*Last update: June 18, 2020
Working as CEO of Astorts Group, my team and I have received many inquiries about a cost effective way to license forex brokerage services, so I decide to write this bootstrapper's guide that can be useful for many of you.
If you are looking for the lowest possible entry point for an offshore brokerage licence with no local director or local physical office requirements Belize and Cayman Islands are really the only two options that come to my mind and that fit these criteria. I'd like -in this article- to focus on the options that Belize may offer you. Other former popular entry point options like Seychelles, Cyprus, BVI and Mauritius have increased their requirements and costs.
Belize Licence Types:
The following types of licenses can be of particular interest to forex brokers and traders:
- Trading in Foreign Exchange (Forex, FX)
- Trading in Financial Commodity-Based Derivative Instruments and Other Securities (futures, options, interest rates, shares, stock, contracts for differences etc.)
- Brokerage, Consultancy and Advisory Services in any financial services
Belize offers one of the most inexpensive regulated brokerage options available anywhere in the world for setting up a Forex Brokerage Firm. International Financial Services Business is regulated in Belize by the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC). For each kinds of financial services you may offer, including trading in foreign exchange (FOREX), in securities and financial instruments as well as brokerage, consultancy and advisory services you will be required to hold a proper licence.
Requirements and Procedures:
Any Belize IBC can apply for a financial license, it's not mandatory to have an operational office or hire staff in Belize. but the IBC company is expected to meet certain requirements, prescribed by the IFSC such as:
- Directors of the company should have proper knowledge and expertise in the business that the company is planning to carry on.
- Shareholders of the company must ensure proper capitalisation of the company. The minimum paid- up capital has to be fully paid- up and deposited in a bank account opened in Belize remaining there unimpaired for as long as the License is valid.
- The application should be supported by certain information, including: the business plan, projected financial forecasts for the first five years, Anti-Money Laundering and Customer Acceptance Policies.
- Bank confirmation that the statutory capital has been paid
Usually the full package to acquire your licence is in the range of $40.000 and includes:
- Formation of a Belize International Business Company;
- First year company registered agent and registered address;
- One set of original corporate documents and rubber seal;
- Due Diligence file for Directors and Shareholders of the company
- Setting up a bank account for the IBC in Belize;
- Assistance with obtaining share capital deposit confirmation from the bank;
- Completing a License Application;
- Collecting supporting license application documents from the client;
- Submitting the application to the IFSC and following it up until finalised
Statutory Capital and Government Fees:
- Registrar of Companies Fee $1.000
- IFSC Annual License Fee $25.000
- IFSC Application Fee $1000
- Paid-Up Capital $500.000
Belizeformerly British Honduras, is an independent country on the eastern coast of Central America. Belize is bordered on the north by Mexico, on the south and west by Guatemala, and on the east by the Caribbean Sea. Its mainland is about 290 km (180 mi) long and 110 km (68 mi) wide.
Belize has an area of 22,800 square kilometres (8,800 sq mi) and a population of 387,879 (2017). It has the lowest population density in Central America. The country's population growth rate of 1.87% per year (2015) is the second highest in the region and one of the highest in the Western Hemisphere.
Alessandro Rocco Pietrocola is an entrepreneur and investor based in London and operating mainly in Europe, Asia and Oceania with main focus on UK, Baltic Countries, Russia, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Middle East and New Zealand as area of interest! At the moment is the CEO of Astorts Group. He is an UK FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) Approved Person and is has great experience as director of regulated companies. He uses to dedicate part of his life to inspire others and help them achieve the most out of their life. Since he was 20, he had successfully founded and managed several companies operating in the field of management consulting, wealth management and fintech. He loves travelling, he is a cigars lover, an amateur golfer and a dapper man.