The Seychelles foundation is a popular choice for those looking to set up a private foundation or family foundation, however the Seychelles Foundations Act allows for other uses as well. The Seychelles foundation encompasses many of the best provisions found in other foundation jurisdictions such as Panama, but provides more clarity on important legal issues (such as the assigning of the rights of the founder), more flexibility and stronger asset protection. The flexibility of the Seychelles foundation makes it ideal for carrying out private purposes such as family succession/estate planning and asset protection (a “Private Foundation” or “Private Interest Foundation”), charitable purposes (a “Charitable Foundation), a specific purpose (a “Purpose Foundation”) or any combination of the three.
Assets transferred to a Seychelles foundation become the property of the foundation with full legal and “beneficial” title and are no longer considered to be the assets of the Founder. Similarly, beneficiaries of Seychelles foundations are not considered the “owners” of the foundation and have no legal or beneficial rights to its assets nor control over the decisions of the foundation.
Seychelles Foundations are managed by a Foundation Council which is typically provided by the licensed Seychelles International Foundation Services Provider in order to ensure that the Foundation is properly administered and controlled from Seychelles and to help avoid any confusion over the “tax residency” of the Foundation. A Seychelles Foundation may additionally have a “Protector” which would normally at a minimum have powers to oversee the activities of the Foundation Council and remove them if they are not fulfilling the objects of the Foundation.
The Founder may also retain certain powers and rights to himself or may convey these to another person. Examples would be powers such as the right to remove and add beneficiaries or perhaps to direct the investments of the Foundation. Since a Seychelles Foundation is an incorporated legal entity, this level of involvement by the Founder would not expose the Foundation to a “sham” argument or debate over “certainty” as it would with a trust where the Settlor retained such powers.
Only $200 annual licensing fees payable to the Seychelles Financial Services Authority
Seychelles foundations are completely exempt from any form of taxes in Seychelles meaning that all income and gains of any kind of the foundation are not taxable in Seychelles. Distributions to beneficiaries, fees paid to investment advisors and similar are also tax exempt.
A Seychelles foundation can be registered and subsequently “incorporated” in less than 24 hours
The Charter and optionally, Regulations, are submitted to the Seychelles Financial Services Authority by a licensed International Foundation Services Provider (Sterling) who then registers the documents and provides a certificate signifying the official incorporation.
A Foundation’s main purposes or objects shall include the management of its assets and the distribution of its assets and income to the Foundation’s beneficiaries in accord with its charter or regulations. A purpose or object of a Foundation may be, but need not be, charitable.
Government licensing fees are a flat US$200 each year and are due on the anniversary date of the registration of the Foundation on a yearly basis.
A Seychelles Foundation must at all times have a registered agent in Seychelles licensed as an International Foundation Services provider under the International Corporate Services Providers Act 2003 ( as amended).
A Foundation may, but is not obligated to, adopt a document called its “Regulations” providing, for example, for the identification and designation of Councilors and beneficiaries, distribution of Foundation assets, beneficiary entitlement proportions, etc. Unlike the charter, the regulations are a private document (not filed at the Registry).
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