Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked German speaking microstate in Central Europe bordering Austria and Switzerland. The entire countries population is less than 38,000. It is a sovereign and politically stable country with its capital at Vaduz. Even though it has a monarch as Head of State, it is a direct democracy. Liechtenstein is one of the few countries in the world that has more registered companies and jobs than citizens. It has a gross domestic product (GDP) or $141,100 USD per capita which is the second highest in the world.
Over the last few decades it has developed a prosperous, highly industrialized, free enterprise economy and has been internationally recognized as a financial center especially in forming foundations and being an ideal instrument for inheritance provisions. It has also diversified as a financial center by offering alternative investment funds. Liechtenstein has a flexible law governing company’s allowing for the creation of any type of legal organization that is recognized under the law of any jurisdiction in the world.
There are three main types of commercial entities, the Anstalt, Family Foundation, and a Company limited by shares. The Anstalt is the most important entity for tax purposes which is typically used by foreign companies as a holding company for overseas subsidiaries. A Liechtenstein offshore company is based on civil law and it is ideal for:
- Intellectual property management
- Inheritance provisions
- Tax optimization, according to directive 90/435/ECC concerning parent companies and subsidiaries