The Principality of Liechtenstein, which is well known to all businessmen who prefer such solid, elegant, and time-tested solutions as Liechtenstein offshore company, for a long time (about 60 years) has built its success on the inviolability of its banking secrecy laws and relatively low or no taxes.
It is even more interesting to follow the evolution that this jurisdiction has been making in recent years from ordinary low taxes jurisdiction and related banking services to a global financial center focused on high-quality and innovative financial services for promising companies and wealthy people.
Like Switzerland, Liechtenstein is not classic offshore, but low-tax jurisdiction. But compared with Switzerland, tax rates for holding companies and companies that do not operate in Liechtenstein are significantly lower. The country has an effective banking system (the total balance sheet is about CHF 32.5 billion). The largest banks are the National Bank, Liechtensteiner Global Trust, VP Bank AG. Due to its low taxes on capital and profits, as well as strictly guarded banking secrets, Liechtenstein retains its position as a major financial center.
Ways to register company in Liechtenstein
Unlike other tax havens, there are no special rules and laws for offshore companies in Liechtenstein. Everyone enjoys low taxes in offshore Liechtenstein. Income tax is paid only on income received at work or from the business. Since there is a net worth tax (tax on wealth) in Liechtenstein, investment income (dividends, interest income, rent, etc.) is not taxed on income but is taxed on wealth. Capital gains are taxed as income, except for certain property sales, which are taxed separately.
The advantages of jurisdiction:
- Closed register of beneficiaries for foundations and GmbH. The information on company owners is not public.
- Member of the Hague Convention on the Apostille of 1961.
- High prestige as Liechtenstein is one of the most developed countries in Europe and has an excellent business reputation.
Company types you can register
Liechtenstein company formation can be done according to the corporate law of the country in the following legal forms:
- private limited company (GmbH);
- foundation (Stiftung);
- general partnership (Kollektivgesellschaft);
- public limited company (AG);
- individual entrepreneur (Einzelfirma);
- the joint venture (Liechtenstein Venture Cooperative, LVC);
- limited partnership (Kommanditgesellschaft);
- trust institution (Treuunternehmen);
- trust (Treuhandschaft);
- cooperative (Genossenschaft);
- association (Verein);
- branch (Zweignieder-lassung).
The most popular and used types of institutions are Stiftung and GmbH.
Requirements for companies
Foundations (Stiftung) are built in order to realize certain non-commercial intentions of the founders, but they can carry out the entrepreneurial activity if it is aimed at achieving the non-commercial goals of the fund. Most often, such a legal form is used to continue ownership of family assets. The fund does not have participants or shares, it is founded by the founder (founders), and the assets of the fund are separated from the assets of its founder. The minimum size of the fund’s assets is CHF 30,000, which cannot be divided into shares.
To set up company in Liechtenstein in the form of GmbH is necessary to register it in the trade register of Liechtenstein. The name may contain an indication of the purpose and scope of the company and must necessarily reflect the legal form. The legal address of the company can be provided by a registration agent, so there is no need for a separate office in this case.
The set of documents for the foundation includes:
- Foundation Deed.
- Foundation Charter.
- Resolution on the appointment of the Foundation Council.
- Additional regulations of the fund (By-laws) (if necessary).
- Regulations for the tread of the fund (if necessary).
To register the private limited company the following documents are necessary:
- Extract from the trade register (Handelsregister).
- Deed of Incorporation.
- Package of apostilled constituent documents of the company.
- Share certificates.
Benefits to open company in Liechtenstein
Creating and maintaining a company in Liechtenstein is quite expensive, as in Switzerland. However, companies registered in Liechtenstein have a number of undeniable tax advantages, as well as a good image. Usually company registration takes no longer than three weeks. The authorized capital is paid in advance and it is frozen until the company registration procedure is completed. In the future, it can be used at discretion. Information about the shareholders and beneficial owners of the company is not subject to disclosure and is not entered into the Public Register. At the same time, the Public Register should contain information about the directors of the company.
Liechtenstein’s attractive taxation system is one of the main reasons that appeal to foreign investors. With a maximum income tax rate of 20% and a slew of tax and investments agreements, Liechtenstein offers many other benefits to global investors.Atrium Business Solutions