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Trusts & Foundations

Panama Foundation

General Benefits

Panama Foundation setup
  • Confidentiality.
  • Removal of assets from the ownership of the founder in connection with potential liability in the future.
  • Anonymity and complete discretion.
  • Avoids the legal testamentary regulation that implies bureaucratic time and money.
  • Centralization and administration of the assets and patrimony
  • Tax exemption and a recommended vehicle for international tax planning.
  • Avoid problem of international succession related to the domicile of the founder since Panamanian law is applied.
  • Low costs in inheritance planning.
  • Convenient control of the assets and maintaining indirect influence of the total administration
  • Forced heirship rules of other countries are not applicable to Panamanian Private Interest Foundations.

Comparison of Panama & Liechtenstein Foundation

Panama Foundation:

  • Panama makes no differences between Family Foundations and the so called Mixed Foundations; any kind of beneficiaries can be appointed.
  • The registration of the Foundation Charter is mandatory but not the Regulations (By-Laws) which is optional, therefore a certificate evidencing its existence may be requested.
  • The Foundation committee may be formed by persons or corporate bodies, Panamanian or foreign with residence in any part of the World.
  • No minimum endowment needs to be contributed in advance.
  • Subject to only one Annual Franchise Tax of US$150.00 regardless of its total assets.
  • Three-(3) years prescription for creditor claims against the Foundation and its transfers.


  • Liechtenstein Foundations make a distinction regarding Family or Mixed Foundations, which needs to be previously specified
  • The law remits to what is set forth in the laws of the founder's or beneficiaries' domicile regarding the right to revoke the creation of the Foundation or its transfers.
  • The constitution deed and by-laws need to be recorded at the public registry.
  • The members of the Foundation committee must comply with requirements of nationality, residency, and professional activities.
  • Foundations are subject to taxes in proportion to their assets plus a fixed annual fee of US$650.00.
  • Endowment is required at the moment of the creation of the Foundation
  • No prescription for creditors claims against the Foundation and its transfers.

FAQ's on Foundation

Can Founder be the sole beneficiary: Yes, the "real Founder" (ie. the Beneficial Owner) can be the sole beneficiary. We indicate "real Founder" as the name of the Founder is matter of public record, generally our clients request the services of "nominee Founder". In this regards, the "real Founder" can be the sole beneficiary, nonetheless the "nominee Founder" will never be a beneficiary as agent is the "nominee Founder".

Another matter to take into consideration is the fact that we recommend to clients to always name additional beneficiaries to the Foundation. They can be named as secondary beneficiaries and only have access to the Foundation's patrimony after the death of the first beneficiary (the BO).

Can the beneficiary be the protector: Yes, the protector can be a beneficiary. This is one of the most common ways to structure a Foundation.

Can the beneficiary be a member of Foundation council: Yes, a beneficiary can be a member of the Foundation council. Nonetheless this is not recommended as the name of the Foundation council is of public record. Thus, the name of the beneficiary will be publicly linked to the Foundation.

How many members required in Foundation council (can it be one corporate nominee from agent side and one individual being beneficiary or protector as also Foundation council member): The law requires that the Foundation council be conformed of at least 1 juridical person or 3 natural persons. Can be one nominee from our agent & other from real founder. Nonetheless, please note that this is not very common as the names and details of the Foundation council are registered in the public registry, thus of public record. For confidentiality reasons, clients normally wish to avoid that the names of the beneficiaries or protectors be registered in the Public registry.

Can protector revoke the Foundation if it is provided in the Foundation charter: Yes.

Can protector amend beneficiaries:Yes, the protector can include or exclude beneficiaries. It can also indicate conditions for the beneficiaries to enjoy the Foundation's patrimony. We can also limit that only the first protector of the Foundation has the before-mentioned faculties, and that alternate or secondary protectors cannot include or exclude beneficiaries.

Can Founder change protector or can it be restricted Yes, this can be restricted.

Can protector be also authorised attorney given general POA for management of assets of the Foundation:Yes, the Foundation can issue a general Power of Attorney in favor of the protector.


Renewal of Panama Foundation, to be paid in December every year. Failure to do so results in penalties and could result in the striking-off of the company from the Foundation registry.
Latest valid passport copy and recent utility for address proof of protector, Foundation Council Members and beneficiaries are required to be submitted every renewal of the Foundation as a part of enhanced due diligence.


  • Duly filled application form
  • Passport copy with photo & signature
  • Two(2) letters of bank reference which state a minimum relationship of 3 years.
  • Professional reference
  • Second identification card with photo
  • Details of beneficiaries, their share & passport copies
  • Names of Foundation council members, their powers, passport copies & address proof.
  • Name of protector, auditor etc and their proof of existence / address.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the details contained herein are correct and up-to-date, it does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice. We do not accept any responsibility, legal or otherwise, for any errors or omissions.