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Compare Offshore Foundations

The best way to compare the differences our various offshore foundations is by a chart with facts and features side by side. This page gives a comprehensive but easy to understand comparison chart covering the Anguilla, Belize, Nevis and Panama offshore foundations.

Our jurisdictions for forming offshore foundations are carefully selected, to give potential founders the best options available. Although many of their advantages coincide, each offshore foundation has its own unique features.

Offshore Foundations Comparison in Anguilla, Nevis, Belize and Panama

Nevis Panama
Law

Nevis Multiform Foundations Ordinance, 2004

Panama Law No. 25 1995

Establishment of a Foundation
  • Draft the Memorandum of Establishment
  • Register the Memorandum of Establishment and By Laws (if any)
  • Transfer/donation of assets to the foundation
  • The foundation charter is prepared and filed by the founder
  • The foundation is Registered at the Public Registry
  • Transfer of assets/property to the foundation
Legality
After registration, the foundation has a legal personality. The foundation has same rights and status of separate and independent person.
Types of foundations:

Charitable, non charitable; revocable and irrevocable; Ordinary foundation, Company foundation, Partnership or Trust foundation

Private Interest Charitable Foundations. Foundations are all irrevocable except when not registered, or when otherwise expressed in the foundation charter

Uses
Holding and managing assets for family purposes, business purposes, commercial activity, philanthropic/charitable activities or other purposes

Panama Private Foundations cannot be used for profit making. May conduct merchant business in a non-customary manner, or do business through business entities endowed to the foundation.

Elements of the Foundation

Promoter/subscriber
Memorandum of Establishment
Management Board
By Laws
Beneficiary
Supervisory board (optional)
Property/assets/endowment
Secretary
Registered Agent

Founder
Foundation Articles
Foundation Charter
Foundation Regulations (optional)
Foundation Council (Nominee)
Beneficiary
Property/assets/endowment
Registered agent

Creator

Promoter: the person who establishes a foundation; may have more than one promoter
Subscriber: the person who makes the initial subscription or a subsequent subscription to the foundation.

Founder — the person who establishes the foundation and is presented for filing the foundation articles in the registry. We provide a founder as the name of the founder is of public record. The founder is NOT an Owner NOR one who controls the foundation).

Management and administrative arm

The Foundation must have a Management Board managing the business and affairs of the foundation. The powers and obligations of the board are set out in the by-laws. Members have equal voting rights.

The Foundation must have a Foundation Council with at least three members; however, we provide the three (3) nominee members for the foundation council as the names of the council members are recorded in the public registry. We provide undated letters of resignation for the three and a Power of Attorney; you retain full control of the foundation and manage the business and affairs of the foundation, and can replace the members of the council at any time. A Panama Corporation (with three directors) may take the place of the nominee council members.

Minimum Number Of Members

There must be at least one member on the board. Individual and corporate members are allowed.

The Panama foundation council must have minimum of three (3) council members — however, it is standard that the Panama foundation is set up with Nominee Council members provided by us, the agent.

Beneficiary

The person, persons or class of people benefiting from the foundation. The beneficiary can be:

  • Identified by name
  • Identified by Class
  • Identified by Relationship
  • Not yet born

The beneficiaries can be changed.

The person, persons or class of people benefiting from the foundation. The beneficiary can be:

  • Identified by name
  • Identified by Class
  • Identified by Relationship
  • Not yet born

The beneficiaries can be changed. The Beneficiaries are set out in the Foundation By-Laws and the privacy and confidentiality of beneficiaries can be assured.

Documentation

The Memorandum of Establishment (MOE) and the By Laws are the governing documents and form the constitution of the foundation. The MOE is prepared by the promoter: The requirements of the MOE are:

  • name of the foundation
  • name of subscriber/promoter
  • purpose of the foundation
  • name and address of registered agent
  • multiform and particulars in respect to the multiform of the foundation
  • initial subscription and statement of assets (sufficient to identify assets)
  • duration of the foundation
  • revocable or irrevocable class
  • provisions for management and administration of the foundation.

Foundation charter — the foundation charter is the governing document of the foundation. The charter contains

  • name of the foundation
  • initial endowment (called patrimony which is the value of assets to be placed into foundation)
  • name and address of council members (nominee appointed)
  • the domicile of the foundation
  • name and address of registered agent
  • the purpose of the foundation
  • name and address of founder
  • specify the beneficiaries or class of beneficiaries, and if there is no named beneficiary
  • provisions for management and administration of the foundation.
  • Reservation of right to amend foundation charter whenever deemed convenient
  • The duration of the foundation

Registered agent and office

Must have a registered agent and a registered office in Nevis.

Must have a registered agent Panama which provides the nominee services.

By-laws (Optional)

The By-Laws are mandatory and together with the Memorandum of Establishment form the constitution of the foundation.

The Foundation Regulations are optional under the package we offer.

Secretary

Must have a secretary; can be an individual or a corporate body; cannot be the sole member of the management board.

A secretary is not required.

Optional elements

Supervisory board — the constitution may provide for a supervisory board whose powers are set in constitution.

A Protector may be appointed under the laws, whose powers are set out in the charter. A member cannot be a protector.

Duration

may be established for any period or for an indefinite period

may be established for any period or for an indefinite period

Language

The constitution documents may be written in any language, but when it is not written in English it must include a certified translation into English language.

The Foundation character, and any other documents can be written in any language, but where that language is not Spanish, a certified translation into Spanish must accompany the original.

Changes in documentation

Changes or amendments can be made to the constitution by ordinary resolution of the management board, supervisory board (if any) beneficiaries (if any) if the constitution makes provisions for the changes.

Founder can revoke or amend the foundation; changes or amendments can be made to the foundations charter

Type of assets/objects or endowment

Any Kind

Any Kind

Minimum Endowment

USD 10,000

USD 10,000

Foundation name

The name shall end with the word Foundation or the abbreviation, FDN, together with other approved words, names or abbreviations that state the intended multiform. Prior to the word Foundation or Fdn:
A trust foundation —must include in the name the word Trust;
A company foundation (not a limited company or a limited liability company) — must include in the name, Company, or Co.;
A company foundation (with limited company) — must include in its name the word Limited or Ltd. Or Incorporated or Inc.;
A company foundation (with limited liability) — must include in its name the word Limited Liability Company , or L.L.C. or LLC or L. C or LC;
A partnership foundation (not a limited partnership) — must include in its name the word Partnership;
If a partnership foundation (with limited liability) must include the words Limited Liability partnership, or LLP, or L.L.P.

Must include the word Foundations in the name.

Meetings of the foundation

If the constitution requires meetings of the management board, they can be held in a manner as dictated in constitution.
Every multiform foundation must have a first meeting on or prior to registration
The multiform shall hold at least one meeting in each year.

Unless otherwise provided for in the Charter, the Foundation Council must provide an annual accounting summary of its activities to the beneficiaries.

Accounts

Must keep proper books of accounts (sales, purchases, assets, liabilities, income and expenses).

May keep accounts as set out in the Foundation Charter.

Requirements to maintain status as international foundation To maintain tax exemptions
  • The founder cannot be resident in Nevis
  • None of the beneficiaries is resident in Nevis
  • The endowment or property or assets does not contain any land or shares in Nevis
  • The founder cannot be resident in Panama
  • None of the beneficiaries is resident in Panama
  • The assets must be located abroad
  • Revenue/income (even for Panama corporations) cannot be generated in Panama
Information on register (registrar)
  • Name of foundation
  • Name and address of registered agent
  • Date of registration of foundation
  • Purpose of foundation
  • Name of council members
  • Name of foundation
  • Name and address of registered agent
  • Date of registration of foundation
  • Name of foundation council members ( in this case corporate nominee name )
Document of proof of existence

A Certificate of Registration is issued by registrar and shows:

  • date of registration
  • name of foundation
  • registration number
  • names and addresses members
  • name and address of registered agent
  • purpose of foundation
  • initial property endowment

A Certificate of Establishment of Private Foundation:

  • date of registration
  • name of foundation
  • registration number
  • names and addresses members
  • name and address of registered agent
  • purpose of foundation
  • initial property endowment
Validity of certificate

A Certificate of establishment is valid for one year, after which it must be renewed.

A Certificate of establishment is valid for one year, after which it must be renewed.

Renewal/maintenance

Must be renewed on the anniversary of the foundation; there are penalty fees; failure to pay renewal fees or maintain an agent in Nevis can lead to striking off (termination) of the foundation.

The foundation must pay annual maintenance tax.

Dissolution

A foundation may be dissolved when:

  • it reaches it maturity date;
  • it is revoked
  • purpose of the foundation is fulfilled
  • and may be dissolved by the foundation board (if it has such powers according to the MOE)

A foundation may be dissolved when:

  • it reaches it maturity date;
  • it is revoked
  • it is bankrupt
  • it loses all assets of the foundation
  • it fulfils it purpose
Continuance

Overseas foundations may continue in Nevis under this act.

Overseas foundations may continue in Panama under this act.

Confidentiality
Disclosure of information relating to the establishment, its administration, management, maintenance and assets, is forbidden and subject to stiff fines and penalties.
Certificate of good standing
This is a government issued document that shows that the foundation:
  • is a registered foundation
  • has paid up all fees and penalties
  • had filed all necessary paperwork
Tax Exemptions

Earnings and revenue of the foundation are 100% tax free in Nevis

Earnings and revenue of the foundation are 100% tax free in Panama

Restrictions
May not carry out any financial service business (unless licensed to do so)

In general, Panama Foundations may not engage in regular commercial activities as a corporation does, but the foundation may carry out commercial activities such as owning corporations that are the vehicle for commercial business activities. The earnings of the must be used for benefit of beneficiaries.

Advantages

The Belize Foundation allows arbitration, where disputes can be settled out of court.

No member of the foundation council or board has any personal ownership or title to the endowment; no creditor of a member or founder or beneficiary has any right to the endowment.

A foundation set up for both charitable and non-charitable purposes qualifies as a charitable foundation even if the non-charitable purposes are the main purposes, and as such this type of foundations may be able to benefit from tax refunds or rebates where it operates.

Anybody, person or agency wishing to take action against the foundation, must first deposit US50k or any other amount set by registrar.

Specific provisions in the law for civil asset protection, such as non-recognition of foreign judgment.

According to Panama law, the assets of a Panama Private Interest Foundation are regard as “non-embargable”, and “non-sequesterable”, which means that the assets cannot be frozen under any circumstances.

No member of the foundation council or board has any personal ownership or title to the endowment; no creditor of a member or founder or beneficiary has any right to the endowment.

According to Panama law, the assets of a Panama Private Interest Foundation are not considered to be subject to sequestration or embargos.

Sometimes, making decisions can be difficult, especially if there is too much information, and too many details. We are here to help you decide. This comprehensive and detailed (but easy to use) comparison chart of the key foundations, Panama, Belize, Anguilla and Nevis Multiform foundations, should answer most, if not all of your questions on offshore international foundations.

If you still have questions, or need clarification, please contact us or go to Offshore Foundations Prices page for pricing details.

All Inclusive Offshore Foundation Package from — $1,340!