Seychelles foundations are provided for by the Foundations Act 2009. A foundation’s council manages foundation assets for the benefit of the foundation’s beneficiaries or for a specified purpose. A foundation’s charter or regulations may reserve to the founder or to a protector certain rights, such as the right to approve the appointment or removal of councillors or beneficiaries.
Formed on the registration of its charter signed by the founder who donates initial assets to it, a Seychelles foundation is a separate legal entity which holds property in its own right and has no owners.
Private foundations are commonly used to hold investments such as company shares, bonds and real estate or as part of a family office structure.
When a founder donates assets to the foundation, those assets cease to belong to him or her and the foundation itself becomes the sole legal and beneficial owner of its assets. As a foundation’s assets do not belong to the founder, such assets are protected (in the absence of fraud) from attack by the founder’s personal creditors.
Foundation assets can be administered for the benefit of successive generations, outside of the founder’s deceased estate and without involving the founder’s will, executors or probate formalities.
Foundations offer a cost-effective alternative to trusts. A Seychelles foundation is not subject to Seychelles taxation on its foreign income and profits and is exempt from Seychelles withholding tax and stamp duty.
The names of foundation beneficiaries, councillors and protectors are not required to be filed with the Registrar and are not publicly-accessible.