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#429561 - 02/04/12 11:20 PM Starting a Business
Colby Offline

I am wondering what may make it difficult to start a business on Ambergris. I have read the "Doing Business" page for the basic legal processes. I am more interested to know what other oustide issues may arise (as a non citizen), not pertaining to the legal setup of the business. For simplicity sake, lets say I was interested in starting a company that offered snorkeling trips to Shark Ray Alley ( i know there is plenty, again just an example).

A.- Would it be possible for a non-Belizean citizen to do this?

B.-Would the requirement of staying 1 year continiuously prior (applying for citizenship) be required before opening the business?

C.-Would a non-Belizean be allowed to captain a vessel to and from the dive site?

D.-Would it be possible to own/drive a vehicle,(rather than long term rental) prior to becoming a citizen, if you are the owner of a business ?

E.-Would owning a business change any of the laws applying to becoming a citizen or visa requirements?

F.- What other unforseen limitations may be involved with this that I have not listed.

I know it is a lot of questions, however, help with one or any would be a great help! Looking forward to help with any of these questions.


Thanks!

C-

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#429563 - 02/04/12 11:40 PM Re: Starting a Business [Re: Colby]
Short Offline
I would recommend to check with International Services Limited in Belize City:
http://www.belizeoffshoreinvestors.com/ and
http://www.belizepassportoffshore.com/
There is a lot of information on those 2 websites.
Contact person: Santiago Gomez.
_________________________
Live and let live

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#429598 - 02/05/12 02:43 AM Re: Starting a Business [Re: Colby]
Tracker Offline
You will need a tour guide license which is only available to Belizean citizens. So I think the answer to your first question is no.
_________________________
If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.
A bullet fired,cannot be called back.
A.C.G.C.

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#429618 - 02/05/12 04:40 AM Re: Starting a Business [Re: Tracker]
ron Offline
I believe that the answer to C is the same, you have to be a Belizean to get the correct license to transport people to dive sites.

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#429621 - 02/05/12 10:10 AM Re: Starting a Business [Re: Colby]
BrusselSprout Offline
Just bring lots of money!
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www.sanpedroscoop.com

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#429632 - 02/05/12 02:31 PM Re: Starting a Business [Re: BrusselSprout]
SnoopysMom Offline
A.- Would it be possible for a non-Belizean citizen to do this? YES. There are restrictions if you needed a liquor license I believe.

B.-Would the requirement of staying 1 year continiuously prior (applying for citizenship) be required before opening the business? NO (and residency would be 1 year. Citizenship is more like 5 years with a residency)

D.-Would it be possible to own/drive a vehicle,(rather than long term rental) prior to becoming a citizen, if you are the owner of a business ? IT'S POSSIBLE, but there are certain restrictions with golf cart permits. You may find that the cost of rental verses owning are pretty close (considering upkeep and maintenance).

E.-Would owning a business change any of the laws applying to becoming a citizen or visa requirements? NOT TO MY KNOWLEDGE. But I believe that they are more favorable upon consideration of your application for work permit or residency if you are a property owner or own a business and employ Belizeans.

F.- What other unforseen limitations may be involved with this that I have not listed.

1. COST OF IMPORTED GOODS (this is an Island, so most everything has to be brought in).

2. WORK PERMIT. You also need a work permit to perform any work functions yourself in said business.

3. DELAYS. If you plan on starting up a new business (verses buying an existing business), setting up your business systems (bank accounts, trade licensing, GST/ Tax ID #) can take time.

4. DUE DILIGENCE. It may be advisable to "come stay awhile" and do your homework before you spend that hard earned money. Those of us who live here always want more goods and services, so we might tend to encourage you to open new businesses (bowling alley, dry cleaning service, etc) without really considering profitability. I have been guilty of this!

GOOD LUCK TO YOU!

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#429648 - 02/05/12 05:26 PM Re: Starting a Business [Re: Colby]
Tracker Offline
What do you need to apply for a tour guide license?
Any individual who wishes to apply for a tour guide license, must present the following documents:
Training Certificate received form the Belize Tourism Board Medical Certificate issued by a registered medical practitioner Recent Police Record.
Two (2) Recommendations from persons who are in good standing and are well aquatinted with the applicant.
Formal recommendation from a recognized local tour guide association
Two (2) passport size photographs
Proof of Belizean citizenship.
Proof of accreditation in the courses listed in regulation 8.
A copy of your First AID/CPR.
Tour Guide License Fee of $75.00 (BZ)
_________________________
If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.
A bullet fired,cannot be called back.
A.C.G.C.

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#429653 - 02/05/12 06:21 PM Re: Starting a Business [Re: Tracker]
Colby Offline
Thanks for all the super responses! I know this is probably a broad question, but, on average, what do tour guides typically make daily? Is this a high paying position- is it fairly common? Are dive operators, fishing guides, jungle tour guides etc.. all grouped together under the "guide" license or are their variations for each?

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#429661 - 02/05/12 10:53 PM Re: Starting a Business [Re: SnoopysMom]
Cara Offline
You bring up an interesting question to me, then. What kinds of new businesses would you like to see there? You mentioned for examples bowling and dry cleaning, but what would be your top 5? Anyone else? Please chime in!
_________________________
*Namaste*
Cara

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#429664 - 02/05/12 11:20 PM Re: Starting a Business [Re: Cara]
SnoopysMom Offline
Well...... at this very moment I am craving sushi big time, but must wait until Tuesday night for Blue Water "sushi night". So a daily, "lunch" sushi menu would be right on time. Anyone?

Am also thinking that a hurricane resistant type storage facility (units) like a Publics storage would be great North of the bridge....

We now have a Movie Theatre (Reef Village) and a Home Garden Store (Ladybug) which is great!

Probably best to avoid the need to copycat existing businesses (pretty sure we don't need more hardware or grocery stores, hot dogs and rotisserie chickens). There are exceptions and competition is usually a good thing, but the market is small here and it waters down the profit for all and it drives everyone out of business.

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