Business Location Selection
Applicable Beneficiary: Someone that wishes to lease or purchase land in Belize to conduct business. Land is either privately-owned or government-owned.
Procedure for Obtaining Government Land
- The investor wishing to purchase or lease government submits project proposal to the Land and Surveys Department and must demonstrate the ability to raise the necessary funds.
- The investor will informally meet with the National Estate Officer to discuss the land available.
- The investor then submits an application on the prescribed form.
- The officers will study the project proposal and prepare a Cabinet Confidential with recommendations
- The Cabinet Confidential is sent to the Minister of Natural Resources for approval
- The Minister of Natural Resources forwards the Cabinet Confidential to the Office of the Cabinet Secretary
- The Cabinet Secretary tables the Cabinet Confidential for cabinet decision.
Procedures for Purchasing Lease Land
- The land must be developed in accordance with the lease agreement.
- The land must be surveyed. This is facilitated through permission to survey. Applicant’s social security card must be presented.
- Proof of nationality must be given i.e. passport, certificate of nationality, voter’s ID etc.
- If the land is mortgaged, then a Letter of Consent to purchase from the lending institution must be presented.
- A land inspection will be conducted by the Land Inspector.
- As in the case of lease applications, the applications are forwarded to the National Estate Section in Belmopan, where the application will be examined to see if all requirements are met.
- If the requirements are met, the application will be approved and a purchase agreement must be signed by the applicant.
- Once the agreement is signed, the applicant must abide by the terms of the purchase agreement and complete payment within the agreed time.
- Lease becomes Property
Procedures for Purchasing Land through a Real Estate Agent
- Provide agent with criteria for land/property being sought details such as size, special characteristics (i.e. sea frontage, high way frontage, etc.) and purpose (i.e. agricultural, commercial, etc.)
- Indicate the estimated budget to acquire the land/property.
- Physically visit the proposed site(s).
- Prepare a formal “offer” for the selected site of interest. Based on the value of your offer, 10%isheld in escrow. If your offer is“accepted”the escrow becomes non-refundable.
- Based on your above offer and acceptance, the terms of agreement and sale are stipulated and are to be followed contractually for“closing” of the deal.
- The Title Transfer is to be prepared by an attorney or the Real Estate Agent and duly registered by him/ her at the Lands Registry. The usual cost is between11/2% and 2% of the value of the land/property under consideration.
- Ultimately, stamp duty is payable to the Government of Belize at the rate of 5% of the value of the transaction.
Procedures for Acquiring Land-Party to Party
- Identify parcel of land or property, and locate the owners.
- Negotiate details and terms of sale.
- Prepare and submit proper documentation(Certificate of Registration (certify or non-certify)and Land Transfer Form) to the Registrar of Lands; this is usually prepared by the seller.
Office and warehouse space is not difficult to locate. Most individuals/companies who have space available will advertise in the classified section of the newspapers, on a sign within the compound, or will utilize the services of a real estate agent or broker. Most real estate agents have a website that will list available properties. For a listing of real estate agencies that are members of AREBB (Association of Real Estate Brokers of Belize), you can visit the following website: www.arebb.com
Companies who have specific needs for office, warehouse and factory space can employ the services of a contractor to build a facility to their specifications. A listing of property rentals and a complete listing of Real Estate Agents and contractors can be found in Support Agencies.