- Audit obligation: Yes
- Continent: Europe
- Disclosure of beneficial owners: No
- EU VAT ID available: No
- Local manager required: Yes
- Minimum paid-up capital: CHF 30,000 / 50,000
- Obligation to submit an annual report: Yes
- Tax system: Preferential tax
Although Liechtenstein is located in Europe, it is not a member of the EU. Thanks to its highly developed banking system and the high level of protection provided for business secrets, it is extremely popular in the international financial sector.
The company forms known as Anstalt and Aktiengesellschaft provide limited liability for the owners. In the case of Anstalt, the equity must be at least CHF 30,000, which needs to be paid up by the shareholders. For the Aktiengesellschaft, the mandatory amount to be paid up is CHF 50,000 The company is only required to have one manager and one shareholder. At least one manager is needed for offshore registration who is a local resident and has the required permit of the local authority to fulfil this function. The other manager, if necessary, and the shareholders may also be foreign persons. There are no restrictions on whether they should be legal entities or natural persons. The local court of registration records only the data of the manager. The company must have a local address, which qualifies as its official seat. The company is entitled to transfer its official address to another country at any time.
The corporate tax rate is 12.5%, but businesses are required to pay minimum tax of CHF 1,200 in any case. Moreover, this tax rate is not the lowest in Europe, so member states do not regard Lichtenstein as a jurisdiction for offshore company registration. The dividend, royalty and interest payments paid by local companies to foreigners are fully exempt from withholding tax. Companies are required to prepare a report on their operations, which in some cases must be provided with an attestation clause by the auditor before being submitted to the local authority. It is important to note that the company report does not qualify as public data.