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#24013 - 08/08/00 07:01 AM Business restricted to Belizean ownership  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 498
Sandcrab Offline
Sandcrab  Offline
Can anyone living now or fairly recently in Belize, or someone with special knowledge, tell me which are the specific businesses that are restricted to local ownership?

Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer.


#24014 - 08/08/00 07:58 AM Re: Business restricted to Belizean ownership  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 8,868
SP Daily Offline
SP Daily  Offline
There are no restrictions as to ownership of a business in Belize, however certain jobs may be restricted to Belizeans only,i.e.tour guides and divemasters.

[This message has been edited by Jesse (edited 08-08-2000).]

#24015 - 08/08/00 08:04 AM Re: Business restricted to Belizean ownership  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 498
Sandcrab Offline
Sandcrab  Offline
Thanks for your input Jesse. You're up bright and early on the computer.

#24016 - 08/08/00 06:37 PM Re: Business restricted to Belizean ownership  
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 139
kcbc Offline
kcbc  Offline
I hate to disagree but at one time I had in my possession a list of business that you were not allowed to venture into. Yes you could buy an existing business but certain activities were closed to new investors. Have searched everywhere and naturally can not find the list, but an example would be that no you are not going to be able to go to Belize and start a beer distributorship nor a bus company. You could however purchase one and gain ownership that way but some of the more lucrative fields had been closed. Now maybe this has changed but you were also being encouraged to take on a Belizean partner. Sort of if you do well share the wealth theory but if you do bad well don't expect any help in that area. I would contact the TIPS (Trade and Investment Program Services) in Belize and see if this still holds true or if it has been abandoned. Also will keep looking for my list. Hope this helps.

[This message has been edited by kcbc (edited 08-08-2000).]

#24017 - 08/08/00 08:58 PM Re: Business restricted to Belizean ownership  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 8,868
SP Daily Offline
SP Daily  Offline
Was this list published by government? When? There is no such list now. You mention a beer distributorship... yes, there is a restriction on the importation of foreign beer. Bus companies, as in the US, must have a route granted by government. If a route was available, a new business might get it. There is absolutely no government program which even mentions Belizean partners, much less encouraging or requiring them.

#24018 - 08/10/00 06:26 PM Re: Business restricted to Belizean ownership  
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 139
kcbc Offline
kcbc  Offline
Well I did find my list. Little booklet called the Belize Investment Code prepared by the Belize export and Investment Promotion Unit c/o the Belize Chamber of Commerce. "V. Areas not normally open to participation by foreign private investors:
1. Merchandising (distributive trades)
2. Fishing (inside Barrier Reef)
3. Sugar Cane cultivation
4. Internal Transportation
5. Restaurants and Bars.

On the front page of this investment code second to the last paragraph are the words

"While 100% foreign ownership of an enterprise is permitted, joint ventures are encouraged in which local entrepreneurs participate. This is in keeping with Government's policy of ensuring the maximum participation by Belizeans in the economic development of our country."
I will agree that this investment code is out of date just because I know that this agency has been folded into the TIPS program. But I can vouch for the fact that you were encouraged/required to come up with a Belize partner because we set up a LTD in Belize in the late 80s and to be blunt your required paperwork was going nowhere unless you had a Belizean in on the business set up.
If things have changed well that is great.
I keep my fingers crossed every night that Belize will join in with Nafta and give the Belizeans a price break on anything. If anything I feel that the private business sector in Belize is working overtime on the subject of keeping prices high to benefit a few families and the heck with the local Belizeans. Pretty obvious that Belize's current economic growth is not including any of the lower group on the totem pole or in this case the mayan temple steps. All for free enterprise but just aware that Belize operates on a different playing field than the US.

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