Regulatory Framework

In 1990, Belize enacted the International Business Companies Act based on the British Virgin Islands model. The IBC legislation was supplemented in 1992 with the enactment of a Trusts Act which provides for both onshore and offshore trusts. Universally acknowledged as one of the best in the field, Belize’s trust law contains provisions that are specially designed to meet the needs of differing and diverse cultures and religions.

Belize further expanded its offshore sector in 1996 with the passing of the Offshore Banking Act. This provides for two categories of offshore banking licenses – the Unrestricted “A” Class and the Restricted “B” Class license. The holder of a “B” Class license maintains lesser capital and is restricted to conducting certain limited business activities only.

The election of a new Government in Belize in 1998 provided fresh impetus to the development of the offshore services sector. A spate of seven offshore industry measures were added to the statute book in 1999.These included:

  • The International Financial Services Commission Act which seeks to promote, protect and enhance Belize as an international financial services center and to regulate the provision of international financial services;
  • The International Insurance Act which provides for the regulation of persons establishing and carrying on international insurance business;
  • The protected Cell Companies Act which allows for the incorporation of protected cell companies or the conversion of an existing company to a protected cell company;
  • The Mutual Funds Act which provides for the regulation, authorization and control of mutual funds and their managers and administrators;
  • The Limited Liability Partnerships Act which permits the creation of limited liability partnerships;
  • The Retired Persons (Incentives) Act which offers certain tax exemptions and incentives to qualified retired persons;
  • The International Business Companies (Amendment) Act which provides for the establishment of limited life companies.

Therefore, this section sets out all acts and legal resources available to us applicable to the subject of the international financial services sector. It includes all laws and regulations impacting IFSC and its proceedings. Although reasonable care is taken to ensure that these documents are up to date with relevant amendments, they are only provided for ease of reference. The IFSC may not guarantee their completeness and accuracy and shall not be liable for any consequences of actions/decisions taken based on the above information.