My wife and I are looking at investing in some property, and or a B@B. We are looking at maybe 10 years from now as we are in our late 40's and are still working stiffs. How easy is it to be away from the country and sill maintain a good investment for a number of years? Is it a user friendly country to do business? Is there alot of red tape etc? We are from Canada and will be arriving in March for 2 weeks staying at the Palms and will be doing some investigating.
Hi JB, Feel free to email me at [email protected]. I am President of our Chamber of Commerce, and happy to help. Some of your questions require discussion answers. Also happy to meet with you during your visit here. Tom Tom
My experience with doing business, or in my case trying to do business, in Belize was not a positive one. Tons of red tape that can be very expensive and cause much heart ache. Having said that, I'd do it all over again.
Streetchie, Thank you for your comments, how about just buying some property for the future like maybe 5 to 10 years to develop then or just to buy an existing B@B or small guest house etc. it sounds easy, but by reading on this site it seems easy also, but I am hearing humors its not. What kind of red tape is there?
I've written two books on the subject of living/investing/retiring in Belize and interviewed a bunch of people on the subject.
The bottom line advice from most people is: To have a chance, you've got to be hands on at least in the early years, and even then the chances of making it work in Belize are not as good as for a similar business in the U.S. or in some other countries, due to the small local population and economy, the vagaries of the tourist market, and the red tape and less-than-free-market approach of the Belize government.
Plus, it's difficult enough to keep even a condo safe as an absentee owner, and to keep a hotel business going without losing your shirt and more would be an incredible challenge.
That's not to say you couldn't make it work in Belize, and it's easier to do in in San Pedro than in most other areas of Belize, but honestly I think the odds would be against you.
About buying undeveloped property, IMHO, you can't lose buying on AC in the long run. You will always get more than you paid for it if you're patient. If you're planning on developing the property, you need to be hands on, even during construction. So many stories... so little time... --Lee
klcman, that is the USD, god help us if we (Canada) ever are on par with BZD, no offence to anyone intended. That would not be good for our retirerment. People in Belize would be moving to Canada, or maybe not ha ha
I don't know, Lan, I think anyone who has a good business plan, especially in the hotel trade, can do just fine here. Certainly I can't think of any well-thought out hotel here on A.C. that has failed where the owners are "in house" and looking after matters in person at their resort.
Most business failures here on Ambergris Caye result from too much booze, drugs and bad company. Taking care of business must be Job #1. Getting smashed and high 7 nights a week won't get Job #1 done. There is one other guaranteed road to failure for newbies....absentee ownership. You have to be here to make your new business work.