The Seychelles Private Interest Foundation (“PIF”) is the latest cutting edge tax planning/asset protection product to come out of the booming tax haven of Seychelles.
Passed into law in December 2009 the Seychelles Private Interest Foundation draws heavily on the more popular aspects of the Panama and Liechtenstein models, but includes its own unique features, sure to make it attractive particularly to those clients for whom asset protection and tax minimisation is a major focus.
The primary benefits of the Seychelles Private Interest Foundation are in terms of the opportunities it offers by way of Tax deferral, Succession planning and Financial Privacy. (The law also contains some of the strongest asset protection provisions ever conceived for a structure of its kind).
Neither the names of the person/s establishing the PIF nor the persons who are to benefit from the PIF have to be disclosed to the Registry and the structure is easy to register – achieved by simply filing the Foundation Charter (which document does NOT have to include the Founder or the Councillors’ names).
The Seychelles Foundation law is cleverly drafted in that it provides that, until such time as Foundation property is actually transferred to the beneficiaries, the beneficiaries hold no legal interest in Foundation property. The legal owner of property held by the Foundation is the Foundation itself!
As there are limits to the kind of trading activities that a Foundation can undertake a Seychelles Private Interest Foundation works best when it’s used to hold the shares of your Offshore Company. This dual structure not only makes it all but impossible for creditors/vultures to attack your assets but (given the wording of the Seychelles law) it also creates a scenario whereby you may be able to lawfully avoid having to declare and pay taxes Onshore on your Offshore earnings (unless or until such time as a distribution is paid to you by the Foundation).
Features & Benefits of Seychelles Private Interest Foundations:
- Nil Tax: Complete exemption from Seychelles income or business tax, no Withholding Tax (“WHT”) is levied when distributions are made and no stamp duties are applicable
- Fast Registration and name approval: Seychelles structures can be incorporated within as little as 4 hours of request
- annual government fee is only $200
- Minimum initial capital required is just US$1 which can be paid after registration (contrast that with Panama where one must invest a minimum of US$10,000 to set up a PIF)
- Easy to Establish: Requires only the registration of a Foundation charter
- Simple to Structure:
- Only one Councillor is required (which can be either a person or a corporate entity)
- The Founder may also be a Councillor (but can’t be sole Councillor)
- Easy to Administer:
- No annual return need be filed
- Accounts do not have to be audited
- No requirement to file annual accounts
- No annual meeting need be called
- Asset Protection: The Seychelles Foundation Act:
- Specifically provides that a Seychelles PIF is a separate legal entity in its own right
- Specifically provides that neither the Founder nor the Beneficiaries have any ownership interest in the Foundation assets
- Specifically protects the transfer of assets to the PIF from attack by creditors of the Founder
- Requires that any claims by a creditor of the Founder can only be brought within 2 years from the date of transfer of property to the PIF
- A Nominee can sign the Foundation Charter
- There is no requirement to file the Foundation’s regulations
- There is no requirement to file the names of the Foundation Beneficiaries (or Protector).
- Names of the Councillors do not have to be stated in the charter
- Succession Planning:
- Entitlement to benefit from Foundation assets can be passed from one generation to the next outside the bounds of the Founder’s will or personal estate
- Seychelles law specifically excludes the operation of foreign laws as to forced heirship
- Founder can reserve specific powers to himself or to others, including:
- the right to appoint or remove Councillors
- the right to add or exclude Beneficiaries
- the right to add or remove Protectors
- A Protector can be appointed:
- And can veto certain decisions (eg change of Councillors or Beneficiaries)
- A Founder, a Beneficiary or a Councillor can also be appointed as Protector (but a sole Councillor or sole Beneficiary cannot act as Protector)
- Flexible Uses: A Seychelles Foundation:
- Can have beneficiaries; or
- May solely be for a specified purpose (without beneficiaries); or
- Can be for a specified purpose and have beneficiaries.
At OCI we believe in giving you more for your money than would the average Foundation formation service. Hence included in the registration package for your Seychelles Foundation is the following:
- Unlimited name availability inquiries
- Advice from an experienced International Corporate Lawyer on how to structure your Foundation
- Preparation (overseen by a Lawyer) of application to register the Foundation
- Preparation (overseen by a Lawyer) of the Foundation Charter
- Preparation (overseen by a Lawyer) of the Foundation regulations
- Attending to filing the Foundation registration request with the registry
- Attending to payment of government filing fees
- One year’s Registered Agent’s service in the country of registration
- One year’s Registered Office service in the country of registration
- Mailing address in the country of registration
- Delivery of registration pack by international courier (ie DHL/Fedex/TNT etc)
- Unlimited free legal consultations for 12 months
Documents included in your Incorp pack:
- Certificate of Registration
- A sealed/stamped copy of the Foundation Charter
- Foundation Regulations
- Resolution to open a bank account
- Resolution to appoint a lawyer for the Foundation
- Resolution to appoint an accountant for the Foundation
- Sample/template letter of wishes
- Resolution appointing you as the Foundation’s authorised representative in commercial negotiations
- Resolution appointing you as Investment adviser to the Councillor/s (ie the Foundation’s CEO or Management team)
- Agreement authorising you to represent the Foundation in commercial negotiations
- Agreement appointing you as Investment adviser to the Councillor/s
Price (all inclusive): $US1,600
With tax effective offshore management (including Professional Nominee councillor) $1,900
For information on how to go about ordering a Seychelles Foundation Click Here
For more information on Seychelles Private Interest Foundations please Contact Us or click on any of these links:
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Every effort has been made to ensure that the details contained herein are correct and up-to-date, but this does not constitute legal or other professional advice. We do not accept any responsibility, legal or otherwise, for any error or omission.