Forex trading is attractive to consumers, due to the potential profits, and has become much more popular in recent years. Although traditionally forex business has been lightly regulated, its explosion in popularity over the past five years or so has led to an increasing awareness and regulatory oversight by governments.

Although there are still some offshore jurisdictions where forex is unregulated, it is unattractive to do business in these jurisdictions because it will be badly viewed by investors and banks, making it almost impossible to receive funds from investors. A licence from a reputable jurisdiction, on the other hand, will enhance credibility.

Belize Forex Licences

In many countries, forex business is covered under a blanket licence alongside other financial services. We recommend Belize as it has introduced licensing legislation specifically aimed at forex trading businesses. A Belize forex licence can be obtained relatively quickly and cheaply, but at the same time it is a well-regulated jurisdiction and will satisfy international banks and payment service providers for account opening purposes.

The minimum paid up and unimpaired capital required for the licence is USD 100,000. This sum should be deposited in a bank in Belize.

Other Belize Financial Licenses

A separate licensing category is also available as follows:  Trading in financial and commodity-based derivative instruments and other securities (eg, futures, options, interest rates, foreign exchange instruments, shares, stock, contracts for differences, etc.)

The minimum paid up and unimpaired capital required for the licence is USD 100,000. This sum should be deposited in a bank in Belize.

Who Can Apply?

The licence application must be submitted in the name of a Belize company that has the appropriate share capital registered. The first stage of the process is therefore to form a Belize IBC and open a Belize bank account. These services are chargeable at our normal fees for Belize companies and bank accounts. Once the IBC is formed and the bank account is opened and funded with the capital, we can start the licence application process.

No interview is required and there is no need to travel to Belize.

Business Plan

Belize’s International Financial Services Commission is naturally keen to protect the jurisdiction’s reputation. They will review each application on its merits and will licence only serious and professionally managed businesses. They only consider applications in writing.

The application form (that we will provide) must therefore be accompanied by a detailed and well-presented business plan in English including information on the principals and their experience, the technology platform to be used, professionals retained by the company such as accountants and auditors, the marketing plan, financial projections and all other relevant information. We prefer that this business plan is prepared by you the client, since you are the one who knows your business best and can therefore describe it best. It will also save you money if you prepare your business plan.

In some cases we may be able to help with drafting the business plan, but this service is chargeable extra depending on the work involved and is not included in the fee we charge for handling the licence application.

Application Process and Fees

BELIZE INITIAL LICENCE APPLICATION FEE (per licence):  USD 7,995

ANNUAL REGISTERED AGENT AND REGISTERED OFFICE FEE (second year onwards): USD 5,000

If the licence is approved by the Financial Services Commission, then the licensee must pay an annual fee of USD 5,000 to the government immediately on acceptance, and annually thereafter. Timescales cannot be guaranteed but typically we expect a response from the Commission in 1-2 months following submission of the application.

Are you ready to apply for a Belize financial services licence? Please contact Offshore Pro Group to get the process started.