Working in Belize and information for getting Work Permits in Belize
I haven’t posted in a few days because, well – I was working. Okay…can you really call it working from your couch or porch, in Belize? Yes, I am working! What do I do for a living in Belize? Well, personally I am a freelance writer, a web designer, developer and graphic artist, and I do a lot of other stuff too…Like, I help my husband with our businesses. We run a Solar, Wind, Alternative Energy company: Power Up Belize. We also have a security system business Caribbean Security Systems.com, and we do consulting for Construction, Real Estate Purchasing and for Website Design and SEO Optimization.
I am also in the process of putting up my own Graphic Art website “Art of Graphic Design,” however, I haven’t had a lot of time to “play” around with my graphic art because – well… I’ve been really busy writing for a British website that compares books, movies and video games. I’m on my third article for them and will post link to my articles once they have been published.
So my point is that there is a LOT you can do in Belize to earn a living. How do you get started? What are the steps? How do you get a Work Permit in Belize?
Well, let’s start by getting your Work Permit. As I mentioned in my post about “Adventures in getting Residency in Belize” you can get your work permit as soon as you come to Belize, and if you are starting a businesses here, there are many steps to follow. If you are running a “Non-Internet” based company, where your products and services will be sold in Belize, the very first step I would suggest is to go down in person to the Belize Immigration and Nationality Department in Belmopan. That way, you get the correct information from the start.
Unfortunately, they do not have a web site, and if you Google “Work Permits in Belize” – what you will find will probably be outdated; almost everything I found was not current. I will try to update this information with correct, current information for Work Permits as soon as possible. In the mean time, here are some .PDF documents that may be of help:
Since there is very little current information about Work Permits in Belize available, I strongly urge you to call or go to the Department of Labor in person to get the correct and current facts for obtaining a work permit in Belize, BEFORE you plan to start your business here. You can call them at (From the US & Canada) 011-501-822-2663 or 822-0693, or 802-0307.
There is conflicting information as to whether or not you can apply for a work permit as soon as you move to Belize. We were told that if you were moving to Belize and establishing a business here, you could apply for your Work permit right away. However, as I have been researching for current information, I have found a couple of references stating that you had to live here for six months prior to applying for your work permit, so once again, please contact the Department of Labor at the above numbers to get correct, current information!
If you plan to operate a business in Belize, you will need to register your business name. You just have to go down to the Registry of Company and Corporate Affairs and register your company name. They do have a website: Belize Companies & Corporate Affairs Registry, so please be sure to check with them on the requirements of Registering your business. Next, you need to see about General Sales Tax (GST.) If your company’s annual income will exceed $75,000BZD, you will need to register for GST. Please see their site: Belize Department of General Sales Tax for more information.
So starting a business in Belize is relatively easy, and isn’t going to cost you a ton of money. My suggestion however, is to come to Belize BEFORE you decide to move here and start a business. Check out the areas where you’d like to do business, check with the Department of Immigration, the Department of Labor, the Registry of Companies and Corporate Affairs, and the Department of General Sales Tax – these are the first steps to doing business here.
Also, if you move here under the Belize “Qualified Retired Persons Incentives Program” (QRP), other rules and laws apply – For information about QRP please see our page here: Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) Program or download the .PDF document:
Most people will tell you that you can NOT work under QRP, but according to the Belize Work Permit site: “Qualified Retired Persons are not allowed to seek employment in Belize. However, voluntary work and business investments are encouraged by the Department;” So again, please check with the Department of Labor (numbers above), or Immigration Office 011-501-822-2423 and the Belize Tourism Board 011-501-227-2420.
And…Welcome to Belize!