We are often asked “What are the differences between a Seychelles Foundation and a Belize Foundation?”
What I can tell you is that the Seychelles Foundation Law is basically a copy of Panama’s and very similar to Belize’s (which is also modelled on Panama) but with a couple of additional (in my view, very attractive) features including:
- The rights of the Founder of a Seychelles Foundation can be assigned. This enables complete privacy because normally the Founder’s name appears in the Charter (which is publicly filed as part of the registration process). With a Seychelles Foundation however you can use a Nominee Founder (who then immediately following registration assigns his/her/its rights to you).
- The Seychelles law specifically states that the Foundation is both the legal and beneficial owner of any assets it holds. This is (a) a fantastic tax planning feature because traditionally onshore tax authorities have taxed such entities on the basis that the beneficiaries are the beneficial owners of the entity and thus entitled to income from the entity. It also means (b) when opening bank accounts or incorporating subsidiaries that you can avoid your name being recorded as the beneficial owner of the Company notwithstanding that you/your spouse/your family may be named as beneficiaries of the Foundation.
- The Seychelles law also states that the beneficiaries are owed no fiduciary duty by the Foundation Council (which bolsters the above proposition ie that it is the Foundation which owns the assets/income for tax purposes)
The Seychelles law also provides additional asset protection provisions eg:
- It specifically says that a transfer of property to a Seychelles Foundation, shall not be void, voidable, liable to be set aside or otherwise defective in any manner by reference to a foreign rule of forced heirship or any other written law of a foreign jurisdiction
- It also says that a transfer of property to a Seychelles Foundation, shall not be void as a consequence of the founder’s bankruptcy or the liquidation of the founder’s property; or any action, proceedings or other claims against the founder brought by any creditor of the founder. (Note: these asset protection provisions don’t appear in the Belize law).