A foundation in Liechtenstein is an aggregate of assets that are contributed by an owner which forms a separate entity with its own legal personality. The assets belong to the foundation, but some rights over them are reserved by the owner. He/she may revoke the foundation or amend the conditions covering the assets. Opening a foundation in Liechtenstein requires articles of association, like any other business entity. The articles of association must also be registered with the Commercial Registry as part of the process of creating a foundation in Liechtenstein. The minimum capital allowed for this type of company structure is 30,000 Swiss Francs.
A foundation in Liechtenstein can engage in non-commercial or private-benefit purposes, like the preservation of family assets or for estate planning. Even if a foundation is non-commercial in nature, it may engage in commercial activities as a consequence of its pursuit of the non-commercial purpose and if a special law allows it. If you set up a company in Liechtenstein as a private-benefit foundation, you are allowed to engage in commercial transactions, but only for purposes of proper investment and management of the assets.
To create a foundation in Liechtenstein, a deed is needed certifying that the founders have signed thereon, an agreement of succession, or a last will and testament. It must also contain the foundation’s designation and domicile, the purpose of its creation, the composition of the foundation council, and the distribution scheme for the assets once the foundation is dissolved.
All of these must be registered with the Commercial Registry. If you open a company in Liechtenstein as a foundation, make sure that all these requirements are complied with. If your foundation is one that has an ecclesiastical nature, is a family one or an entity where the beneficiaries are determined or determinable, registration is voluntary.
The supreme body of foundation in Liechtenstein is its council, which must be clearly designated in the articles of association. The foundation council’s authority must be clearly laid down in the articles of association, including how they must come up with resolutions and their authority to represent the foundation. After they set up a company in Liechtenstein, the founders will then appoint the members of the foundation council, whose members, in turn, may also appoint their successors.