The decision to invest in Belize may well be one of the easiest and smartest decisions you make. It is fast becoming one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean for vacationers as well as for those who work in global markets as an ideal place to call home. Being a part of the British Commonwealth brings added benefits that make doing business in Belize a snap: it is primarily English speaking, it enjoys a peaceful and conflict-free political environment, and its democratic climate opens the doors to opportunities from business sectors that go beyond the more visible markets of real estate and tourism.
One of the greatest benefits to buying real estate in Belize is that foreign buyers are granted the same rights as Belize citizens. Unlike many neighboring Central American countries, when you purchase a property in Belize, you own it outright: a ‘freehold’ as opposed to a ‘leasehold’. A Freehold, or Fee Simple title allows the property owner to possess, live in, lease out, or bequeath the land as they wish in perpetuity.
Belize is one of very few countries in the world that are a tax ‘safe haven’, even offering tax free living to qualified retirees from any country in the world. There are no capital gains taxes and property taxes range between 1% – 1.5%. Closing costs are typically around 12.5% and transfer taxes are usually around 10%, but if you are Belize citizen, about half of that can be waived. Long considered a smart strategy for asset protection and tax reduction, investing in Belize is a viable solution to long-term tax and portfolio planning goals.
The Qualified Retired Persons Incentive Act came into effect in 1999, and offers qualified retired individuals from all over the world an attractive opportunity to relocate to Belize. Some of the benefits include official residency and transport of the person’s personal effects, including vehicles. Those covered under this act are not required to pay income taxes on any investments or work interests outside of the country.
Belize offers several commercial banks as well as quite a few smaller banks and credit unions that offer a full range of financial services to serve residents and non-residents alike. There are also a growing number of offshore institutions that are protected under the Offshore Banking Act of 1996 as well as by other global regulatory bodies. Though these banks are prohibited from doing business with Belize citizens, they do offer security, privacy and asset protection for citizens of the rest of the world.
Belize is a beautiful and unique Central American country, offering the best of what the Caribbean has to offer without the burdens of political unrest, crime or ecological threat. As unique as Belize is to Central America, Ambergris Caye is unique within Belize. Within the destination of Belize as a whole, over 70% of its visitors choose Ambergris Caye as their final destination. Most of the island is dedicated National Park and marine reserve, with stringent regulations on land use and development. As a result, the pristine beauty of Ambergris Caye will always be preserved like a rare and precious jewel. Ambergris Caye has been named the top island in the world several years in a row by Trip Advisor, and is fast becoming the number one vacation spot in all of Central America. Whether for a vacation, to live, to invest in or retire to, Ambergris Caye is fast becoming one of the world’s most desirable destinations.
The popularity and desirability of Ambergris Caye combine to create the perfect opportunity for those looking to invest. There are a multitude of properties and land ready to develop, and enough diversity to be able to meet your objectives at every investment level. A dream vacation home, income property, beachfront condos or multi-unit residential, property to build on or commercial investment – all are waiting for you in beautiful Ambergris Caye!