts for your business operation. The same bank that you currently do business with on a personal level, can set up your business operating and payroll accounts with relative ease. The requirements for corporate accounts are a little different than those associated with personal accounts. Your banker will walk you through the process, look over the documentation that you have so far, and let you know if anything else is needed.
6. Business Tax Registration
After registering your business or company and obtaining your trade license, all business must register with the Income Tax Department and Government Sales Tax Department for tax purposes. Upon completion of the registration process at the Income Tax Department, a unique Tax Identification Number (TIN) will be issued. The TIN number is the same number that is to be used for Business Tax, General Sales Tax (GST), Customs and Excise processes. Business Tax is a tax on total revenues or receipts whether in cash or in kind and whether received or credited without any deduction for expenses. It is payable by any person practicing his/her profession, or a firm or company carrying on business in Belize. Click on the following links for a guide on Belize Business Tax.
7. General Sales Tax (GST) Registration
General Sales Tax is a tax on consumer spending collected at the point of importation and on business transactions when goods changed hands or services are performed. Taxable supplies are taxed at either the standard rate of 12.5% or 0% (Zero-Rated). All persons who are engaged in a taxable activity with an annual turnover exceeding BZ$75,000.00 must register with the Department of Government Sales Tax in accordance with the Government Sales Tax Act No. 49 of 2005. It is not the business activity which is registered but the person conducting those activities. This person could be a company, partnership, sole proprietorship, trustee or estate. Persons must register within one (1) month of the day on which the person first becomes eligible.
Only registered persons can charge GST on their supplies as output tax and claim credit on their purchases of supplies as input tax. (Section 23, GST Act 2005). If you anticipate grossing more than $6,000 per month or $75,000 per year, you are required to register with the department of GST. The personnel at the Department of General Sales Tax will use your TIN to set up your GST account so that you can collect and pay GST and to ensure your GST is properly recorded and
credited to your operation. The documents that you’ve already acquired (Business Name or Company Certificate, TIN, Trade License, proof of identity and proof of address) will also come in handy for this process. Expect to be asked about your projections for business volume. Click on the following link for a guide on how to register for Belize General Sales Tax (GST)
8. Social Security Registration
The Social Security Act, Chapter 44 of Laws of Belize, 1988 revised in 2000-2003 requires that persons who employ one or more persons must register for social security with the Belize Social Security
Board. The application must be made within seven (7) days of employing the first employee. Social Security contribution are made weekly but submitted to the Department with a monthly statement of contributions. The contribution is related to the weekly insurable earnings. A portion of the contribution is paid by the employer and the other portion is deducted from the employee salary.
9. Registration /Protection of Intellectual Property
The basis of a business’s identification is an important element of branding and as such, your business’s intellectual property add value to your business and must be protected. Intellectual Property is defined as intangible creations of the mind such as inventions, artistic work, designs, images, symbols, names, etc. that are used in commerce. This registration for protection is done by visiting the Belize Intellectual Property Office located in the City of Belmopan. The four areas protected under BELIPO are Trademarks, Patent, Industrial Design, and Copyright.
10. Anticipate a slower pace of doing business in Belize
Remember that the pace of doing business in Belize is typically more relaxed and casual. This is to your advantage since it does provide more time to get to know the business climate and begin to enjoy it.
You’ll find that most of the people you talk with along the way are happy to help and look forward to
welcoming you as part of their community.
I do hope you enjoyed reading: 10 Easy Steps to Opening a Business in Belize in 2022. Belize is such an amazing country; and I know you’ll love working and living here. From all of us at Shepherd Belize Real Estate, and Shepherd Belize Consulting, welcome to your new home and place of business
in Belize City, Belize City Announcing a rent/lease drop on 5 unit office space for rent at 3A Queen Street, a 2400 sqft 2 story. Now FOR RENT USD1,000 ML .
• 1380 sqft , 2 bath , 2 bdrm 3 story – FOR SALE USD381,750 . Per construction
in Caye Caulker North, Caye Caulker
Situated on the shores of the warm blue waters of the Caribbean Sea and powdery white sandy beach, this tropical boutique resort offers peaceful indulgence and authentic hospitality in paradise. Lounge by the inviting infinity pool and enjoy a fruity cocktail from the poolside bar. Savor the inspired cuisine at the on-site restaurant and allow your day to unfold as you relax and enjoy the tranquility of the vast blue skies, crisp clean refreshing breeze, and incredible views from your private terrace. Once you’ve had enough of doing nothing, crab one of the complimentary kayaks or stand-up-paddle boards or beach cruiser bicycles and burn some calories on beach or in the crystalline waters. Looking for more, the on-site concierge service can help you plan an adventure to a Mayan ruin, cave tubing or zip lining through the lush rainforest. Dive or snorkel the world-famous Belize Barrier Reef, or head out on a deep-sea fishing excursion. In sum, this luxury boutique beach resort is a seaside haven for adventure, recreation, relaxation, and romance. Sand, Sea, Sun, and Salts, all just moments away in any direction!
The well-appointed, modern, spacious, energy efficient, Suite U-2 occupies the entire second floor of building U (one of the twenty-five 3-storey buildings comprising the luxurious boutique beach resort). The spacious and private second floor offers panoramic views of the sea, lush tropical gardens, and of the Belize Barrier Reef a few hundred yards away. The suite boasts two quality and high-end bedrooms including a Master with en-suite bathroom, full kitchen, living room, second bathroom and private terrace.
The intelligently designed, functional, and elegant floor plan features high-end fixtures, furnishings and finishes, stainless appliances, stone/marble counters, craftsmen hardwood cabinets and quality impact windows and doors, all meticulously designed to inspire both indoor and outdoor living. Indulge yourself in the amenities of this spectacular beachfront boutique resort. Phases 1 and 2, which are completely sold-out, provides ample evidence of value for money as well as assurance of the developer to produce nothing short of excellence. Contact us today to start writing the first chapter of a most pleasurable Caribbean island story.
• 1380 sqft , 2 bath , 2 bdrm 3 story – FOR SALE USD351,750 . Pre-construction
in Caye Caulker North, Caye Caulker
Situated on the shores of the warm blue waters of the Caribbean Sea and powdery white sandy beach, this tropical boutique resort offers peaceful indulgence and authentic hospitality in paradise. Lounge by the inviting infinity pool and enjoy a fruity cocktail from the poolside bar. Savor the inspired cuisine at the on-site restaurant and allow your day to unfold as you relax and enjoy the tranquility of the vast blue skies, crisp clean refreshing breeze and incredible views from your private terrace. Once you’ve had enough of doing nothing, crab one of the complimentary kayaks or stand-up-paddle boards or beach cruiser bicycles and burn some calories on beach or in the crystalline waters. Looking for more, the on-site concierge service can help you plan an adventure to a Mayan ruin, cave tubing or zip lining through the lush rainforest. Dive or snorkel the world-famous Belize Barrier Reef, or head out on a deep-sea fishing excursion. In sum, this luxury boutique beach resort is a seaside haven for adventure, recreation, relaxation, and romance. Sand, Sea, Sun, and Salts, all just moments away in any direction!
The well-appointed, modern, spacious, energy efficient, Suite T-2 occupies the entire second floor of building T (one of the twenty-five 3-storey buildings comprising the luxurious boutique beach resort). The spacious and private second floor offers panoramic views of the sea, lush tropical gardens, and of the Belize Barrier Reef a few hundred yards away. The suite boasts two quality and high-end bedrooms including a Master with en-suite bathroom, full kitchen, living room, second bathroom and private terrace.
The intelligently designed, functional, and elegant floor plan features high-end fixtures, furnishings and finishes, stainless appliances, stone/marble counters, craftsmen hardwood cabinets and quality impact windows and doors, all meticulously designed to inspire both indoor and outdoor living. Indulge yourself in the amenities of this spectacular beachfront boutique resort. Phases 1 and 2, which are completely sold-out, provides ample evidence of value for money as well as assurance of the developer to produce nothing short of excellence. Contact us today to start your chapter of a most specular Caribbean island story.
in Caye Caulker North, Caye Caulker The 3 story at 0-1 Modern luxury 2 bed 2 bath, beachfront panoramic reef-view, 1st floor condo has been sold.