1 Changes to Law for IBCs holding IP Assets
We would like to update you regarding Belize International Business Companies ("IBCs"), and their legal obligations regarding the holding of international property assets ("IP assets"):
- IBCs shall not acquire, hold, own, or deal in any IP assets, pursuant to Section 5(4) of the International Business Companies Act, Chapter 270 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2011 (as amended by Act No. 17 of 2019).
- This new regime became effective on 1 January 2019, but an exemption period is allowed to IBCs incorporated on or before 30 June 2018 (in respect of IP assets acquired up to 16 October 2017). Here, they will be allowed to continue holding, owning or dealing with IP assets up to 30 June 2021, (the "grandfathered period")
- IP assets includes any intellectual property right in intangible assets, including but not limited to copyright, patents, trademarks, brand, and technical know-how, from which identifiable income accrues to the business (such income being separately identifiable from any income generated from any tangible asset in which the right subsists).
2 IBC Obligations
Clients are reminded about the following obligations under the new Belize provisions for IP assets:
- All IBCs need to complete the "Intellectual Property (IP) Assets Grandfathering Certification Programme Form" (the 'IPAG Form'), which should be sent to our local registered agent for submission to the International Financial Services Commission (the "Commission") on or before the deadline date of 31 January 2020.
- No extensions will be given by the Commission after the deadline date.
- Fees to be charged to Belize companies will be as follows:
o Our handling fee to submit the IPAG Form to the Commission will be € 240 per IBC ("handling fee") which includes local agent's handling fee.
o In addition to a handling fee of € 240, if an IBC reports that it holds, owns or deals with IP assets at submission of the IPAG form, our invoice for additional handling fee for submission of annexures and supporting documents will be issued and also €50 per IP asset shall be charged by the Commission as an administrative fee. This fee covers processes to determine if the IBC qualifies for the grandfathered period. The invoice issued by the Commission will be provided after the review of the IP assets has been made
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.