OVERVIEW FOUNDATION LAWS OF SEYCHELLES
The Foundations Act 2009 (‘The Act’) regulates the work of foundations in Seychelles. Essentially, a foundation is a self governing separate legal entity managed by a foundation council in conjunction with the founder or protector, and its activity is regulated by the foundation charter and the law.
The most important thing about a foundation is the fact that once assets are transferred to a foundation, the assets become its property. A person who establishes the foundation has no legal or private asset ownership claims. Effectively, the assets, being foundation assets, do not form any part of the founder’s estate. For this reason, the foundation is regarded as an important and useful structural element that provides asset protection, tax planning and succession planning.
HOW IS A FOUNDATION CREATED?
A foundation is established in Seychelles in keeping with a written charter signed by one or more founders and submitted for registration to the Registrar of Foundations (Financial Services Authority) and upon the issuance of the registration certificate - by the Registrar.
The Act requires that the foundation charter be included in the Registrar, which shall contain the following details, inter alia:
• The name of the foundation;
• The founder(s) name and addresses;
• The object of the foundation;
• The initial assets of the foundation;
• The details of any specific purpose of establishment, if any;
• The establishment of a council;
• Name and address of the foundation’s registered agent in Seychelles;
• The address of the foundation’s registered office in Seychelles.
The main features of a Seychelles Foundation
The Foundation Act 2009 provides for the following:
• The Council is responsible for the administration, management and distribution of the foundation assets in accordance with the charter and the Act. All parties focus on the attainment of the objects and goals specified in the charter and authorized by the law.
• The council shall consist of one or more persons, either natural or legal, known as councilors. The appointment of a person as a councilor is personal and cannot be forced.
• The starter value for initial assets of a foundation is USD 1 or an equivalent sum in any foreign currency.
• A foundation may include any assets outside of Seychelles. It may not hold any property in Seychelles.
• Registration is effected through submission of the charter by the registered agent with the purpose of registering it with the Registrar in Seychelles.
• A foundation can address a registered agent in Seychelles at all times, which must be a legal person and be a licensed corporate foundation service provider in keeping with the International Corporate Service Provider Act.
• Unless otherwise declared by the Supreme Court of Seychelles, a foundation shall not be void by reasons of the founder’s bankruptcy or liquidation of the founder’s property.
• A limitation period of 2 years from the date of the transfer or disposition of the property is prescribed for any legal actions against the settler of the foundation and rules out any claims on his/her property or financial rights.