Ease of Doing Business in


Belize Download Profile (1856.5KB, pdf)
Region Latin America & Caribbean
Income Category Upper middle income
Population 359,287
GNI Per Capita (US$) 4,420
City covered Belize City



DB 2017 Rank



DB 2017 DTF (% points)

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Topics DB 2017 Rank DB 2016 Rank info_outline Change in Rank DB 2017 DTF (% points) info_outline DB 2016 DTF (% points) info_outline Change in DTF (% points) info_outline
Overall 112 110 down
58.06 58.06
Starting a Business 158 156 down
73.22 73.28 down
Dealing with Construction Permits 100 97 down
68.17 68.30 down
Getting Electricity 79 70 down
72.96 73.01 down
Registering Property 126 128 up
52.84 52.82 up
Getting Credit 167 163 down
20.00 20.00
Protecting Minority Investors 118 112 down
46.67 46.67
Paying Taxes 44 42 down
83.03 83.03
Trading across Borders 101 99 down
68.13 68.13
Enforcing Contracts 134 132 down
50.11 50.11
Resolving Insolvency 81 80 down
45.48 45.21 up

DB 2017 Rank: 158

DB 2016 Rank: 156

Change in Rank: down2

DB 2017 DTF (% points): 73.22

DB 2016 DTF (% points): 73.28

Change in DTF (% points): up0.06

Indicator Belize Latin America & Caribbean OECD high income
Procedure – Men (number) info_outline 9.0 8.3 4.8
Time – Men (days) info_outline 43.0 31.6 8.3
Cost – Men (% of income per capita) info_outline 34.6 31.5 3.1
Procedure – Women (number) info_outline 9.0 8.3 4.8
Time – Women (days) info_outline 43.0 31.6 8.3
Cost – Women (% of income per capita) info_outline 34.6 31.5 3.1
Paid-in min. capital (% of income per capita) info_outline 0.1 2.3 9.2
No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs

Conduct a name search

Agency: Companies' Registry

The entrepreneur must travel to Belmopan, the capital, to visit the Companies’ Registry and request a computerized name search of all existing Belizean company names, which takes a few minutes to complete as is free of charge. A request can also be done by e-mail, telephone or fax at a fee of BZD 50.
1 day no charge

Register company statutes, memorandum and articles of association

Agency: Companies' Registry

The company must register its statutes, memorandum, and articles of association at the Companies’ Registry. The applicable fees are BZD 500 for the certificate of compliance, BZD 10 for filing, BZD 50 for registration, BZD 12 (each) for registering the statutes, the memorandum, and articles of association, and BZD 13 for registering the directors to act on the company’s behalf. The fees are paid directly at the Companies’ Registry.

According the Companies Act, a company can be formed with one director and one shareholder. In case of one or more directors each director must initially subscribe to at least one share, and for practical purposes, each share is worth BZD 1. For a company with 5 directors, in practice, the minimum start-up capital is BZD 5.

The documentation must include the following:
- Identification for all directors and their representatives, if applicable
- Company statutes
- Memorandum and articles of association
2 days see procedure details

Submit application for a trade license

Agency: City Council

The application prompts the City Council to send an inspector to visit the site. Although there are only four city council inspectors in Belize City, the inspector will usually arrive the next day.

The documentation to submit an application for trade license shall include:
- Certificate of compliance from the Companies’ Registry (obtained in Procedure 2)
- Proof of residency
1 day no charge

Receive inspection from City Council inspector

Agency: City Council

The city council inspector inspects the premises and submits findings to the council’s trade license board. By law, the board must meet every 3 months, but in practice, it meets every 2 weeks to manage the high volume of trade license applications. At the end of the deliberation, the determination and assessment notice (25% of the inspector's assessed annual rental income of the business premises) will be couriered to the entrepreneur. About 2 days after the trade license board’s decision and the entrepreneur’s payment, the license will be hand delivered to the entrepreneur at no additional charge.
20 days no charge
* 5

Pay for the trade license

Agency: City Council

Parties take the assessment notice to the City Council and pay 25% of the annual rental value of the premises, according to the inspector’s assessment.
1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure) 25% of the annual rental value of the business premises

Make a company seal

Agency: Seal Maker

The company must make a company seal. This can be done at any stationary store and costs between BZD 50 and BZD 200, depending on whether it is rubber or embossed.
2 days BZD 50-200

Register the company for business tax

Agency: Income tax department

The founders must register the company with the income tax authorities by presenting a relevant certificate of compliance. The company receives the tax number in about 1 to 2 weeks. Operations may begin at this time but the company must withhold the taxes payable. Failure to do so results in penalties and interest payable.
10 days BZD 150
* 8

Register the company for General Sales Tax (GST)

Agency: GST office

The business must register with the general services tax authorities by presenting a relevant certificate of compliance. However, final registration will not be confirmed until a few weeks later. Operations can begin during this time, but the company must withhold the taxes payable. Failure to do so results in penalties and interest payable.
17 days on average (simultaneous with previous procedure) no charge
* 9

Register the employees with the Social Security Board

Agency: Social Security Board

All employees must be registered with the social security authorities. Confirmation of registration will take a few months. Operations can begin in the meantime, but deductions must be taken during this time.
2 days (simultaneous with previous procedure) no charge

* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.