We frequently receive requests from companies wishing to set up money transmission or payment processing businesses. This includes services such as electronic money institutions, IPSPs, virtual money, e-wallets, prepaid services, money brokers, virtual currency exchanges etc as well as more traditional remittance and payment processing services. A licence from a reputable jurisdiction will enhance credibility and make it easier to deal with international banks where accounts will be required to move funds.
Belize Financial Services Licences
We recommend Belize as it is a respected and well regulated jurisdiction, where costs remain reasonable and the regulators will review applications relatively speedily. Best of all it has tailored legislation specifically for these different types of payment services provider business activities.
The following licence categories are available: Minimum capital required:
Money Transmission Services USD 50,000
(Click here to see the standard Money Transmission Services license terms and conditions)
Payment Processing Services USD 50,000
(Click here to see the standard Payment Processing Services license terms and conditions)
Money Exchange USD 75,000
Note: The capital 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, although licensees should expect to visit the Financial Services Commissioner at least once a year once business is commenced.
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 2,500 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.