The Nevis Multiform Foundation Ordinance is a very unique and cutting-edge piece of legislation which was designed to remedy some of the problems seen in other foundation products.
The Nevis Multiform Foundations Ordinance provides that each Nevis Foundation will have a stated ‘multiform’. This means that the constitution of the foundation will state how it is to be treated whether as a trust, a company, a partnership or an ordinary foundation. Through the ‘multiform’ concept the stated identity of the Foundation can be changed during its lifetime, thus allowing for there to be greater flexibility in its use and application. Generally, the Nevis Multiform Foundation product can be used for estate planning, charity, financing and special investment holding arrangements.
There are five basic requirements for establishing a Nevis Multiform Foundation:
- It must have a Nevis based registered agent (which OCI supplies)
- It must have a Nevis registered office (which OCI supplies)
- It must have an acceptable name
- It must have a management board and secretary (which OCI can supply via Nominees); and
- It must have a memorandum of establishment
Like the formation of a company, you must first engage the services of a registered agent who is authorized to act as agent of the entity, and that registered agent must have an office to which all communications and notices may be addressed. The Promoter of the Foundation, through its registered agent may reserve a name prior to establishment of the foundation. If the foundation is a trust foundation, then the name must accord with that multiform so that the trust foundation has the word “trust” in it. The name must not be prohibited by law: Irrespective of the prohibited word list the Registrar of Foundations will not reserve a name that is misleading, undesirable, confusing or similar to another name of an entity registered in Nevis.
Once the Registrar confirms that a name is available and valid for use, that name can be reserved for a period of one month. The Registrar has discretion to permit a name to be reserved for a longer period. Once a name has been reserved, the following establishment documents must be submitted to the Registrar in order to establish the Multiform Foundation:
- Application Form
- Consent Schedule
- Memorandum of establishment
- By laws (if standard by-laws are not adopted)
- Evidence that the existing entity has been dissolved or discontinued or an undertaking that an application for dissolution or discontinuance has been submitted in the existing jurisdiction (where applicable)
The relevant fees must accompany the documentation for establishment of a Nevis Multiform Foundation.
The Nevis Multiform Foundation Ordinance also provides for entities to be converted or transformed, continued or consolidated and merged into a Nevis Multiform Foundation. Through the process of Continuance, a foundation in another jurisdiction can be continued in Nevis as Multiform Foundation.
Through the process of Transformation, any entity outside of Nevis can be transformed into a foundation in Nevis. Therefore, a trust in Jersey can become a multiform foundation in Nevis. Through the process of Conversion, an existing Nevis entity like an IBC can be converted to a multiform foundation.
Through the process of Consolidation or Merger, any two or more entities can merge into a multiform foundation and alternatively, through the process of Discontinuance, a multiform foundation can move to another jurisdiction. These provisions allow for the mobility of the foundations as an entity into and out of Nevis and give the founder an extremely valuable asset protection tool.