3. Other Forms/entities

A. Introduction

Liechtenstein offers not only a large quantity of different types of corporate and non-corporate entities, but also a very liberal legal framework. The most commonly-used entities for offshore purposes are trusts, private family foundations, establishments, trust enterprises, companies limited by shares, limited companies, and limited partnerships. All of these vehicles can be used for onshore purposes, too.

B. Offshore Vehicles

The trust and the foundation are generally used as holding vehicles. In April 2009 a new foundation law entered into force. The new foundation law harmonised the existing foundation law with the relevant jurisprudence and provided a new systematic structure and greater differentiation in the content of key issues in foundation law. The foundation, having its own legal personality, is more popular with clients from civil law countries, whereas clients from common law jurisdictions more often choose trusts. The establishment appears to be unique to Liechtenstein. It is treated as a corporation with legal personality. It is used both as a holding vehicle and for commercial purposes, in which case it must lodge audited accounts with the Commercial Registry. The trust enterprise can, but need not, have legal personality. Based on the Massachusetts trust, it is used principally for commercial transactions, although it can be used as a holding vehicle.

The PGR requires that at least one member of the board of directors or board of foundation or of the trustees must be resident in Liechtenstein and possess the necessary qualifications to obtain what is known locally as the ‘Art. 180a’ permit.


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