Compare Offshore Foundations

Foundations ComparedANGUILLABELIZENEVISPANAMA
Foundation Law Anguilla Foundation Act International Foundations Act Multiform Foundations Ordinance Panama Foundation Law
Year enacted 2008 2010 2004 1995
Tax Free Entity Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tax Free prerequisites
  • Founder and beneficiaries must be non-resident
  • Assets must be located abroad
  • Founder and beneficiaries must be non-resident
  • Assets must be located abroad
  • Founder and beneficiaries must be non-resident
  • Assets must be located abroad
  • Founder and beneficiaries must be non-resident
  • Assets must be located abroad
  • May include shares, securities or interest of Panama corporations if capital is not from Panamanian sources
Does the foundation have a legal status? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Types of Foundations Charitable Yes Yes Yes Yes
Non Charitable Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ordinary (no -purpose) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Partnership No No Yes No
Company No No Yes No
Trust No No Yes No
Foundation uses Family Yes Yes Yes Yes
Business Yes Yes Yes and with the prescribed foundation, Trust foundation, partnership Foundation, Company foundation may engage in activities allowed by such vehicles Panama Private interest foundation should not be used as profit making vehicles; they may use business entities such as corporations to undertake such activities.
Commercial Yes Yes Yes No
Philanthropic Yes Yes Yes Yes
Charitable Yes Yes Yes Yes
Holding Yes Yes Yes Yes
Revocability (Irrevocable/revocable) Irrevocable upon registration; may be revoked by founder/s Irrevocable upon registration unless; revocability is expressed in the Charter Not required for registration, can be either Irrevocable upon registration unless revocability is expressed in the Charter
Formation Features of the Foundation
Founder (the person requisitioning the foundation)   Required Required — also called the Promoter Required In Panama the Founder is a local agent who physically handles the registration process; has NO interest in the foundation
Minimum number of founders required 1 1 1 1
Can the founder be a Beneficiary Yes Yes Yes No
Foundation Council (executive arm)   Required Required Required — is called the Management Board Required
Minimum number of members on council 1 1 1 3
Are Corporate members allowed Yes Yes Yes Yes
Other Member Requirement   At least 1 member must be a Belize resident ( can be agent)    
Beneficiary Types of Beneficiary Any class of person or persons, and can be identified by name, class, relationship, and can be unborn.
Can beneficiaries be changed? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Is there limited number of beneficiaries? No No No No
Is documentation required for Registration?   Yes — Declaration of Establishment DOE Yes — Foundation Charter Yes — memorandum of Establishment (MOE) Yes — Foundation Articles
Contents of Documentation
  • Name of the foundation
  • Name and address of founder
  • purpose of the foundation
  • name of registered agent
  • name and address of council member
  • initial asset value
  • beneficiary information
  • name of secretary
  • the particulars of persons on first council
  • Name of the foundation
  • Name and address of founder
  • purpose of the foundation
  • name of registered agent
  • name and address of council member
  • initial asset value
  • beneficiary information
  • name of secretary
  • the particulars of persons on first council
  • Name of the foundation
  • Name and address of founder
  • purpose of the foundation
  • name of registered agent
  • name and address of council member
  • initial asset value
  • beneficiary information
  • multiform particulars
  • foundation duration
  • class of revocability
  • name of secretary
  • the particulars of persons on first management board
  • the particulars of persons who are to be the first supervisory board
  • Name of the foundation
  • Name and address of founder
  • purpose of the foundation
  • name of registered agent
  • name and address of council member
  • initial asset value
  • beneficiary information
  • foundation duration
  • name of secretary
  • the particulars of persons on first council
Is this a public document No No No Yes
Is a registered agent required? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Is a registered address required? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Are By-Laws required? Optional Optional Required Required
Is a secretary required? Yes, must be an Anguilla Resident or agent, cannot be sole member Yes, unless one of the council member is a Belize resident, can be the agent Yes, cannot be a sole member Yes, and are provided by agents
Is there an alternate custodian? Yes , a Guardian Yes, a Protector, cannot be a member Yes, a supervisory board Yes, a Protector
How long can the foundation be set up for? Set period or Indefinite period Set period or Indefinite period Set period or Indefinite period Set period or Indefinite period
What is the language of the Documents Any with an English translation Any with an English translation Any with an English translation Any language with a Spanish translation
Can changes be made to the foundation? The founder can change or revoke the foundation with unanimous agreement from members. Must be provisioned for in the DOE The founder can change or revoke the foundation with unanimous agreement from members. Must be provisioned for in the DOE The Management Board may make changes or amendments to the constitution by resolution of the board, the beneficiaries or the supervisory board Changes or amendments can be made to the charter.
Initial endowment US$10,000 US$10,000 not specified US$10,000
Administrative Features of Foundation
Are meetings necessary? No, unless requested in By laws No, unless requested in By laws Yes, the multiform must hold at least one annual meeting No, unless requested in By laws
Is accounting or record keeping required? No No Yes (showing sales, purchases, income expenses and receipts) No
What information is on the register?

Name of foundation

Name and address of agent

Date of registration

Purpose of foundation

name of council members

Name of foundation

Name and address of agent

Date of registration

Purpose of foundation

Name of foundation

Name and address of agent

Date of registration

Purpose of foundation

name of council members

Name of foundation

Name and address of agent

Date of registration

Purpose of foundation

name of council members

Is a Certificate of Registration issued? Yes Yes Yes Yes
How often are foundation renewals Annually Annually Annually Annually
Is a Certificate of Good Standing issued? Yes Yes Yes No
Is confidentiality protected by law Yes Yes Yes Yes
What restrictions if any are there? The foundation may NOT engage in banking trust or insurance financial services UNLESS licensed to do so The foundation may NOT engage in financial services UNLESS licensed to do so   The foundation may not carry out habitual or regular commercial activities

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