How to Hire Remote Employees In 

Belize

The Basics

Currency
Belize Dollar (BZD)
Employer Taxes
7.31%
Payroll Frequency
Monthly
Official Language
English

Employment in 

Belize

Hire Independent Contractors

Independent contractors or freelancers are self-employed individuals who provide services to companies as a non-employee. This is one of the most common ways companies tend to hire non-local designers, engineers, support reps, etc.

For legal and tax purposes, independent contractors are not classified as employees. They may work for multiple clients, set their own work hours, negotiate their pay rate, and decide how a job gets done.

For example, the IRS says that if an independent contractor or freelancer does work that can be controlled (what will be done and how it will be done) by an employer then they are, in fact, classified as an employee.

As you can imagine, hiring someone as an independent contractor versus an employee is a fine line to tread.

While there are benefits when you choose the contractor route, there are quite a few drawbacks to consider and you’ll need to weigh them carefully to determine the best fit for your company.

Benefits of Hiring Independent Contractors
Reduced overhead: Lower cost in expenses, payroll, benefits, and more.
Greater flexibility: Contractors can be brought on as-needed. If not a good fit, you simply don’t have to move forward with the contract.
Reduced legal risk: Contractors aren’t usually protected by employment anti-discrimination and workplace safety laws.
Disadvantages of Hiring Independent Contractors
Risk of Misclassification: Not only does this deny workers their proper protections, it can also result in steep penalties and damage to your company. If the IRS determines that employee misclassification has occurred, you will be liable for a percentage of the employees wages, FICA contributions, penalty fines, unpaid taxes, up to a year in prison, and more.
Lack of Control: Contractors are drawn to being independent because it gives them greater control over the work they perform and who they work with. Because they’re not employees, you can’t tell them what to work on and how it should be done.
Lack of Loyalty: Contractors come and go as-needed. Many companies hire contractors for short-term work, which makes it difficult to cultivate loyalty.
Increased Scrutiny: Using Independent Contractors typically leads to an increased risk of being audited.

Set up a subsidiary in 

Belize

A foreign subsidiary is a company that operates overseas as part of a larger company who’s HQ is in another country.

Establishing a foreign entity is great for having an international presence and accessing new markets. Though, setting up a subsidiary in Belize can be expensive, stressful, and time-consuming. It's not for the faint of heart.

To set up a subsidiary in Belize, you have to:

  1. Register your business name and file articles of incorporation
  2. File for local bank accounts
  3. Learn and keep track of the local employment laws
  4. Set up local payroll
  5. Hire local accounting, legal, and HR people

If you're lucky, this process can take months. If you're not so lucky, it can take up to a year. And on average, it costs about $50k-$80k, all-in-all, to get setup. And that's just for Belize.

Use an Employer-of-Record (EOR)

An employer-of-record (EOR) is a company that hires and pays an employee on behalf of another company.

An EOR is typically used to overcome the financial and regulatory hurdles that often come with employing remote workers.

Each country has its own payroll, employment, and work permit requirements for non-resident companies doing business in their jurisdiction. Meeting those demands can be a huge obstacle when it comes to hiring remotely.

At Panther, we help companies employ and pay people in over 160 countries, without having to set up a foreign subsidiary. Payroll, benefits, taxes, compliance, and more are all handled by us, at a fraction of the cost.

Outside of saving you months and tens of thousands of dollars, other advantages of using Panther are:

  • Ability to attract talented and motivated employees from all over the world.
  • Full legal compliance: There is no risk of violating local employment laws.
  • Transparency: Employees are still your employees. All the work, processes, operations and day-to-day business belong to you, the company, just like with any other employee. Panther just takes on all of the responsibilities, obligations and admin work related to your team's employment.
  • No risk of misclassification

Because you no longer have to set up your own subsidiary, you’ll save a ton of time and tens of thousands of dollars using Panther.

Paying Remote Employees

Paying employees in Belize is not the same as paying workers in your own country. Employees have to be paid using Belize’s employment and payroll standards.

This means that you have to know, understand, and keep up with 1) fluctuating currency changes, and 2) local payroll and tax laws in the countries you’re looking to hire in.

Outside of the laws and regulations around payroll, there may be different conditions surrounding leave, overtime, termination, and more. As you can imagine, maintaining this kind of regulatory knowledge can be challenging. But it is crucial and necessary to follow local legislation.

After, you’ll have to determine the best way to pay your international employees. This can be done in a number of ways, including but not limited to:

Pay through a local entity

One of the most challenging (and expensive) parts of paying international employees is setting up the infrastructure to do so.

Before you start to run payroll, you have to register your company as the local employer in the country the worker resides in. As you can see in the “Set up a subsidiary” section, this is a multi-step process that can take up to a year and put you on your way to bankruptcy.

Work with an EOR

Outside of EORs acting as the full admin employer, many also provide remote payroll.

For example, at Panther, in just 1-click, you’re able to pay your entire global team, anywhere in the world. We send you an invoice each month, charge you in US Dollars, and pay your employees the same amount in their local currency.

We factor in currency fluctuations and use the mid-market rate plus any applicable fee passed on by our provider at cost at the time of billing.

Belize

 Specific Information

Working Hours

A standard workweek is 45 hours.

Overtime

Overtime is any work exceeding:

  • 8 hours per day in accordance with the Shops Act  
  • 9 hours per day in accordance with the Labour Act
  • 6 days per week
  • 45 hours per week  

All overtime work should be paid at 150% of the normal rate.  

Payroll Tax

Employer

Employer

  • Social Security

Minimum Wage

The hourly minimum wage is 3.30 BZD.

Payroll

Pay Cycle

Employees can be paid on a weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly basis.

13th Salary

There are no provisions in the law.

Leave

Paid Time Off (PTO)

PTO is calculated by the:

  • Employees are entitled to 2 working weeks of paid leave per year.

Public Holidays

There are 13 public holidays.

Sick Days

The duration of sick leave entitlement provided to workers is dependent on how long they have been employed by their employer:

  • An employee is entitled to sick leave after working for an employee for 60 days.
  • Within a 12-month period, the employee is entitled to 16 days of paid sick leave.
  • In order to receive payment, the employee should present a medical certificate to the employer.  
  • After the 16th day, social security pays for sickness.
  • Sickness benefits are paid for up to 234 days; 80% of average weekly insurable earnings for the first 156 days, and 60% of average weekly insurable earnings for the remaining 78 days.  

Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave. Up to 7 weeks of leave can be taken before the birth of the child. A minimum of two weeks prenatal and 7 weeks postnatal leave is mandatory.  

Employees receive 80% of their average weekly earnings. The minimum benefit 44.00 BZD a  week and the maximum benefit is 384.00 BZD a week.  

Paternity Leave

Paternity leave is not required by law.

Parental Leave

Paternity leave is not required by law.

Other Leave

None.

Marriage Leave

None.

Bereavement Leave

None.

Termination

Termination Process

Unless an employer can provide sufficient cause for dismissal without notice (due to misconduct, disobedience, lack of skill, neglect of duties, or absence without permission), written notice is required.  

Notice Period

The notice period in Belize is:

The notice period is determined by length of employment:

  • Over 2 weeks to 6 months – 1 week notice
  • Over 6 months to 2 years – 2 weeks’ notice
  • Over 2 years to 5 years – 4 weeks’ notice
  • Over 5 years – 8 weeks’ notice

Severance Pay

Employed for 5-10 years – 1 week’s wage for each year of completed service.

Over 10 years of employment – 2 week’s wage for each year completed.  

Probation Period

Probation period is 2 weeks.