Brought into being by the Foundations Act, 2004, the Bahamas Foundation preserves confidentiality whilst providing investors an alternative vehicle through which to successfully plan for the future.

Once registered, a foundation is deemed to be resident and domiciled in The Bahamas. Foundations may be established for private, commercial or charitable purposes provided same are lawful and include the management of its assets. Foundations are created by the will of the founder or by the founder executing a charter which may, but need not, be filed in the registry of foundations.

Foundations may be used for most purposes for which trusts and companies are presently used: estate planning, tax planning, preserving family wealth, segregating assets, perpetuating corporate governance philosophy, subordinating debts, separating voting and economic benefits, investing in private companies with a poor economic performance, owning private trust companies and establishing charities. Foundations may also be used where anti-forced heirship and creditor protection are important.

Features of a Bahamas Foundation

Bahamas Foundation

Details

Founder

The Founder(s) is one or more persons, whether natural persons or bodies corporate, similar to a Settlor in a trust. Where there is more than one Founder they must exercise their powers jointly unless the Charter otherwise provides.  The law prescribes that the assets may be donated by declaration so as to keep the founders name confidential.

Foundation Council Members

 

Where the Charter provides for Council Members they may be a natural person or body corporate.  A minimum number of two council members of any nationality above the age of minority are required. Council members are bound to act within the scope of the foundation rules and have exposure unlimited liability if they engage in misconduct.

Beneficiaries

A beneficiary with an interest in some or all of the Bahamian Foundation assets must be notified by the Officers of the Foundation of his/her interest and shall be entitled to receive the Charter documents and books of account including any audited statements.

Financial Statements Required

 

Whilst there is no requirement to file financial statements with the authorities, it is important to note that a Foundation is required to keep financial records, which reflect the financial position of the Foundation. The Foundation books of account may be kept in Bahamas or abroad.

Taxation

Provided that the contributions received by a Foundation and the income from such contributions originate outside that fiscal territory of the Bahamas, a Foundation shall pay no taxes, save for a US$500 Annual Franchise Tax.

General

  • Type of entity

Foundation

  • Type of law

Civil

  • Limited Liability

Yes

  • Our time to establish a Foundation

Two weeks

  • Foundation Capital minimum (equivalent in currency)

$10,000

  • Foundation Capital currency

Any

Publicly accessible records

  • Foundation Charter

Optional

  • Foundation Regulations

No

  • Beneficiaries

No

  • Name of Founder

Yes

Officers of Foundation

  • Protector Required

Optional

  • Corporate Protector permitted

Yes

  • Minimum number of Council Members

Two

  • Corporate Council Members permitted

Yes

  • Meeting location

Anywhere

Local Requirements

  • Foundation Agent

Yes

  • Secretary required

Yes

  • Language of Charter

Any, but a translation is required

  • Language of Regulations

Any, but a translation is required

Accounts

  • Requirement to prepare

Yes

  • Audit requirements

Optional

Other

  • Annual Government Fee

US $500

  • Change of domicile permitted

Yes

Duration for Set- up

Two Weeks

Bahamas Foundation Distinctive Benefits

  • Broad legal recognition by Europeans and Latin Americans
  • Statutorily declared to be a legal entity domiciled in The Bahamas
  • May be used for private, commercial or charitable Purposes
  • Does not recognize “Forced Heirship”
  • Founder may reserve powers over the Officers of the
  • Foundation
  • No reporting requirements
  • Exempt from Bahamian Tax
  • Low capital requirements (US $10,000 minimum)
  • Dispositions to the Bahamian Foundation benefit from provisions within the Fraudulent Dispositions Act, 1991
  • No Perpetuity Period allowing continual, unending succession

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