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#406393 - 04/28/11 10:35 AM Buying local business.  
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 16
Glenn in RI Offline
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Glenn in RI  Offline
Please forgive if this has been covered before. I did searches but couldn't come up with an answer.

Here's my question in a nutshell.

Is it possible for a non-citizen to buy an existing business in Belize and own / operate it?

If so exactly how is it accomplished, an LTD company established in Belize or something else?

Thanks!


Glenn
Catchy phrase not included.
#406395 - 04/28/11 10:52 AM Re: Buying local business. [Re: Glenn in RI]  
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 6,670
Amanda Syme Offline
Amanda Syme  Offline
Yes you can. You need to obtain a self-employed work permit.

#406403 - 04/28/11 11:40 AM Re: Buying local business. [Re: Amanda Syme]  
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 16
Glenn in RI Offline
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Glenn in RI  Offline
Originally Posted by Amanda Syme
Yes you can. You need to obtain a self-employed work permit.


Thanks Amanda, does that apply even if I'm not in the country currently? I'm working on moving but need to secure business income before taking the plunge. So the business and employess would be as is, but the actual ownership would be mine. So technically I wouldn't be "working" in Belize for at least some period of time.


Glenn
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#406405 - 04/28/11 11:59 AM Re: Buying local business. [Re: Glenn in RI]  
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,206
SnoopysMom Offline
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SnoopysMom  Offline
The only reason you would need a work permit is if you are actually working in Belize. You can own the business and just get your passport stamped every 30 days while in Belize. However, you cannot actually "substitute for" or do anything you would normally employ / pay someone to do (operations wise).

Hope this makes sense!

#406411 - 04/28/11 12:37 PM Re: Buying local business. [Re: Glenn in RI]  
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 6,670
Amanda Syme Offline
Amanda Syme  Offline
Snoopysmom is correct. If you do not live here you can buy and own a business that is operating in Belize. You can oversee your books, make executive decisions etc but you can't physically be "working" behind the counter so to speak.

Once you live in Belize you can only work behind the counter (physically work in any capacity) when you have a valid work permit.

#406512 - 04/29/11 11:28 AM Re: Buying local business. [Re: Glenn in RI]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,817
JZB Offline
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JZB  Offline
Glenn, your plan sounds great but be forewarned that operating a business on the island is hard work to make sure it can keep its doors open, never mind being successful. If the owner of the business is not present to 'supervise', you generally will have a larger chance of failure. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule.

I don't want to be negative but so many people have moved here with the wrong impressions of island life and have ended up packing it in and moving back home. When investing in a business, you have much more to loose so please be sure you do your due diligence first!

#406525 - 04/29/11 01:33 PM Re: Buying local business. [Re: JZB]  
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 16
Glenn in RI Offline
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Glenn in RI  Offline
Originally Posted by JZB
Glenn, your plan sounds great but be forewarned that operating a business on the island is hard work to make sure it can keep its doors open, never mind being successful. If the owner of the business is not present to 'supervise', you generally will have a larger chance of failure. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule.

I don't want to be negative but so many people have moved here with the wrong impressions of island life and have ended up packing it in and moving back home. When investing in a business, you have much more to loose so please be sure you do your due diligence first!


Thanks, Snoopysmom, Amanda and JZB.

I completely agree about due diligence, BTW there's a world of difference between negativity and good advice! I'm trying to do that diligence now. Few business' will fill your bank acount with untold millions while you sit back on the beach with a drink in hand.

With that said part of my plan includes securing a local lawyer. Is there a firm or individual on Ambergris Caye that would be recommended?

Also has anyone here run a business on the island from a distance (or even on the island)? What are the unique challanges? (please PM me if you don't want to air laundry out in the open, I really am looking for advise.)

Clearly there are many differences between a Butcher Shop, Parasailing, Burger Joint, Resturant, or Resort (some of the current business' for sale from what I can see)but does the operation differ that greatly from the same operations in the States or elsewhere?

Again, thanks for the replies, they really are appreciated. I've read through MANY of the posts here and caught the common themes and cautionary tales for the would be resident in Paradise.


Glenn
Catchy phrase not included.
#406526 - 04/29/11 01:37 PM Re: Buying local business. [Re: Glenn in RI]  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 8,868
SP Daily Offline
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SP Daily  Offline
Did you watch the series "Deadwood" on HBO? Kinda like that...

#406528 - 04/29/11 01:46 PM Re: Buying local business. [Re: SP Daily]  
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 16
Glenn in RI Offline
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Glenn in RI  Offline
Originally Posted by SP Daily
Did you watch the series "Deadwood" on HBO? Kinda like that...


Haha!! Yes, I loved that series. So tribute to Al Swearengen or wind up with Wu's pigs?


Glenn
Catchy phrase not included.
#406539 - 04/29/11 02:50 PM Re: Buying local business. [Re: Glenn in RI]  
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 16
Uncle Sam Offline
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Uncle Sam  Offline
Before you buy any business use your common sense and do some homework.

Make your investigations, look at their books, the latest tax record and verify there business with the main source on there supplies. This is the only way to see if a business plan makes sense.


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