Sunday, December 18, 2011



To keep it simple, for the ordinary person on the street, I will cover the basics as I understand them. There are four LEGAL ENTITIES you can use, depending on your purpose, by registering same at the Companies place in Belmopan, or the Registry in the port of Belize City.

The FOUR MAJOR legal entities are Companies, which are what most small business people use, to open a shop, or do some small cottage industry in Belize. Within the framework of Companies, there are a lot of subsidiary type entities. Such as partnerships, proprietorships and so on. The only draw back to a company is that it does not offer legal protection for your other assets, like your house, car, furniture and bank accounts, if you are sued. Companies keep books, issue shares, and have to document a good part of their activities for the tax man. Should your company get sued, judgements against the company can get carried over into your other assets. I remember reading about a TAXI company in Readers Digest back in the 1960´s that had a fleet of 100 or so taxis in Detroit, or Seattle. There was an accident and the company got sued for millions, which was won. The owner lost the company and eventually all his and her personal assets too. Forced into liquidation and bankruptcy. Nowadays people who start to acquire assets, usually put EACH ASSET into a different non liable, legal entity. So if one gets sued, the rest are protected.

LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANIES HAVE THE LTD. AFTER THE NAME. S.A. in Spanish companies. Any such company limits the liability to the assets of the company, and does not include the private assets of shareholders and officers in case of being sued.

FOUNDATIONS. I´m not yet familiar with FOUNDATIONS. Been wanting to write one, but have not been able to find any FOUNDATION paperwork charters, to read and peruse to design my own.

TRUSTS. I became very familiar with TRUSTS. These are normally, non functioning HOLDERS OF ASSETS. Can be funds in a bank, disbursed to beneficiaries. Or you can register your car in a TRUST, or boat, or house, or piece of land. I´ve done all of those at one time or another. Gives some protection from lawsuits. Offshore TRUSTS are used and companies to make it difficult for lawyers in litigation crazy USA, to sue you, as the HOME JURISDICTION would be the foreign country it is registered in, or used. TRUSTS normally do not carry on any business activities, but can, in which case they would follow the rules of companies. What they normally do, is own a company that does business and does bookkeeping. TRUSTS can be used to seperate yourself from ownership problems. You get to realize as you grow your wealth and assets, that you can be robbed by lawyers and people who hire lawyers to rob you. Just like a street bandit, sticks up a supermarket, or shop in Belize, the game escalates in the business world and a wealthy person becomes a target for legal robbery. They come after you with lawsuits instead. Goverment bureaucracies use FINES and regulations to do the same.

PEOPLE IN BELIZE, normally have not got that sophisticated yet. As a person acquires assets, you become a target for lawyer groups, government and private, particularly in the USA, who target people for lawsuits based on wealth and asset accumulation. Most of these are frivilous nuisance lawsuits, based on some law that gives them an EDGE. Most such lawsuits are settled a day or so, before the 4 year time limit expires in the USA. Not seen it work here in Belize. If you put each asset you control in a TRUST, then you do not own anything.
The true goal is not to own anything and have no more than $200 in your name in a bank. You can control millions in assets and have the use thereof, the privileges of ownership, without actually having ownership. See ASHCROFT and how he does it. In Belize, people still are concentrating on braggadocious verbal pride of ownership, so they mostly do companies and make themselve vulnerable to lawsuits. In the case of ASHCROFTs SUNSHINE TRUST, what he did as I understand it, was create a TRUST and placed his BTL shares in it. The beneficiaries were the employees of BTL allegedly, which fulfills the requirements of a TRUST formation. However, he appointed Dean Boyce as TRUSTEE and had him sign a loan for the value of the SHARES at that time. As TRUSTEE, Boyce was salaried by BTL, so it did not cost Ashcroft anything. Basically it was used to control the share votes in the Board of Directors and siphon off the dividends that came to those shares. ASHCROFT often claimed he did not own BTL. Legally he was right. He had control though. The shares were only a loan and could be taken back at any time, if not bought by the beneficiaries.

There is a lot of talk about SHELL COMPANIES. A TRUST or a FOUNDATION are not companies, limited liability or not. They are more asset holders, which are controlled by a TRUSTEE, usually under the guidance of a GRANTOR. If a TRUST or a FOUNDATION want to do any business, they form seperate companies and HOLD the shares that control that company Board of Directors. They control through majority votes. The legal seperation for such legal entities, gives some protection from lawsuits, or in third world countries like Belize, from impromptue seizure of company assets by a government. These can do business and have employees and pay salaries, but in that case, they pay taxes and do accounting like if they were a company. Most do not. They simply control an asset. Mostly they give TIME, a short space of a weekend is enough when threatened with a court judgement, or nationalization, to move the liquid part of the assets, to some other legal entity.

In the USA a litiguous society, the country is inundated with lawyer groups specializing in using laws, to make frivilous lawsuits, as their business. I remember some 25 years ago in Florida, there were at least three legal firms that specialized in suing small businesses, and franchises, like Burger King, or gas stations, based on a new law that required public toilets, to have a ramp and hand rails inside for toilets for wheelchair people. They would go up and down the Florida coast with handicap stooges, and sue the business. These suits usually run four years and are settled finally out of court for cash. A crooked way of making money.
So SHELL COMPANIES and on OFF the SHELF company, or TRUST are already registerd and established legally and you can buy these legal entities from a lawyer who provides this service, or take the time and establish your own. They are empty non-functioning businesses ready to open up for you. Get you a bank account in 24 hours. You then transfer assets to the new SHELL COMPANY, and if you want to slow any lawsuit litigation, you can run a series of such companies, like ASHCROFT does. It is just protection in a world that has gone crazy, with a different type of banditry, trying to extort money from people who legally have earned it. To protect yourself, you simply have to do these things. The rule of thumb is NEVER TO OWN ANYTHING. All you want is voting control.

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