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Belize: Types of Company


Belizean trusts are governed by the Trusts Act, 1992, which was designed to incorporate modern and flexible asset protection provisions. A validly set up Belizean trust may not be set aside on the basis of claims from creditors in another jurisdiction, or the order of a foreign court on account of divorce, bankruptcy, etc.

The Act provides for the creation of a trust (other than a unit trust) by oral declaration, an instrument in writing (including a will or codicil), conduct, operation of law, or in any other manner whatsoever. A unit trust, however, may only be created by an instrument in writing. A trust (other than a constructive trust) over land situated in Belize is not enforceable unless evidenced in writing.

Registration of trusts is optional. Either the settlor or a trustee may apply to the registrar. If a trust is registered, a certified copy of the instrument creating the trust (if any) needs to be submitted. The register is not open for inspection except when the trustee of a trust (in writing) authorises a person to inspect the entry of that trust on the register.

The maximum duration of a trust (other than charitable trusts) under Belizean law is 120 years from the date of its creation. Trust income may be accumulated for a period not exceeding the maximum duration of the trust.

See Offshore Legal and Tax Regimes for further details of the taxation of trusts, and Law Of Offshore for further details of the legislation.



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