The Amendment to the Belize International Business Companies Act was enacted with immediate effect in July 2017.
This amendment establishes the prohibition of issuing bearer shares. Every company that has issued bearer shares must convert such shares into registered shares and cancel all bearer share certificates issued prior to July 2018. Any bearer shares which have not been converted and canceled to that date will be declared null and void. The penalty for not fulfilling this requirement is of US$5,000 for each day of such failure to comply.
All companies will be required to produce a Register of Directors and a Register of Beneficial Owners, both to be kept at the registered office in Belize and upon a request made by the competent authority, the registered agent shall produce the requested registers within the twenty-four hours of the request.
The Register of Directors and the Register of Beneficial owners must contain some of the following particulars: full name, residential address, date of birth, nationality, occupation, among others. A company that contravenes the register of directors requirement is liable to a penalty of USD$25 per each day and for the register of beneficial owners $500 for each day. In both cases, any director who knowingly permits the contravention is liable to a similar penalty.
The Belize existing companies, meaning companies registered prior to the commencement of this Act will have until July 2018 to file its register of directors and beneficial owners at the registered office.