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ESTABLISHING AN INTERNATIONAL IBC/PIF STRUCTURE for TAX and Asset Protection!Whilst Seychelles IBCs have some of the most extensive privacy features of any IBCs in the world if an IBC alone is established to do business abroad, (and underlying legal ownership of the IBC were ever discovered) you may leave yourself vulnerable to attack by Creditors, Lawyers or Revenue Collectors. On the other hand a PIF alone can be an awkward structure with which to do business and invest as everything has to be handled by a Councilor, there is a limit on the kinds of business a PIF can do and some Companies do not like doing business with just a PIF alone.
By establishing a dual structure you can have practical control and commercial input in respect of your offshore assets and investments, whilst at the same time enjoying the enormous asset protection and tax planning benefits that only a PIF can offer.
How to establish an IBC PIF “Dynamic Duo” Structure
PIF Order Form – How to Complete
Once you request our order form then as you will see there are a number of details that we will need in order to establish your PIF. Unlike a lot of Offshore Practitioners our approach is to obtain detailed instructions from the outset in order to maximize the chances of the PIF withstanding a legal challenge should that unlikely possibility ever occur.
A person who forms (or who passes assets to) a PIF is called a “Founder”. At the beginning of the Form the Founder’s details need to be set out. Only one Founder is required although if assets being transferred to the PIF are (at present) jointly owned by you and a partner it may prudent for legal reasons to nominate both persons as Founders.
You will need to give the PIF a name. In the event that your first preferred name is not available you may wish to provide us with two names, a first choice and second choice.
Question 4 asks you to set out the purpose of the PIF. A general answer here will suffice. Commonly such PIFs are established for the purpose of asset holding or for estate planning purposes.
For legal reasons it is extremely important that the Councilor/s be (and be seen to be) in control of the PIF. If a PIF is seen to be controlled from Onshore there is a risk that the PIF may be challenged as a sham or deemed by the authorities to be a local resident for tax purposes. Please keep this in mind when communicating with us, as you will need to be seen to be “informing us as to your wishes” rather than “telling us or instructing us re what to do”. Also if dealing with Foundation property it is imperative that you not tell third parties that you are the owner of the property. If any business is to be done in respect of the said Property or if documents (eg sales agents agreements) are to be signed concerning such Property it is important that such matters be referred to the Councilor.
Also, you will need to consider who should be the signatory on any PIF Bank accounts. So as to ensure that the PIF is seen to be controlled by the Councilor it is not advisable for either the Founder or a Beneficiary to be the sole signatory on the account. Whilst the most cautious approach is to appoint the Councilor as the sole signatory another option would be to nominate yourself and the Councilor as co-signatories meaning that two signatures would be required to move funds.
Persons who are to receive a benefit from the PIF are called “Beneficiaries”. You as Founder may be a beneficiary though not the sole beneficiary. Also there must be at least one beneficiary named in the Charter and/or Regulations (which are the documents which “give birth” to the PIF)
There are essentially two ways that you can approach the issue of who to name as Beneficiaries (and when). The first (more traditional) method is to clearly set out in the Charter or Regulations the names of the persons (which may include yourself and your partner) that are to ultimately benefit from the PIF. Some people feel more comfortable if they can see, from the outset, their names appearing as beneficiaries in the establishment docs.
The second, more creative approach is to maximize the “Discretionary” nature of the PIF to avoid any person’s names appearing in the Constitutional docs. One of the key features of Discretionary PIFs is that the Councilor retains, (in theory at least) the power to add or substitute further beneficiaries after the PIF has been formed. What you can do to maximize privacy is nominate (in the section of the Form asking for details as to beneficiaries) a charity such as The Red Cross to be the primary beneficiary of the PIF, from the outset. This means that, in the Constitutional docs, the name of the Beneficiary of the PIF will read “The Red Cross”.
If you wish the Councilor to add or substitute beneficiaries at a later time all you need to do is to tell us the names of the persons who are to be added as beneficiaries and when (after formation of the PIF) you would like us to add those persons as primary beneficiaries. Please see the example set out in the attached Order Form in terms of how you might go about wording such a request. By taking this approach if the Charter or Regs were accidentally found by persons acting on behalf of your creditors (or the Revenue Authorities) they would still be unable to establish whether you (or your partner or family members) are entitled to any income (or Property) from the PIF. To protect the PIF against legal challenge you will however need to ensure that the charity does in fact receive some financial benefit each year from the PIF.
Finally if it is your wish that certain persons (eg a “Prodigal Son) never receive a benefit from the PIF you can set out that person/s details towards the end of the Order Form in the section headed “Excluded Persons”.
How is the Councilor/s to pass on Income and Property?
Obviously, so far as it is possible to do so at this time, we would like you to let us know your wishes as to how and when we are to pass on an income from the PIF. You can be as general or as specific as you like bearing in mind that you can always change your mind and express contrary (or further/other) wishes at a later time. Question 5 sets out some detailed guidelines in this regard and beneath the explanations we have set out an example as to how you may like to set out your wishes.
Another factor that you may wish to keep in mind is that you can pass on income from the PIF to some beneficiaries whilst leaving capital assets of the PIF to others. If the PIF owns a Property for example you may wish for the rent to be paid to your spouse during her lifetime with the ownership of the property to be passed on to your child upon his or her attaining the age of say 30 years.
A detailed explanation as to what a Protector is appears towards the end of the Order Form. Rather than repeating what is set out there we would simply point out that it is not mandatory to appoint a Protector. Also, if one is appointed, the matters in respect of which the Protector's permission is/are required should be limited and specific otherwise there is a risk that the Protector may be deemed to be controlling the PIF from onshore (which could result in the PIF becoming liable to local taxes).
Councilors Power and Special Provisions
In terms of setting out what Powers the Councilor is to have there are essentially two ways that such an issue can be approached. You may wish to specifically and in detail set out or limit what the powers are to be. The downside of this is that, if the Councilor’s powers are seen to be limited, then the PIF may leave itself open to challenge as a sham (as without power the Councilor becomes impotent).
Alternatively you may wish to take the more cautious and conventional route, which is to allow the Councilor to have standard Discretionary Powers. Even if you take this approach the Discretionary Powers will be clearly set out in the Constitutional docs copies of which will be provided to you after we have had the chance to convert your wishes (as set out in the order form) into a Draft doc/s.
It should also be noted that a second Councilor outside of Seychelles can be appointed if you wish.
For a Dual structure you are looking at a set up cost including government fees bank account set ups and basic admin for year one of EUR 2,500 and EUR 1,800 yearly thereafter. To proceed with your order we’ll need payment in advance (which can be made by bank transfer
Our Know Your Client/Due Diligence procedures
We are required by local Corporate Service Provider's laws to ensure that the following due diligence information is collected from you before we can provide services to you including:
1. A certified copy of your Passport, Driver's Licence and National ID Card
2. An original proof of residential address doc (eg a recent rates/utility bill or bank/credit card statement)
3. Details of your proposed business activities
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