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#320662 - 01/26/09 06:24 PM Starting Company Info Needed  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 6
MMF Offline
MMF  Offline
I am in the process of researching all that is required to start a small business in Belize, specifically on Ambergris.

I am starting a service based company, and am having trouble finding resources on government requirements/restrictions/etc.

What would be really great, is a step-by-step "How To" Guide, so if you know where one might exist, that would be great.

I am assuming the steps are similar to those required in the US, although because I am not a Belizean citizen I want to be sure I have completed all the necessary steps properly.

I really appreciate any and all help.


#320663 - 01/26/09 06:38 PM Re: Starting Company Info Needed [Re: MMF]  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 395
beachbumin Offline
beachbumin  Offline
Good luck on finding "Start a business on Ambergris Caye for Dummies." Best way to start a business is to come down to Ambergris and see what is needed and what someone will pay for. Hopefully not a grocery or hardware store! LOL But you said service based business. Work permits can be tricky depending on what you want to do and your role in the business as the government really does try to protect its citizens. Required reading, " Don't Stop the Carnival." Beware of self-professed expert consultants; however, I am sure some credible ones do exist. One of the problems is that all politics is/are local. What might fly in Belize City might not work on AC. Again, best way to get the lay of the land is come visit. Cheers.

#320668 - 01/26/09 06:59 PM Re: Starting Company Info Needed [Re: MMF]  
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 890
skippy Offline
skippy  Offline
"I am assuming the steps are similar to those required in the US"

Why are you assuming that. No opinion on whether you are right or not, just curious about your assumption.

I hope that someday we can put aside our fears and prejudices and just laugh at people.
#320827 - 01/27/09 12:27 PM Re: Starting Company Info Needed [Re: skippy]  
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,001
captjeff Offline
captjeff  Offline
Mmf this is a very strange island ,I love it but it is not that easy to make a new business happen here !!the above comments by beachbumin and skippy are a good start And both are on the money ,anyone who thinks about opening any business here with out spending at least 3 to 6 months of trying to live the dream here ,is just plan silly!!!!!!!!!!!! Especially in this crazy world economy..I love any Entrepreneur,but do your long, research first.So your dreams do not become nightmares..

Last edited by captjeff; 01/27/09 12:51 PM.

Living The Dream Every Day!
#320843 - 01/27/09 01:12 PM Re: Starting Company Info Needed [Re: captjeff]  
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 5,917
Diane Campbell Offline
Diane Campbell  Offline
Starting a business ....... in addition to having a good idea and the skill set to make it happen:

1. obtain a self-employment permit - it will be specifically targeted to your start-up business

2. apply for, and pay for a Trades License (San Pedro)

3. obtain and read the various booklets on taxes on business, employee withholding etc.

4. register with the various agencies, including Income Tax department. The books noted in #3 will tell you what category you fall into.

other than that you will need to do the usual such as decide if you want a corporate status etc.

It's not so hard to set it up - running it is another story, but that is true everywhere.

#320855 - 01/27/09 01:52 PM Re: Starting Company Info Needed [Re: Diane Campbell]  
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 395
Moose In Belize Offline
Moose In Belize  Offline
Sounds like you answered your own questions.
I don't know where you got your new information, but I still think you should consult a Belizean lawyer.

Last edited by Moose in Belize; 01/28/09 08:58 AM.

Moose Keep an open mind and something good may fall in.
#320902 - 01/27/09 04:47 PM Re: Starting Company Info Needed [Re: beachbumin]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 6
MMF Offline
MMF  Offline
Don't worry, no hardware store plans in the works! Ha. I am very lucky, in that my parents own a home on Ambergris, north of the bridge, so I have spent some, though not nearly enough time down there, and plan to take your advice and spend more time there before deciding anything official. I am definitely in the very preliminary stages at this point, and appreciate your thoughts and advice. Thanks!

#320903 - 01/27/09 04:50 PM Re: Starting Company Info Needed [Re: skippy]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 6
MMF Offline
MMF  Offline
Originally Posted by skippy
"I am assuming the steps are similar to those required in the US"

Why are you assuming that. No opinion on whether you are right or not, just curious about your assumption.

My assumption, though perhaps not THOROUGHLY informed, as it should have been, is based on the fact that both countries operate on a generally free market system, and would thus, I assume, have similar requirements in terms of registering a business, as opposed to starting a company in let's say China, for example.

Luckily, after some research, I have found that generally, my assumption was correct, and the process is pleasantly much simpler and less arduous than in the US.

Unless there is some catch I am unaware of... !!

#320905 - 01/27/09 04:52 PM Re: Starting Company Info Needed [Re: MMF]  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 3,035
Pedro1 Offline
Pedro1  Offline
interesting you ask a message board where 99% of contributors are either QRPs or live in the US-your parents own a house on AC ask their friends or use a lawyer
call Aldo Reyes at Glenn Godfrey Law firm -he will set you straight for a reasonable fee -my guess around 500-750usd

#320906 - 01/27/09 04:57 PM Re: Starting Company Info Needed [Re: captjeff]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 6
MMF Offline
MMF  Offline
Capt. Jeff,
I agree, and appreciate your advice. I am sure a lot of dreamers and quacks post similar questions to mine, so I appreciate you taking the time to take me seriously. I was on Ambergris for the end of December and most of January, and hope to return for a longer visit before the rainy season. Would you be able to reccomend a good time, perhaps? Last year I was there for most of March, which was similar in terms of the amount of tourists on the island, as well as weather, to Decebmer and January. This next trip I am hoping to be there when there are less tourists, but not quite the rainy season...
Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
Thanks so much.

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