In the pursuit for an ever sophisticated legal framework, the Seychelles International Business Authority has set forth a legal framework for the registration of Seychelles Foundations. Similarly to foundations formed in other jurisdictions, the Seychelles Foundation is a separate legal entity, with a distinct personality from that of its founder/s. Following the transmission of assets by the founder/s to the foundations, such assets shall constitute a separate patrimony than those owned by the founder/s. Such assets become the sole property of that foundation with full legal and beneficial title and do not form part of the founder’s personal estate. This makes the Seychelles foundation an important tool for wealth management and tax planning, through to a legal framework which permits the segregation of assets.
Statutory prohibitions may apply. By way of illustration, the assets of a Seychelles Foundation cannot include any immovable property in Seychelles, even if there is no prohibition regarding immovable property outside the Seychelles. Furthermore, as the foundation is capable of a separate legal personality, it may hold interests in Seychelles IBCs, Limited Partnerships and Seychelles licensed mutual funds. It may also hold an interest or entitlement as a beneficiary under a Seychelles Trust or another Seychelles Foundation.
A Seychelles Foundation may be used for a plurality of purposes. However, by its nature, it is not intended to engage in commercial activities on a daily basis, although commercial activity may be permissible to the better achievement of the objects for which it is incorporated. There are no restrictions on the trading activities of companies wholly or partly owned by the Foundation – allowing for a structure, whereby the Seychelles Foundation may act as a holding structure for a number of trading entities.
The beneficiaries of a foundation have no legal or beneficial interest in the foundation’s assets and these do not become the assets of a beneficiary unless distributed in accordance with the Foundation Charter or Regulations.
For the better safeguard of the beneficiaries’ interest, the founder may, by express provision, appoint a protector, whose role it is to oversee the administration of the foundation by the Foundation Council. A founder, beneficiary or councillor may be appointed as a protector, provided that the protector is not the sole councillor or sole beneficiary. The Foundation Council must consist of one or more persons which may include body corporates. An application to register a Foundation with Seychelles International Business Authority must be made through a locally licensed foundation service provider.
Interestingly, similar to corporate structures, a foreign foundation may be continued in the Seychelles.
In summary, the most salient features of Seychelles Foundations are as follows:
- For the confidentiality of the founders and the beneficiaries, the foundation charter establishing the Foundation and administrative provisions are not available for public inspection.
- As an additional confidentiality measure, nominee founders are permitted;
- There is no statutory obligation to disclose the identity of any beneficiaries in the Foundation Charter;
- Low endowment prescribed by law – minimum value of assets required – US$1
Contact us today for assistance with the registration of a Seychelles Foundation. Simply fill in the below form or contact us by e-mail on email@example.com or call on +357 2245 6363.