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Liechtenstein

Introduction

Liechtenstein is bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and Austria to the east and north. It has an area of just over 160 square kilometres (62 square miles), the fourth smallest in Europe. Divided into 11 municipalities, its capital is Vaduz, and its largest municipality is Schaan.

Population:

The current population of Liechtenstein is 38,146 as of Monday, June 18, 2018, based on the latest United Nations estimates.

Language:

German 94.5% (official) (Alemannic is the main dialect), Italian 1.1%, other 4.3%

Political Structure

Liechtenstein has a constitutional monarch as Head of State, and an elected parliament which enacts the law. It is also a direct democracy, where voters can propose and enact constitutional amendments and legislation independent of the legislature.

Economy

Despite its small size and lack of natural resources, Liechtenstein has developed into a prosperous, highly industrialized, free-enterprise economy with a vital financial services sector and one of the highest per capita income levels in the world. The Liechtenstein economy is widely diversified with a large number of small and medium-sized businesses, particularly in the services sector

Currency:

‎Swiss franc‎ (‎CHF‎)

Exchange Control:

No restrictions are imposed on the import or export of capital.

Financial services industry

Financial centre

The Principality of Liechtenstein is home to a specialised, stable financial centre with strong international connections. The financial services sector is second only in size to the industrial sector. Liechtenstein's first bank was founded in 1861. Since then the financial sector has grown to become an important part of the national economy and today employs around 16% of the country's workforce.

Europe and Switzerland

Financial service providers based in Liechtenstein enjoy the right to provide services in all countries of the European Union (EU) and the EEA. Moreover, traditionally close relations with neighbouring Switzerland, the customs union with Switzerland and the Swiss franc as the official currency in Liechtenstein give companies privileged access to the Swiss market as well. Liechtenstein is committed to the OECD standards on transparency and information exchange and has an effective system for combating money laundering and financing of terrorism. The internationally recognised Financial Market Authority Liechtenstein is responsible for monitoring the country's financial industry.

Banks and more

Banks may have the greatest influence within the financial services sector, but Liechtenstein is also attractive to and popular among many other kinds of companies such as insurers, asset managers, funds and trusts.

Corporate Law/Act

The major laws that govern the commercial activities in Liechtenstein are the Liechtenstein Company Law and the Liechtenstein Foundation Law. The Company Law of Liechtenstein was adopted in 1992 and contains regulations regarding the legal forms of businesses. The foundations were also regulated by this law until 2008, when a specific law was adopted (New Liechtenstein Foundation Law).

According to the Company Law, all the union of persons earn the legal entity status after the registration in the Public Registry. The registration of a company in Liechtenstein is not mandatory for the entities which don’t perform economic activities. Any change in the status of the company must be submitted to the Public Registry.

Type of Company/Corporation:

One IBC Limited provide Incorporation service in Liechtenstein with the type AG (a company limited by shares) and Anstalt (an Establishment, commercial or non-commercial, without shares).

Business Restriction:

A Liechtenstein corporate body or trust cannot undertake the business of banking, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, collective investment schemes or any other activity that would suggest an association with the Banking or Finance industries, unless a special licence is obtained.

Company Name Restriction:

  • The name may be in any language that uses the Latin alphabet, but the Public Registry may require a German translation.
  • A name that is identical or similar to an existing name is not acceptable.
  • A major name that is known to exist elsewhere is not acceptable.
  • A name that may imply government patronage cannot be used.
  • A name that in the opinion of the Registrar may be considered undesirable is not permitted.
  • The following names or their derivatives require consent or a licence: Bank, Building Society, Savings, Insurance, Assurance, Reinsurance, Fund Management, Investment Fund, Liechtenstein, State, Country, Municipality, Principality, Red Cross.
  • The name must end with one of the following suffixes denoting limited liability: Aktiengesellschaft or AG; Gesellschaft mit beschrankter Haftung or GmbH; Anstalt or Est.

Incorporation Procedure

Just 4 simple steps are given to incorporate a Company in Liechtenstein:
  • Step 1: Select basic Resident/Founder nationality information and other additional services which you want (if any).
  • Step 2: Register or login and fill in the company names and director/ shareholder(s) and fill in billing address and special request (if any).
  • Step 3: Choose your payment method (We accept payment by Credit/Debit Card, PayPal or Wire Transfer).
  • Step 4: You will receive soft copies of necessary documents including: Certificate of Incorporation, Business Registration, Memorandum and Articles of Association, etc. Then, your new company in a Liechtenstein is ready to do business. You can bring the documents in company kit to open corporate bank account or we can help you with our long experience of Banking support service.
* These documents required to incorporate company in Liechtenstein:
  • Passport of each shareholder/beneficial owner and director;
  • Proof of residential address of each director and shareholder (Must be in English or certified translation version);
  • The proposed company names;
  • The issued share capital and par value of shares.

Compliance

Capital:

The Establishment’s minimum capital amounts to CHF 30,000 (alternatively EUR 30,000 or USD 30,000). If the capital is divided into shares, the minimum capital amounts to CHF 50,000 (alternatively EUR 50,000 or USD 50,000). The capital – so-called Establishment fund – may also be fully or partly paid in as contributions in kind. Contributions in kind have to be valued by an expert prior to their contribution. The establishment fund may be increased at any time.

Share:

In Liechtenstein, shares may be issued in a variety of forms and classifications and may include: Non Par Value, voting, Registered or Bearer form.

Director:

The minimum number of directors for the Aktiengesellschaft (AG), GmbH and Anstalt is one. The directors may be natural persons or bodies corporate. A Liechtenstein Stiftung does not have a board of directors, but appoints a Foundation Council. The directors (members of council) may be natural persons or bodies corporate. They can be of any nationality, but at least one director (member of council) must be a natural person, a resident of Liechtenstein and qualified to act on behalf of the company.

Shareholder:

Only one shareholder of any nationality is required.

Taxation:

  • An Aktiengesellschaft (AG) pays a 4% coupon tax on dividends and an annual capital tax of 0.1% on the net asset value of the company. The annual minimum is CHF 1,000.
  • A commercial or non-commercial Anstalt, provided the capital has not been divided, does not pay a coupon tax but pays an annual capital tax of 0.1% on the net asset value of the company. The annual minimum is CHF 1,000.
  • A Stiftung, whether registered or deposited, does not pay a coupon tax, but must pay an annual capital tax of 0.1% on the net asset value of the company. The annual minimum is CHF 1,000.
  • Trusts pay a minimum annual tax of CHF 1,000 or 0.1% on the net asset value

Financial statement:

  • An Aktiengesellschaft (AG) or GmbH is required to submit an audited financial statement to the Liechtenstein tax administrator for assessment.
  • A commercial Anstalt is required to submit an audited financial statement to the Liechtenstein tax administrator.
  • A non-commercial Anstalt need not submit accounts to the Liechtenstein tax administrator; a statement by the bank that a record of its assets is available is sufficient.
  • A Stiftung need not submit accounts to the Liechtenstein tax administrator; a statement by the bank that a record of its assets is available is sufficient.

Registered Office And Local Agent:

Insofar as the articles of association of the Liechtenstein AG and Anstalt do not provide differently, the registered office of the company is at the location where the centre of its administrative activity is, subject to the regulations on the registered office in terms of international relations.

Double Taxation Agreements:

Liechtenstein has only one double tax agreement, with Austria.

License

Payment, Company return due Date:

The tax return must be filed by June 30 inclusive, of the year following the tax year. An extension from the tax authorities is possible on request. Entities will receive a provisional tax bill in August, which must be paid by September 30 of that year.

Penalty:

If a corporation does not pay taxes on time, interest will be charged from the time the payment was due. The interest rate fixed by the government in the tax ordinance is 4 percent. A tax bill is a legal title for execution, which means that following a reminder, the authorities can take execution in the entity's assets.

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