Company formation in Liechtenstein

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Company formation in Liechtenstein
Incorporating a company in Liechtenstein is a very tax-efficient way for entrepreneurs conducting business not only in Europe but globally.. Liechtenstein is the ideal destination for asset management companies, intellectual property funds, as well as holding companies. The economic infrastructure and tax privileges will benefit the structure of any business, both locally and internationally.
 

What is included in the package of services when registering a company in Liechtenstein?

Реєстрація компанії у Ліхтенштейні

Our experts will walk you through all the company formation steps in Liechtenstein.

Below are the main services our clients benefits from:

  • Assistance with choosing the best type of company according to your business and purpose;

  • Opening a blocked capital bank account to deposit a share capital;

  • Preparing drafts of Memorandum and Articles of Association;

  • Getting a Tax Identification Number;

  • Registration a company;

  • Receiving a certificate of registration.

What is not included in a company formation package but can be done by SIGTAX for additional fees:

  • Obtaining licenses;

  • Opening a corporate bank account;

  • Data Protection Registration;

  • Getting a VAT number.

 

Why should you open a company in Liechtenstein ?

  • Economic stability. Regardless of its small size and scarcity of natural resources the economy of Liechtenstein is highly industrialized, free-enterprise oriented and ranks third in the world, per capita income after Qatar and Luxembourg.
  • Industrialized country. Liechtenstein is one of the most industrialized countries in the world today. Industry and goods-producing trades generate more than 40% of the country's GDP combined together.
  • Dual economic zone. The country is based in two economic areas (the European Economic Area and the Swiss economic area).
  • AAA country rating by Moody's and Standard & Poor's. It comes with very low credit risk and indicates the country has a strong capacity to repay.
  • Anstalt as a legal form. This is an exclusive company type in Liechtenstein. It has neither members nor shareholders. It’s also an autonomous fund generally used for holding purposes, including obtaining royalties and investments in real estate.
  • Privacy. The information about company management in Liechtenstein is freely available, but information on shareholders is closed and can not be disclosed. Nevertheless, Liechtenstein can not be found in any blacklist.
  • Low, simple and flat tax rates. One of the lowest corporate income tax and VAT in Europe.
  • No withholding taxes. There are no withholding taxes on dividends, interests, royalties, and fees paid to non-residents.

The following documents must be submitted with the Public Registry:

  • Company deed of incorporation;

  • Notarized articles of association;

  • Declaration of the minimum paid up capital and Certificate of Deposit;

  • Acceptance declaration containing the director details

  • Declaration of appointment of the company’s auditors.

Corporate income tax – 12.5%.

Tax basis. Corporate income tax is levied on profits made by the company worldwide. However, profits derived from foreign branches or permanent establishments, foreign real estate and profits undistributed by foreign subsidiaries may not be taxable.

Withholding tax - Liechtenstein does not levy tax on dividends, interest and royalties paid to non-residents.

Dividends received by the Liechtenstein company are generally tax exempt.

Personal income tax on individuals is 28%.

VAT - 7.7%.

Capital gains tax is treated as ordinary income and taxed at the standard rate. 

Foreign sources income is taxed at standard rates, except for dividend income, income from capital gains in real estate abroad and income from foreign representative offices and branches.

Losses can be carried forward indefinitely.

 

  1. The first step is to choose the type of company best suited for your needs and then register its name with the Public Registry. A public notary in Liechtenstein must notarize the Articles of Association.

  2. The next step requires opening a bank account in Liechtenstein to deposit the company’s share capital. In accordance with the law of commercial companies, each company must appoint a managing director who is fluent in German and a resident of Liechtenstein.

  3. The company incorporation is complete after the company is entered in the Commercial Registry. For companies engaged in commercial activities, an application must be submitted with the Office of Economic Affairs.

Private Limited Company (AG) and Limited Liability Company (GmbH). The main difference between an AG and a GmbH (Limited Liability Company) is that the first one has an increased transferability of shares, along with higher capital and governance requirements than other types of companies. 

 

Unlike a LLC, a PLC is more convenient for global business, especially when dealing with customers and suppliers. This type of company can engage in all commercial activities, including international trade of goods and services, holding and disposing of investments as well as the administration of real estate. An AG follows the same company formation procedure as a GmbH. Both types of companies require that at least one of the company’s directors is a resident of Liechtenstein.

In the case of the AG, it’s essential to appoint an auditor, a German-speaking managing director and maintain a legal registered office in Liechtenstein.

Entrepreneurs who want to start a company in Liechtenstein will need a business license. In order to obtain this license, the investor must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a clean financial record regarding past financial dealings;

  • Have the necessary competence and knowledge to carry out the proposed business

  • Have the necessary space to carry out commercial activities;

  • Have the necessary employees to carry out the planned work;

  • Have sufficient German language knowledge 

If an investor does not meet any of the above requirements, they may appoint a managing director to obtain the business license on their behalf.

Liechtenstein foundation (Stiftung). The purpose of this legal entity is to facilitate the management of global family assets for the benefit of designated beneficiaries, at the same time maintaining confidentiality. A foundation is best suited for holding assets such as shares in other companies, properties or other forms of investments.

For the Stiftung there is a one time formation fee, of 0.2% of the foundation worth and a capital tax of 1% of the formation capital. When assets are distributed to beneficiaries, there is no other tax levied in Liechtenstein.

The Stiftung does not have a board of directors, but it appoints a Foundation Council instead. The council can be made of natural or foreign individuals. Nevertheless, at least one member must be a resident of Liechtenstein. This type of company does not carry out any commercial activities and no external supervision is required in the case of a private benefit Stiftung. According to the liberal Foundation Law in Liechtenstein, foundations may be for public purpose, religious foundations, joint foundations, corporate foundations, staff welfare foundations and family foundations.

Establishment (Anstalt). This type of company is most commonly used by foreign companies as a holding company in Liechtenstein. The Anstalt is mainly a hybrid between a company limited by shares and a foundation. This company has a board of directors, but there are no shareholders or members involved. Company control is granted to the founder. This company may conduct both commercial and non – commercial activities.

For the incorporation, the Anstalt requires a share capital of 30,000 CHF, just like a GmbH. Bookkeeping is mandatory and, in the case of commercial activities, an annual audit must be performed.

Trust Enterprise. A trust company is suited for protection of family assets and estate planning. This company is set up by a settler through a Deed of Trust, equivalent to the articles of association and it must specify the name and purpose of the trust, the identities of the trustees, the composition of the trust fund, as well as the identity of auditors. The minimum required trust fund is 30,000 CHF. A Liechtenstein trust must pay an annual corporate income tax of 1,200 CHF. The Trust Deed is submitted to the Registrar of Trusts within 12 months from formation, if not, the trust is included in the public register.

A trustee may be an individual, a corporation or an association. One of the trustees must be a Liechtenstein resident and hold a recognized professional qualification.

 

 

SIGTAX has been forming companies in many countries for decades and has established a solid position in the corporate sector. Our expert team has extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of the corporate industry in Liechtenstein. Thus, when you work with SIGTAX, you can be sure that the registration process will be fast and cost-effective even in the most difficult situations. Furthermore, we provide excellent customer service, minimize bureaucratic procedures, ensure confidentiality and provide one-stop services.