Establishing a trust fund in Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein provides a robust legal and regulatory framework that can facilitate setting up investment vehicles such as trust funds for international clients. Due to factors including its membership in the EEA, network of tax treaties, and stable political climate, Liechtenstein enables structuring flexible wealth management solutions.

Potential benefits to creating a Liechtenstein-based trust fund include advantageous tax treatment, a high degree of confidentiality, and protection against forced heirship claims. However, clients should solicit qualified legal and tax advice concerning their specific situation prior to taking steps to establish any financial vehicle. With proper planning and reliance on financial specialists, Liechtenstein can offer a robust platform for international wealth management needs.

Overview of trust structures and related regulations

A trust is a mechanism whereby assets are transferred to one party (the trustee) by another (the settlor) to be held for the benefit of specified persons or purposes. Trust structures have a long history in English common law, originally serving to perpetuate inheritance lines. In the 19th and 20th centuries, standardized trust laws emerged to formalize their creation and imposition of fiduciary duties upon trustees.

Contemporary purposes for establishing a trust continue to include intrafamily asset transfer and management, provision for beneficiaries unable to handle their own affairs, charitable giving, and asset protection planning. The specifications of each individual trust agreement dictate matters such as the powers afforded to trustees, rights conferred upon beneficiaries, protocols for modifying terms, and permissible durations of the arrangement.

Given their advantages for succession and wealth preservation aims, trusts remain ubiquitous in fields like estate planning, investment management, and private banking. However, the validity and operation of any given trust depends heavily upon conformance with applicable laws and regulations. Relevant governance may exist at multiple jurisdictional levels, given the frequently cross-border nature of trusts and the mobility of capital.


Domestic statutes and international cooperation measures work to uphold obligations around administration, reporting, disclosure, and taxation of trust structures and associated transactions. Those seeking to establish or participate in a trust in Liechtenstein should obtain qualified professional advice concerning these issues upfront. With proper adherence to regulations and careful drafting of founding documents, trusts can serve as flexible instruments for responsible asset protection and succession planning objectives.

Liechtenstein's legal and financial framework for trust establishment

Over recent decades, Liechtenstein has consciously developed its financial services industry, implementing robust supervision to meet global transparency standards. It provides an appealing jurisdiction for locating asset management vehicles like trusts due to benefits such as:

  1. Flexible trust laws enabling customized structures aligned to client objectives.
  2. Competitive tax treatment, with exemptions possible based on qualifying conditions.
  3. Strict confidentiality statutes preserve the privacy of client information.
  4. Access to experienced legal and financial specialists well-versed in trust creation.
  5. Political and economic stability, reinforcing Liechtenstein's reputation.
  6. Wide recognition as a reputable financial centre amid major organisations.
  7. Proactive legislation and regulation to sustain competitiveness.

With an agile legal system, extensive professional expertise, and sustainable stability, Liechtenstein contains key benefits sought by providers and beneficiaries of trust solutions. Those considering Liechtenstein trusts can tap high-quality guidance on optimising structures and maintaining compliance. By leveraging the country's dynamic governance and capabilities, trust creators can achieve their wealth preservation and succession planning goals.

Legal foundations for Liechtenstein trust establishment

Liechtenstein provides a robust legislative framework to govern the creation and administration of trusts. Key statutes include:

  • Trustee Act 2013. Defines core trust concepts and fiduciary duties relevant for trust creators, beneficiaries, and administered trustees operating in the jurisdiction.
  • Banking Act 1992. Outlines prudential regulation and licensing around financial services like private banking and asset management, including for institutions acting as professional trust managers.
  • The national regulator — FMA — issues guidelines and directives to uphold governance standards for trust activities in areas like risk management and reporting.
  • AML Act. Implements international AML and CTF controls, mandating customer due diligence and monitoring by trust service providers.

Together, these regulations entail that Liechtenstein trusts must adhere to strict requirements around administration, accountability, and compliance with global transparency benchmarks. Qualified trust creators can leverage Liechtenstein's clear legal code and oversight to structure responsible wealth management solutions meeting their objectives. The jurisdiction's emphasis on robust governance provides a solid foundation for locating trusts and similar financial vehicles.

Please note, this information is posted for informational purposes only, let our experts know if you need any clarification.

Overview of Liechtenstein trust establishment

Forming a Liechtenstein trust entails methodical planning and execution across three key phases:

Phase 1

Preparatory stage

  • Define trust objectives around wealth transfer, succession planning, etc. based on client priorities
  • Select an appropriate trust structure aligned to purposes
  • Model tax implications for settlers, beneficiaries, and assets to optimise Identify beneficiary class and draft governing documents codifying terms
Phase 2

Trust formation

  • Appoint a licensed, reputable trustee to formally administer the trust
  • Finalize trust deed detailing governing clauses, powers of trustees, etc.
  • Prepare documentation related to asset transfer into the trust
Phase 3


  • Ensure trust formation adheres to all legislative and regulatory conditions
  • Submit required documents to register trust with relevant authorities

With careful upfront planning around trust purposes, structuring, taxation, and governance, clients can implement Liechtenstein-based trusts meeting their goals. The process requires working closely with experienced legal and financial specialists to ensure full compliance and robust documentation.

Liechtenstein's clear legal frameworks allow for efficient trust establishment while upholding stability and oversight. By following prescribed steps, investors can effectively harness Liechtenstein's capabilities for succession planning needs.

We remind you that this information represents the process of registering a trust in Liechtenstein only in very general terms. We would be happy to offer a profound overview according to your needs.

Requirements for Liechtenstein trust settlors and trustees

In Liechtenstein, trusts are constituted through a trust instrument executed between a settlor transferring assets and a trustee appointed to administer the trust. There is no minimum asset threshold for trust creation.

Settlors can be natural individuals or legal entities seeking to establish trusts for purposes like wealth structuring.

Key obligations include:


  • Must be domiciled or registered in Liechtenstein
  • For co-trustee structures, at least one trustee must meet residency/registration requirements
  • Identifying details provided in trust registration documentation

Trustee duties cover:

  • Managing assets prudently to further trust objectives
  • Upholding fiduciary obligations codified in trust deed
  • Respecting rights of beneficiaries as primary stakeholder

When registering a Liechtenstein trust, details on the nature and duration of the trust relationship must be furnished to authorities. Both settlors and trustees should obtain specialist advice to ensure full compliance with all legislative duties. Proper structuring and governance allows clients to efficiently establish Liechtenstein trusts, advancing their financial interests.

Key documentation for Liechtenstein trust establishment

Forming a Liechtenstein trust requires submitting core documents to authorities for formal registration, including:

Trust deed
  • Legally encodes trust terms, asset administration procedures, rights, and obligations of trustees, settlers, and beneficiaries
  • Must take written form and bear appropriate execution formalities
Supplementary governing documents
  • If structured as an incorporated entity, articles of association stipulating governance are needed
Proof of asset ownership
  • Documentation substantiating legal title to any funds, investments, or property transferred into the trust by settlors
  • Must adhere to applicable execution requirements in relevant jurisdictions

Additional documentation such as settlor affidavits, beneficiary statements, and trustee undertakings may be warranted provided the specifics of a trust. Professional advisors should carefully verify that all submitted documents comply with Liechtenstein legislative and regulatory conditions to avoid delays during registration and activation. Advance planning to prepare compliant, comprehensive trust documentation in Liechtenstein provides a strong foundation for achieving client objectives.

Please let us know if you require any clarification to basic documents and requirements for their submission to the regulator for opening a trust in Liechtenstein.

Indicative timelines and costs for Liechtenstein trust establishment

The timeframe and expenses involved in setting up a trust in Liechtenstein can vary substantially based on the bespoke structuring, assets, and compliance complexities of each client's circumstances.

Typical benchmarks


From initial strategic planning through formal registration, trusts typically require 3–6 months to activate, with more intricate structures or speciality licensing extending closer to 6–12 months


  • All-inclusive establishment costs often range from €50,000 to €250,000
  • Factors like asset transfers, tax optimization structuring, and use of multiple jurisdictions can increase costs
  • Ongoing administration and compliance fees also apply after setup

Expert legal and financial advisors should provide case-specific guidance on anticipated timelines, costs, and associated risk factors when exploring Liechtenstein trust solutions. While a significant initial investment, proper establishment can provide clients with efficient, sustainable trust vehicles for achieving long-term wealth preservation and succession planning objectives.

Tax considerations for Liechtenstein trusts

Liechtenstein offers an attractive tax regime to help minimize liability for appropriately structured trusts:

  • Annual corporation tax is a flat CHF 1,800 regardless of income generated
  • Assets under management are taxed at a low 0.1% valuation rate
  • Capital gains realized within trusts are generally tax-exempt
  • Foreign-sourced income and dividends may bypass domestic taxation

These incentives aim to facilitate wealth management and succession planning arrangements. However, trusts must still comply with reporting obligations such as:

  • Maintaining auditable records on an annual basis for transparency
  • Filing requisite financial statements and asset inventories
  • Providing documentation to authorities under international agreements

In exchange for low direct taxes, Liechtenstein trusts trade off more administrative rigour and disclosures around earnings, asset valuation, and structural changes. Obtaining specialist advice is key to crafting compliant trust vehicles that balance confidentiality needs with transparency duties. Proper structuring allows clients to benefit from Liechtenstein’s favourable tax treatment within a regulated environment meeting international standards.

Governance standards for Liechtenstein trusts

Liechtenstein upholds rigorous AML/CTF regulations aligned to global standards, including for trust structures. Core controls include:

  • Stringent KYC rules around client identification
  • Requirements to document sources of assets transferred into trusts
  • Oversight by the FMA as national AML/CTF regulator

All licensed trust administrators must continually monitor client activities and report suspicious transactions accordingly. These checks and balances underpin Liechtenstein's reputation as a transparent, compliant jurisdiction for locating responsible wealth management vehicles.

However, realizing the benefits of Liechtenstein trusts necessitates careful navigation of the complex legislative landscape. Trust creators should engage experienced legal and compliance specialists from the outset to ensure adherence to issues like tax optimization, asset protection, succession planning, and governance obligations. This upfront investment provides the foundations to efficiently establish well-structured Liechtenstein trusts meeting client objectives while upholding regulatory standards.

YB Case offers its professional assistance and knowledge. It covers a full range of services to support clients in setting up and administering trust funds in Liechtenstein, from the initial advisory phase to the day-to-day administration of the property.

The company's specialists have extensive experience working with international financial structures and deeply understand the specifics of Liechtenstein regulation. Assisting in navigating the complex trust registration process, ensuring compliance with all necessary requirements and supporting the achievement of financial and strategic goals for maximum benefit are the main areas of the company's work.

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