Owning a Business in Belize

belize businesses

Opening a business is risky in most cases but when you put together some of the most important characteristics of where to own a business it makes it less of a job and more of a life style. First you need to decide who your target audience is and what your businesses primary goal is. Belize is one of the largest tourist areas, if your product or business appeals to tourists then you are ready to go. If your business is more of a target for the locals you may have a tough job ahead of you but it can be done. The locals need things year round as well!

Tourists are interesting people. They travel around the world looking for places and things to spend their money on. They may not even realize the things they want to buy can be purchased at home. The difference is when they are out gallivanting the globe they do not have the capability of comparison shopping. Belize is very close to the United States and even has direct flights from Charlotte, Miami, Dallas, Newark, Houston, and soon Chicago. This makes it an easy getaway for people from the states.

The US is not the only place people travel from. It just seems to be one of the easiest. With the major languages of Belize being English and Spanish it is also extremely easy for people to communicate. English and Spanish are the two most common spoken languages in the world. This makes it easier to communicate with your customers and make your sales goals. Belize is ready to set your company up for success and ready to help you grow your business.

The Amazing Wildlife of Belize

Belize WildlifeIn Belize, we’re fortunate enough to have the most pristine forest of any country in South America. Over half of the land in Belize is covered by a breathtaking tropical forest, home to thousands of species of plants and animals. According to the BBC, a third of the land in Belize falls under protected status. It’s no surprise that eco-tourism has grown to become one of the most successful industries in the country.

One of the things we love most about being in Belize is the opportunity to witness all kinds of magnificent exotic creatures thriving in their natural habitat. Ground squirrels and white-tailed deer might be all the wildlife some of us can hope to encounter in our day-to-day lives, but in Belize you can expect way more diversity.

Imagine waking up to the call of the black howler monkey, an endangered species found only in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico. On any given day, you might be lucky enough to spot a squat, pig-like character with a shy demeanor and a voracious appetite for leaves. Meet the tapir, one of Belize’s most curious mammals.

Every year around September, sea turtles come ashore to nest and lay eggs on the beach. Nesting season is a very special time in Belize, a time when we get to see fresh new life emerge from the sands and boldly set out into the deep ocean. It is a venerated event that annually reminds us how truly precious these ecosystems are.

Keep your species identification guides close at hand! Each time you step out your door in Belize you’ll have the opportunity to see animals you might never have even heard of. We’d love to see you invest in this remarkable global tourism hotspot. For more information on investment opportunities in Belize, contact Belize Shores Realty today.

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Ambergris Caye: Best Island in the World

Ambergris CayeThose who invest in Belize real estate and businesses keep an eye on popular “Best Of” lists that often highlight the beautiful country and display its wonders for the world to see. We’re proud to point out that Ambergris Caye, the most popular island in Belize, has once again put Belize at the top of a prestigious and competitive list. It recently won Trip Advisor’s 2014 Traveler’s Choice Award for Best Island in the World for the second year in a row.

With its turquoise, Caribbean waters and stunning views, there is no doubt visitors will find the caye to be a beautiful place to get away from the stresses of everyday life, to relax and refresh yourself, and to witness the spectacle of some very interesting antiquity.

Whether you are interested in fishing, sky diving (which is particularly popular during the winter months), snorkeling and deep sea diving, walking around San Pedro Town—the only town on the caye—or simply lounging, there is something for everyone on Ambergris Caye. The caye is especially known for its Belize Barrier Reef, one of the largest barrier reefs in the world – second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef – and for its pristine, white sandy beaches. There are  also a number of resorts and hotels on Ambergris Caye, some of which may be available for investment right here at Belize Shores Realty.

A community of Maya lived on Ambergris Caye in Pre-Columbian times, and they made highly polished red ceramics, some of which can still be found on the island. The Mayan civilization’s presence in Belize is of particular interest to historians, both professional and amateur, and there are relics to be seen here that will fascinate the most ardent enthusiast.

Ambergris Caye has a lot to offer, and if you can imagine watching a breathtaking sunset over the Caribbean while sipping a glass of wine, you can imagine the special beauty of Ambergris Caye. The people are always friendly and welcoming, there is always something close by to delight your senses.

For more information on Belize and opportunities to invest in the wildly popular tourist destination, visit Belize Shores Realty today.

 

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Belize Weather: A Traveler’s Paradise

Belize WeatherPart of the great adventure of travel is experiencing different climates, eco-systems, and geographies. And if you normally reside in an area where you live through harsh winters and four quite distinct seasons, Belize may provide the perfect change for you. It remains hot and humid most of the year, which should be idyllic for many seeking respite from snow and freezing temperatures, with tropical coastal breezes by the shorelines.

The temperature in Belize can sometimes reach as high as 95 degrees Fahrenheit, while during the winters it can get as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The interior of the country is warmer owing to the fact that it does not receive off-shore winds, and temperatures can be between 5 and 10 degrees higher there.

Humidity is not terribly variable and stays around 85 percent all the year. This can be an issue for visitors who want to tour the magnificent rainforests where it is much warmer, but if you make sure to bring plenty of water or sports drinks and keep yourself hydrated, you should be fine. Keep in mind that it would be wise to engage in serious activity during the cooler parts of the day and not at the midday hours.

The rainy season in Belize is from June until December, with the most rainfall occurring in late June and early July, and the dry season is from February until May. There may be some rain during the dry season but it is usually just brief showers that are not particularly heavy. Most often, storms come in the form of squalls that bring high winds, rain and a slight drop in temperature for only a few minutes, making way for the sun to return.

Belize is the perfect getaway for vacationers who wish to experience a true tropical environment. It boasts magnificent scenery, stunning ecosystems and ruins, and beautiful beaches. At Belize Shores Realty we’ve found that many visitors fall in love with our beautiful weather, and make it their mission to invest in property or spend their retirement right here in Belize.

 

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What Are The Rules For Visiting Belize?

rules for visiting belizeThinking about visiting Belize?

Whether you’re planning a vacation to explore Belize’s many natural wonders and cultural treasures, or you’re looking to invest in Belize through real estate or a commercial business, you’ll need to make yourself familiar with the country’s immigration policy. While it’s true that Belize is incredibly accessible and hospitable to foreigners, it is still a sovereign country with its own laws that you will need to follow.

Fortunately, Belize’s immigration policy is simple and straightforward. Here’s what you’ll need to know before embarking on your exciting journey.

First of all, guests of Belize must arrive with a passport that will be valid for at least another three months. You must also prove that you possess a ticket for the eventual trip home, as well as enough cash to get through the duration of your stay. This means at least $60 US per day. While only a one-month stay will be granted at first, you may apply for an extension with the Immigration Department if you wish to stay longer. The first 6 months will cost $25 each, and every month after that $50.

Failure to keep your passport up to date and stamped by the Immigration Department will cost you a fine of $500 or more. Regardless, when you leave Belize as a visitor or non-citizen, you’ll be charged an exit fee of $39.25, but this is usually included in US airline fare.

Is a visa required to enter Belize? Not if you’re a citizen of any of the following countries:

  • United States and its territories
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom and its territories
  • European Union
  • Caribbean and Central American Countries

If you’re travelling with little ones, whether they’re human or not, you’ll need proper documentation. For children, that means a birth certificate or passport. If only one parent is present, you’ll also need a notarized signature of authorization from the other. For pets, you’ll need a veterinary certificate as well as an import permit from the Belize Agricultural Health Authority.

Other stipulations exist. For example, if you enter on a cruise ship, you’ll only be charged $7, whether you get off the ship or not. If you’re traveling over land borders, you’ll also pay less, $15 for a stay of less than 24 hours and $18.75 otherwise.

For more information on visiting or investing in Belize, visit BelizeShoresRealty.com. We offer commercial properties and other great opportunities for you to begin exploring today.

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Common Myths about Belize Debunked

For those who have invested in Belize real estate and businesses, the little country is one of the best-kept secrets of the world. Upon returning to the U.S. mainland, it can be amazing to hear the impressions that some folks have of Belize. So to clear up some of the common misconceptions, here are a few things that many people are wrong about.

 

1. You’ll have to learn Spanish.

Many people believe that, even though Belize is an officially English speaking country, they’ll need to learn Spanish in order to get along with the native population. This is actually the opposite of the truth. In fact, Belizean children are typically taught English in school. Spanish speakers coming from neighboring countries usually end up learning English to fit in rather than the other way around.

 

2. Belize is a Caribbean island.

Take a look at a map! When you mention Belize to friends who have never been to the region, many will undoubtedly state the belief that it’s located in the Caribbean. Of course, anyone remotely familiar with the geography of Belize knows that it’s a part of the Central American mainland. There are, however, a great deal of Belizean islands off the coast of the country.

 

3. Belize has bad infrastructure.

Many people somehow have the impression that living in Belize is like returning to the Stone Age. This is absolutely not true. While there are occasional power outages, authorities usually fix problems very quickly. The power grid is laid out the same way as the United States, so you won’t need to bring adaptors for all of your devices. Even though internet is a bit overpriced, it’s quite reliable, and cellular phone service is solid and improving as well.

 

4. It’s always scorching hot in Belize.

For those who don’t handle the extreme heat well, moving so far south can sound like a nightmare. And while others might actually be disappointed to hear this, the weather is actually cooler than you might think. Average temperatures range from about 75 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. It even drops into the 60s on winter nights, but not so much that you’ll ever be nearly as cold as you were back home.

 

The only way to get a 100% accurate impression of what Belize is actually like is to visit. Now is the perfect time to explore investment opportunities in Belize at Belize Shores Realty today.

 

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Buying a Hotel in Belize

Buying a Hotel in BelizeIt’s understandable to be nervous about investing in a foreign place. Spending the majority of your life in one country allows you to grow comfortable, taking laws and economic factors for granted. However, if you pay a visit to Belize, you’ll quickly realize that it’s much different from other foreign countries. You’ll find that it’s an ideal place for investment, whether you’re looking at purchasing a comfy waterfront retreat or a luxury hotel.

 

Perhaps the best sign when it comes to foreign investment in Belize is that the country places no restrictions on non-citizens who own property. The policy can be likened to a big sign that says “Belize is open for business”. You won’t be put at an automatic disadvantage to the hotel across the street, and you’ll be able to keep rates competitive with more established businesses. In addition, Belize property taxes are remarkably low, and they don’t have any capital gains tax at all. When operating a hotel in Belize, you won’t be punished by the government for the work and capital you put in to help it grow.

 

Another attractive feature of the economic climate in Belize is just how easy it is to do business in the country. In some cases, making a foreign investment requires learning an entirely new system of laws. Even worse are horror stories of a business failing due to a regulation that went unnoticed or was conveniently omitted during a business deal.

 

In Belize, the laws are modeled on England’s, meaning you’re already familiar with the basic concepts. Even better is the fact that English is the official language. You won’t need to put your trust and money into translators, and you’ll save a great deal of time by working with contracts that you can actually read. You can make more fluid business deals by keeping in constant contact with associates who share your native language.

 

In addition to speaking your language, the people of Belize are also typically very welcoming of foreigners. If you wish, it shouldn’t be hard to immerse yourself in the community and build trust with your neighbors. After all, the success of Belize is a mutual interest among all residents. Belize is a country that welcomes Americans into a friendly business atmosphere.

 

Buying a hotel in Belize also offers a guarantee of stability, as the government functions well, placing emphasis on rights to private property. The country boasts an impressive communications network and an efficient postal service. On top of it all, Belizean currency is fixed, 2-to-1, to the American dollar, saving you from sudden fluctuations in value.

 

The benefits of buying property in Belize are clear. Visit Belize Shores Realty for more investment information, and to browse listings today.

 

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Why Retire In Belize?

 

Retiring in Belize

The Belize Retirement Incentives Program helps those with incomes of at least $2,000 make the transition to this tropical paradise quickly and easily. Retirees who take advantage of the program have moving costs taken care of and face an easier process when applying for permanent residency. Welcoming Belizeans have opened the door for others to enjoy their beautiful country. So what compels so many retirees to take them up on the generous offer?

 

First and foremost, retirees are looking to escape from the instability of their home countries. While the political and economic situation in the United States seems to be worsening at a steady rate, Belize prides itself on a solid, mostly privatized economy and commonsense governing. With low interest inflation rates and safe, protective banking laws, Belize is a safe and promising place to invest in. Real estate is affordable and property taxes are very low. Some retirees find themselves with no tax liability at all.

 

An affordable and stable living situation means nothing if it can’t also be enjoyed, though. Retirees will be welcomed by a strong community of fellow retirees and an e thnically diverse population with a worldwide reputation for friendliness and cooperation. While Belize has the lowest population density in the region, it has the second highest growth rate. Perhaps the beautiful natural landscape of Belize can account for its flood of newcomers. 80% of the land is undeveloped and covered with rivers, rainforests, beaches, and the second largest barrier reef in the Western hemisphere. The temperature floats around a comfortable average of about 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

One thing retirees aren’t eager to experience in the twilight of their lives, however, is culture shock. They’ll be pleased to learn that English is the official language of Belize, which sets it apart from the other Central American country. It’s laws are based on the traditional British system, and they even drive on the right side of the road! Perhaps most important to the families of retirees is that Belize is only a short plane ride from the United States border.

 

Maybe you’ve always wanted to retire to a foreign country, or maybe you’ve never considered it at all. When you experience beautiful Belize for yourself, you’ll understand why so many retirees are opening themselves up to the wonderful possibility.

 

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Belize Tourism setting records!

This article is reposted from one of our local online newspapers; Ambergris Today

BELIZE TOURISM SETTING RECORDS!

Belize Tourism Statistics 2013: First Quarter Report

Belize Tourism Statistics 2013: First Quarter Report

The year 2013 started out on an all-time high for Belize’s tourism industry, having documented record numbers for the first quarter. The trends in the first quarter of 2013 tourist arrivals are indicative of 2012’s patterns, in which substantial numbers were recorded per month. In fact, the last time there was a decrease in any month for tourist arrivals was October 2011- making it nineteen consecutive months of increases in overnight tourist arrivals to Belize.

Tourism Statistics 2013: First Quarter Report

There was a record high in arrivals by air in January, February and March of 2013, showing a 7.58%, 6.0% and 10.1% increases respectively, compared to 2012. This year’s month of March recorded 28,623 tourist arrivals, which is over 5,200 more than last year’s March total of 25,982. This is the first time in history that arrivals by air exceeded the 28,000 visitor mark for any month. In summary, airport tourist arrivals showed 8.1% growth in this year’s first quarter, in comparison to last year’s.

Tourism Statistics 2013: First Quarter Report

For overnight tourist arrivals, the months of January, February and March recorded increases of 17.2%, 11.6% and 11% respectively. For the first time ever, overnight visitors exceeded 35,000 visitors in March 2013. The previous all-time high was 32,240 visitors in March of the previous year. Overall, the overnight tourist arrivals stats indicate that there was a 13% growth over 2012’s first quarter.

Tourism Statistics 2013: First Quarter Report

Despite dismal cruise arrivals last year, 2013’s first quarter showed notable increases. There was a 19.4% increase in arrivals in January, and an 11.4% increase in arrivals in February, compared to last year’s stats. In addition, March saw a modest increase of 1.4% over the previous year, all of which resulted in a total of 10.9% increase in cruise arrivals in the first three months of this year.

For more information, please contact the Belize Tourism Board at 227-2420.

This is nothing short of astounding and lends even more credibility to Belize being a primary commercial investment location. Contact us about all the wonderful properties and businesses that are available today.

 

Why Belize?

From me, Paul, Broker at Belize Shores Realty, I wanted to publish my personal reasons for relocating with my wife and partner to Belize:

My wife and I are children of the 50s and 60s. We grew up in an America that was proud and living there made you feel like you were in the best place in the world at the best time in history. 

Then something happened in the early 70s. Whether I just matured and started realizing that the current events during our childhood was a stage show playing out to a devastating and surprising end, or  whether there was some single event that was to change the future, I’m really not sure, BUT I do know that the America that we grew up in is not the same.

My first jobs were with companies like Collins Radio/Rockwell, Fisher Controls/Monsanto, John Deere Tractor and on. I saw people no longer willing to stay loyal to any one employer because the employers were losing interest in taking care of their employees as they had since the industrial revolution and unionization. All of a sudden I felt an urgency to take care of my family in a more personal or self-sustaining manner and started moving around the country. While doing so we ended up in California where life became more isolated, even though the suburban populace seemed never ending. We went from our isolated homes, to our isolated cars, to our work cubicle, and back home, hardly seeing any neighbors except to wave on bar-b-q weekends! I longed for a better life even though my financial life was just fine, I didn’t feel at home.

Many years later, after our two children had gone on their own, I discovered Central America. Life was back to the 50s and 60s again. Your neighbor was just that, neighborly. People waived on the streets EVERY MORNING! Hellos or Buenos Dias came from nearly every mouth you met. I was back home again!

Belize is an oasis in Central America for most of us Expats from the US that refused to learn a foreign language. Come and visit San Pedro just once and 90% of you will be hooked! You may not have the same desire to leave the rat race behind as I did, but you will relax. Your blood pressure will settle, your nerves will calm, and your smile to neighbors and strangers will return.

We investigated Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Belize. We felt comfortable here! Whether it barefooting it around San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, or rubbing elbows with the Garifuna in Hopkins. I don’t think you will find a friendlier place on earth.

Now Tripadvisor has named Ambergris Caye the #1 Island in the World! What a statement! We agree!