are usually set up to forever donate property or cash
are also formed for the purpose of administration
and preservation of (family) assets on account of
legal security. (Endowments are often used to finance
children's education or to support the founder and/or
his relatives or to keep real estate assets for future
generations). The founder can reserve the right to
administer the Foundation's assets, not only in their
time but also after their death. Foundations are not
limited by time and can exist after the death of the
purpose of a Foundation is usually written down in
the Foundation's Deed. The contents of the Deed of
Foundation are not know to third parties unless specified.
Any specific regulations are written down in the so-called
Foundation's By-Laws. The succession and possible
beneficiaries are determined by the founder and/or
members of the Board of Foundation taken down in the
Foundation's BY-Laws. By-Laws do not have to be submitted
to authorities and can be changed or cancelled by
are unsuitable for trade or business purposes.
If the Foundation pursues an interest in business
trading, it needs to be registered in the Public
Full anonymity is still guaranteed as only the
existence of the Foundation must be confirmed.
and representation of Foundations toward third parties
lie with the Board of Foundation. Rights and duties
are put down in a contract. There must be at least
one person on the Board who is permanently resident
and officially permitted to conduct business in Switzerland
or other places.
is a lot of freedom in the structure of the Foundation.
minimum start-up capital for a Foundation is CHF 30'000
(Approximately 20'000€) It is possible to pay
the start-up capital in the form of real estates and
houses, however, cash settlements should be given
asset contributions are tax-free.
is possible to retract contributed assets. If requested,
contributions can be returned to the founder. It is
possible to protect the Foundation in the event of
creditors' charges. The Foundation's assets are also
safeguarded even if the Foundation has filed for bankruptcy,
on the condition that this benefit is not misused.
In case of closure, the Foundation's assets stand
surety for all kinds of liabilities. Donations made
to appointed beneficiaries can be conditional. Beneficiaries
can be private as well as judicial persons, charities,
and religious or cultural institutions and organizations.
Also, founders can appoint themselves as the first
and/r the only beneficiary. Further appointments of
beneficiaries are entered in the By-Laws. To ensure
the designated use of the assets, special regulations
can be set up.
Foundation's and the founder's private assets are
company register differentiates between registered
and deposited deeds of foundation. The latter is merely
deposited with the company register office without
its contents being accessible to third parties. Mandatory
registration depends on the objects of the foundation
and how it intends to achieve these. The foundation
has legal personality whether or not it is registered.
Foundations are not subject to maintaining business
accounts. It is, however, recommended to maintain
such, as they are best referred to when checking on
the Foundation's financial situation. Also, Registered
Foundations do not have to have their business accounts
checked by an independent auditor.
stated above, there is no obligation to submit any
kind of documents stating the Foundation's financial
situation. Nevertheless, it is compulsory to forward
a declaration confirming the existence of any kind
the main advantages of a Foundation are:
of the Foundation
low taxes in respect of the value of the assets.
of assets over a long period of time