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Panama – Private Foundation
  • In 1995, the Republic of Panama adopted Law No. 25 of 12.06.1995 on Private Foundations, which afforded the opportunity of registering private foundations in Panama.
  • The Private Foundation in Panama is founded with the aim of preserving the property of the founder, to increase that property, and, in the event that the founder becomes incapable or dies, to distribute the property according to his or her given instructions. The aim is similar to that of a trust.
  • The Private Foundation functions in a similar manner to a trust by separating the owner from his property thereby protecting that property from potential claimants such as creditors or plaintiffs.
  • Whilst it is very similar to the trust, the Private Foundation has some significant advantages over a trust:
  • The Private Foundation is a separate legal entity, and it can therefore carry out the commercial operations necessary for servicing the property transferred into it such as opening bank accounts and entering into business transactions.
  • In the event that the owner of property transfers it into a Private Foundation, that person retains full and unrestricted control over that property in that he or she can be named as the administrator of the Private Foundation. This avoids the need actually to transfer the property into trust to be administered by third-party trustees.
  • The legislation relating to Private Foundations contains all the elements of trust legislation:
  • The Founder: the person who establishes the foundation and transfers his or her property to it for administration.
  • The Foundation Council: the persons who carry out the day-to-day administration of the Private Foundation. The founder himself or herself can serve in that capacity, as can other specially named persons.
  • The Beneficiaries: the persons to whom the property of the foundation will be transferred, according to the founder's instructions, on the occurrence of specific stipulated events.
  • The Protector: a supervisor appointed by the founder. It is his responsibility to ensure that the council strictly carries out the founder's instructions.

GENERAL INFORMATIONTotal area - 75,515 sq km
Population - 3,600,000
Location - click here to see the map of offshore jurisdictions
Political status - republic
Capital - Panama City
Official language - Spanish (English in general use)
Official currency - USA Dollar (USD); Balboa (PAB)
Time zone - GMT - 5
Company typePrivate Foundation
Directors/OfficersManagement and ownership of Panama Private Foundation is vested in the Foundation Council.
Panama Private Foundations require a minimum of 3 natural persons from any legal jurisdiction, or a minimum of 1 corporate body from any legal jurisdiction to be appointed as the Foundation Council.
Each Panama Private Foundation must file an information on its Foundation Council with the Register of Enterprises of the Panama.
ShareholdersThe legislation on Panama Private Foundations do not consider a status of shareholders.
SecretaryThere is no statutory requirement for a Company Secretary to be appointed.
Authorised share capital Minimal authorised capital = USD 10,000.
Authorised share capital in the case of Private Foundation is similar to amount of facilities contributed by its founder for activities of the company.
Company Names The name of a Panama Private Foundation must include the word "Foundation". Company names containing restricted words such as "Bank", "Insurance" etc. will not be permitted unless an appropriate national operating licence has been obtained by the company.
Beneficial Ownership information Information with regard to ultimate beneficial ownership must be disclosed to the Registered Agent, and is held by the agent on a confidential basis.
Filing of Annual ReturnThere is no requirement to file an Annual Return in Panama for Private Foundations.
Filing of Financial StatementsThere is no requirement to file Financial Statements in Panama for Private Foundations.
Corporate TaxationPanama Private Foundations are not subject to corporation tax in Panama.
Tax TreatiesPanama Private Foundations that do not carry on commercial operations in Panama, are not regarded as resident for tax purposes in Panama, and therefore are not entitled to take advantage of Double Tax treaties concluded by Panama with other countries.
Timeframe for incorporation 6/7 working days. A complete set of company documents can be delivered in 6/7 weeks.
Takeover of management & secretarial services for an existing Panama PF companyPossible, following verification of Beneficial Ownership and agreement with and discharge of liabilities to previous corporate service provider in Panama.
Description of incorporation documentsClick here for itemised description of company documents.
"Ready-made"("Shelf") companiesWe are happy to register new Panama Private Foundations in accordance with client instructions.
Price of Panama PF companyEach Panama Private Foundation is individually tailored in accordance with requirements of the each client, and therefore, the price of a Panama Private Foundation depends on complicity of its foundation documents, structure of foundation council and other details. Minimum price of Panama PF is EUR 1,680, including incorporation costs, full domiciliary (Registered Agent/Office) costs and legal support services for one year.
Cost of annual support servicesNot less than EUR 980 per year, including full domiciliary (Registered Agent/Office) costs, annual Government Duty and legal support services for each year.
  • INTERNATIONAL OVERSEAS SERVICES has the following comments: -
  • A Panama Private Foundation is a specific vehicle, basically intended for preserving the material wealth of the founder, with a view to passing it down to the second and third generation, rather than for carrying out day-to-day commercial transactions.
  • The legal separation of property from the owner can prove to be useful in the most unexpected situations as a person's life is full of various risks, including financial risks. Ignoring such risks does not mean that they disappear. For this reason, it is likely that Panamanian private foundations will become extremely popular and provide worthy competition for the trust and fiduciary structures currently popular.
Info Lines:
Tel Aviv:+972-37-382009