The Seychelles Foundation Law embodies many of the key features of the Nevis Foundation Law (many of which were borrowed from the Panama Foundation Law) but with a number of additional (in our view, very attractive) features including:
- In Seychelles the key powers usually held by the Foundation Council can be reserved to the Founder PLUS the rights so reserved to the Founder of a Seychelles Foundation can be assigned. This enables you to remote control your Foundation with complete privacy because normally the Founder’s name appears in the Charter (which is publicly filed as part of the registration process). However with a Seychelles Foundation you can use a Nominee Founder (who then immediately following registration assigns his/her/its rights to you via a private Deed of Assignment)
- The Seychelles law specifically states that the Foundation is both 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. It also means (b) when opening bank accounts or incorporating subsidiaries that you can avoid having to declare to the bank etc the names of the beneficiaries of the Foundation (which would usually be you/your immediate family).
- 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 voided by the founder’s bankruptcy or by the liquidation of the founder’s property; or by any action, proceedings or other claims against the founder brought by any creditor of the founder ie Per sections 71 to 74 of the Seychelles Foundations Act (these asset protection provisions don’t appear in the Nevis law)
- A Seychelles Foundation can be capitalized with as little as $1. A Nevis Foundation’s minimum authorised capital is $10,000.
- Seychelles permits registration of a Purpose Foundation ie one where no beneficiaries are named – in the Charter you simply state that the Foundation is being set up to achieve a specific (usually charitable) purpose (eg to feed street kids in India)