Belize: Here is how to open a bank account as a foreign citizen
For anyone looking to relocate abroad, once all of the appropriate immigration steps have taken place, it is extremely important to set about making the move as easy as possible, for you personally and or your business as well. One theme that underlies everything we do these days is money, and when relocating, flows of capital become more important than ever, making the ways in which we secure them a significant part of your move abroad, starting with choosing and opening a bank account in your destination company. In this article we will be looking at Belize, an English speaking Central American nation situated on the northeast coast of the region. It is part of the Commonwealth, meaning there is still a significant link with the United Kingdom from whom independence was achieved in 1981, and there is also a large community of people who have relocated from across the world, making Belize a good country for expats. If you are considering or have already made an application to make the move, the following information is for you!
Personal bank accounts
The first kind of bank account we will explore comes under the personal category. What does this mean? Essentially, it is where you will store your own assets and the money is not used for business transactions. It may be a savings account or a current account where you use the money within it to make everyday purchases while keeping the money secure. If this is the type of account you feel you will need during your time in Belize as an expat, here are the documents you need to be able to successfully open one:
1. Obtain two references in the form of letters of recommendation from banks where you have had accounts in your home country
(Alternatively, you can have someone from Belize who holds an account with the bank where you want to open an account write you a recommendation letter as the second reference)
2. Identification documents may be required such as a notarised passport copy
3. Proof of address
4. Utility bill copies
It is also important to mention that different banks have different requirements, ranging from the minimum amount you must first deposit to the specific documentation they may request.
Business bank accounts
The other main bank account type is for business. This would mean an account used to receive money from clients or to pay employees, as well as to provide an easy way to keep an eye on how much the business is making and spending. Now we have this established, we will outline for you the necessary requirements for opening an account of this type in Belize below:
Proof of address
Original, signed and completed application form
Utility bill copy
2 reference letters for each account member
Certificate of shareholders
Certificate of good standing and incorporation (notarised)
Passport copy (notarised)
General terms and conditions, and depository agreement
Article and memorandum of association (notarised copy)
Letter of undertaking
The list of necessary documents is longer than for a personal account, however, it is no more stressful. The process is the same other than the aforementioned additional documents which makes Belize an ideal place to open a corporate account if you are planning on doing business there, coupled with the ability to complete electronic forms and apply for the account via internet.
So, if you feel either of these bank accounts in Belize may be for you, contact us today! We have a team of experienced global citizens working with cross-border matters and helping our clients to make their ventures a success, and we would love to be able to make you the next.