Offshore Foundations: A Definition Practical Uses of Offshore Foundations Type of Assets Held Is an Offshore Foundation the right solution for me? Why Establish a Foundation Offshore
Foundations were introduced approximately 100 years ago in Western Europe. Their use for estate and asset planning started in Liechtenstein in the early part of the 20th Century. Foundations have since become popular across the globe, especially in civil law jurisdictions where the concept of ‘Anglo Saxon Trusts’ is less well known. Foundations can be established in many countries including Panama, The Netherlands Antilles, the Bahamas and the Isle of Man – who introduced foundation legislation in 2004 and 2011 respectively to make them the leading common law jurisdictions for the domicile of foundations. A foundation is a separate legal entity, without members or shareholders, and is generally established to reflect the wishes of the founder, who may be an individual or a corporate entity. These wishes are contained within the Foundation's Charter and Regulations. Foundations can be established for a fixed or indefinite period of time and can be used for charitable, commercial or for family purposes.
Foundations are a very important component when structuring the ownership of family and corporate assets and are particularly important where trusts are not generally recognised. They are in many respects similar to corporate entities but afford the protection and continuity derived from the use of trusts.
A foundation is the solution for individuals who:
When a foundation is established in a suitable offshore jurisdiction, provided that residents of the offshore jurisdiction are excluded from receiving benefit from the foundation, then there will be no local taxes applicable to the assets and income of the foundation.