A few years ago I found out about the world of perpetual travel and tax optimization. I registered my first offshore company in Belize a few months later and this article is about why I choose Belize, how I registered the company and my experience running it.
I chose Belize
After researching my options for a few weeks, I narrowed down the selection of potential jurisdictions to five: Belize, B.V.I., Seychelles, Marshall Islands and Samoa. They were all equally suited to the task so at the end of the day the deciding factor ended up being cost. As you may have guessed by now, Belize won. Belize is not a great jurisdiction for most businesses but for an online-only / holding business it is pretty damn near perfect. No accounting requirements, no annual audit, no tax, very little paperwork, cheap and convenient. Being Canadian I also liked the fact that it is close geographically and on a similar time-zone.
How I registered my company
First of all, I set about finding a reputable registered agent. I would not have minded registering the company myself but that is sadly not an option for an IBC (in any jurisdiction). I ended up going with Fidelity Overseas because of the positive reviews I had read about them online and the fact that their HQ is in Europe. I filled the application form on their website, sent my due diligence documents (by mail) and wired the amount due to their bank account (around 1000$US). A little over a week later I received my corporate documents via DHL, the originals and a set of apostilled copies. A couple of weeks later I flew to Singapore with those documents and successfully opened a bank account with DBS and a brokerage account. I have since moved my banking to OCBC Singapore due to their better brokerage accounts.
My experience running it over the last few years
It has been a pleasure running my Belize company. To be honest, in the beginning I was slightly worried about reputation and whether that would close doors for me but those fears have proved to be unfounded. Over the last few years I have successfully opened an account with a Swiss bank and an account with a US based payment processor. Cost-wise, I have paid 350$US every year to my registered agent for their services and to cover the annual government fee. I have not had to do anything else, I have not filled a single document since registering the company.
While I now use Hong Kong and European structures for my “more serious” businesses, I still use my Belize company for my forex trading and for some minor stuff. Because my personal flags are strategically planted, I pay zero tax. None, nada, niet.