The Belize International Insurance Act 2000 provides for incorporation and management in Belize of International Insurance Companies, in a tax-free environment.
By virtue of Article 33 of the Belize International Insurance Act 2000, an offshore insurance company registered in Belize is for all intents and purposes tax-free.
In exact wording, the law provides that:
“no income tax, or any other direct or indirect tax or impost, shall be levied in Belize upon the transactions, contracts, securities or other dealings or upon profits or gains of a registered insurer, or upon any premiums earned by a registered insurer, or money paid to an insured by a registered insurer, in respect of any international insurance business written in or from within Belize; and no income tax, or any other direct or indirect tax or impost, shall be levied in Belize in respect of any dividends or earnings attributable to the shares or securities of a registered insurer, or upon any premiums paid to a registered insurer or money paid to an insured by a registered insurer.”
In addition to these benefits, according to Articles 34 and 35 of the Act, an international insurance business conducted by an insurer under the Belize International Insurance Act will also be exempt from any stamp duties on its transactions and from any exchange control regulations.
In order to establish in Belize, an insurer must comply with minimum capitalization requirements, as follows:
- USD 100`000 for long-term business (life, endowment, annuities, etc).
- USD 100`000 for general business (marine, engineering, aviation, transportation, motor, property liability, pecuniary loss, creditor, guarantor, personal, etc).
- USD 50`000 for reinsurance business.
- USD 25`000 for captive insurance.*
- (*A registered insurer authorized to carry on only captive insurance business may underwrite up to thirty percent of unrelated insurance business.)The minimum paid up share capital must be deposited with an offshore bank or other licensed financial institution in Belize and shall not be removed without the prior written permission of the Belize Supervisor of International Insurance.For registration in Belize as an offshore insurer, the following requirements must be met:
- The offshore insurer must satisfy the Supervisor that the controller, directors and chief executive (if any) of the offshore insurer are fit and proper persons to be associated with insurance companies and that they have, or have available, adequate knowledge and expertise of the insurance business to be carried on;
- The offshore insurer must maintain specified solvency margins, as may be prescribed by or determined in accordance with regulations made for the purposes of this section by the Supervisor of International Insurance;
- The offshore insurer Must have at least one director resident in Belize;
- The offshore insurer must appoint a registered insurance manager in Belize, who must be a fellow or associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute of London or a member of either the Society of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters, or the American Society of Chartered Life Underwriters;
- The offshore insurer must appoint an attorney-at-law resident in Belize who is approved by the Supervisor for the purpose of accepting service of process in any legal proceedings to which the insurer is a party;
- The offshore insurer must provide annual audited accounts to the Supervisor of International Insurance.