About Foundations

Foundations are structures to which legal ownership of property or assets (money, shares, gifts, or land) is transferred. They are hybrid in essence, containing the principal features of a corporation (legal attributes) and the trust (created for a purpose or benefit). As such, foundations are especially useful for asset management and tax planning, but can also be utilized to accomplish a wide range of goals that offer certain advantages over trusts and other international financial tools.

Foundations are unique and independent legal entities that are widely-recognized in civil law jurisdictions and a growing number of common law jurisdictions as well. Foundations can be established for any purposes—charitable or otherwise–which are capable of fulfillment, and are not unlawful, immoral, or contrary to public policy.

Founder:

  • Known as the person who establishes the foundation, or on whose behalf it is set up or by whom an asset disposition to the foundation is effectuated.
  • Generally, an international financial foundation can be established by more than one founder.
  • A Founder shall not function as Guardian of the foundation that they established or to which they disposed property to.
  • A Founder may be a beneficiary, including the sole beneficiary, of a foundation that they establish.

Beneficiary or Purpose:

  • Known as the person or group of persons for whose benefit the foundation is created.
  • ‘Purpose’ refers to any purpose/goal for which the foundation is formed (e.g charity, estate planning…).

Foundation Council:

  • Known as the persons who carry out the purpose of the foundation as instructed by the Charter; in so doing, the Council distributes foundation’s property, administers assets, signs contracts, transacts and invest on behalf of the foundation. Council members owe a fiduciary duty to the foundation.
  • There must always be at least one Belize Resident Member of the Foundation Council.

Foundation Charter:

  • The document in which the governing rules of the foundation are stated as developed by the Founder.

Guardian or Protector:

  • Guardians and protectors are generally optional, serving as a protection mechanism to ensure that the council’s actions and decisions are in accordance with the terms and objectives of the foundation.

The Belize International Foundations Act introduced in 2010 is a flexible piece of legislation that includes successful aspects of foundation legislation found in various jurisdictions around the world. The provisions made in the Belize law, developed after years of prudent policy analysis, make Belize an excellent choice for international investors seeking comprehensive asset-protection.

Additionally, several contingencies are set in place for the refutation of foreign law concerning the validity of a foundation, or the disposition of assets to a foundation valid under the laws of Belize. These features provide asset protection against creditor claims in respect to assets transferred to the foundation without intent to defraud.  The Belize International Foundations Act also makes provisions for a substantial accommodation of costs in respect to claims brought against international foundations established in Belize. This attractive feature discourages frivolous lawsuits, and adds another hedge of security, not commonly found in other financial jurisdictions.

Another attractive aspect of foundation formation in Belize is the confidentiality and expeditious process;  there is no requirement to disclose the beneficiary or founder of a foundation publicly, or to have annual filings. As you can see, there are numerous benefits that make Belize an excellent place to establish a foundation. Some other advantages are:

  • A Belize foundation can be used for charitable or non-charitable purposes and other non specific purposes, foundations can suit a broad number of financial goals.
  • When a foundation is used mainly for non charitable purposes, it is deemed a charitable foundation, if any (no matter how little) part of the foundations is used for a charitable purpose. This is advantageous if the foundation is operating within a jurisdiction that offers tax refunds, credits or incentives to charitable foundations.
  • Most disputes and other litigious matters involving the foundation, may be settled through arbitration, rather than a formal legal setting.
  • A Belize foundation can exist indefinitely with no limit on the foundation’s continuance.

Allow CILTrust International Inc. utilize their expertise in assisting with your Foundation formation needs. To learn more about Belize International Foundations Act and CILTrust’s services feel free to view the documentation below. Any necessary forms or service agreements can be obtained in our Forms and Docs page in the Resource Center. You can also contact us and speak with one of our specialists by using the live chat, contact form or by email at services@ciltrust.biz  You can also fax us your inquiries at: 011+501-223-3501 or speak to our main office at: +011 501.223.3738

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