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Starting Company Info Needed

Posted By: MMF

Starting Company Info Needed - 01/27/09 12:24 AM

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.

Thanks!
Posted By: beachbumin

Re: Starting Company Info Needed - 01/27/09 12:38 AM

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.
Posted By: skippy

Re: Starting Company Info Needed - 01/27/09 12:59 AM

"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.
Posted By: captjeff

Re: Starting Company Info Needed - 01/27/09 06:27 PM

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..
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Starting Company Info Needed - 01/27/09 07:12 PM

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.
Posted By: Moose In Belize

Re: Starting Company Info Needed - 01/27/09 07:52 PM

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.
Posted By: MMF

Re: Starting Company Info Needed - 01/27/09 10:47 PM

beachbumin,
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!
MMF
Posted By: MMF

Re: Starting Company Info Needed - 01/27/09 10:50 PM

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.


Skippy,
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... !!


Posted By: Pedro1

Re: Starting Company Info Needed - 01/27/09 10:52 PM

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
Posted By: MMF

Re: Starting Company Info Needed - 01/27/09 10:57 PM

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.
MMF
Posted By: MMF

Re: Starting Company Info Needed - 01/27/09 11:03 PM

Diane,
Wow. Thanks for your posting. I certainly plan on reading the book mentioned by beachbummin, and if you could reccomend any others that would be great. I believe your Villas are just up the beach from my parents home, and judging by your success, I would be a fool not to take your advice! Also, from everything that I have read thus far, it seems as though female business owners are treated the same as male business owners, and was wondering if you could tell me if this is true or not. Statistically, there are fewer of them, and as far as wages are concerned, women are paid less gerenally (though illegal), but it seems that where business ownership is concerned, all are equal.
Hope to hear back soon,
MMF
Posted By: MMF

Re: Starting Company Info Needed - 01/27/09 11:11 PM

Originally Posted by Moose in Belize
"I am assuming the steps are similar to those required in the US"
Typical American attitude.
Ever thought of hiring a Belizean lawyer?


Moose,
In fact, I have considered that, and plan to hire not only a local lawyer, but a local accountant as well. However I am not far enough along in the process to require such services, at this point, and am simply seeking advice and insight from informed sources i.e. the members of this online community. I certainly was not looking for sarcasm.
If that makes me a Typical American, in your opinion, there is not much I can do about that. Sorry.

MMF
Posted By: skippy

Re: Starting Company Info Needed - 01/27/09 11:24 PM

"...I believe your Villas are just up the beach from my parents home..."

Not exactly new to the area then, are you?
Posted By: captjeff

Re: Starting Company Info Needed - 01/28/09 03:34 AM

The summer might be a nice time.but i would put that question up to others.who might share there thoughts .all the best to you you sound like you have a, BETTER IDEA OF THE REAL WORLD HERE THAN MOST,THATS A GOOD START .. ,lets us know how you are making out on your dream ...GOOD LUCK.
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