The Liechtenstein foundation refers to separate special-purpose assets with their own legal personality. These separate assets are set apart from the private assets of the founder; from that moment, they constitute the assets of the Liechtenstein foundation. Other than a corporate body under private law, a Liechtenstein foundation has no members, participants or shareholders. With the formation of a foundation, however, the founder is entitled to reserve certain rights, e.g. the revocation of the foundation or the right to amend the foundation documents, in the articles of association. Furthermore, information on the economic founder of the Liechtenstein foundation, the assets of the foundation, the beneficiaries and their entitlement is made available to the public.

Purpose

The Liechtenstein foundation can pursue non-commercial purposes or private-benefit purposes.  The non-commercial foundations in Liechtenstein may engage in commercial activities only insofar as they indirectly serve the achievement of their non-commercial purpose or if it is admissible on account of a special-law basis; hence the Liechtenstein foundation is not suitable to the pursuance of commercial ends.

Features of a Liechtenstein Foundation

Liechtenstein Foundation

Details

Formation

 

The formation of the Liechtenstein foundation is effected through a foundation declaration. This deed requires the written form as well as the notarized signature of the founder. They obtain legal personality upon registration.

Nominal capital or minimum capital

The minimum capital of the Liechtenstein foundation amounts to CHF/EUR/USD 30,000.  The contributed assets become the assets of the foundation, which are solely liable for any liabilities of the Liechtenstein foundation.

Company name

The Liechtenstein foundation can choose the company‘s name freely in any language and can use imaginative names. Special permission must be obtained if one is intending to use national and international state or place names in a company name.

Organization

Governing bodies

The supreme authority of the Liechtenstein foundation is the foundation council. It manages the foundation in Liechtenstein and represents it in any legal relations. At least one member of the foundation council must have his law office address in Liechtenstein and be in possession of certain professional qualifications. In addition to this Liechtenstein administrative body, any number of natural or juridical persons, resident in Liechtenstein or abroad, may be co-opted.

Auditors or control agency

It is mandatory that registered Liechtenstein foundations that are engaged in commercial activities appoint auditors. Trustees, trust companies with a trustee concession, auditing firms and chartered accountants can act as auditors.

Founder

 

The founder of a Liechtenstein foundation has to determine the purpose of the foundation at least as an outline and establish the group of beneficiaries in the foundation documents.

Representative

The representative of a Liechtenstein foundation acts as the official postal addressee of the company and as a connecting link with the authorities.

Beneficiaries

The rights of the beneficiary of the Liechtenstein foundation are regulated in the articles of association and by-laws. The founder himself can be beneficiary. The beneficial interest can be tied to certain conditions, time limits and prerequisites. Likewise, the beneficial interest can be annulled through an amendment of the articles at a later time, if this option is provided by the foundation articles. As a general principle, the executive bodies have to follow the wishes of the founder. In the event that no beneficiaries have been designated, the legal assumption applies that the founder himself is the beneficiary. In this case, succession shall be by inheritance.

Founder‘s rights

Under certain conditions, the founder can revoke the foundation or change the foundation documents after the formation and registration of the Liechtenstein foundation. These rights may be exercised by the settlor in relation to third parties. The foundation rights can be neither transferred nor bequeathed.

Liquidation

The de-registration of a registered foundation in Liechtenstein, can be effected within a few days given that the liquidation process has been concluded.

Taxation

Liechtenstein foundations may apply for the tax status of a “Private Asset Structure”, provided that they only hold private wealth and do not engage in economic activities. A foundation taxes as such a Private Asset Structure is only liable to pay the minimum annual profit tax of CHF 1,200, and no tax filing needs to be made.

Duration for Set- up

One Month

Liechtenstein Foundation Distinctive Benefits

  • Protection of privacy
  • No pre-trial discovery proceedings
  • No enforcement of foreign judgments
  • Short statute of limitations for a challenge of the transfer of assets to the foundation
  • No attachment of the interest of beneficiaries

The Valsen Advantage

  1. Speedy, Efficient and consistent Services.
  2. Relentless effort to obtain bank accounts.
  3. Expert advice on structuring options.
  4. Dedicated ongoing compliance support.