- enacted in late December 2009, heavily includes the best provisions found in other foundation jurisdictions such as Liechtenstein and Panama, but includes its own unique features like more clarity on legal issues, stronger asset protection and more flexibility.
The Seychelles Private Interest Foundation (PIF) can be considered the latest way to protect your assets and plan your taxes. It is a highly attractive foundation for people whose major focus is on tax minimization and asset protection.
A Seychelles Foundation is a separate legal entity (like a company), but with beneficiaries instead of shareholders (similar to a trust). The foundation essentially functions like a company but acts like a trust. When the founder endows assets to the foundation, they are no longer the property of the founder. Instead, they become the property of the foundation with full beneficial and legal title. The beneficiaries of the foundation also have no power over the assets as they have no legal rights to it.
A foundation was previously used for charitable and public purposes, but it is now also being used for wealth management. A Seychelles Foundation can be ideal in a variety of situations, but it is not intended to be used in commercial activities on a daily basis. However, the companies owned by the foundation are free to engage in any trading activities they want (as long as nothing’s illegal).
The greatest advantage of a Seychelles Foundation is that it is completely exempted from business or income tax, withholding tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax and stamp duty. Furthermore, it is inexpensive to set up and maintain. You only need US$1 as your initial capital (which can also be paid after registration) and the annual government fee is just $200.
Registering yourself is fast and easy. In fact, your request can be approved in as little as 4 hours. It will only require the registration of a Foundation charter. The Foundation charter will detail the purposes and terms of the Foundation. Filing the names of the beneficiaries and councilors is optional, so it will give you more privacy.
The foundation is managed by a Councilor, who will make sure that the foundation is run according to the terms specified in the charter. The founder can be a Councilor too, though he can’t be the sole councilor. Furthermore, he can’t manipulate the foundation for his own benefits. The foundation has to be managed according to its purpose as stipulated in the charter. However, the founder can reserve certain powers to himself. For example, he has the right to appoint and remove Councilors, add or remove Protectors, and add or exclude Beneficiaries.
The foundation can act as a substitute for a will since it allows the founder to clearly outline the beneficiaries. As opposed to a will, a foundation will make sure that the assets are properly managed and maintained until they are to be handed over to the beneficiaries. A Seychelles Foundation can also be made for a specified purpose (without any beneficiaries).