Offshore Foundations

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Offshore Foundations – General Information

Offshore foundations are separate legal entities which acts like a Trust and operates as a company, with no any members or shareholders. The founder of such foundations can be either an individual or a corporate entity. Offshore foundations are normally used as vehicles for asset protection, estate planning, as well as, for wealth management. Such foundations have many similarities, as well as advantages, with offshore trusts.

Like offshore trusts, offshore private foundations are set up in tax havens governed by offshore legislations, which are tax free entities benefitting from favourable conditions and treatments. Such foundations can be established in several major jurisdictions around the world, including Panama, Anguilla, Belize and many others. Foundations are a very essential factor when structuring the ownership of family and corporate assets and are usually preferred where trusts are not commonly recognized.

Assets that can be held in an offshore foundation may include:

  • Almost all kind of assets
  • Bank deposits
  • Shares and stocks in both quoted and unquoted companies
  • Investment portfolios
  • Real Estate and intellectual property
  • Life assurance policies

Offshore Foundations Advantages

  • Privacy (founder’s wishes are not publicly registered)
  • Recognized in all common and civil law jurisdictions
  • Holding assets which can be passed on from one generation to the next (estate planning)
  • Inheritance tax planning
  • Separation of voting and economic benefits
  • Employee share option schemes
  • Pension funds
  • Wealth Protection
  • Offshore Foundation Key Persons

A foundation is the key for individuals who:

  • Wish to transfer wealth to their heirs in a tax-free method
  • Want to transfer wealth to their heirs in accordance with their wishes and not in accordance with the laws of the country where they live
  • Want to consolidate the ownership of assets owned throughout the world in one location
  • Want to feel confident that they have achieved to minimize or eliminate estate taxes arising on the death of the settler
  • Want to preserve their wealth against uncertainty; either political, economic or family related
  • Want centralised reporting

Why Offshore Foundation?

Offshore foundations are almost always found in tax free and/ or low-regulation jurisdictions, with a standing for the preservation of assets and confidentiality. Therefore, when a foundation is established in an appropriate offshore jurisdiction, given that residents of such offshore jurisdictions are excluded from receiving benefit from the foundation, then no local taxes apply to the assets and income of the foundation.

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